Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Piers, Henry

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PIERS, HENRY (d. 1623), author, was son of William Piers (d. 1603) [q. v.], constable of Carrickfergus. He paid a visit to Rome, became a Roman catholic, and wrote observations on Rome and various places on the continent. The manuscript remained in the possession of his descendants, and a copy belonging to Sir James Ware subsequently came to the Duke of Chandos's Library. An edition of this work is now in preparation by the author of the present notice. Piers died in 1623, having married Jane, daughter of Thomas Jones (1550?–1619) [q. v.], protestant archbishop of Dublin and chancellor of Ireland. He was succeeded by his son William, who was knighted, married Martha, daughter of Sir James Ware the elder, and was father of

Sir Henry Piers (1628–1691), chorographer. The latter was created a baronet in 1660. At the instance of Anthony Dopping [q. v.], protestant bishop of Meath, he wrote a description of the county of West Meath, where he resided on the family property, Tristernagh Abbey. This treatise was printed for the first time by Charles Vallancey at Dublin in 1774. Letters of Piers are extant in the Ormonde collection. He died in June 1691, having married Mary, daughter of Henry Jones (1605–1682) [q. v.], protestant bishop of Meath. He was succeeded as second baronet by his son William, and the title is still extant.

James Piers (fl. 1635), writer, probably a son of Henry Piers (d. 1623), went to France, graduated D.D., and became ‘royal professor of philosophy in the Aquitanick College’ at Bordeaux. He published: 1. ‘Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, Beatæque Virginis Mariæ Brevis … in Logicam Introductio, etc.,’ Bordeaux, 1631, 8vo. 2. ‘Disputationes in Universam Aristotelis Stagiritæ Logicam,’ Bordeaux, 1635, 8vo.

[Calendars of State Papers, Elizabeth and James I; Ware's Writers of Ireland, ed. Harris, ii. 102, 103, 199; Lodge's Peerage of Ireland, 1754; Collectanea de rebus Hibernicis, 1774; Grand Juries of Westmeath, 1851.]

J. T. G.