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Richard Southwell Bourke, 6th Earl of Mayo KP, GMSI, PC (21 February 1822 – 8 February 1872), styled Lord Naas between 1842 and 1867, was an Irishmarker statesman and prominent member of the British Conservative Party.

Background and education

Mayo was born in Dublinmarker, the eldest son of Robert Bourke, 5th Earl of Mayo, and his wife Anne Charlotte, daughter of the Hon. John Jocelyn. His younger brother the Hon. Robert Bourke was also a successful politician. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublinmarker.

Political career

After travelling in Russiamarker, Mayo entered parliamentmarker for Kildare in 1847, a seat he held until 1852, and then represented Coleraine from 1852 to 1857 and Cockermouth from 1857 to 1868. He was thrice appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland - in 1852, 1858 and 1866 - and in 1869 he became the fourth Viceroy of India. He consolidated the frontiers of Indiamarker and reorganised the country's finances; he also did much to promote irrigation, railways, forests and other useful public works. The European-oriented Mayo College at Ajmermarker was founded by him for the education of young Indian chiefs, with £70,000 being subscribed by the chiefs themselves.


While visiting the convict settlement at Port Blairmarker in the Andaman Islandsmarker, for the purpose of inspection, he was assassinated by Sher Ali, a Pathan convict who used a knife. His murderer appeared to be motivated only by a sense of injustice at his own imprisonment, and had resolved to kill a high ranking colonial official. Mayo's body was brought home to Ireland and buried at the medieval ruined church in Johnstown, County Kildaremarker, near his home at Palmerstown House. On 19 August 1875 a statue of Lord Mayo was unveiled in the town of Cockermouthmarker in the centre of the main street. The eight hundred guinea cost of the statue (made by Messrs. Willis of London) had been raised by public subscription. The unveiling was attended by Mayo's son, the 7th Earl; Lord Napier and Ettrick; the then Bishop of Carlisle Harvey Goodwin: and the Earl of Lonsdale. The statue, carved in Sicilian marble, depicts Lord Mayo in his viceregal garb, and still stands today.


Lord Mayo married Blanche Julia, daughter of George Wyndham, 1st Baron Leconfield, in 1848. He was succeeded in the earldom by his eldest son Richard. Lady Mayo died in 1918.

See also


  1. 1876 biography online
  2. Murder of Lord Mayo online details


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