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Plunket

Plunket

Plunket, Saint Oliver, 1629-81, Irish Roman Catholic churchman and martyr, b. Co. Meath. He was educated at Rome and named Roman Catholic archbishop of Armagh and primate of all Ireland in 1669. He was on good terms with local Protestants and worked with much success. After the Test Act (1673) he kept mainly in hiding. In his fabrication of tales about the Popish Plot, Titus Oates accused him of planning a foreign invasion of Ireland. Plunket was tried and acquitted in Ireland; he was then taken to London, tried again, convicted, and hanged, drawn, and quartered. The accusations and the witnesses' testimony against him were manifestly false from beginning to end. Plunket was the last Roman Catholic to be executed at Tyburn on politico-religious grounds. He was beatified as a martyr in 1920 and canonized in 1975. Feast: July 11.

See A. Curtayne, The Trial of Oliver Plunkett (1953).

(born 1629, Loughcrew, County Meath, Ire.—died July 1, 1681, London, Eng.; canonized 1975; feast day July 11) Irish prelate, the last man to suffer martyrdom for the Catholic faith in England. He was ordained in Rome, where he taught theology and represented the Irish bishops at the Holy See. In 1669 he was appointed archbishop of Armagh and primate of Ireland, and he worked to restore the disorganized church in Ireland. Renewed persecution forced him into hiding in 1673. In the anti-Catholic hysteria caused by the Titus Oates plot (1678), he was betrayed and imprisoned in Dublin in 1679. After a farcical trial in London, he was convicted of treason and was hanged, drawn, and quartered. His head, originally sent to Rome, is preserved at Drogheda, and his body is at Downside Abbey, near Bath.

Learn more about Plunket, Saint Oliver with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born 1629, Loughcrew, County Meath, Ire.—died July 1, 1681, London, Eng.; canonized 1975; feast day July 11) Irish prelate, the last man to suffer martyrdom for the Catholic faith in England. He was ordained in Rome, where he taught theology and represented the Irish bishops at the Holy See. In 1669 he was appointed archbishop of Armagh and primate of Ireland, and he worked to restore the disorganized church in Ireland. Renewed persecution forced him into hiding in 1673. In the anti-Catholic hysteria caused by the Titus Oates plot (1678), he was betrayed and imprisoned in Dublin in 1679. After a farcical trial in London, he was convicted of treason and was hanged, drawn, and quartered. His head, originally sent to Rome, is preserved at Drogheda, and his body is at Downside Abbey, near Bath.

Learn more about Plunket, Saint Oliver with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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