Butler dynasty refers to the several branches of the Butler family (Irish; de Buitleir) that has its origins in the Cambro-Norman family that participated in the Norman invasion of Ireland in the 12th century. Variant spellings include le Boteler and le Botiller. The surname has its origins in the hereditary office of butler of Ireland. The family originates with Theobald Walter, 1st Baron Butler
Butlers of Ormond
This is the senior branch of the family and later produced, Earls, Marquesses and Dukes of Ormond. Since 1391, the family was based in their stronghold of Kilkenny Castle. From this position, they were able to control the surrounding Gaelic kingdoms of Ormond, Éile, Ikerrin and part of Osraige. The last Butler quit the castle and Ireland permanently in 1935.
The family held the titles of Chief Butler of Ireland and Baron Butler. Prior to the creation of the Earldom of Ormond, the 1st earl's father had been created the first Earl of Carrick. However, this title did not pass to James Butler. After a gap of 7 years following his father's death, James was rewarded with an earldom in his own right - Ormond. Subsidiary titles for the earl in the Peerage of Ireland were added: Earl of Ossory (1538) and Viscount Thurles (1536). Created Marquess of Ormond in 1642, which title became extinct in 1758. Created Duke of Ormonde in 1661, and created the Duke of Ormonde in the Peerage of England in 1682. After 1682, the spelling "Ormonde" was used almost universally. The title was forfeit in 1715. Subsidiary titles for the duke in the Peerage of England were added: Earl of Brecknock (1660) and Baron Butler (1660). In 1715 the second duke was attainted and his English peerages declared forfeit. In 1758 the de jure third duke (Irish) died and the dukedom and marquessate became extinct. The eighteenth earl was created as Baron Ormonde, of Llanthony, in the county of Monmouth in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1821 on the coronation of George IV. Later, he was created the Marquess of Ormonde in the Peerage of Ireland in 1816. On his death in 1820, that title became extinct and the earldoms passed to his brother, for whom the title "Marquess of Ormonde" was re-created in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1825. That title became extinct in 1997, while the earldom became dormant.
The patrimony of the Butlers of Ormond encompassed most of the modern counties of North Tipperary, South Tipperary, and Kilkenny and parts of County Carlow. Only the earldom of Desmond would have had more extensive land holdings than Ormond in the Lordship and Kingdom of Ireland. Following the successful Norman Invasion, the ancient Gaelic lands would have been annexed to the crown and passed as baronies or fiefs to the supporters of the crown (the victorious barons). These (administrative) baronies corresponded to the (Irish) túath ("country") or trícha cét ("thirty hundred [men]") of a Gaelic chief, for example Éile. However, sometimes baronies combined small territories, or split a large one, or were created without regard for the earlier boundaries. In the Norman period most Gaelic chiefs were killed, expelled, or subordinated by the new Norman lord; in the Tudor period, many Gaelic and Hibernicized lords retained their land by pledging allegiance to the Crown under the policy of surrender and regrant.
- Theobald Walter, 1st Baron Butler
- Theobald le Botiller, 2nd Chief Butler of Ireland
- Theobald Butler, 3rd Chief Butler of Ireland
Butlers of Dunboyne
- Thomas Butler, 1st Baron Dunboyne the son of Theobald Butler, 4th Chief Butler of Ireland.
Butlers of Clonamicklon and Ikerrin
This branch sprang from John Butler of Clonamicklon, the second son of Edmund Butler, Earl of Carrick. His descendants would later become Viscounts Ikerrin and Earls of Carrick.
- Notable family members
- Thomas Butler, 6th Viscount Ikerrin
- Somerset Butler, 1st Earl of Carrick. The 8th Viscount was created Earl of Carrick - the second time that an earldom of that name was created for the Butler family. The first creation was for Edmund Butler, Earl of Carrick.
Butlers of Cahir
This branch sprang from James Butler, 3rd Earl of Ormond. Cahir Castle is built on an island of the River Suir. Much of the barony of Iffa and Offa West was controlled by the Butler Barons Cahir.
Notable family members
James “Gallda” Butler, son of James Butler, 3rd Earl of Ormond.
Barons of the first creation
Thomas Butler, 1st Baron Cahir, son of Thomas Butler of Cahir. His brother Piers would supply later barons when his own line failed to produce male heirs. Edmund Butler, 2nd Baron Cahir, son of the 1st Baron who died without issue.
Barons of the second creation
Theobald Butler, 1st Baron Cahir, son of Piers Butler and nephew of the 1st Baron. He died in 1596 having had six sons of whom the three elder were Thomas, Piers and Edmund. Thomas Butler, 2nd Baron Cahir, son of the 1st Baron. Died without male issue in 1627. Thomas Butler, 3rd Baron Cahir, son of Piers Butler, nephew of the 2nd Baron and grandson of the 1st Baron. Pierce Butler, 4th Baron Cahir, a grandson of the 3rd Baron.
Butlers of Polestown and Roscrea
This branch also sprang from the 3rd Earl. Three distinct branches are associated with this branch of the family. The family tree splits firstly with Edmund MacRichard Butler; his eldest son, Sir James, founded the most illustrious sub-branch with his progeny going on to supply the 8th Earl of Ormond; his second son, Walter, founded the lesser sub-branch with his progeny going on to become baronets of Polestown. This sub-branch split thirdly to found a Roscrea branch in the barony of Ikerrin, North Tipperary, beginning with Walter's grandson. Note: "Polestown" is also spelled in the records as Poolestown". It is now identified with the town of Paulstown in the Barony of Gowran, County Kilkenny. Notable family members Sir Richard Butler of Polestown (b.1395-c.1443), son of the 3rd Earl. Sir Edmund MacRichard Butler (c.1420-1464), the son of Sir Richard. Sir James Butler (d.1487), the eldest son of Edmund MacRichard. Piers Butler (c. 1467 – 26 August 1539), the son of Sir James. Later elevated to the peerage of Ireland as the 8th Earl of Ormond. Theobald Butler, brother of Piers. Walter Butler of Polestown, second son of Edmund MacRichard. Edmond Butler of Polestown, son of Walter. Peter Butler of Roscrea, second son of Edmond. Walter Butler of Roscrea, son of Peter. Sir Richard Butler (Poletown), third son of Edmond. Sir Edmond Butler (Polestown), son of Sir Richard. Sir Walter Butler, 1st Baronet, eldest son of Sir Edmond. The title became either dormant or extinct on the death of the fourth Baronet in 1762.
Butlers of Mountgarret, Cloughgrennan, Kilcash & Duiske
The common ancestor here is Piers Butler, 8th Earl of Ormond. Three minor family branches sprang from his eldest son - James; Cloughgrenan, Kilcash and Duiske / Galmoye, His younger son, Richard Butler, founded the junior but long lasting Mountgarret line. Piers Butler, 8th Earl of Ormond James Butler, 9th Earl of Ormond, eldest son of the 8th Earl. Thomas Butler, 10th Earl of Ormond, eldest son of the 9th Earl. Last of the senior line. Sir Edmund Butler, second son of the 9th Earl. First of the Cloughgrenan line. John Butler of Kilcash, third son of the 9th Earl. First of the Kilcash line. Walter Butler of Nodstown, fourth son of the 9th Earl. First of the Nodstown line. James Butler of Duiske, fifth son of the 9th Earl. First of the Duiske line. Richard Butler, 1st Viscount Mountgarret, second son of the 8th Earl.
Butlers of Mountgarret
Mountgarret may take its name from the townland of "Tifeaghna (Mount Garret)" in the civil parish of Sheefin, in the barony of Galmoy or from "Clomantagh (Mount Garret)" in the civil parish of Clomantagh in the barony of Crannagh. Both baronies are in the north-western corner of County Kilkenny. The Viscounts are recorded as significant landowners there as well as in neighbouring civil parish of Coolcashin.It may also refer to a district of the town of New Ross in County Wexford. This branch was in turn an off-shoot of the Polestown branch.
Notable family members
Richard Butler, 1st Viscount Mountgarret Edmund Butler, 2nd Viscount Mountgarret, son of the 1st Viscount. Richard Butler, 3rd Viscount Mountgarret, son of the 2nd Viscount. Edmund Butler, 4th Viscount Mountgarret, son of the 3rd Viscount. Edmund Butler, 1st Earl of Kilkenny and 12th Viscount Mountgarret.
Butlers of Cloughgrenan
The second son of James Butler, 9th Earl of Ormond was Sir Edmund Butler who occupied lands at Cloughgrenan (a townland near Carlow town). Tulleophelim (or Tullowphelim) is near the town of Tullow in County Carlow. The castle of Tulleophlim had been built by James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormond before 1450. Notable family members Sir Edmund Butler of Cloughgrenan (c.1531-1602), Theobald Butler, Viscount Butler of Tulleophelim, a son of Sir Edmund. Sir Thomas Butler of Cloughgrenan, 1st Baronet, illegitimate son of Sir Edmund. Sir Edmund Butler of Cloughgrenan, 2nd Baronet, son of 1st Baronet.
Butlers of Kilcash and Thurles
The third son of James Butler, 9th Earl of Ormond was John who occupied lands in Kilcash, near Clonmel, County Tipperary. His heirs went on to provide four immediate heirs to the earldom of Ormond when the senior line failed through lack of legitimate male issue. Notable family members John Butler of Kilcash Walter Butler, 11th Earl of Ormond, son of John and the first member of the Kilcash branch to inherit the earldom when the senior branch failed to leave legitimate male issue. Thomas Butler, Viscount Thurles, son of the 11th Earl who predeceased his father. James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde, heir of Thomas, grandson of the 11th earl. Thomas Butler, 6th Earl of Ossory, son of the 1st Duke who predeceased his father. James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormonde, son of the 6th Earl of Ossory and grandson of the 1st Duke. Charles Butler, 3rd Duke of Ormonde, younger son of the 6th Earl of Ossory. Richard Butler of Kilcash, son of Viscount Thurles and younger brother of James, the 1st Duke. Butlers of Garryricken This branch is an off-shoot of the Kilcash branch. Garryricken is a townland in the barony of Knocktopher, County Kilkenny. Notable family members Walter Butler of Garryricken, eldest son of Richard Butler of Kilcash, great-grandson of the 11 Earl. Colonel Thomas Butler of Garryricken, eldest son of Walter. John Butler, 15th Earl of Ormonde, son of Colonel Thomas, great-grand-nephew of the 1st Duke. He succeed to the earldom (but not the dukedom) when the last member of senior Kilcash line, Charles, failed to produce a legitimate male heir. John Butler of Garryricken, second son of Walter and brother of Colonel Thomas, grand-nephew of the 1st Duke. Walter Butler, 16th Earl of Ormonde, son of John, great-great-great-grandson of the 11th Earl and the first cousin of the 15th Earl.
Butlers of Duiske and Galmoye
Duiske takes its name from Duiske Abbey in Graiguenamanagh, County Kilkenny. Galmoy is a village in the Barony of Galmoy, north-western Kilkenny. This branch also sprang from the 9th Earl. His younger son was James Butler of Duiske.
Notable family members
James Butler of Duiske was awarded the Abbey lands upon the dissolution of the monasteries following the English Reformation. The lands eventually reverted to his uncle Thomas Butler, 10th Earl of Ormond. Piers FitzThomas Butler of Duiske, who was the illegitimate son of the 10th Earl. Edward Butler, 1st Viscount Galmoye, who was the son of Piers FitzThomas Butler. Piers Butler of Duiske, who was the eldest son of the 1st Viscount. Edward Butler, 2nd Viscount Galmoye, who was the grandson of the 1st Viscount. Piers Butler, 3rd Viscount Galmoye, who was the eldest son of the 2nd Viscount. He was attainted and had no living male heirs. Richard Butler of Galmoye, who was the second son of the 2nd Viscount. James Butler (colonel) was son of Richard Butler of Galmoye and the grandson of the 2nd Viscount. He would have been the heir of the 3rd Viscount (his uncle) had the latter not been attainted by parliament. Edmond Butler of Killoshulan, who was the brother of the 2nd Viscount. His great-great grandson, Garret, would later successfully petition the English Parliament for the restitution of the family titles. Some time after June 1828, he was confirmed as the 5th Viscount Galmoye.
- 1.Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837.
- 2.Griffith's Primary Valuation, Tithe Applotment Books Year, 1825