1881-09-15, English, Article, Journal or magazine article edition: OLIVER PLUNKET, ARCHBISHOP AND MARTYR. (15 September 1881)

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OLIVER PLUNKET, ARCHBISHOP AND MARTYR. (15 September 1881)
 
Bookmark: https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/260250383
Physical Description
  • 913 words
  • article
  • Journals
  • Magazines
Published
  • xna, National Library of Australia, 1881-09-15
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • OLIVER PLUNKET, ARCHBISHOP AND MARTYR. (15 September 1881)
Appears In
  • The Record., v.5, no.18, 1881-09-15 (ISSN: 2207-1148)
Other Contributors
  • London Weekly Register.
Published
  • xna, National Library of Australia, 1881-09-15
Physical Description
  • 913 words
  • article
  • Journals
  • Magazines
Part Of
  • The Record.
  • Vol. 5 No. 18 (15 September 1881)
Subjects
Summary
  • OLIVER PLUNKET, ARCHBISHOP AND MARTYR. The bi-centennarr commemoration of the martyrdom of this illustrious prelate, who was hanged at Tyburn on the Ist of July, 1681, ought to be kept in England as fully as it is about to be celebrated in Ireland ; both because it was in this country try that he met his violent and cruel death, and because England owes a debt of reparation to his memory for one of the most execrable judicial murders recorded in her annals. Archbishop Pluuket was descended from the noble Irish family of that name, and spent twenty years of the earlier portion of his life in Rome, where, in consequence of his high character and great eminence for theological learning, he was consecrated to the See of Armagh about the year 1669, when he returned to Ireland. He was one of those beautiful characters in the presence of which the bitterness of controversy versy is hushed, and enemies are awed into admiration and praise. Catholics revered and Protestants loved him. Even the cruel Burnet is fain to recognise his merits and Christian virtues. He resided mostly at Drogheda, living in extreme poverty, quietly and contentedly using his influence to dissuade suade his compatriots from entering into any factious or turbulent bulent intrigues, and occupied exclusively with the sacred functions of his office. , . The Popish plot, which burst over England m 16/​8, vas nursed into importance by Shaftesbury and the other leaders of the Whig faction, their object being to raise an anti-Catbolic olic agitation in England which should secure the exclusion of the Duke of York from the succession to the throne, lue plan was defeated, owing to the loyalty of the English people for the house of Stuart, and perhaps some lingering attachment ment to the religion of their forefathers, and was only carried out by measures of a different character in 1688. But, meanwhile while many of the more eminent Catholics in England, priests and laymen, were put to death on imaginary charges during the three years that followed the alleged discovery of the plot The plot itself existed only in the imagination of its pretended discoverers, even in England, and no one had ever dreamed of extending it to Ireland. But aicut 1680, some unhappy men whom, on account of tbe irregularity of their conduct, the Archbishop had been compelled to censure, laid a false information against him out of revenge, and he was brought to trial in Dublin. He was so well known, and so widely revered in Ireland, that no witness ness would give evidence against him, and the prosecutors themselves were afraid to appear. The Archbishop was, consequently, sequently, acquitted. Then the prosecutors hurried over to London, and laid their accusations before Shaftesbury—who, though not in office, had great influence as the leader of the Parliamentary Opposition, and who received their information favorably and gladly. At his instance the Archbishop was illegally and arbitrarily apprehended, brought to London, and committed to Newgate, to be tried a second time for the same alleged offence. He obtained a respite of five weeks, in order to allow him time to bring over his witnesses. But they were detained by contrary winds ; and when he was put on trial, early in June, he found himself powerless, in presence of the malice of his enemies. He defended himself with manly eloquence, quence, and asked for further delay ; but this was refused, and he was sentenced to death. Shaftesbury offered him his ife ;f h Q J&​bfi posal which he, of course, indignantly refused. The Earl of Essex, who had been viceroy in Ireland, and knew the Archbishop bishop well, assured the King that the charges against him were unquestionably false, and suggested that a pardon should be issued. Charles (as Echard relates) exclaimed angrily, “ Why did you not ssy this at the trial ? It might have done him good then. I dare not pardon any one,” and refused to interfere further. The King himself died about three years and a half later ; and it is possible that his conversion in the last moments of his life may have been due in part to the intercession of the martyr, for whose death he was ceitam y The Archbishop was dragged on a hurdle to Tyburn, and hanged, on the Ist of July, 1681. He addressed a few words to the spectators from the cart which was about to be drawn from under him, acknowledging his prelate character, but absolutely denying all complicity in the plot, or any kt\owledge ledge of it; adding that he might have saved his life had he accused others. The body was left suspended until life was extinct, when the heart and bowels were cut out and burnt, and the body was quartered. It was interred m the churchyard yard of S. Giles’s in-the-Field, but four years later was removed moved to the monastery at Lamp-spring, where a handsome tomb has been erected over the grave. The head is m the possession of the convent of Dominican Nuns at Drogheda. Oliver Plunket was neither a turbulent politician, nor an enemy to England ; and Catholics and Protestants are alike bound to hold him in honor, the first because they reverence him as a saint and martyr, and the last because they o some reparation to the memory of a man whose blameless less life was sacrificed to the violence and in]ustice of an unscrupulous scrupulous political faction.- London Weekly Register.
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