Peter Talbot


Life
1620-1680 [occas. pseud. “Peter Wilson”]; b. Malahide, Co. Dublin; br. of Richard Talbot, Earl of Tyrconnell [q.v.]; ed. Portugal and Rome; joined jesuit order; lived and worked in Lisbon, Antwerp, Cologne, and Paris; consec. Archb. of Antwerp, at anointment assisted by the bishop of Ferns; involved in diplomatic missions [plots] ‘to gain assistance from Charles II’, trusting no party; made [titular] archbishop of Dublin at Ghent, 1669; took up his position in Dublin, 1670; became engaged in dispute about precendency of Dublin or Armagh with primate Oliver Plunkett;
 
he removed from Ireland to Paris at banishment of priests, 1673; issued The Friar disciplin’d (1674), published in Ghent, a bitter attack on Peter Walsh (of the Remonstrance); returned to England and Ireland; received a pension of 200 from Charles II; lived unmolested at Poole Hall in Cheshire; arrested for complicity in Popish plot, 1678 [i.e., 1679], and d. Newgate Prison, Dublin [var. Dublin Castle], after two years; there reconciled with Plunkett, also a prisoner. ODNB

 

[The Wikipedia page on Peter Talbot is based on the article in - online. ]
 
Synopsis

b. Malahide, County Dublin, Ireland; ed. Society of Jesus, Portugal; ord. in Rome; appt. to chair of theology at the College of Antwerp; attached to court of Charles II in exile, along with his eldest br., Sir Robert Talbot, Bart., who had held a commission in Ireland under James Butler (1st Duke of Ormonde); also a younger brother, Col. Richard Talbot, was also devoted to the cause of the exiled monarch and stood high in royal favour.

served as ambassador for Charles to Lisbon, Madrid, and Paris; permitted to severe connection with the Jesuit Order by his superiors; returned to England; appt. Queen’s Almoner at Restoration; opposed by the Clarendon and Ormond; accused of conspiracy to assassinate Ormond involving four Jesuits; sought safety on the continent but allowed a pension of £300 a year; appt. Archbishop of Dublin, 11 Jan. 1669, and consecrated at Antwerp, assisted by the Bishops of Ghent and Ferns.

held his first diocesan synod in Dublin, August 1670, and celebrated High Mass; held an assembly of the archbishops and bishops and other representatives of the clergy, Dublin 1670; raised issues of precedence between the his own office as Archbishop of Dublin and that of Oliver Plunkett as Archbishop of Armagh; agreed with Catholic gentry at a meeting convened by him to send a representative to the Court at London to seek redress for some of the grievances; made the object of protests on the part of the Protestants of Ireland; driven into exile, living chiefly in Paris, on restitution of penal measures, 1673;

Obtained permission to return to England, 1675; stayed with with a family friend at Poole Hall in Cheshire; petitioned the Crown for leave ‘to come to Ireland to die in his own country’, 1677, the request being granted through the influence of James, Duke of York; accused of supposed complicity in the Titus Oates’s Popish Plot, as well as involvement in a planned rebellion in Ireland, and the assassination of the Duke of Ormonde (then Lord Lieutenant - to whom theinformation had been conveyed);

arrested near Maynooth at the house of his brother, Colonel Richard Talbot, on the warrant of the Duke of Ormonde, signed 8 Oct. 1678; conveyed to Dublin and held in prison where he died in early Nov. 1680. He was probably buried at St. Andeon’s churchyard, nr. tomb of Lord Portlester’s; wrote a letter petitioning for a visit from a priest when near to death, 12 April 1679; received last rites from Oliver Plunkett, also a prisoner, on hearing of Talbot’s condition.

 
—Based on the article in the (Old) Dictionary of National Biography; for details of Titus Oates and the Popish Plot, see under Oliver Plunkett, supra.

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Commentary
T. Crofton Croker, Historical Songs of Ireland [.... &c.] (London: For the Percy Society 1841): ‘Peter Talbot, the brother of Tyrconnel, had been the titular, or Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, and many anecdotes are current as to the keenness with which he watched the property that had belonged to his church. The one most [11] commonly told is, that “landing at a place called the Skerries, within twelve miles of Dublin, the archbishop was very hospitably entertained by one Captain Coddington, at whose house he lodged all night. The next morning he (the archbishop) took him aside, and after the most affectionate expressions of kindness, asked him, ‘what title he had to that estate?’ for that he observed he had expended considerably upon its improvements. Coddington answered, ‘Twas an old estate belonging to the Earl of Thomond.’ Talbot replied, ‘That’s nothing, it belonged to the church, and would be taken away.’ He then advised him to lay out no more upon it, but to get what he could and desert it.’” Harris (Ware’s Writers, p.192) says that Peter Talbot, who had been educated as a Jesuit, “was always forming designs, and contriving schemes for advancing” the interests of the Roman Catholic church, which, to use the words of an old author, “he guarded with the fidelity that became the doggedness of his name.” / Upon being appointed by the pope Archbishop of Dublin, as a reward, it is supposed, for the part he had played in England during Cromwell’s government, Talbot directly embroiled himself with Plunket, the titular Primate of Ireland, who told him ’that he had the reputation of meddling too much in affairs of state.” Mr. D’Alton, in his Memoirs of the Archbishops of Dublin (1838), labours hard to shew that Talbot was an amiable and persecuted man; and expresses a hope that justice will be done to his character, notwithstanding “the prejudices of his contemporaries have sought to vilify his memory; and even Mr. Moore has reflected their opinions when he styles him ‘the clever and turbulent Peter Talbot’” This prelate died a prisoner in the Castle of Dublin, in 1680; a picture of him is preserved at Malahide Castle.’ (pp.11-12.)

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References
Marsh’s Library, St. Patrick’s Close, Dublin holds copy of The Friar disciplined [Printed at Gant [i.e., Ghent] 1674]. Thomas Darcy McGee reports that he had republican principles and attended Cromwell’s funeral in 1658; a br. of Richard Talbot, earl of Tyrconnel; at first supported Peter Walsh against Rinuccini but then strenuously opposed him, calling his book ‘Stufft with eros, no less dangerous to the state, than damnable to the soul’. (See Muriel McCarthy & Caroline Sherwood-Smith, eds., Hibernia Resurgens: Catalogue of Marsh’s Library (1994) - and note that the dates and details of his exit from, and return to, Ireland do not square with those given in the Shorter ODNB.]

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Notes
Portrait: Peter Talbot d. 1680, Italian school, possibly done in Rome, c.1660, lent by Malahide family; see Anne Crookshank, Irish Portraits Exhibition (Ulster Museum 1965). Also, Talbot, Earl and Duke of Tyrconnell d.1691, a miniature of the French School in the manner of Petitot, c.1691 (ibid.)

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