Earl of Fingall

Baron Killeen and Earl of Fingall were titles in the Peerage of Ireland. Baron Fingall was a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The seat of the title-holders was, from its establishment until 1953, Killeen Castle in County Meath, Ireland, and there was an ongoing close relationship with the related Plunkett family of Dunsany, and with the Viscounts Gormanston, with whom they intermarried. Around 1426, Christopher Plunkett was created Baron Killeen: his seven sons founded five separate branches of the Plunket family, including the Plunkets of Dunsany, Rathmore and Dunsoghly. He also had a daughter Matilda (or Maud), who became celebrated as "the bride of Malahide", when her first husband, Thomas Husssey, Baron Galtrim, was reputedly murdered on their wedding day.

The tenth baron, Luke Plunkett, was created Earl of Fingall on 29 September 1628. When still Baron Killeen, his first wife[1] was Elizabeth, the second daughter of Henry FitzGerald, 12th Earl of Kildare, as properly recorded in the histories of the FitzGeralds of Kildare, based on their own family archives in Carton House and Kilkea Castle, and on no better authority than The 4th Duke of Leinster himself, writing at the time as Marquess of Kildare, who confirmed that Elizabeth married Luke Plunkett, 1st Earl of Fingall, in 1608.[2][3]

The eighth earl was created Baron Fingall on 20 June 1831. The eleventh earl married Elizabeth Burke-Plunkett, who was noted both as an activist in numerous causes and as a society hostess. All three titles became extinct on the death of the twelfth earl in 1984,[4] and are not to be confused with the Prescriptive Barony or Lordship of Fingal originally granted in 1208 by King John of England. See also Fingal.

The Earls' Fingall Estate Papers

The Earls of Fingall’s Fingall Estate Papers (i.e. real property) consist of a large archive of manuscripts and ephemera (17th–20th century), documents incl. deeds, indentures, leases, wills, marriage settlements, incl. many on vellum. The Papers were purchased by the Fingal County Council and lodged in its Fingal Local Studies and Archives Department following an auction by Whyte’s Auctioneers on 6 February 1999 (item 373). However, the lands concerned did not actually extend into the modern Fingal, and the Earls’ Fingall Estate Papers contain no evidence of any ownership in Fingal. Practically all the properties and leases relate to County Meath (or Westmeath), understandably since the Plunketts were originally, as indicated above, Barons of Killeen in County Meath. They essentially have nothing to do with the territory of Fingal, and hence the lands per se never justified the denomination of Fingall as an Earldom and later peerage Barony (both now extinct) for the Plunketts of Killeen in Meath (as the prescriptive barony of Fingal rested with the Viscounts Gormanston by descent from Walter de Lacy who obtained it in 1208). Rather, the evidence indicates that Lord Killeen negotiated and purchased[5] the Earldom for £2,700 during a sojourn in London in 1628.[6]

Barons Killeen (c.1426)

  • Christopher Plunket, 1st Baron Killeen (died 1445)
  • Christopher Plunket, 2nd Baron Killeen (died 1462)
  • Christopher Plunket, 3rd Baron Killeen (1440–c. 1469)
  • Edmond Plunket, 4th Baron Killeen (c. 1450–1510)
  • John Plunket, 5th Baron Killeen (died 1550)
  • Patrick Plunket, 6th Baron Killeen (1521–c. 1556)
  • Christopher Plunket, 7th Baron Killeen (died c.1567)
  • James Plunket, 8th Baron Killeen (c.1542–1595)
  • Christopher Plunket, 9th Baron Killeen (1564–1613)
  • Luke Plunket, 10th Baron Killeen (created Earl of Fingall in 1628)

Earl of Fingall (1628)


  1. ^ Carty, Mary Rose. History of Killeen Castle, published by Carty/Lynch, Dunsany, County Meath, Ireland, April 1991 (ISBN 0-9517382-0-8) – page 18 refers to Elizabeth as 1st wife of the Earl of Fingall (Fingal). She was not an O'Donnell, as claimed by Carty/Lynch, but a FitzGerald
  2. ^ FitzGerald, Charles William (Marquis of Kildare and later 4th Duke of Leinster). The Earls of Kildare and their Ancestors: from 1057 to 1773, 4th edition, published by Hodges, Smith & Co., Dublin, 1864 (pp. 235-236). He made the same mistake himself, i.e. that Elizabeth was a daughter of Bridget O'Donnell Lady Tyrconnell (nee Fitzgerald) rather than a sister of Bridget, in the second edition of 1858 (page 226), but corrected this in his fourth edition in 1864
  3. ^ Lee, Sidney (Editor). Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. XLI (Nichols-O’Dugan), published by Macmillan and Co., London and New York, 1895. Page 446
  4. ^ Burke-Plunkett, Elizabeth (Lady Fingall). Seventy Years Young, Memoires of Elizabeth, Countess of Fingal. First published by Collins of London in 1937; 1991 edition published by The Lilliput Press, Dublin 7, Ireland ISBN 0-946640-74-2. This Elizabeth, was a Burke from Moycullen in County Galway, who married the 11th Earl of Fingall
  5. ^ The Early Stuarts and the Irish Peerage, by Charles R. Mayes, in The English Historical Review 1958 LXXIII (287):227–251, published by Oxford University Press, 1958.
  6. ^ The Old English in Ireland, 1625–1642, by Professor Aidan Clarke, Ithaca and London, 1966. Page 62, reference 8
Arthur Plunkett

Arthur Plunkett may refer to:

Arthur Plunkett, 8th Earl of Fingall (1759–1836), Roman Catholic Irish peer

Arthur Plunkett, 9th Earl of Fingall (1791–1869), Irish peer

Arthur Plunkett, 8th Earl of Fingall

Arthur James Plunkett, 8th Earl of Fingall KP (9 September 1759 – 30 July 1836) was a Roman Catholic Irish peer, styled Lord Killeen until 1793, and a leading supporter of the cause of Catholic Emancipation.

Arthur Plunkett, 9th Earl of Fingall

Arthur James Plunkett, 9th Earl of Fingall KP PC (I) (29 March 1791 – 21 April 1869) was an Irish peer, styled Lord Killeen from 1797 to 1836. He became Earl of Fingall in 1836 on the death of his father the 8th Earl and was appointed a Knight of the Order of St Patrick on 9 October 1846.He married Louisa Corbally and had 8 children, including Arthur, 10th Earl of Fingall, and the noted diplomat Francis Richard Plunkett.

Cathbarr O'Donnell

Cathbarr O'Donnell (Irish: Cathbarr Ó Domhnaill, died 1608) was an Irish nobleman (a member of the O'Donnell dynasty of Donegal).

Christopher Plunket, 2nd Earl of Fingall

Christopher Plunket, 2nd Earl of Fingall (died August 1649) was an Irish peer, politician and soldier. He sat in the Parliament of Ireland from 1639 until 1641. After the start of the Irish Rebellion of 1641 he was declared an outlaw, became a member of the Confederation of Kilkenny and was appointed general of the horse for the county of Meath. Towards the end of the war he fought on the Royalist side and was taken prisoner at the Battle of Rathmines, dying two weeks later in Dublin Castle.

Denis O'Donnell

Denis O'Donnell (28 May 1875 - 16 June 1933) was a well-known entrepreneur in County Kerry, Ireland, in the early 1900s.

Donnell O'Donnell

Sir Donnell O'Donnell (Irish: Domhnall Ó Domhnaill, died 1590) was a member of the O'Donnell dynasty of Tyrconnell in modern-day County Donegal. He was the eldest son of Sir Hugh O'Donnell, the ruler of Tyrconnell for much of the reign of Elizabeth I.

Elizabeth Plunket

Elizabeth FitzGerald (before 1597–1611) was the first wife of Lucas Plunket, who succeeded as Baron Killeen in 1613, and who in due course became the 1st Earl of Fingall in 1628. They lived at Killeen Castle, County Meath in Ireland. She was a daughter of Henry FitzGerald, 12th Earl of Kildare, and therefore sister to Bridget, the Countess of Tyrconnell and wife of Prince Rory O'Donnell, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell.


Fingal (English: FING-gəl; from Irish Fine Gall, meaning 'foreign tribe') is a county in Ireland. It is located in the province of Leinster and, within that, is part of the Dublin Region. Its name is derived from the medieval territory of Scandinavian foreigners (Irish: gaill) that settled in the area. Fingal County Council is the local authority for the county. In 2016 the population of the county was 296,214, making it the second-most populous county in the state.

Henry FitzGerald, 12th Earl of Kildare

Henry FitzGerald, 12th Earl of Kildare (1562 – 1 August 1597) was an Irish peer and soldier.

Irish Social Season

The Irish Social Season was a period of aristocratic entertainment and social functions that stretched from January to St. Patrick's Day of a given year. During this period, the major and minor nobility left their country residences and lived in Georgian mansions in places like Rutland Square (now Parnell Square), Mountjoy Square, Merrion Square and Fitzwilliam Square in Dublin. Those with less financial means lived in (or in some cases rented) smaller properties in streets nearby.

The focal point of the Social Season was the move of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (the King's representative) from his 'out of season' residence, the Viceregal Lodge (now Áras an Uachtaráin, the residence of the President of Ireland) to live in state in the Viceregal Apartments in Dublin Castle, where he and his wife hosted a series of levées, drawing rooms, banquets and balls in the Castle.

The period of the social season also coincided with the parliamentary sessions of the Irish House of Lords, which many of the peers in Dublin would be attending. However the Irish Parliament was abolished with the Act of Union which merged the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801.

With the abolition of the lord lieutenancy in 1922, the emergence of a new nationalist state (the Irish Free State) the same year, and the economic and social downturn that resulted from World War I, the Social Season dwindled and then died. Most of the aristocratic homes in Merrion Square and Fitzwilliam Square were sold and are now used as corporate offices.

Among the Irish peers who would reside in Dublin during the 'Social Season' were

Duke of Leinster (Ireland's senior peer)

Marquess of Slane

Duke of Ormonde

Lord Powerscourt

Earl of Fingall

Earl of Headfort

John Arthur Edward Herbert

John Arthur Edward Herbert (12 October 1818 – 18 August 1895) was Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Monmouthshire. He was also High Sheriff of Monmouthshire in 1849.

Lord Lieutenant of Meath

This is a list of people who served as Lord Lieutenant of County Meath, Ireland.

There were lieutenants of counties in Ireland until the reign of James II, when they were renamed governors. The office of Lord Lieutenant was recreated on 23 August 1831.

Luke Plunket, 1st Earl of Fingall

Lucas More Plunket of Killeen, County Meath (born before 1602, died 29 March 1637), styled Lucas Môr, tenth lord Killeen, was created Earl of Fingall on 26 September 1628, was an Irish peer.

Nicholas Plunkett

Sir Nicholas Plunkett (1602–1680) was the son of Christopher Plunkett, 9th Baron Killeen and Jane (or Genet) Dillon, daughter of Sir Lucas Dillon. His brother Luke was created Earl of Fingall in 1628. At the age of twenty Plunkett traveled to London to receive training as a lawyer at Gray's Inn in London, and later trained at King's Inn in Dublin. By the 1630s he had established a thriving legal practice: the attempts by Thomas Wentworth, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, to confiscate as much Irish land as possible to the Crown, ensured that his services were in high demand. At this time he also became an MP in the Irish House of Commons, sitting for Meath.

At the outbreak of the Irish Rebellion of 1641, Plunkett attempted to remain neutral. However, in mid-1642 government troops looted and torched his home in Balrath, County Meath: Plunkett unsurprisingly thereafter gave support to the leaders of the Irish Insurgents. He played a prominent role in the foundation of the Confederation of Kilkenny, sitting as chairman at the first meeting of the Confederate Assembly and was also a member of the Confederate Supreme Council (one of six members representing the province of Leinster). Plunkett was also appointed Muster-Master general.In 1644 Plunkett was a member of a Confederate delegation sent to negotiate a treaty with King Charles I. The first Ormond Peace was eventually arranged in 1646, but despite Plunkett's efforts the Catholic Clergy of Ireland rejected the treaty.

Plunkett was a deeply religious man, who impressed the Papal Nuncio, Rinuccini after his arrival in Ireland in late 1645. Even so, Plunkett was a moderate by disposition, and he thus became a leader of the moderate Confederate faction, attempting in 1647 to reconcile the supporters of Ormond and those of Rinuccini. In 1648 he once again took part in a Confederate delegation, this time to Rome, in an attempt to gain further Papal support. The Pope made Plunkett a knight of the Golden Spur, but the mission to Rome was largely a failure.

While he was in Rome a Civil War broke out in the Confederation over the Inchiquin truce of 1648. When Plunklett returned, the clerical faction of the Confederates had lost influence, and so Plunkett became involved in negotiations for a second Ormond Peace, eventually signed in early 1649.

Only six months later the New Model Army launched a full-scale invasion of Ireland, and within a year had conquered large areas of the island. Nicholas' nephew Christopher Plunkett, 2nd Earl of Fingall was killed at the Battle of Rathmines. Ulick Burke, 1st Marquess of Clanricarde was appointed leader of the Irish forces in late 1650, replacing the discredited Earl of Ormond. In 1651 Clanricarde sent Plunkett with Geoffrey Browne on a desperate mission to negotiate with Charles IV, the extremely wealthy Duke of Lorraine, but the mission to gain his support was not successful.

After the conquest of Ireland Plunkett had his lands confiscated and was transported to Connacht. His luck changed at the Restoration in 1660, however: the endless disputes between the dispossessed Irish landholders and the planters enabled him to restore his legal practice to its former esteem.

He married Catherine Turner, daughter of William Turner, an Alderman of Dublin; their daughter Jane married Valentine Browne, 1st Viscount Kenmare.

Nicholas Plunkett's brother, Patrick, was also prominent in Confederate politics, becoming Bishop of Ardagh in 1647 largely thanks to the backing of Rinuccini.


Plunkett, a surname often associated with Ireland, possibly of Norse or Norman origin, may be spelled Plunkett, Plunket, Plunkit, Plunkitt, Plonkit, Plonkitt, Plonket, Plonkett, or Plunceid, and may refer to:

Baron Plunket, a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom

William Conyngham Plunket, 1st Baron Plunket (1764–1854) Lord Chancellor of Ireland, Whig MP for Dublin University

Thomas Span Plunket, 2nd Baron Plunket (1792–1866) Bishop of Tuam, Killala and Achon

John Span Plunket, 3rd Baron Plunket (1793–1871) QC

Katherine Plunket (1820–1932), the oldest person in Irish history. Daughter of Thomas Span Plunket.

William Conyngham Plunket, 4th Baron Plunket (1828–1897) Church of Ireland Bishop of Meath and later Archbishop of Dublin

David Plunket, 1st Baron Rathmore (1838–1919) QC, Conservative MP for Dublin University. Son of John Span Plunket

William Lee Plunket, 5th Baron Plunket (1864–1920) Governor General of New Zealand

Terence Conyngham Plunket, 6th Baron Plunket (1899–1938)

Patrick Terence William Span Plunket, 7th Baron Plunket (1923–1975) Equerry to King George IV and later Deputy Master of the Household to Queen Elisabeth II

Robin Rathmore Plunket, 8th Baron Plunket (1925–2013) Supporter and advocate of Zimbabwean Independence and racial harmony

Tyrone Shaun Terence Plunket, 9th Baron Plunket (1966–) Page of Honour to HM Queen Elisabeth II

Baron of Dunsany family

Christopher Plunkett, 1st Baron of Dunsany (1410–1463)

John William Plunkett, 17th Baron of Dunsany (1853–1899)

Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany (1878–1957), an Anglo-Irish writer. His pen name was Lord Dunsany

Edward John Carlos Plunkett, 20th Baron of Dunsany (1939–2011)

Sir Horace Curzon Plunkett (1854 – 1932) Irish unionist and agricultural reformer

George Noble Plunkett (1851–1948), Irish republican and papal count

Joseph Mary Plunkett (1887–1916), Irish republican, son of George Noble Plunkett

George Oliver Plunkett (1895–1940), Irish republican, son of George Noble Plunkett

Reginald Plunkett (1880–1967), a British admiral, sometimes called Reginald Aylmer Ranfurly Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax, Reginald Plunkett or Reginald Drax

Baron Louth family

Oliver Plunkett, 1st Baron Louth (d. 1555)

Earl of Fingall family

Luke Plunkett, 10th Baron Killeen, 1st Earl of Fingall (d. 1637)

Christopher Plunkett, 2nd Earl of Fingall (d. 1649)

Arthur James Plunkett, 8th Earl of Fingall (1759–1836)

Arthur James Plunkett, 9th Earl of Fingall(1791–1869)

Saint Oliver Plunkett (1629–1681), Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and martyr

Sir Nicholas Plunkett (1602–1680), Irish confederate

Adam Plunkett (1903–1992), Scottish footballer

Charles Peshall Plunkett (1864–1931), US rear admiral

Charles Robert Plunkett (1892–1980), anarchist and academic

George Thomas Plunkett, Bishop of Elphin from 1814 to 1827

George Washington Plunkitt (1842–1924), a New York state senator

Jim Plunkett, an NFL quarterback

James Plunkett, pen name of James Plunkett Kelly (1920–2003), an Irish writer

Liam Plunkett, an English cricketer

Paul Edward Plunkett (1935-2018), American judge

Peg Plunkett (1727 – 1797) was a brothel keeper in Dublin

Richard Plunkett (1340-1393), Lord Chancellor of Ireland, ancestor of the Barons Dunsany, Barons Killeen, and Earls of Fingall

Richard Plunkett (1788-1832), Beadle or night-constable of Whitechapel, London

Robert Plunkett (d. 1815), President of Georgetown University

Roy J. Plunkett (1910–1994), inventor of Teflon

Sean Plunket, New Zealand broadcast journalist

Steve Plunkett, singer, guitarist and songwriter for the 1980s band Autograph

Thomas Plunket, an Irish rifleman in the British 95th Regiment of Foot circa 1809

Thomas Plunkett (1841–1885), a United States Army Sergeant, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Fredericksburg

Walter Plunkett (1902–1982), an Academy Award-winning costume designer

William Plunkett, an 18th-century highwayman in England and possibly later a colonel and magistrate in Pennsylvania

William C. Plunkett (1799–1884), Lieutenant Governor for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1854 to 1855See also

Royal New Zealand Plunket Society

Plunket Shield, the original New Zealand first-class cricket championship

Plunket shark or dogfish Centroscymnus plunketi or Proscymnodon plunketi

Plunkett, Saskatchewan

Plunketts Creek (disambiguation), multiple uses

Plunkett & Macleane, 1999 film

USS Plunkett (DD-431)

Richard Plunkett

Richard Plunkett (c.1340-1393) was an eminent Irish judge and statesman of the fourteenth century, who held the offices of Lord Chief Justice of Ireland and Lord Chancellor of Ireland. His descendants held the titles Baron Dunsany, Baron Killeen and Earl of Fingall.

Thomas Browne, 4th Viscount Kenmare

Thomas Browne, 6th Baronet & 4th Viscount Kenmare (April 1726 – 11 September 1795) was an Irish landowner and politician. He was probably born at Killarney, County Kerry, the second of four children of Valentine Browne, fifth Baronet, third Viscount Kenmare (1695–1736), one of the few remaining great Roman Catholic landowners in Ireland, and his first wife, Honoria Butler (?-1730). Thomas Browne's great-grandfather, Sir Valentine Browne, third Baronet, had been created first Viscount Kenmare by James II in March 1689. This was an Irish peerage created after the removal of James II from the English throne, but during the period when James was de facto king of Ireland, before the conquest of Ireland by William III. The first and second viscounts had fought for James II but seem never to have been formally attainted under William. Consequently, the peerage remained on the Irish patent roll in a constitutionally ambiguous position, but was not formally recognised by the Protestant political establishment.

Thomas Browne was reportedly educated at Westminster School until the death of his father in 1736. Browne's older brother, Valentine, had died in 1728, so Thomas inherited the peerage and the estate (of more than 120,000 acres) intact. Repeated attempts to persuade him to convert to the English established church came to nothing, even though his refusal cost him a university matriculation at Oxford and a place in the English House of Commons. In 1750, he married Anne Cooke, daughter of Thomas Cooke of Painstown, County Carlow, with whom he had two children.

Kenmare's aristocratic status and landownership naturally led him to play a prominent role in Catholic politics during the later eighteenth century. Kenmare sought to show that Roman Catholics could be incorporated in the Protestant settlement of eighteenth-century Ireland. In the early 1760s, he proposed unsuccessfully the establishment of an Irish regiment, with Catholic officers as well as other ranks, formally in Portuguese service but in practice supporting Britain's effort during the Seven Years' War. At the same time, Kenmare, and other heads of Catholic families, were suspected by some Protestants of organising the Whiteboy agrarian riots in Munster as part of a conspiracy to gain power in Ireland with French assistance. The desire of prominent Catholics to show that they did not wish forcibly to overthrow the constitutional settlement contributed to the development of the Catholic Committee, formed to argue for Catholic relief in Ireland. During the 1770s, with Arthur James Plunkett, seventh earl of Fingall, and Anthony Preston, eleventh Viscount Gormanston, as well as a number of senior bishops, Kenmare formed a conservative party on the committee, arguing that Catholic relief was best obtained by producing declarations of loyalty and maintaining good relations with the Dublin and London administrations. This group became the dominant force on the committee.

Kenmare's correspondence with Edmund Burke shows that he maintained communication with the British parliamentary opposition, but he principally regarded the economic and constitutional reform championed by the Rockingham whigs and their Irish allies as a distraction that conflicted with his wish to maintain close ties with the government. To this end, he supported the recruitment of soldiers in Ireland to fight for Britain in the American War of Independence during the 1770s. His pro-government policy began to pay dividends when the first important Relief Acts were passed in 1778 and 1782, though other factors, including the development of Irish patriotism, the decline of Jacobitism, and the changing imperial context, were undoubtedly important as well.

The political ferment in Ireland following the recognition of legislative independence in 1782 threatened Kenmare's strategy. Demands for the widening of the parliamentary franchise among the volunteer and patriot movements raised the question of whether Catholics should be included in any measure of reform, but involvement in the campaign was opposed by Kenmare and the conservatives on the committee, which never actually discussed the issue. On 11 November 1783, at the start of a discussion on Catholic relief at the national convention of volunteers in Dublin, George Ogle, a Wexford MP, announced that he had received "a letter from a Roman Catholic peer expressive of the sentiments of the Catholics in general … that they had relinquished the idea of making any claims further than the religious liberties they enjoyed." Ogle's intervention stopped debate on Catholic claims. Though purportedly written by Kenmare, the letter was actually composed by his cousin, Sir Boyle Roche, who, as a Protestant, had represented Kenmare's views in the Commons. Kenmare could therefore deny authorship, ensuring that no break with the administration occurred, and that division in the committee was avoided.

Lord Kenmare died at Killarney on 11 September 1795, and was succeeded by his son Valentine Browne (1754–1812), who maintained his father's political stance, and was created earl of Kenmare in 1801.

Thomas Butler of Garryricken

Colonel Thomas Butler of Kilcash (died 1738) was the son of Walter Butler of Garryricken and Lady Mary Plunket, only daughter of Christopher, 2nd Earl of Fingall. He succeeded to the estates of his grandfather - Richard Butler of Kilcash. He was Colonel of a regiment of foot in the Jacobite Irish Army of King James II.

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