Boyle, Francis (fl. 1811), blacksmith and poet, lived in Gransha, near Comber, Co. Down; the surname appears locally in the form ‘Boal’. In his volume of Miscellaneous poems (Belfast, 1811), he stated that he was 80 years old and had written verse for ‘lang forty years’. His interest in poetry thus dated from before the publication in 1786 of the first poems of Robert Burns of Ayrshire, who has been credited by some critics with popularising the use of Scots in poetry. Boyle's poetry is strongly local in subject matter and language, and in its vigour not inferior to that of Burns; his use of Ulster-Scots for elegiac verse is particularly striking, and distinguishes his writing from that of contemporary younger poets in Ulster.
Francis J. Bigger, ‘Francis Boyle, the poet of Comber Granshaw’, Northern Whig, 27 Apr. 1916; Rosalind I. Connolly, ‘An analysis of some linguistic information obtained from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Ulster poetry’ (Ph.D. thesis, QUB, 1981)