Talbot, Peter

, a Roman catholic writer, of considerable celebrity in his day, was the son of sir William Talbot, and was born in 1620, of an ancient family in the county of Dublin. He was brother to colonel Richard Talbot, commonly called, about the court of England, “Lying Dick Talbot,” whom James II. created duke of Tyrconnell, and advanced to the lieutenancy of IrelandPeter was received into the society of the Jesuits in Portugal in 1635, and after studying philosophy and divinity, went into holy orders at Rome, whence he returned to Portugal, and afterwards to Antwerp, where he read lectures on moral theology. He was supposed to be the person who, in 1656, reconciled Charles II. then at Cologn, to the popish religion, and Charles is reported to have sent him secretly to Madrid to intimate to the court of Spain his conversion. He was also sent by his superiors to England to promote the interests of the Romish church, which he appears to have attempted in a very singular way, by paying his c ourt to Cromwell, at whose funeral he attended as one of the mourners, and even joined Lambert in opposing general Monk’s declaration for the king. He fled therefore at the restoration, but was enabled to return the year following, when the king married the infanta of Portugal, and he became one of the priests who officiated in her family. His intriguing disposition, however, created | feome confusion at court, and he was ordered to depart the kingdom. The Jesuits, too, among whom he had been educated, thought him too busy and factious to be retained in their society, and it is supposed that by their interest pope Clement IX. was prevailed upon to dispense with his vows, and to advance him to the titular archbishopric of Dublin, in 1669. On his return to Ireland he recommenced his services in behalf of the church of Rome, by excommunicating those regulars and seculars of his own persuasion who had signed a testimony of their loyalty to the king. His ambition and turbulence led him also to quarrel with Plunket, the titular primate, a quiet man^ over whom he claimed authority, pretending that the king had appointed him overseer of all the clergy of Ireland; but when this authority was demanded, he never could produce it. In 1670, when lord Berkeley landed as lord lieutenant, Talbot waited upon him, and being courteously received, had afterwards the presumption to appear before the council in his archiepiscopal character, a thing without a precedent since the reformation. He was, however, disniissed without punishment; but when the popish plot was discovered in England in 1678, he was imprisoned in the castle of Dublin, on suspicion of being concerned in it, and died there in 1680. He was a man of talents and learning, but vain, ambitious, and turbulent. Sotwell, Harris, and Dodd have enumerated several of his publications, which, says Dodd, are plausible, and generally in defence of the Jesuits, but some of them are virulent against the English church. 1


Harris’s edition of Ware.—Dodd’s, Ch. Hist.