Oliver Plunket (St Oliver Plunket)

Oliver Plunket (St Oliver Plunket), by or after Garrett Morphey, possibly after  Edward Lutterell (Luttrell), based on a work of 1681 - NPG 262 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Oliver Plunket (St Oliver Plunket)

by or after Garrett Morphey, possibly after Edward Lutterell (Luttrell)
oil on canvas, based on a work of 1681
20 1/2 in. x 17 1/2 in. (521 mm x 445 mm)
Purchased, 1868
Primary Collection
NPG 262

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This portraitback to top

In 1645 Oliver Plunket travelled to Rome where he enrolled in the Irish College. Having studied for eight years, he was then appointed to the chair of theology at the Propaganda College, a post he filled until his nomination as Archbishop of Armagh in 1669. Leaving Rome after twenty-five years, he travelled to Ireland via London and arrived the following year. Plunket was committed to Dublin Castle at the time of the panic over the 'Popish Plot'. Taken to London, in 1681 he was tried for treason, convicted on inadequate evidence and hung, drawn and quartered.

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Events of 1681back to top

Current affairs

Third Exclusion Parliament meets in Oxford avoiding disruption in Whig-dominated London. Charles II refuses Exclusionists's proposal that James Scott, Duke of Monmouth, his illegitimate son with Lucy Walter, should succeed to the throne, replacing James, Duke of York.
Prominent Exclusionist, Anthony Ashley-Cooper, is arrested on suspicion of high treason.

Art and science

Natural philosopher, Samuel Morland is appointed 'Master of Mechanicks' to the king having transformed Windsor Castle's water system.
Architect, Christopher Wren, is commissioned to design the Royal Hospital, Chelsea.
Poet laureate, John Dryden, writes political satire Absalom and Achitophel, focusing upon the trial of Anthony Ashley-Cooper.


King of France, Louis XIV, concerned by England's instability over the exclusion crisis, offers Charles II a subsidy, bolstering the king in his dealings with Parliament. In return, England agrees to withdraw from entering an anti-French alliance with Spain; Laurence Hyde, Lord of the Treasury, signs the accord with France.

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