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David Robert Plunket, 1st Baron Rathmore PC, QC (3 December 1838 – 22 August 1919) was an Irish lawyer and Conservative politician.

The Lord Rathmore

David Plunket 1880.jpg
"hereditary eloquence"
Plunket as caricatured by Ape (Carlo Pellegrini) in Vanity Fair, May 1880
In office
24 March 1880 – 21 April 1880
Prime MinisterThe Earl of Beaconsfield
Preceded bySir Stephen Cave
Succeeded byThe Lord Wolverton
First Commissioner of Works
In office
24 June 1885 – 28 January 1886
Prime MinisterThe Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded byThe Earl of Rosebery
Succeeded byThe Earl of Morley
In office
5 August 1886 – 11 August 1892
Prime MinisterThe Marquess of Salisbury
Preceded byThe Earl of Elgin
Succeeded byGeorge Shaw-Lefevre
Personal details
Born(1838-12-03)3 December 1838
Died22 August 1919(1919-08-22) (aged 80)
Greenore, County Louth
Resting placePutney Vale Cemetery, London
51°26′27″N 0°14′19″W / 51.440739°N 0.238533°W / 51.440739; -0.238533
Political partyConservative
Alma materTrinity College, Dublin


Background and educationEdit

Plunket was the third son of John Plunket, 3rd Baron Plunket, second son of William Plunket, 1st Baron Plunket, Lord Chancellor of Ireland. His mother was Charlotte, daughter of Charles Kendal Bushe, Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, while the Most Reverend William Plunket, 4th Baron Plunket, Archbishop of Dublin, was his elder brother. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin[1] and was called to the Irish Bar in 1862.[2]

Political and legal careerEdit

After practising on the Munster Circuit for a number of years,[citation needed] Plunket was made a Queen's Counsel in 1868, and became Law Adviser to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland that same year.[2] In 1870, he was elected Conservative Member of Parliament for Dublin University,[2][3] and was Solicitor General for Ireland under Benjamin Disraeli from 1875 to 1877. He was then briefly Paymaster General under Disraeli (then known as the Earl of Beaconsfield) in 1880[2] and was sworn of the Privy Council the same year.[4] In 1885 he became First Commissioner of Works in Lord Salisbury's first ministry, a post he held until January 1886. He resumed the same post in August of the same year when the Conservatives returned to power, and held it until 1892.[2] On his retirement from the House of Commons in 1895 he was elevated to the peerage as Baron Rathmore, of Shanganagh in the County of Dublin.[5]

Apart from his political and legal career he was a director of the Suez Canal Company, Chairman of the North London Railway for many years and was a director of the Central London Railway at its opening in 1900..[citation needed]

Personal lifeEdit

The grave of David Plunket and other family members at Putney Vale Cemetery, London, in 2015

In Dublin, Rathmore was a member of the Kildare Street Club.[6] He died in August 1919, unmarried, at the age of eighty,[2] in the Railway hotel in Greenore, County Louth[citation needed] and is buried at Putney Vale Cemetery in London. His peerage became extinct at his death.[2]


  1. ^ Teignmouth-Shore, Thomas (4 July 1903). O'Connor, Thomas Power (ed.). "In the Days of My youth - Chapters of Autobiography - CCLXIV". Mainly About People. p. 18. Retrieved 4 September 2019 – via
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "David Robert Plunket, 1st and last Baron Rathmore". Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  3. ^ " House of Commons: Dover to Dulwich and West Norwood". Archived from the original on 10 August 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  4. ^ "No. 24827". The London Gazette. 26 March 1880. p. 2245.
  5. ^ "No. 26680". The London Gazette. 15 November 1895. p. 6182.
  6. ^ Thomas Hay Sweet Escott, Club Makers and Club Members (1913), pp. 329–333

External linksEdit

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Anthony Lefroy
John Thomas Ball
Member of Parliament for Dublin University
With: John Thomas Ball 1870–1875
Edward Gibson 1875–1885
Hugh Holmes 1885–1887
Dodgson Hamilton Madden 1887–1892
Edward Carson 1892–1895
Succeeded by
Edward Carson
W. E. H. Lecky
Political offices
Preceded by
Sir Stephen Cave
Succeeded by
The Lord Wolverton
Preceded by
The Earl of Rosebery
First Commissioner of Works
Succeeded by
The Earl of Morley
Preceded by
The Earl of Elgin
First Commissioner of Works
Succeeded by
George Shaw-Lefevre
Legal offices
Preceded by
Henry Ormsby
Solicitor General for Ireland
Succeeded by
Gerald Fitzgibbon
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Rathmore