Plunket, Patrick (DNB00)

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PLUNKET, PATRICK (d. 1668), ninth Baron of Dunsany, co. Meath, was only son of Christopher, eighth lord Dunsany, by his wife Mary or Maud, daughter of Henry Babington of Dethick, Derbyshire. Both father and mother were Roman catholics. An ancestor, Sir Christopher Plunket (d. 1445), was active in the Irish wars during the early part of the fifteenth century, and is said to have been deputy to Sir Thomas Stanley, lord lieutenant of Ireland. His son, Sir Christopher (d. 1461), is generally reckoned first Baron Dunsany. Another Christopher Plunket was taken prisoner by the Irish in 1466, and died in 1467 (Lodge, vi. 166–74; Book of Howth, pp. 156, 172, 359; Annals of Four Masters, iv. 1043, 1049). Patrick Plunket, seventh lord Dunsany (fl. 1530), was reputed to be the author of some literary works, which have not come to light.

Patrick, the ninth lord, succeeded to the title and estates on the death of his father in 1603. He sat in the House of Lords at Dublin, and married Jane, daughter of Sir Thomas Heneage of Lincolnshire. At the commencement of the movements of 1641 in Ireland, Lord Dunsany, with other Roman catholic peers, addressed letters to the lords justices at Dublin in relation to rumoured designs against themselves and their co-religionists. In March 1641–2 Dunsany, in a letter to the Earl of Ormonde, still extant, avowed himself a loyal subject, a ‘lover of the prosperity of England,’ and added, ‘I am an Englishman born, my mother an Englishwoman, and my wife an English- woman.’ Later in the same month he applied to the lords justices for assistance to enable him to defend his castle and lands. His request was not acceded to, and he was soon after committed to prison on a charge of treason. After an incarceration of eighteen months he was liberated, but bound to appear for trial in the court of king's bench. Under the government of the parliament of England Dunsany and his wife were ejected from their castle and possessions, which had been decreed to ‘adventurers’ who had advanced money in London for estates in Ireland. In the acts of settlement and explanation of 1662 a clause was inserted for restoring to Dunsany his castle, with portions of the estates which he possessed in 1641. He died in 1668.

[Carte's Life of Ormonde, 1736; Carte Papers, Bodleian Library; Peerage of Ireland, 1789; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. 1813; Prendergast's Cromwellian Settlement, 1875; Gilbert's Contemporary Hist. of Affairs in Ireland, 1879, and Hist. of Confederation and War in Ireland, 1882.]

J. T. G.