John Boyle was born October 28, 1774, near Tazewell in Botetourt County, Virginia. He was admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1797 and established a legal practice in Lancaster, Kentucky, before entering government service.
In 1800 Boyle participated in the Kentucky House of Representatives. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives as a member from Kentucky from 1803 to 1809 and participated in the IMPEACHMENT hearings of Justice SAMUEL CHASE, who was accused but found not guilty of prejudice in certain rulings.
Boyle presided over the Kentucky Court of Appeals from 1809 to 1810, acting as chief justice from 1810 to 1826. In that same year he became U.S. district judge for Kentucky and remained in that position until his death January 28, 1835, near Danville, Kentucky.