Archbishop Peter Talbot

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Talbot, Peter, Archbishop of Dublin, younger brother of preceding, was born at Malahide, County of Dublin, in 1620. He was educated principally in Portugal. In 1635 he was received into the Society of the Jesuits, and he was subsequently ordained a priest at Rome, and sent to Antwerp as a teacher of moral theology. His intimacy with Dominick a Rosario, Portuguese ambassador in Paris, enabled him to render many services to Prince Charles (afterwards Charles II), and it is said to have been mainly through his influence that the Prince secretly joined the Catholic Church. Sent to England to promote the interests of Catholicism, it is stated that he wormed himself into the confidence of Cromwell, and that he was among those who attended his funeral as a mourner. On 9th May 1669, at Antwerp, he was consecrated Archbishop of Dublin, and immediately proceeded to administer the affairs of his diocese, which for twenty years had been almost entirely neglected.

His supposed influence at the English court, and his uncompromising assertion of the claims of his Church exposed him to the bitter hostility of a large party; and early in 1673 he was banished the kingdom. He returned from the Continent to England in 1675, and resided for a while in Cheshire, in poor health, until, through the influence of the Duke of York, he obtained permission to return home. In October 1678, the aged and infirm prelate was arrested at his father's house, near Carton, Maynooth, on the charge of participation in a "Popish plot," and "committed close prisoner to the Castle, with a person to attend him in his miserable and helpless condition, the violence of his distemper [calculus] being scarce supportable, and threatening his death." On examination, nothing appeared against him; yet he was retained in confinement, and died in Dublin Castle in 1680, aged about 60. He was a man of singular ability and learning, and wrote numerous theological works, thirteen of which are named in Harris's Ware.

Sources

74. Catholic Faith in Ireland, Memorials of those who Suffered for: Myles O'Reilly. London, 1868.

128b. Episcopal Succession in England, Scotland, and Ireland, from A.D. 1400 to 1875: W. Maziere Brady. 3 vols. Rome, 1877.

339. Ware, Sir James, Works: Walter Harris. 2 vols. Dublin, 1764.

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