Drelincourt, Peter (1644–1722), clergyman, was born in Paris, youngest son of Charles Drelincourt, one of the ministers of the French Reformed church at Charenton which served Paris (1620–69) and a major ecclesiastical figure. His mother, Marguerite Bolduc, was the daughter of a wealthy Paris merchant, and Pierre (or Peter, as he was known in England) was the thirteenth of fifteen or sixteen siblings. He graduated in theology from Geneva in 1666 and later took the degrees of MA (1681) and LLD (1691) from TCD. His two eldest brothers remained in France, but the three youngest sons all emigrated, Charles to Holland, Antoine to Switzerland, and Peter to England.
He arrived well before the great influx of huguenots in the 1680s, and by January 1679 had gained the protection of the duke of Ormond (qv), who sent him to accompany his grandson, Lord James Butler (qv), to Oxford. Although the two years spent supervising Lord James's education were not without problems, the duke continued to employ Drelincourt, who came to Ireland as one of his domestic chaplains and entered the Church of Ireland, as precentor of Christ Church cathedral, Dublin, in 1681. This year also saw the publication of a pamphlet, De l'état présent d'Irlande, et des avantages qu'y peuvent trouver les protestans françois, which sought to attract huguenot refugees to Ireland, in furtherance of the duke's policy of promoting huguenot immigration. This pamphlet was not attributed to Drelincourt by name, but he did attach his name, in the following year, to a published sermon, A speech made to his grace the duke of Ormond, lord lieutenant of Ireland and to the lords of his majesties most honourable privy council to return the humble thanks of the French protestants lately arriv'd in this kingdom and graciously reliev'd by them, which praised the generosity shown to recent huguenot arrivals in Ireland.
Drelincourt was himself perhaps the most successful embodiment of the duke's policy of assimilating the huguenots into Irish society, and he rose very quickly in the Irish church. In 1683 he became archdeacon of Leighlin, and in 1691 dean of Armagh. This post gave him considerable financial security, for the deanery of Armagh brought with it the parishes of Clonfeacle and of Armagh, the latter valued at £800 a year shortly after his death. Dean Drelincourt was generous with his money. By 1700 he had renovated the cathedral, which had been badly damaged during the Williamite wars; he contributed to the building of a church in Glasnevin in 1707, and he built a church at Eglish in the parish of Clonfeacle in 1720. He also maintained an active interest in education, contributing generously to the recently founded King's Hospital school, where he served on the board of governors, and paying for the education and clothing of a number of children in Armagh and Benburb. He died 7 March 1722.
His wife, Mary Drelincourt (c.1678–1755), was born near Wrexham, north Wales, daughter of Peter Morris , who was dean of Derry briefly in 1690, and Margaret Morris. She had one sister and three brothers, two of whom made careers in the Church of Ireland, Edward (Maurice) becoming bishop of Ossory (1754–6). Like her husband, she was a significant benefactress to the church and to education. She commissioned Rysbrack to sculpt a very fine monument to her husband in Armagh cathedral. She also founded the Drelincourt charity schools in Armagh in 1732, and established the Berse–Drelincourt school on her estate at Berse near Wrexham, where she also built a church in 1742. In addition, an endowment was established to support the poor of the conforming French church in Dublin. She died in 1755. Mrs Drelincourt's charitable endowments were strongly influenced by her late husband's wishes, as expressed in his will, which left £5,000 to his daughter on her marriage, provided that her mother approved the match. If she married without consent, the money was to go to a number of charitable projects, including those later carried out by Mrs Drelincourt.
Their daughter Ann (b. 1709) became a viscountess, Lady Primrose, and continued the charitable work of her parents, leaving in 1775 a sum of money to the city of Armagh which was used to instal the city's first piped water supply. The Rysbrack sculpture in Armagh cathedral and the Drelincourt School in Armagh still commemorate the generosity of the Drelincourt family.