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Saint Oliver Plunkett

Saint Oliver Plunkett

Birth
Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland
Death 1 Jul 1681 (aged 55)
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Burial Holborn, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England
Memorial ID 8257 · View Source
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Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of Ireland. Born the son of Thomasina Dillon and John Plunkett in Loughcrew, County Meath, Ireland. From the age of seven he was sent to live with Patrick Plunkett, Abbot of St. Mary’s, Dublin for his education. In 1647, he went to Rome where he attended the Irish College to study for the priesthood. He was ordained in 1654. He spent the next few years in service in Rome, while in Ireland under Cromwell, anti-Catholic legislation was enacted. In 1657, he became a teacher of theology at Sacra Congregatio Christiano Nomini Propagando (Sacred Congregation of Propaganda). In July 1669, he was appointed Archbishop of Armagh. He returned to Ireland in March 1670, at the same time Charles II adopted the Declaration of Breda which promised lenience and tolerance, relaxing many anti-Catholic laws. The Archbishop moved to curb drunkenness among his clergy, and built schools both for the young and for clergy. In 1670, he established a College in Drogheda which enrolled 150 students, almost one-third of whom were Protestant, something unprecedented. In 1673, the passage of the anti-Catholic Test Act saw the college closed and drove the archbishop underground when he evaded exile; church services had to be held in secret, and seminaries were suppressed. In 1678, the so-called Popish Plot led to further anti-Catholicism, and false testimony implicated the archbishop in a supposed French invasion of England. He remained in hiding, performing mass in secret, until he was arrested in Dublin in December 1679. Imprisoned in Dublin Castle, he was tried for treason, but the trial ended when the witnesses for the prosecution failed to appear. The trial was moved to London where the initial hearing found no cause for indictment. A second trial, which even at the time was viewed by many as a mistake and a disgrace, ended with his conviction for treason. Petitions for mercy to the English king were refused as Charles said that though he knew Plunkett to be innocent, it was not the time to be so bold as to pardon him. He was sentenced to death and was subsequently hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn. He was beatified as a martyr in May 1920 by Pope Benedict XV, and canonized in October 1975 by Pope Paul VI. A shrine dedicated to him is located inside Saint Peter's Roman Catholic Church, Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland.

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 22 Jan 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8257
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Saint Oliver Plunkett (1 Nov 1625–1 Jul 1681), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8257, citing St Giles in the Fields Churchyard, Holborn, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .