Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Railway engineer. Richard Vicars Boyle, the third son of Vicars Armstrong Boyle, was born in Dublin in 1822. After receiving a private education, he was attached to the trigonometrical survey of Ireland for two years before serving his pupilage with CHARLES BLACKER VIGNOLES  CHARLES BLACKER VIGNOLES on railway works in England. On completing his apprenticeship he returned to Ireland, where he worked for several years as contractor's engineer on the Belfast & Armagh railway and the Dublin & Drogheda railway. Under Sir JOHN MACNEIL  JOHN MACNEIL he laid out a section of the Great Southern & Western railway between Dublin and Cork, as well as some other lines in the North. He was chief engineer for the Longford & Sligo railway, and also acted as engineer at Ballinasloe on the Midland Great Western railway until after the line had been completed as far as Galway.

In 1852 Boyle left Ireland for Spain, where he assisted GEORGE WILLOUGHBY HEMANS  GEORGE WILLOUGHBY HEMANS in the construction of railways and waterworks. The rest of his career was spent abroad, in India and in Japan. He became famous in 1857, when, in the early months of the Indian Mutiny, a small garrison of eighty men held out in an outbuilding of his house at Arrah for eight days against 3,000 mutinous troops. He died in 1908.

Inst.CE: elected associate, 10 January 1854; transferred to class of member, 1860.


All information in this entry is from the obituary of Boyle in Min.Proc.Inst.CE (1907-8), 372.For a fuller account of his life see Dictionary of Irish Biography, ed. by James McGuire and James Quinn, 9 vols. (Cambridge University Press, 2009), 737-8.