Plunket, Thomas (DNB00)

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PLUNKET, THOMAS, Baron Plunket of the Holy Roman Empire (1716–1779), general in the service of Austria, a kinsman of Lord Dunsany, was born in Ireland in 1716. Entering the Austrian army, he fought in Turkey and in the war of the Spanish succession. In 1746, as a colonel and adjutant-general of the army in Italy, he much distinguished himself, and in the following year he was sent to Genoa as bearer of the imperial pardon to that republic. He went through the seven years' war. In 1757, under Daun, by capturing the obstinately defended village of Krzeszow, he greatly contributed to the victory of Kollin. The cross of the order of Maria Theresa, which conferred the title of baron, was consequently awarded him on 4 Dec. 1758. In the following year he was in command of eight Austrian regiments in Saxony (Carlyle, Frederick the Great, viii. 177). In 1763 he was nominated general. On St. Patrick's day 1766 he attended the dinner given at Vienna to men of Irish extraction by Count Demetrius O'Mahony, the Spanish ambassador [see under O'Mahony, Daniel]. In 1770 he was appointed governor of Antwerp, which post he held till his death, 20 Jan. 1779.

By his marriage with Mary D'Alton, probably a sister of Richard and Edward D'Alton, Austrian generals, he had a son, an Austrian officer, killed at the siege of Belgrade in 1789. A daughter, Mary Bridget Charlotte Josephine, born at Louvain in 1759, was educated at the English Austin nunnery, Paris, and married in 1787 the Marquis de Chastellux, who died on 26 Oct. 1788; she was subsequently lady-in-waiting to the Duchess of Orleans, and died at Paris on 18 Dec. 1815. Her son Alfred (born posthumously in February 1789) became an equerry to Princess Adelaide, the sister of Louis-Philippe, was a deputy, 1832–42, and was created a peer of France in 1845.

[Hirtenfeld's Militär Maria Theresen Orden, Vienna, 1857; Annual Register, 1766, p. 60; Diary of Gouverneur Morris; Alger's Englishmen in French Revolution.]

J. G. A.