Maginn, Patrick (‘Father Patrick’) (d. 1683), royal chaplain and political agent, was a member of the Magennis family of Iveagh, Co. Down. At least two of his brothers were also catholic clergymen, one of whom, Ronan, subscribed to the Irish catholic remonstrance of 1661, and was promoted to vicar apostolic of Dromore in 1671. Another brother, whose name is unknown, was a monk at Monte Cassino, Italy. ‘Father Patrick’, as he was widely known, was first presented to Charles II at Antwerp in the 1650s, when, according to the duke of Ormond (qv), the king was ‘in disguise’ (9 Dec. 1665, Bodl., Carte MS 219, f. 58). He accompanied the marquis de Sande, French ambassador to Portugal, on a trip to London in August 1657. From the 1650s onwards he was often employed as an agent for those seeking access to or favour from Charles II and as a conveyor of messages to and from the Stuart court. After the restoration he was undoubtedly someone whom the king implicitly trusted and from whom he willingly took advice.
Maginn did not subscribe to the catholic remonstrance, and Father Thomas Talbot, himself a subscriber, complaining about the favour shown to nonsubscribers at court, branded Father Patrick a ‘Nuncioist’ and a ‘person of no extraction, breeding, bearing, parts or talent’ (19 May 1662, Bodl., Carte MS 31, f. 373). In September 1664 Maginn was present at a secret meeting in the back yard of Somerset House, London, between Peter Walsh (qv), Redmond Carron (qv), and De Vecchius, the Brussels internuncio, regarding the remonstrance. Despite Maginn's non-subscription, Ormond was evidently under some obligation to him, as he strongly recommended him to the king for promotion at court in December 1665.
As almoner to Queen Catherine of Braganza, Maginn maintained many political contacts in England, Ireland, and Europe, from whom he sought favour for himself, his family, the Irish catholic clergy, and the catholic interest as a whole. Apart from Ormond his political connections included the king, Secretary Arlington, and Colonel Richard Talbot (qv). His kinsman Arthur Magennis (qv), Viscount Iveagh, was one of only three Ulster catholics restored to some or all of their lands in the Irish settlement in the 1660s (the others being Sir Henry O'Neill and Randall MacDonnell (qv), marquess of Antrim).
During the period of Ormond's absence from the Irish viceroyalty (1669–77) Maginn actively supported Colonel Talbot's faction at court and in Ireland, and this proved personally profitable. He was granted king's letters in 1670, 1672, and 1675 for lands in Co. Roscommon and the manor house, town, and lands of Kilcowan, Co. Wexford, in recognition of his faithful service. Despite Ormond's previous favour he described the duke as the ‘destroyer of the Irish nation’ and ‘the most capital and continual enemy’ of catholicism (Bodl., Carte MS 221, f. 329). Maginn was alleged to have passed copies of correspondence to the king from Ireland back to Peter Talbot (qv), archbishop of Dublin, who used this information against the remonstrant clergy and those who had been politically aligned with Ormond, such as Colonel John Fitzpatrick (qv) and Callaghan MacCarthy (qv), 3rd earl of Clancarty. In extended litigation between Clancarty and certain freeholders in Co. Cork in 1672 Maginn appeared as a witness against the earl. In the same year he sent a letter of recommendation to the earl of Essex (qv), the Irish viceroy (1672–7), for Peter Talbot, describing him as someone loyal and willing to serve the king's interest. With the cancellation of the declaration of indulgence in 1673 Maginn was forced to leave court, but he returned in May 1674, only to be expelled again in February 1675.
In the later 1670s Maginn's association with Peter Talbot was reflected in his support for the Ulster clergy in their opposition to Archbishop Oliver Plunkett (qv), and in July 1679 he was prepared to articulate eight charges against the primate. Essex was convinced that Peter Talbot's claim to royal authority over the Irish clergy, the crux of his argument with Plunkett, was based on a letter Talbot had received from Maginn, allegedly written on behalf of Secretary Arlington. Maginn's brother Ronan certainly joined father Thomas Fitzsimons of Kilmore in his resistance to Plunkett's authority.
The popish plot crisis led to Father Patrick's exile in Europe, where he nonetheless remained a significant influence until his death in 1683.