Sunday 31 March 2013

History of the Butlers, Earls of Ormond and Chief Butlers of Ireland- Ch:1

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 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 renown. For 600 years their story fill the pages of the Irish annals, from Theobald 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. Butler Victory
Motto: Comme je Trouve- As I Find

Butler Coat of arms on tomb of Piers 8th Earl of Ormonde and wife Margaret Fitzgerald
Notably, the second heraldic symbol of a rose inside a rose was the symbol used by the House of  Tudor to represent the joining of the Red Rose of Lancaster and the White Rose of York. However, this particular symbol has three roses and the meaning is uncertain.
Also, strangely, the Ormond Coat of Arms contains a crescent in the centre which usually denotes a second son as on the tomb of their son Richard 1st Viscount Mountgarrett. this possibly denotes that Piers was from the cadet 'MacRichard' line.

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 was granted lands in Weeton, Lancashire, named Amounderness, and also held lands in East Anglia, Norfolk & Suffolk. 

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 his brother Hubert Walter descended from a line of Walters dating back to the time of William the Conqueror.

It should be noted that no researcher has been able to confidently ascertain the origin of the surname 'Walter' used by this family, despite much speculation and many theories.

The first of this line named Hervey (Hervius) must have been born sometime before 1090 A.D. as records show that his daughter Alice married before the mid 1140's, and possibly in the 1130's. 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 which were inherited by his son Robert Malet. 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.
f) speculation he was Hervey de Glanville who lived in Suffolk and was born c.1080, and had a son named Hervey, brother to Rannulf de Glanville (Hervey Walter's brother-in-law).
g) a sub-tenant of Robert Malet, named 'Walter' who held the lands of Wingfield, Stradbroke and Weybread in Bishops Hundred in northern Suffolk in the Domesday survey in 1086. Hervey Walter, in c.1174, donated the tithes of lands from his fee of Wingfield, namely Wingfield, Instead in Weybread, and 'Sikibroc' (possibly Stradbroke/Stetebroc), to the Priory of Butley in Suffolk, founded by his brother-in-law Rannulf de Glanville. Hervey Walter's brother Hubert Walter held lands in Fressingfield, adjacent to Wingfield. This 'Walter' appears to be the most likely candidate for the origin of the 'Walter' surname.
Although there have been a few other candidates suggested through the centuries, none of these have been confirmed as most likely, due to lack of records. [iv]
Therefore, we will begin with the first known in the Butler line- Hervey of Weeton, Lancashire.

Hervey (Hervius)  had a son named Hervey Walter (and a second son named Hubert Walter who held lands in Fressingfield in Bishops Hundred, Suffolk, whose son and heir was named Peter Walter)
Hervey Walter  had sons, Theobald, Hubert, Roger, and Hamo, and possibly Bartholomew.

Hubert, Bishop of Salisbury, 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- 'the Lionheart') whom he accompanied on the 3rd Crusade. During the Crusade, Hubert was one of three of Richard's closest confidants. Richard signed a treaty on 1 September 1192 with Salah al-Din (Saladin) for a truce to last three years and eight months whereby it was agreed that both sides would be able to move freely, to resume trade, and Christian pilgrims would be given free access to Jerusalem. Three pilgrimages were organised, one of which was led by the Bishop of Salisbury (Hubert) who was accorded the honour of a personal audience with Salah al-Din who told him that Richard had great courage but he was too reckless with his own life. The treaty followed the battle of Jafa when the Crusaders led by Richard won the battle to defend Jafa although far outnumbered by the Saracens, at the end of which Richard famously galloped his stallion toward the enemy and rode the entire length of the Saracen line and none dared accept his challenge, much to the disbelief of his watching knights and the Saracen commanders. Throughout the campaign, Richard had often recklessly charged into the fray in total disregard of the risks to his own life. This had led to his legendary reputation amongst the Muslim enemy. 
Hubert later governed England ably. He retained the confidence of Henry II, and his sons Richard I, and John; he 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.

Statue of Hubert Walter on Cantebury Cathedral

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, Butler of Ireland, sometime after he accompanied Prince John to Ireland in c.1185. King Henry II had gone 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 centre 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]

According to A.J. Otway-Ruthven, A History of Medieval Ireland (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993- page 67- 69), “On 25 April 1185 Prince John, in his new capacity as Lord of Ireland, landed at Waterford and around this time granted the hereditary office of butler of Ireland to Theobald Walter. Some time after King Henry II granted him the presage of wines to enable him and his heirs the better to support the dignity of that office.” By this grant, he had two tons of wine out of every ship which broke bulk in any trading port of Ireland, and was loaded with 20 tons of that commodity, and one ton from 9 to 20 tons. Theobald accompanied John on his progress through Munster and Leinster. At this time he was granted a large section of the north-eastern part of the Kingdom of Leinster. Theobald was active in the war that took place when Ruaidri Ua Conchobair attempted to regain his throne after retiring to the monastery of Cong, as Theobald’s men were involved in the death of Donal Mór na Corra Mac Carthaigh during a parley in 1185 near Cork. In 1194 Theobald supported his brother during Hubert’s actions against Prince John, with Theobald receiving the surrender of John’s supporters in Lancaster. Theobald was rewarded with the office of sheriff of Lancaster, which he held until Christmas of 1198. He was again sheriff after John took the throne in 1199. In early 1200 John deprived Theobald of all his offices and lands because of his irregularities as sheriff. His lands were not restored until January 1202. (Joliffe, J.E.A., Angevin Kingship, London: Adam and Charles Black, 1955, p66-68)

The following document points to William de Braose, 4th Lord of Bramber as the agent of his restoration:

“Grant by William de Braosa (senior) to Theobald Walter (le Botiller) the burgh of Kildelon (Killaloe)… the candred of Elykarul (the baronies of Clonlisk and Ballybrit, Co. Offaly), Eliogarty, Ormond, Ara and Oioney (Owney and Ara Nth Tipperary), etc. 1201” (National Library Ireland, Dublin, D27)

Theobald founded the Abbey of Woney in the townland of Abington of which nothing now remains, near the modern village of Murroe Co Limerick around 1200, and Coskersand Abbey in Lancaster, Abbey of Nenagh in Co. Tipperary, and a monastic house at Arklow in Co Wicklow. He died between 4 August 1205 and 14 February 1206 and was buried at Owney Abbey. (refer to Wikipedia- Theobald Walter)
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.

Kilkenny Castle

 (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 Hans 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, Galmoye, 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 Galmoye 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.

Crest of Butler

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 Galmoye, 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

© B.A. Butler

email contact: butler1802 (no spaces)

Links to other chapters on this blog:

The Butler Pedigree:

The Genealogical History of Irish Butlers

The MacRichard Line

see blog on Richard Butler 1st Viscount Mountgarrett:


Part 1: The Ancestral Origins of Theobald Walter, Ancestor of the Butlers of Ireland

Part 2: Possible candidates for the Walter surname named 'Walter' in the Domesday Book

Part 3: Analysis of the various theories of the origins of the Walter family

Part 4: Lands of the Walter family

[i] Art Kavanagh, The Landed Gentry and Aristocracy in Kilkenny, Volume 1, Pub: Irish Family Names Dublin, 2004, page vi Preface
[iii]  Eight 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