Edward King [Viscount Kingsborough]

1795-1837; b. Cork; ed. Oxford, MP for Cork, 1818-1826;, brought out at the expense to himself of 32,000 the magnificent Antiquities of Mexico (10 vols. 1830-48) and died of typhus in sheriff’s prison as a debtor, Dublin. In a year, he would have inherited 40,000 p.a. estate. ODNB DIB DIW OCIL

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Papyri: Lord Kingsborough presented Egyptian papyri and hieratic, hieroglyphic and demotic scripts, including a splendidly decorated 13th century b.c. Book of the Dead; the collection was augmented by several thousands of Greek papyri fragments found by Sir Flinders Petrie in mummy cartonage in Fayyum district, and by other finds from the rubbish tips of Oxyrhynchus. see TOPICS, TCD Lib2.

Kith & Kin (1): See Daithí Ó hÓgáin The Hero in Irish Folk History (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1985), ‘The Outlaw as Hero’ [chap.]: narrative of George King, the Earl of Kingston [aka Lord Kingsborough], who as captured by rebels in 1798 and protected from execution by their leaders, only to deny those leaders his protection when they themselves were arrested. Viz., George King, titled Viscount Kingsborough, Colonel of the notorious North Cork Militia: ‘Having fallen into rebel hands in Wexford, this magnate was protected by the rebel leaders at no small risk to themselves. He later showed little gratitude, however, even going so far as to oppose an amnesty for the insurgents. The legend, though apocryphal, is telling in its own way: “Kingston sent his militia on to Wexford, but he did not go with them. He went another road and was captured by the Irish near Wexford. He was condemned to be shot three times, but Father Murphy got his pardon each time. Later on, when the Irish were defeated, Father Murphy was captured and brought before some sort of court and tried for his life. He was asked if he knew any of the men present who might stand up for him. Kingston was present, and the priest thought he might stand by him. So he called on him. Kingston turned his head around in disgust when Father Murphy called out his name, and jeered at him. He could never turn his head back again - it always remained turned.” [No source given]. Lord Kingsborough was in fact captured by the rebel forces as he sailed down the coast from Wicklow to Wexford to rejoin his regiment, and the story probably refers more correctly to the Commander of the insurgent forces at Wexford, Father Philip Roche, whose prisoner Kingsborough was. Kingsborough had acted as go-between for Father Roche with the British forces, but when Wexford was taken, Father Roche was seized when trying to negotiate. He was courtmartialled and summarily executed, Kingsborough failing to intercede on his behalf. A frequent source of grievance, when the rebellion was over, was the failure of those Loyalists whose lives had been spared through the efforts of rebel leaders to come forward and repay the debt. In fact, it sometimes happened that those who had come to attention by thus sparing prisoners' lives were afterwards identified as leaders on that very account.’ (pp.196-97.)

Kith & kin (2) [or self?]: The Earl of Kingsborough (c.1800) was tried before his peers - the Irish House of Lords - for the murder of the illegitimate half-brother of his wife with whom his daughter eloped; the Lords found him innocent without calling witnesses. (Recounted in P. J. Kavanagh, Voices in Ireland, 1994, p.132; apparently copied from Elizabeth Bowen, Bowens Court, 1959.)

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