Online Encyclopedia

OLIVER PLUNKET (1629—1681)

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Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 856 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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OLIVER PLUNKET (1629—1681), Irish Roman Catholic divine, was born at Loughcrew, Co. Meath. He was educated privately and at Rome, whither he went with Father Scarampi in 1645. From 1657 to 1669 he was professor of theology at the College of the Propaganda, enjoyed the friend-ship of the historian, Pallavicini, and acted as representative of Irish ecclesiastical affairs at Rome. Pope Clement IX. appointed him to the archbishopric of Armagh and primacy of Ireland in July 1669, and in November he was consecrated at Ghent, reaching Ireland in March 167o. Lord Berkeley of Stratton, the viceroy, showed him much kindness and allowed him to establish a Jesuit school in Dublin. Plunket showed amazing diligence in furthering the cause of his Church. He was in very straitened circumstances, the revenue of his see being only £62 in good years. The repressive measures following on the Test Act bore hardly upon him, and in December 1678 he was imprisoned in Dublin Castle for six weeks. Accused of a share in the Irish branch of the " Popish Plot," he was brought to London, and in June 1681 arraigned in the King's Bench, charged with conspiring to bring a French army to Carlingford. He made a good defence, but on the absurdest of evidence the jury convicted him of treason, and on the 1st of July he was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.
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