Shannon, Richard Boyle, 2nd earl of

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Shannon, Richard Boyle, 2nd earl of [I] (1728–1807). Boyle's father was Speaker of the Irish House of Commons and was raised to the peerage on resigning. Boyle attended Trinity College, Dublin, and entered the Irish Parliament as soon as he was 21. He inherited the title in 1764. He acted closely with his wife's family, the Ponsonbys, and was one of the undertakers whose power Lord Townshend as lord-lieutenant in 1768 wished to destroy. From 1766 to 1770 he was master-general of the ordnance, vice-treasurer of Ireland 1781–9, and given a British peerage in 1786 as Baron Carleton. He wobbled on the Regency question in 1789, apparently under pressure from his wife, and was dismissed. But he served again as a lord of Treasury [I] from 1793 to 1804 and exerted himself and his great influence to carry the Act of Union in 1801.

J. A. Cannon