Edward Plunkett, 20th Baron of Dunsany

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Edward John Carlos Plunkett, 20th Baron of Dunsany (born Dublin[1] 10 September 1939 — died Navan, County Meath, 24 May 2011), the late 20th Baron of Dunsany, with Irish, Brazilian and UK citizenship, was the grandson of the author Lord Dunsany, and a modern artist and property owner. Lord Dunsany succeeded to the title in 1999 on the death of his father, Lt-Col Randal Arthur Henry Plunkett, 19th Baron of Dunsany.[2] [3]

Personal life[edit]

Plunkett was educated at Eton College and the Slade School of Fine Art, where he showed himself a brilliant draughtsman. He also attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

In 1982, Plunkett married Maria Alice Villela de Carvalho, a descendant of the explorer Vasco Da Gama and of Alves Cabral, the founder of Brazil.[4] Plunkett and his wife, Lady Dunsany, an architect qualified in the US, Ireland and the UK, lived at Dunsany Castle, Dunsany, County Meath, Ireland. They had two sons, Randal Plunkett, 21st Baron of Dunsany, and the Honourable Oliver Plunkett. In addition, Lord Dunsany had two step children Daniel and Joana de Marsillac, who were very close to him and considered as his own. Their father was his first cousin and great friend.[5]

The 20th Lord Dunsany died in May 2011, after a some years of chronic illness[6]. A private funeral with his widow, sons and step-children, sister, close family friends and staff, was conducted within the ancestral castle. He was buried in the grounds, by the Church of St. Nicholas, the reconsecration of which he had helped arrange. The pallbearers were his sons and step-son, two members of the Castle staff, and a family friend. A memorial service was held in Dunsany Parish Church a week after the funeral.


An artist, architect and designer, Dunsany was based in London, Rome, and New York, as well as spending short periods in Brazil and France, before his return to the family estate near the Hill of Tara. Edward Plunkett co-founded de Marsillac Plunkett Inc, Designers and Architects, a New York-based partnership for which he provided design elements for his wife's architectural work.[6][4]

Plunkett was primarily a painter, but also produced sculptures designed by him and manufactured in France or the UK. He was also greatly successful at product design. His last architectural work was the contemporary conversion of an 18th-century wing of Dunsany Castle into a studio and exhibition area. It is called The Plunkett Gallery and it houses Lord Dunsany's paintings, lithographs, drawings, architectural projects, sculptures and designed objects (perfume bottles, Champagne bottles, and numbered editions of vases and dinner services). The gallery is open to visitors by appointment.

Plunkett was exhibited on multiple occasions, the last public showing being a one-man exhibition in Rome.


External sources[edit]

Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Randall Plunkett
Baron of Dunsany
Succeeded by
Randal Plunkett