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A Lady believed to be Frances Donelan, wife of Arthur Plunkett, 8th Earl of Fingall


Artist: Horace Hone

7 cm (2 3/4")
She wears white dress trimmed with brown on the shoulders, a large pearl bordered portrait miniature is suspended from several strands of pearls
signed and dated 1786 on the obverse
set in a gold coloured frame

The Earl of Fingall was the eldest son of the 7th Earl and his wife Henrietta Wollascot of Woolhampton, Berkshire. He became Earl of Fingall in 1793 after the death of Arthur James Plunkett, 7th Earl of Fingall and was appointed a Knight of the Order of St Patrick on 20 October 1821, on the occasion of the Royal Visit to Ireland of King George IV. His creation as Baron Fingall in 1831 made him a member of the United Kingdom House of Lords.

He married in 1785 Frances Donelan, daughter of John Donelan of Ballydonnellan, County Galway and his wife Mabel Hore; she died in 1835. They had a son, Arthur Plunkett, 9th Earl of Fingall, and a daughter, Harriet (died 1871), who married James Jones of Llanarth, Monmouthshire, and was the mother of Sir Arthur James Herbert.

For many years he was a champion of the cause of Catholic Emancipation, and for a time worked closely with Daniel O'Connell to secure it. In 1807 he obtained an interview with the 1st Duke of Wellington, the Chief Secretary for Ireland, who explained that Catholic Emancipation was not at that time practical politics, but that the remaining Penal Laws would be enforced with all possible moderation. As one of the leaders of the Catholic Association in its original form, which the Government maintained was illegal, he was briefly arrested, but never prosecuted. His role led to his being known by the unofficial title 'head of the Irish Catholic laity'.
7 cm (2 3/4")
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