Vice-Admiral Thomas Butler, 6th Earl of Ossory

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Thomas Butler, 6th Earl of Ossory

Birthdate: (46)
Birthplace: Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny, Ireland
Death: July 30, 1680 (46)
Arlington House, London, UK
Immediate Family:

Son of James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde and Lady Elizabeth Butler
Husband of Emilia van Nassau, Countess of Ossory
Father of Elizabeth Stanley; Sir James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormonde; Charles Butler, 1st Earl of Arran and Henrietta Butler
Brother of Thomas 1 Butler Viscount Thurles; Lady Elizabeth Butler; Lord John Butler 1st Earl of Gowran; Richard Butler 1st Earl of Arran; Lady Mary Butler of Ormond and 1 other

Occupation: 6th Earl of Ossary
Managed by: Ric Dickinson
Last Updated:

About Vice-Admiral Thomas Butler, 6th Earl of Ossory

Thomas Butler, 6th Earl of Ossory,_6th_Earl_of_Ossory

Vice-Admiral Thomas Butler, 6th Earl of Ossory, KG, PC, PC(I) (8 July 1634 – 30 July 1680) was the eldest son of the 1st Duke of Ormonde and an Irish politician born at Kilkenny.

His early years were spent in Ireland and France, and he became an accomplished athlete and by no means an indifferent scholar. Having come to London in 1652 he was rightly suspected of sympathizing with the exiled royalists, and in 1655 was put into prison by Oliver Cromwell; after his release about a year later he went to the Netherlands and married Emilia von Nassau, accompanying Charles II to England in 1660.

In 1661 Butler became a member of both the English and the Irish Houses of Commons, representing Bristol in the former and Dublin University in the latter House; and in 1662 was called to the Irish House of Lords under a writ of acceleration as earl of Ossory. (His father held the title "5th Earl of Ossory" as one of his subsidiary titles, which made Thomas Butler the 6th Earl of Ossory.) He held several military appointments, in 1665 was made lieutenant-general of the army in Ireland, and in 1666 was created an English peer as Lord Butler; but almost as soon as he appeared in the House of Lords he was imprisoned for two days for challenging the duke of Buckingham.

In 1665 a fortunate accident had allowed Ossory to take part in the Battle of Lowestoft against the Dutch, and in May 1672, being now in command of a ship, he fought against the same enemies in the Battle of Solebay, serving with great distinction on both occasions.

The earl was partly responsible for this latter struggle, as in March 1672 before war was declared he had attacked the Dutch Smyrna fleet, an action which he is said to have greatly regretted later in life.

Whilst visiting France in 1672 he rejected the liberal offers made by Louis XIV to induce him to enter the service of France, and returning to England he added to his high reputation by his conduct during the Battle of Texel in August 1673.

The earl was intimate with William, prince of Orange, and in 1677 he joined the allied army in the Netherlands, commanding the British section and winning great fame at the siege of Mons in 1678.

He acted as deputy for his father, who was lord-lieutenant of Ireland, and in parliament he defended Ormonde's Irish administration with great vigour. In 1680 he was appointed governor of the Tangier Garrison, but his death prevented him from taking up his new duties.

One of his most intimate friends was John Evelyn, who eulogizes him in his Diary.

Ossory had eleven children, and his eldest son James became Duke of Ormonde in 1688.

Biography on pp.15-18

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Vice-Admiral Thomas Butler, 6th Earl of Ossory's Timeline

July 8, 1634
Kilkenny, Ireland
Age 25
April 29, 1665
Age 30
Dublin Castle, Dublin, Ireland
September 4, 1671
Age 37
July 30, 1680
Age 46
London, UK