Thursday, 20 September 2012

Lawrence Ormond Butler- Ch. 7: History of the Butlers of Ireland

The History of the Butlers, Earls of Ormond and Chief Butlers of Ireland

According to Art Kavanagh in his book “Landed Gentry and Aristocracy of Kilkenny” [i],
“The story of Kilkenny is inextricably linked to the history of the Butlers, a family that stamped its mark not alone on Kilkenny but on the entire south east of Ireland. Today Kilkenny Castle stands as a monument to this remarkable family and Kilkenny city owes its existence to them. What was probably one of the most extraordinary facets of the Butlers was the fact that they were most prolific and their many sub branches included the Butlers of Mountgarrett, the Butlers of Dunboyne, the Butlers of Carrick and numerous less well-known branches. The fact that they managed to survive the Cromwellian carve up of Catholic lands is a tribute to their tenacity and intelligence.”

Another source, the Freer family, states: “The history of the illustrious house of Butler of Ormonde, is in point of fact, the history of Ireland from the time of the Anglo-Norman invasion. At the head of the great nobility of that country have stood the Butlers and the Geraldines (i.e. the Fitzgeralds), rivals in power and equals in reknown. For 6oo years their story fill the pages of the Irish annals, from Theobald Fitz-Walter, in the reign of Henry II  (i.e. C12th), down to the death of James 2nd Duke of Ormonde in 1745.The surname, BUTLER, originated in the Chief Butlerage of Ireland conferred by Henry II upon the first of the family who settled in that kingdom.”[ii]

 Ormonde Butler Coat of Arms including the Three Gold Cups representing the Chief Butler of Ireland
War Cry: Butler Aboo- ie. ButlerVictory
Motto: Comme je Trouve- As I Find

The Irish Butler family can be traced back to the first Butler, Theobald Walter, a Norman whose ancestor accompanied William the Conqueror into England. Theobald’s grandfather Hervey Walter was granted lands in Weeton, Lancashire and also held lands in East Anglia, Norfolk & Suffolk in 1130. For many centuries there was speculation that Hervey may have been married to the sister of Gilbert Becket, the father of Thomas à Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, or related to the family in some way. Hervey was appointed papal nuncio (envoy to the Papal Court) for the Archbishop of Canterbury between 1163 and 1166. Legend has it that the family’s promotion in the Court of Henry II was due to Henry’s repentance for the assassination murder of Thomas à Becket on the altar of Canterbury Cathedral by Henry’s knights. However, this is not a proven fact, and is disputed by some researchers, including Butler family historians and researchers the late Patrick Lord Dunboyne and Theobald Blake Butler.

In 1648, William Roberts, Ulster King-of-Arms wrote:
 The History of the House of Ormonde”  [iii], in which he stated that “After his Majestie had graciously conferred on me the office of Yluester King of Armes etc., (and as a chiefe part of those services I am obliged to the nobility of this realme) I forthwith resolved strictly to peruse their genealogies, and correct such errors, as (through the mistakes, abuses, or ignorances of former times) had crept into them.

Roberts then outlines a “Briefe Collection of the chiefe matters containing in this booke and proved by records, etc.”
Walter proved to bee the ancient surname of this family from the time of King William the Conqueror, until the time that Edmund Walter, 6th Butler of Ireland was created Earle of Carrick, when the addition of surname, according to the custome (which is now also used) was omitted.
Walter proved to be used as the surname of this family for seven generations in a direct line, and also proved not only to the surname, but also to be used as the surname of this family in several collateral lines.
Walter, a Saxon word, anciently a name of office signifying according to Camden (in his Britannia), the Generall or Governor of an army, and according to Verstegan, the chief ruler or officer over the King’s forests, etc.
Walter became a surname from a name of office, as Butler is become the surname of this whole family, from the ancient and honourable office of Butler of Ireland; the word ‘Walter’ also became a Christian name, as many surnames are commonly given as prenomens, at times of baptisme, amongst us at this present.
Roberts then goes on to explain how, therefore, Theobald Walter and Hubert Walter descended from a line of Walters dating back to the time of William the Conqueror, and could not have descended from Becket ancestry.

The first of this line named Hervey (Hervius) Walter must have been born sometime before 1100 A.D. as records show that his daughter Alice married by 1147. Hervey’s father is thought to have been named Walter and various records through the centuries have suggested a number of paternities for Hervey:
a) a line with the surname of Walter as suggested by Roberts;
b) Walter de Caen of East Anglia;
c) Walter, the younger son of Gilsebert de Clare, Earl of Clare, a descendant of Rollo, the ancestor of the Normans;
d) a relative of the Beckets;
e) a relative of William Malet and the de Glanville family. William Malet accompanied William the Conqueror in 1066. He came from Graville de St. Honorine in Normandy, son of Gilbert Malet and an English woman. After the Battle of Hastings, William Malet was commissioned by the Conqueror to find and bury the body of King Harold on the seashore of Hastings. He was given lands in Yorkshire and made sheriff of York, and held lands in Suffolk and Norfolk. In the Domesday book, a Walter and a Robert de Glanville were under-tenants of Robert Malet, and were the two largest landowners in Suffolk. However, there were eighteen Walters also named as smaller under tenants, in Suffolk, as Walter appears to have been a common Norman name.
Although there have been a few other candidates suggested through the centuries, none of these have been confirmed as most likely. [iv]
Therefore, we will begin with the first known in the Butler line- Hervey Walter of Weeton, Lancashire.

Hervey (Hervius) Walter had a son, also named Hervey Walter.
Hervey Walter (the younger) had four sons, Theobald, Hubert, Roger, and Hamo.

Second son Hubert became a man of great influence at Court and was instrumental in raising the enormous ransom demanded by the Emperor Henry VI for Richard Coeur de Lion (King Richard I) whom he accompanied on the 3rd Crusade. Hubert later governed England ably. He retained the confidence of Henry II, Richard I, and John; was immensely powerful, and became Lord Archbishop of Canterbury in 1193; Lord Chief Justice and Governor of the Kingdom during the absence of Richard I; Lord High Chancellor of England 1199; Pope’s Legate in the reign of King John. He died in 1205 in his manner of Teyham.

William Robert’s wrote in his introduction about the matters he would outline in detail:
A Discourse concerning Herveus Walter, father to the said Theobald Walter, and Hubert Walter, showing how they had their education under Ranulph de Glanfeld, Chiefe Justice Generall of England, the great composer of the English laws, and how it was then, and hath been since, the custome of the Kings of England to commit the tuition of great person’s children, being infants, unto such eminent persons as the said Ranulph de Glanvill was. The said Hubert Walter rose to his preferments by the very same steps that many famous princes of the Royall blood rose to the like preferments.
The office of Butler of England and Butler of Ireland discoursed of, and showne, and also how that the prime Earle of England (when the title of Earle was the next title to the Prince, there being noe Duke or Marquess created in England long after that time) was Butler of England when Theobald Walter was made Butler of Ireland.
The great honour of the office of Butler of England or Ireland, and the great revenues enjoyed by reason of the said offices.
What services at solemn coronations, and never else, are to bee performed by any person being Butler of England or Ireland, and the great reward of that dayes service.
Theobald Walter, first Butler of Ireland, proved to bee an honorary and Parliamentary Baron both in England and Ireland, and also all the heyres males, in the direct line descending from him, unto the time that Edmund Walter 6th Butler of Ireland, was created Earle of Carrick, were also honorary and Parliamentary Barons, and had as much priviledge, to sitt and vote in Parliaments in England and Ireland, as any nobleman in England or Ireland hath, at this present.
Edmund’s son, the First Earl of Ormond married Lady Eleanor Bohun, whose mother was daughter to King Edward the First, sister to King Edward the Second, and aunt to King Edward the Third.

Roberts continues to outline the Royal connections to this family, and states:
And soe, as all the Earles of Ormond from the first, have descended out of the loynes of Kings of England, soe have severall Queens of England descended out of their loynes (viz. Anne Boleyn wife to Henry VIII, and Elizabeth I, both descended from the 7th Earl; and unknown to Roberts at that time, the present Queen Elizabeth II from the 10th Earl and the 1st Duke of Ormond).

Edmund Walter, Earl of Carrick, father to the first Earle of Ormond, and five Earles of Ormond in a direct line, successively following him, were all chiefe Governours of Ireland either by style of Custos Hiberniae, Justiciarius Hiberniae, locum teneus Hiberniae, or Deputatus Hiberniae.
Severall of the ancestors of the said Earle of Carrick, Chiefe Governors of Ireland, by the style of Justice of Ireland, before any of this family was an Earle.
Pierce, Earl of Ormond (8th) and Ossory, was twice Lord Deputy of Ireland, and in James (9th) his life time the statute was made that non Irishmen borne should be chosen Governor of Ireland, viz. Justice of Ireland.
James, second Earle of Ormond, first Lord of the Royalties to the County Palatine of Tipperary..
The other great offices of severall Earles of Ormond, as Constable of Ireland, Lord High Treasurer of Ireland, Lord High Admirall of Ireland, Generalls, at home, and in foreigne parts. Etc

Roberts concludes his introduction by saying:
No family in his Majesties dominions hath under one surname beene longer honour’d with the title of Earle having soe many Nobility and Peers of one surname.

Theobald Walter was granted the hereditary title, Chief Butler of Ireland, by King Henry II in 1177, after he accompanied King Henry into Ireland in 1171 following the Norman invasion of Ireland by Strongbow (viz. Richard fitzGilbert de Clare, Earl of Pembroke) in 1169/70.

 At the close of the thirteenth century, the center of gravity of the Butler lordship was still located in north Munster. But it should not be forgotten that the Butlers had been important tenants in Leinster since c.1190, when (Prince) John, as lord of Ireland and custodian of Leinster, granted Theobald Walter three substantial fiefs in Oskelan (Gowran), Tullow, and Arklow. Gowran, the smallest, included some 44,000 acres of prime arable land, was strategically placed, and was probably the most important fief in the liberty of Kilkenny. The Butlers were consequently well placed to fill the political vacuum created by the absentee lords in the fourteenth century.[v]

Theobald Walter’s son and heir Theobald, 2nd Chief Butler of Ireland, adopted the surname le Botelier/Butler- hence the origin of the name Botelier/Butler. From then on, the Butlers acquired great power and very large land possessions in Kilkenny, Tipperary, Carlow, Queen’s (Laos/Leix), Waterford and Wexford Counties. They acquired Kilkenny Castle in 1391 from the Despenser property, which became the seat of the Butlers until it was handed to the people of Kilkenny in 1967.
 (It should be noted that there are many English Butler families that have not descended from this line, and some may have descended from the name Pincerna, which is Latin for butler. However we are only interested in the Irish line of Butlers, which is discussed in this document.)

The title of Chief Butler of Ireland came with certain privileges-
1.) The right of prisage of wines, viz. the right to 10% of all wine imports into Irish ports- this right was declared redundant and was sold back to the monarchy in 1810, by Walter Butler Marquis of Ormonde who was paid £216,000 in compensation;
2.) The honour of presenting all newly crowned monarchs with their first cup of wine, and the right to certain pierces of the King’s plate- this ceremony was dispensed with by William IV in 1830. William despised all of the trappings and expense associated with the coronation ceremony, and greatly simplified it.

The greatest concentration of Butlers was in the counties of Kilkenny, the seat of the Butlers, and Tipperary, where large tracts of lands were granted, particularly of church property following the reformation (ie. the Tudor period). Over the period 1515 to around 1614, the 8th, 9th and 10th earls enjoyed their greatest power, controlling vast areas of southern Ireland.

The 7th Chief Butler, James, was granted the hereditary title 1st Earl of Ormond in 1328 after his marriage to the granddaughter of King Edward I (Eleanor de Bohan, daughter of Princess Elizabeth and Humphrey de Bohan 6th Earl of Hereford and High Constable of England). He was granted the regalities and liberties of Co. Tipperary, ie. the County Palatinate of Ormond, by Edward III. Successive earls became increasingly powerful and intermarried with the daughters of titled men of power and influence, and the clan continued to wield considerable power in Ireland and England for a further 400 years.

From the time of the 7th Earl of Ormond (great grandfather of Ann Boleyn, mother of Queen Elizabeth I) who controlled 40,000 acres, successive earls bought land and were granted church lands after the dissolution, so at the time of the 10th Earl’s death in 1614 his ancestral estate amounted to 90,000 acres - about one acre in three in Kilkenny belonged to him. The 9th Earl’s brother, Richard, 1st Viscount Mountgarrett, accounted for a further 20,000 acres.

After he (Thomas, the 10th Earl) inherited his earldom and lands, the rent returns from his lands in Kilkenny, Tipperary, Carlow, Waterford, Wexford, Arklow, and Leix Abbey grew steadily in the years that followed from £1,330 in 1574 to £2,100 in 1593 and £3000 in 1610- plus the prisage of wine contributed significantly to Ormond’s income, and was probably worth at least £500 a year by the 1600’s, so the 10th earl was a very rich man.”[vi]

James Butler 9th Earl of Ormond (1504-46)
by Hams Holbein the Younger

James the 9th Earl of Ormond died from food poisoning after a banquet at Holburn London, and his son Thomas, a minor at the time, was brought up in the court of King Henry VIII as a companion to the young heir Edward, and was thus brought up in the Protestant faith. He became one of Queen Elizabeth’s favoured courtiers who rewarded him with many privileges and land grants. He was nicknamed ‘Black Tom’ because of his swarthy complexion and the queen called him ‘her black husband’. There were rumours at the time that she bore a child to ‘Black Tom’ in 1853/4, and that illegitimate and favoured child of ‘Black Tom’ was the forebear of the Viscounts of Galmoy line of Butlers.

'Black Tom' 10th Earl of Ormond (1531-1614)

Although originally followers of the Catholic faith, the 9th & 10th Earls, the 12th Earl/1st Duke of Ormonde, and a few Butler relatives rejected their Roman Catholic faith and became Protestants, influenced by the Protestant English Court, however, most of the Butler families remaining in Ireland, including the 9th Earl’s brother Viscount Mountgarrett and his descendants, plus the 10th Earl’s nephew and heir Walter 11th Earl of Ormond, and the 1st Duke of Ormond’s brother Colonel Richard Butler of Kilcash and his descendants, continued to remain faithful to the Catholic Church despite harsh penalties through the following centuries.
 (NB. Piers the 8th Earl was a descendant of the 3rd Earl’s second son Richard Butler of Knocktopher and Polestown, known as the ‘MacRichard’ line- the 4th Earl’s three sons, the 5th, 6th and 7th Earls, leaving no male heirs.)

Lands in Kilkenny, Tipperary, Queen’s, Carlow and Wexford were granted or leased to relations by the Earls of Ormond in the 1500’s and early 1600’s. The Tudor’s intolerance of Catholics and secondly, Cromwell’s invasion of Ireland in the 1650’s resulted in most of the Butler families, viz. the “Old English” who were Catholics, being dispossessed of their ancestral lands and transplanted to other counties. These lands were initially granted to Protestant supporters of the Tudors, and, in the following century, to the English followers of Cromwell who fought in his armies and financed his expedition- they were known as the “New English” (this act referred to as ‘the plantation’ or ‘Settlement Act’).

These conflicts between the Irish allied with the ‘Old English’ in Ireland against the Crown had originally begun during Elizabeth’s reign. Black Tom the 10th Earl of Ormond, against whom his brothers Edmund, Edward, James and Pierce Butler along with the Mountgarretts, the Dunboynes and other Butler lines, rebelled in 1569 (the Tyrone Rebellion), and again in 1596/7 (the Desmond Rebellion), was sent by Queen Elizabeth I back to Ireland to bring his family back into line. Black Tom died at the grand age of 83 in 1614, and it would appear, rediscovered his Catholic faith just before his death. His successor, his brother John of Kilcash’s son Walter, the 11th Earl, was a devout Catholic, and consequently spent eight years incarcerated in the Tower of London as he refused to ‘reform’. Walter’s son and heir, Thomas Viscount Thurles died prematurely, drowning when his ship sank.

Walter’s successor, his grandson James the 12th Earl who would become 1st Duke of Ormond, was also brought up as a minor at Court, schooled in the Protestant faith, and was a close associate of Charles II from whose largesse he rose to hold positions of enormous power.

In 1641, after many years of exclusion from power, and the persecution of Catholics that followed their faith, the Catholics of Ireland met in Kilkenny and, although supportive of the monarchy, formed an alternative government to the English appointed Irish government, named the Catholic Confederation of Kilkenny, and a full scale rebellion against English Parliamentary rule ensued.

The first President of the Catholic Confederate Parliament was Richard Butler 3rd Viscount Mountgarrett, and the Confederation was supported by most of the Butler lineage -ie. Mountgarrett’s sons including heir Edmund; the Butlers of Ikerrin, Dunboyne, Cahir, Galmoy, Paulstown, Callan, Neigham, Castlecomer, Wexford, and even the 12th Earl’s brother, Colonel Richard of Kilcash (ancestor of the 15th & 16th Earls etc.). Therefore, the Butler clan was in open conflict with England’s representative in Ireland, James Butler 12th Earl of Ormond who was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. There were many accusations that Ormond was secretly supportive of his relatives’ position and tried to bring about reconciliation. He brokered several peace treaties with the Confederates, none of which held.

After a long civil war during the 1640’s on English and Irish soil, Charles I was overthrown and beheaded in 1649 and the Commonwealth was born under the ‘Protector’ Oliver Cromwell. Ormonde joined forces with his Catholic adversaries to defeat Cromwell’s invasion. However, Cromwell invaded Ireland in 1650 which saw the end of the Irish Catholic Confederate Parliament and the exile to the Continent of thousands of Irish aristocracy and gentry, many joining the Court in exile of Charles II. A period of retribution began with all Catholic landholders in Ireland having their inherited lands confiscated and allocated to Cromwellian adventurers and soldiers, while introducing forced transplantation of Catholics who were ‘compensated’ with barren and unproductive lands in the western province of Connaught.

After this confiscation of lands by firstly the Protestant Tudors and then by Cromwell, many Butler families were transplanted to Clare and counties in Connaught (Mayo, Galway, Roscommon and Leitrim,) etc. in western Ireland. Many illegally remained in their own counties and leased back their lands from the ‘New English’ owners, and many went into exile on the Continent. The incumbent Earl of Ormond, a protestant, went into exile with Charles II during the Interregnum under Cromwell, and with the king’s restoration in 1660 the Earl was rewarded with a dukedom. He wielded enormous power as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. His vast lands were restored to him, and some of the remaining confiscated Butler lands were also granted to Ormonde. He then leased some of it back to the original owners/lessees, his relatives, and gentry families closely associated with the Butlers, albeit only on short-term leases. Ormonde’s aristocratic Butler relatives such as Edmund Butler 4th Viscount Mountgarrett and Edward Butler 2nd Viscount Galmoy were also restored to their lands.
By 1670 the restored Duke of Ormonde had increased his extensive holdings from 55,000 plantation acres to 58,000 acres in Kilkenny. In conjunction with Viscount Mountgarrett’s 20,000 acres and Viscount Galmoy’s 11,000 acres, the Butlers held a sizeable amount of lands in the province of Leinster.

However, Cromwellian grantees benefitted greatly from the dismantling of the lands of the many of the lessor Butler branches. The majority of re-allocated lands remained with their new Protestant owners following the restoration, resulting in long-lasting hatred and resentment that would have repercussions down to the 1798 Rebellion and even the fairly recent conflicts in Northern Ireland stem from this original clash of religious faith and the resultant political power struggle.

Following the death of Charles II in 1685, there was a brief return to power of a Catholic King, his brother James II. The consequences proved catastrophic. In 1688, with the support of the English Parliament who feared a return to the old religious persecutions of Protestants by a Catholic King, James II was deposed by his daughter Mary and her Protestant Dutch husband William. James fled to France, then quickly returned to Ireland and established a separate Irish Parliament, named the ‘Patriot Parliament’ composed of representatives of the dispossessed Catholic “Old English” aristocracy and gentry families, including many representatives of the Butler clans. The Irish Catholics rallied to his cause and raised a sizeable if not experienced Irish army. The French King Louis IV sent his own troops and officers to Ireland in support of James and his army. William brought his forces over to Ireland which culminated in the defeat of James’s Irish army at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690 and ultimately at the disastrous Battle of Aughrim in August 1691.

After the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, James fled to France, but his Irish forces continued until their defeat at Aughrim and finally at Limerick in 1691. Butlers fought on both sides of the conflict, between the followers of Catholic James II and the followers of the Protestant King William II, and following their defeat, many of the Butler army officers who had fought for the defeated James, along with officers from other prominent families in Ireland and tens of thousands of soldiers, fled to the continent to fight in the French and Imperial armies and were known as the ‘Wild Geese’.

Pierce Butler 3rd Viscount Galmoy who had fought for James II as one of his commanders- Colonel of the Galmoy Horse Regiment- was one of the signatories to the Treaty of Limerick in September 1691, before his exile to the Continent as Colonel in Chief of the Queen’s Galmoy Regiment fighting for France, and later, as Lieutenant-General of the French army. The succession of Protestant King William and Queen Mary meant the end of the hopes of the ‘Old English’ Catholic families and Irish clans of the Catholic faith returning to their previous landowning way of life. Further severe restrictions were placed on them by William and his successor Queen Ann, known as the Penal Acts, which reduced many families to poverty. The Protestant settlers that followed this last defeat and bought up the forfeited lands, were known as ‘Williamites’. The growing dissatisfaction by Catholics reduced to living as poor tenants on their former estates, and the severe restrictions imposed by the Penal Acts eventually led to the uprising against Protestant domination and English rule, known as the 1798 Irish rebellion.

Various other titles have branched off the Chief Butler or Ormond line:
-Lord Baron of Dunboyne, from Theobald, 4th Chief Butler
-Viscount Mountgarret, from Piers, 8th Earl of Ormond
-Viscount Ikerrin and Earl of Carrick, from Edmond, 6th Chief Butler
-Viscount Galmoy, from Thomas, 10th Earl of Ormond
-Lord Baron of Cahir, from James, 3rd Earl of Ormond’s illegitimate son James 'Galda'
Other Royal Links
: Elizabeth I descended from Thomas 7th Earl of Ormond
: Elizabeth II descends from James, 1st Duke of Ormonde
: James, 2nd Earl of Ormonde- his mother was Edward I’s granddaughter



q alive in 1130
q had a son Hervey Walter
q had a daughter Alice to whom he gave a dowry of 400 acres in Weeton, Lancashire in 1147
q had estates in East Anglia; had 16 or more holdings in Norfolk and Suffolk (9 of which were entered in the Domesday Book under Walter de Caen who was possibly his father-in-law; Hervey may also have been 2nd son of Walter, son of the Walter of the Domesday Book, son or brother of the William Malet who after the Battle of Hstings was entrusted by the Conqueror with the burial of King Harold (source: Burkes Peerage Baronetage and Knightage, 103 Edit. 1962); some speculation that he married the sister of Gilbert Becket father of Thomas a Becket Lord Bishop of Cantebury, but this is discounted by the late historians T. Blake Butler and Lord Dunboyne.
q he was Becket's envoy to the Papal Court 1163-1166 when he died.


q  married Maud de Valognes, sister-in-law of Ranulph de Glanville, the most powerful of Henry II's subjects, who would advance their children
q had 4 sons- Theobald, Hubert, Roger, and Hamo
                  - second son Hubert was instrumental in raising the enormous ransom demanded by the German Emperor Henry VI for Richard Coeur de Lion (Richard I) whom he accompanied on the thrid Crusade. He later governed England ably and even laid some of the foundations of democracy as we know it. He retained the confidence of Henry II and his heirs Richard I and John; he was immensely powerful and became Archbishop of Cantebury in 1193; Chief Justice and Governor of the Kingdom during the absence of RichardI; Chancellor of England in 1199; Pope's Legate in the reign of King John, and died in 1205 in his manor of Teynham.
q Hervey died 1189

q  eldest son of Hervey Walter
q  with all his family, he was banished out of England on account of the disfavour in which Thomas a Becket, archbishop of Cantebury, then stood with King Henry II. Soon after Thomas a Becket’s murder in 1170 on the alter of Cantebury Cathedral, and the King's public penance for having been an accessory to his death, Henry recalled from banishment all the archbishop’s friends and relatives and promoted them to great offices and employments, particularly Theobald who the King sent into Ireland in 1185 with the title “Chief Boteler” of that kingdom, a dignity which comprised the status of a baron and one of the duties attached to which, was to attend at the coronation of the kings of England and present them with the first cup of wine. From the office of Butlership of Ireland they took the name Butler. He was appointed Sheriff of Lancashire 1194-99 and Justice Itinerant 1197. By the King’s royal bounty, his own prowess and valiant behaviour, he became very eminent and attained great and large possessions in Ireland, namely the baronies of Upper Ormond, Lower Ormond, and numerous other territories in England and Ireland.
q  He founded the Abbey of Wotheney, Co. Limerick, where he was buried in 1205, and the monastry of Arklow, Co. Wicklow, where the 2nd ,3rd and 4th Butlers are buried; as well as The abbeys of Nenagh, Co. Tipperary and Cockersand in Lancashire.
q  He married Maud Vavasour daughter of Robert le Vavasour of Yorkshire and grand-dau of William le Vavasour, Justiciary of England, and had a son, Theobald, and daughter Maud who married Geoffrey de Prentergast, Lord of Enniscorthy and the Duffrey, co. Wexford
q  died ante 4 April 1206
q  2nd Chief Butler of Ireland, who first assumed the name of Le Botiler or Butler in 1221
q  born 1199/1200
q  served with the Earl of Pembroke 1223 and in the Gascon Campaign 1229
q  married-a) Joan, (daughter of Geoffrey de Marreis, Justiciar of Ireland), who died in childbirth – son: Theobald
           married -b) Rohesia- son: John- her descendants became the Lords of Verdon but did not retain the name Butler. In 1225, Henry III personally requested her to marry  his “beloved Theobald le Botiller”.
q  died 19 July 1230, at a young age, in France.
q  3rd Chief Butler of Ireland
q  born c1216
q  supported his guardian, Henry III, in the wars with the Barons
q  married c1242, Margery, eldest daughter of Richard de Burgh, Lord Deputy of Ireland (ancestors of the Lords Clanricarde) and had a  son, Theobald.
q  died at a young age in 1249

      6) THEOBALD
q  born c. 1242 Thurles Negagh; died 26/9/1285 Arklow
q  4th Chief Butler of Ireland.
q  married Joan, (died 1303), grand-daughter of Geoffrey, Earl of Essex, Justiciar of England and had 8 sons and 2 daughters.
q  fought against the Mortimers at Eversham and campaigned under Edward I in Scotland and Wales
q  sat as a Baron in the Irish Parliaments, fought in the Eversham Campaign and assisted Edward I in his wars in Scotland before he died, 26 Sept. 1285                                                                              
q  8 sons: Theobald, Edmond, Thomas, John, Richard, Gilbert, Nicholas, James
                     -Theobald, the 5th Chief Butler, remained unmarried; he accompanied Edward I to Scotland  when the Coronation Stone was purloined and he died at age 30, in 1299 and was succeeded by his brother Edmond of Roscrea 6th Butler
                     -Thomas who died 1330, became the 1st  Lord Dunboyne (Feudal) when he married Synolda le Petit d/o and heiress of William le Petit Baron of Dunboyne
                      -John, who was father of Paul of Toberwolick in 1333, called from him, Paulstown

7) EDMOND of Roscrea
(brother of Theobald the 5th Butler, and son of  Theobald the 4th Butler)
q  c.1270-1321
q  6th Chief Butler of Ireland at age of 26
q  married 1302, Joan, daughter of John Fitzgerald, 1st Earl of Kildare
q  received the honour of Knighthood in London 1309; appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland 1312; Chief Governor under title of Lord Justice1314
q  was said to have bestowed peace on the land and his services were  recognised and rewarded: in 1315, Edward II granted him the castle and manor of Karrick Mac Griffyn and Roscrea to be held by him and his heirs under the name and honour of Earl of Karrick.
q  had 3 sons: James, John of Clonamelchon (b. c 1306), Laurence of Callan (b. c1308 -IGI)
                                     -John of Clonamelchon’s descendant, Pierce (died 1661) became 1st Viscount Ikerrin, and his  descendant, Somerset   (died 1774) became 1st Earl of Carrick in 1748.
                                       :daughter, Joan, married Roger Mortimer, 2nd son of  the 1st Earl of March (implicated in the murder of Edward II)
q  at one time allegations of treachery were made against him which were eventually cleared.
q  in March 1321, he set forth with his brother, Thomas, 1st Lord  Dunboyne, for Spain, on a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James of  Compostela. He died on his return to London in September.

     8) JAMES
q  born 1305
q  became 7th  Chief Butler of Ireland at the age of 16
q  knighted 1326 on his 21st birthday
q  became 1st Earl of Ormond, created 2 November 1328
q  married 1327, Eleanor (died 1363), daughter of Humphrey de Bohan, 6th Earl of Hereford, High Constable of England, by his wife, Princess Elizabeth, daughter of  King Edward I and Eleanor of Castile .
q  had 2 sons:- John b. 1330, died in infancy
                                - James
                                            - daughter, Petronilla
q  a few weeks after he was created Earl of Ormond, he was granted, by Edward III, the regalities and liberties of Co. Tipperary.(ie. the County Palatinate of Ormond ie. one possessed of such royal privileges as to rule in his palatine as a king)
q  he lived and fought mainly in Ireland
q  he died, 6 January 1337, at the  young at age 32 in his manor, a stone tower covered with shingles, at Moyalvi, Co. Tipperary and was buried at Gowran.

   9) JAMES BALBH (“the chaste”)
q  born 4 Oct 1331, Kilkenny-died 18 Oct 1382, Knocktopher
q  2nd Earl of Ormond in 1338 at the age of 7 yrs; 8th Chief Butler
q  called the “Noble Earl” because he was the great grandson of King Edward 1.
q  in 1359, 1364 and 1376, appointed Lord Justice of Ireland
q  he was afflicted with a stammer. (sometimes called ‘the dumb’)
q  married Elizabeth,(1332-1390) daughter of John Darcy, 1st Lord Darcy of Platten co. Meath
q  had 2 sons , James and Thomas, and 4 daughters, including Eleanor who married 3rd Earl of Desmond
q  he spent most of his life in Ireland where the considerable estates he inherited were augmented by grants for his good services .
q  he died, 18 October, 1382, at Knocktopher aged 51, and buried at Gowran.

         10) JAMES
q  born c.1360; died 6 Sept. 1405
q  3rd Earl of Ormond –1382 and Earl of Gowran, and 9th Chief Butler
q  married a)Anne,(b.1367) daughter of John de Welles, 4th Lord Welles
 married (b)- c.1432, Elizabeth, dau. of Gerald Fitzgerald, 5th Earl of Kildare (no issue).
q  built a castle at Gowran; purchased Kilkenny Castle from the heirs of Hugh Despenser 12th Sept 1391 (where he entertained King Richard II.) 
q  he was several times governor of Ireland
q  had two illegitimate sons by Katherine fitzGerald d/o 4th Earl of Desmond- a)James “Galda” whose descendant, Theobald (died 1596) became the 1st Lord Cahir and his descendant Richard (died 1819) also became 1st Earl of Glengall; and b) Thomas who became Prior of Kilmainham
q  had 4 legitimate sons: James (A), Richard (B), Edmund and Thomas
 A).-James, 1390-1452; succeeded as 4th Earl of Ormond, 10th Chief Butler; known as “The White Earl”; was a seasoned warrior having served under Henry V just after, if not at, the Battle of Agincourt; also a lover of history, heraldry, antiquity and archaeology and died at 62 of the plague at Ardee and buried in Dublin. James married (a) in 1413, Joan (died 1430) daughter of    William  Beauchamp, 1st Lord Bergavenny and had 3 sons, James, John and Thomas,  each of whom inherited his earldom and died young without male issue.
                          James’s issue:
 First son, James 5th Earl of Ormond, 11th Chief Butler, born 1420,  was a prominentn Lancastrian and fought in the “Wars of the Roses”.Henry VI created him Earl of Wiltshire, a knight of the Garter and Lord High Treasurer. After a Yorkist triumph at Towton, he was executed at Newcastle, aged 41, and  his  head set upon London Bridge.
Second son John 6th Earl of Ormond, 12th Chief Butler.  Edward IV genially regarded James's brother John the 6th Earl of Ormond as “the goodliest knight he had ever beheld and first  gentleman in Christendom” and added that “if good breeding, nurture  and liberal qualities were lost in the world, they might be found in John, Earl of Ormond. He was a complete master of the languages of Europe, and was sent as ambassador to its principal courts. He died unmarried in 1478 in the Holy Land
Third son Thomas became 7th Earl of Ormond, 13th Chief Butler (died 1515) in 1489 under King Henry VII and was one of the  wealthiest of the King’s subjects;  he had 2 daughters:  the son of one inheriting 36 manors in England; the other married Sir William Boleyn, and their son,  Thomas Boleyn  had a daughter Ann Boleyn who married King Henry VIII  and had a daughter, Elizabeth, who became Queen Elizabeth I. Thomas Boleyn was made Earl of Ormonde in 1527 but the Peerage returned to kinsman, Piers Butler 8th Earl, when Ann and her brother were beheaded in 1536.
 B) RICHARD (second son of James, 3rd Earl of Ormond)- beginning of the MacRichard line (see separate blog for details on this line)
q  1395-c.1440 at Polestown, (Paulstown), Kilkenny (IGI records)
q  became Sir Richard of Knocktopher
q  married Catherine, daughter of Gildas O’Reilly, Lord of East Breffny, co. Cavan
q  had 2 sons- Edmond 'MacRichard',  Walter, & 3 daus
q  his great grandson Piers inherited the title of 8th Earl of Ormond.

q  14--to1464 (13 June)- of Polestown, Kilkenny
q  Sir, a Knight
q  married Gylys (died 1506), daughter of Mulroney O’Carroll
q  had 4 sons- James, Walter (d.1506, began the Polestown/Paulstown line of Kilkenny), Richard of Borlick, and John of Cowleshill, & 4 daus
q  he built Black Castle at Thurles to guard the pass over the Suir and led the Butlers to disaster in 1462 when he was captured at Piltown Co. Kilkenny, fighting the Desmond Geraldines and, to be released, he had to surrender to his captors his Book of Carrick and his copy of the Psalter of Cashel (now in the Bodleian Library,Oxford).

q  14--to 1467 (16 April)
q  married Sabina (died c 1503-1508), daughter of Donell Keagh Kavanagh , Lord of Ferns co. Wexford ( his sons were, in turn, titled Kings of Leinster)
q  had 4 sons-: Edmond and Theobald were illegitimate and “lay under a cloak” at their parents’ marriage in 1465; became known as the Butlers of Neagham/Neecham                
                                -: Piers, and John; and  4 daughters

    13) PIERS ( Red Piers)
q  born c.1460/66 (Dedham, Essex) –died 26 Aug. 1539
q  8th Earl of Ormond, 14th Chief Butler in 1515-the title Earl of Ormond  was surrendered in 1529 when it was given to Thomas Boleyn and restored in 1538 when the Boleyns fell out of favour with King Henry VIII.
q  created 1527, Earl of Ossory at Windsor and made governor of  Ireland
q  married 1495 in Kilkenny, Margaret (died 1542), daughter of Gerald Fitzgerald 8th Earl of Kildare;
q  had 3 sons- James, Richard, Thomas; and 4 daughters
               (NB. Richard, created 1st Viscount Mountgarrett  23 Oct. 1550- see separate blog on the Mountgarrett line in Co Wexford)

q  during the early years of their marriage, they were reduced to penury by Sir James Ormond (bastard nephew of the 7th Earl) and at one time were forced to “lurk in the woods”; the next day, Piers found out where his enemy was to travel, ambushed him and “gored the bastard through with his spear”.
q  “ It required all his pertinacity to get himself recognised as the true heir to the earldom”.
q  they founded Kilkenny College
q  he died 1539 and was the first of the Earls of Ormond to be buried in St Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny. His formidable Countess, Margaret, was buried next to him (and they have two magnificent carved effigies over their tomb.)

14) JAMES (The Lame)
q  born 1504-died 28 Oct 1546 (d. London, England)
q  9th Earl of Ormonde, 1541, 2nd earl of Ossary and Viscount Thurles (created 1535), 15th Chief Butler
q  he had been brought up at the Court of Henry VIII who had a. high regard for him and created him Viscount Thurles in 1536
q  married abt 1532-1535, Joan (died 1565), daughter of James  Fitzgerald, 10th Earl of Desmond (the Butlers and Desmonds had  been in dispute for years and would continue to do so after the death of Joan)
q  for 14 years before his mysterious death, James was Lord  High Treasurer of Ireland and was given 7 religious establishments on the Dissolution of the Monastries.
q  17th October 1546, at age 42, he went with his servants to be entertained to supper by Sir John Dudley at Ely House in Holburn and they were mortally poisoned. It has not been established if it was an accident or deliberate. However, of the party of 50, 35 sickened, 17 fatally which probably indicates it was an accident, food poisoning being rife in London during that period, giving rise to an Act of  Parliament punishing cooks of poisoned food by boiling them alive.
He died on the 28th October 1546
q  The confusion caused by his Will gave rise to the Irish Public Records Office. He was buried in London , but his heart was interred in St Canice’s Cathedral.
q  had 7 sons:
-a) Thomas-1531-1614: 10th Earl of Ormond, 16th Chief Butler, at age 15 ; called Black Tom or the Black Earl, from the darkness of his complexion; he was brought up at Court with the young Prince Edward ;he  remained steadfastly devoted to his relation, Elizabeth I and was one of her favourite courtiers for over 30 years, a rival for Lord Robert Dudley Earl of  Leicester and the Earl of Sussex, who were also favoured by the queen. There were rumours she bore him Piers Butler of  Duiske in 1554, the  father of the 1st  Earl of Galmoy and she is said to have called Black Tom her “black husband”;
    -1559- constituted Lord Treasurer of Ireland 
-he had no surviving sons, only a dau. Elizabeth, whose daughter Elizabeth Preston married the 12th  Earl of Ormonde who became the 1st Duke of Ormond, but Thomas had at least 12  illegitimate children and  married 3 times
-b) Edmond of Roscrea and Cloughgrenan, co. Carlow-1534-1614;  knighted 1560; his son, Theobald married only dau. and heiress of 10th Earl of  Ormonde in her 1st marriage before she married Robert Preston.
-        had 4 sons who all died young without issue
-        also had 2 illegitimate sons- Thomas became the ancestor of the Baronets of Cloughrennan Co. Carlow
 - Edmond led his brothers and relations in a rebellion in 1569, for which he was  arrested and saved by his brother the 10th Earl of Ormonde

-c) John of Kilcash- c.1531 to 10 May 1570- ancestor of the Earls and Dukes of Ormond and later Earls and Marquess' of Ormonde
- two sons, Walter and James
Son, Walter of Ballynodagh, a devout Catholic became 11th Earl of Ormond and 17th Chief Butler; known as Walter of the Beads; his claim to the estates was thwarted by James I who imprisoned him for 8 years; he died 1633.
Walter's son Thomas Viscount Thurles drowned as he was being sent to England on charges of having garrisoned Kilkenny; 
Thomas Viscount Thurles' son James, who became a royal ward, would restore the family fortunes and become 12th Earl of Ormonde and 18th Chief Butler in 1633, created 1st Marquess of Ormonde in 1642; he supported Charles I and the Royalists against the Catholic Confederate rebels of Ireland led by his relatives, but joined forces with them to fight against Cromwell's invasion, and shared the privations of exile with Charles II on the Continent, and after the Restoration was created 1st Duke of Ormonde and was Privy Councillor or England, Ireland and Scotland, and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland; he was buried in Westminster Cathedral in 1688. (Ancestor of Queen Elizabeth II) 
James's grandson, also James would succeed him as 2nd Duke of Ormonde (and 13th Earl of Ormonde and 19th Chief Butler). He would participate in the victory over the Duke of Monmouth at Sedgemoor. James did not support the accession of James II and when William of Orange ascended the throne, James was constituted High Constable for the Coronation. He attended William into Ireland, was at the Battle of the Boyne and entertained the King at Kilkenny. In 1693 he was at the battle of Landen, where he received several wounds and had his horse shot out from under him. In 1702 Queen Ann made him Commander in Chief of the ladn forces sent against France and Spain, where he destroyed the French Fleet, sunk Spanish galleons in the harbour of Vigo, and took the fort of Redondella. In 1711, he was declared Capt. General and Commander in Chief of the land forces in Britain after Ann dismissed Marlborough. In 1713 he was made Warden of the Cinque Ports, and Constable of Dover Castle. But after the accession of George I, his Grace was impeached in 1715 for high treason for supporting the accession of the son of the exiled Catholic James II (ie. James III), and his Palatinate of Tipperary was annulled. He died in exile in France in 1745 and his remains interred in the family vault in Westminster Abbey. 
The title Duke of Ormonde which was an English title became exinct, but the Irish title of  Earl of Ormonde was inherited by descendants of the 1st Duke of Ormonde's brother Richard Butler of Kilcash.                   

-d) Walter of Nodstown -c.1538 to 1560 (born at Ballynenoddagh, Tipperary)-1 son Pierce who had six sons. Lost estate by Cromwell and transplanted.

 -e) James of Duisk- 1540 to 1566; 1 son who died young

 -f) Edward of Cloughinche- 1542 to 1605; 1 son (died  young)

-g) Pierce of Abbeyleix and Grantstown- 1545-1604
-born c.1545-died 1604                           
-married 1569, Catherine, (died 1597), daughter of John Power, Lord Power  (or Poer) of Curraghmore – married at Gowran co. Kilkenny (IGI record
 -was attainted (charged with treason and deprived of rights) in
1570 along with 2 brothers Sir Edmond and Edward for participating in the rebellion of  1569 over fears of land dispossession. Their brother, Black Tom, came back to Ireland to sort out the matter and returned to Court when their allegiance was finally restored
 -had 6 sons: James, William, Thomas, Edward, Richard, Edmond. (from whom descend the Butlers of Kilmoyler and Grantstown
 -James, 15—to 1598 – killed in a skirmish
-William, 15-- (probably died before 1600
 -Thomas, 15-- to ? 
 -Edward, 15-- to 1626; daughter Ellen married his nephew Richard (no 24)
 -Richard, 15—to 16—  -owned Killenaule in 17th century -of the Grantstown line of Butlers -married 1.?   2. Catherine, daughter of Henry Power - 3 sons probably by first wife- Richard, Edmund, John  (all born 1600-1610
(NB: all of above born 1569 to 1597)

The various lines descending from these seven sons of the 9th Earl of Ormond populated the Counties of Tipperary and Kilkenny and can be traced to some extent through the Butler Testamentary Records (Wills).
According to Bryant Ormond Butler in his book “The Butler Family of Lebanon, Connecticut” page 8
“Thomas Butler, tenth Earl of Ormond, lived at Carrick-on-Suir, Tipperary and from there waged wars which drove the Geraldines (Fitgerald family line) back into western Ireland. After the great Desmond rebellion (Fitzgeralds again) of 1579-1583 the Butlers were given large tracts of land in the Barony of Clanwilliam along both banks of the River Suir. These Tipperary lands belonged to the Desmonds and the Burkes. The Earl of Ormond divided these new possessions among his kinsmen. Grantstown, Kilmoyler, Ballycarron and Derrycloney were estates thus given out in the division. The Butlers of Derrycloney, Mastertown, and half of Hemmingstown from Walter Butler, Eleventh Earl of Ormond.” (N.B. These lands were a few miles west and south of Cashel. Walter was Thomas’s nephew from brother John of Kilcash)

The title of Earl of Ormonde today:

The title of Chief Butler of Ireland was declared redundant in 1810, the Marquess of Ormonde, Walter Butler, paid  216,000 pounds in compensation.
The 25th Earl of Ormonde and 7th Marquis of Ormonde, James Hubert Theobald Charles Butler died in 1997 aged 98 yrs, having succeeded to the titles in 1971. As he only had two daughters who cannot inherit, the titles have become dormant until claimed by a descendant of another branch of the Ormond Butlers. At this point, unless descent from one of the descendants of James 9th Earl of Ormond can be proven, the most likely recipient would be the current descendant of the 9th Earl's brother Richard 1st Viscount Mountgarrett viz. Piers James Richard Butler 18th Viscount Mountgarrett, b. 1961.
Refer to The Butler Society website for the late Patrick Lord Dunboyne's synopsis of this question of inheritance:

© B.A. Butler

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[i] Art Kavanagh, The Landed Gentry and Aristocracy in Kilkenny, Volume 1, Pub: Irish Family Names Dublin, 2004, page vi Preface
[iii]  Eighth Report of the Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Volume 9 (1000-1800) p.586- Trinity College Dublin; II History of the House of Ormond, by William Roberts, Ulster King-at Arms, 1648 (MEMSO website)
[iv] Refer to Theobald Blake Butler and Lord Dunboyne’s research on the Butler origins (The Butler Society-
[v] William Nolan, Kevin Whelan (Eds), Kilkenny: History & Society, Pub Geography Publications 1990- Ch 4: County Kilkenny in the Anglo Norman Period by C.A.Empey p88
[vi] David Edward, The Ormond Lordship in County Kilkenny 1515-1642, Pub Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2003, pp14-15 & 102