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Joan Apsley (1578 – 14 December 1599), the maiden name of Joan Boyle, was the wife of Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork.
She was one of two daughters and co-heirs of William Apsley, of Limerick, one of the council to the first President of the province of Munster. She married at Limerick on 6 November 1595, Richard Boyle, she being 17 and he 28. This marriage brought her husband an estate worth £500 a year, "the beginning and foundation of my fortune", which he continued to receive until at least 1632.
She died during childbirth aged 21 in Mallow, Ireland and was buried with her still-born son in Buttevant church, County Cork, Ireland. Boyle's detractors maintained that unlike many of his other close relatives whom he took great care to commemorate, Richard took no trouble to have his Joan, his first wife commemorated after her death. This led to the conviction among some that his monumental commemorative endeavours were motivated by how they could help achieve his personal objectives, rather than sentimental, as Joan's connections were of no direct use to him after her death.
His strongest commemoration of Joan might be in the name he gave his fourth daughter but this may of course have been given in memory of his mother.
This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (May 2014)