Butler (No. 1.) family genealogy

Arms: Quarterly, 1st and 4th, or, a chief indented az.; 2nd and 3rd, gu. three covered cups or. Crest: Out of a ducal coronet or, a plume of five ostrich feathers ar. therefrom issuant a falcon rising of the last.

In Camden’s Britannia, page 462, we find that the family of “Fitzwalter,” alias “Botelere,” alias Butler, derive their pedigree from the dukes of Normandy; as follows:

1. Rollo, of Norway, first duke of Normandy.[1]

2. William Longespee: his son; the second duke.

3. Richard (1), the third duke: his son; d. A.D. 986. This Richard left two sons—1. Richard; 2. Godfrey, the consul, earl of Bryomy.

4. Richard (2), the fourth duke: his son.

5. Robert: his son; the fifth duke.

6. William, duke of Normandy, “or William the Conqueror:” his son; the first King of England, of the Norman line.

7. Henry the First: his son; the second King of England, of this line.

8. King Henry the Second of England: his son. Etc. See p. 38, Vol. I.

Godfrey, the consul, earl of Bryomy, second son of Richard (1), the third duke of Normandy (who is No. 3 on this list), was the ancestor of De Clare (now Clare); and of Butler, in England and Ireland.

Gilsebert the Norman, earl of Eu, came into England with William the Conqueror; and had four sons:—1. Gilsebert de Clare, earl of Clare, who was the ancestor of Richard Strongbow, earl of Pembroke, who m. Eva, dau. of Dermod MacMorough, king of Leinster; 2. Roger; 3. Walter; and 4. Robert, who was ancestor of Fitzwalter and Butler.

Harvey Walter, who was lineally descended from the said Robert, here last mentioned, married a dau. of Gilbert Becket (and a sister of Thomas à Becket, the “Martyr,” who was lord archbishop of Canterbury), and by her had issue—1. Theobald Walter, who, with all his family, was banished out of England, on account of the disfavour in which Thomas à Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, then stood with King Henry the Second. But soon after the murder of the said archbishop, and the king’s public penance for having been accessory to his death, Henry the Second recalled from banishment all the archbishop’s friends and relatives, and promoted them to great offices and employments, particularly Theobald, son of the said Harvey Walter, for a time called “Theobald Walter,” until the king took him into favour and sent him into Ireland with the title of “Chief Boteler” of that kingdom; where by the king’s royal bounty, his own prowess, and valiant behaviour, he became very eminent, and attained great and large possessions.

Some antiquaries are of opinion that, from his office of “chief boteler” or “chief butler” of Ireland, this Theobald Walter’s posterity took the sirname of Butler; but others hold that the name is derived from Robert (supposed to be “butler” to King William the Conqueror), who, in “Doomsday Book,” is called Robertus Pincerna. This Robert Pincerna, with two others of the same name (whether his brothers or sons, we know not), called Hugo Pincerna, and Richard Pincerna, held, each of them from the King, several towns in England: one of those three persons was grandfather of the above mentioned Walter.

The Irish antiquaries who record the pedigrees of the old English families who came into Ireland with the “Conquest,” and remained here ever since, give only the following names as immediately descending from father to son from the said Theobald Walter.

1. Theobald Walter, alias “Boteler.”

2. Edmond Boteler: his son.

3. Theobald (2): his son.

4. Theobald (3): his son.

5. Theobald (4): his son; died A.D. 1249.

6. Walter: his son.

7. Edmond, of Roscrea: his son.

8. James: his son; first “earl[2] of Ormonde;” created in 1328.

9. James Balbh (or dumb James): his son.

10. James, earl of Gowran: his son; had two brothers—1. Theobald, 2. Pierse.

11. Richard: son of James.

12. Edmond: his son.

13. Pierse: his son.

14. John: his son.

15. Thomas, of Kilcash: his son.

16. James (3): his son.

17. Walter (2): his son.

18. Thomas (2): his son.

19. James (4): his son.

20. Thomas (3): his son.

21. James (5): his son; was the first “duke of Ormond;” had a brother named Richard Butler, of Kilcash.


[1] Normandy: See “Dukes of Normandy,” in the Appendix, No. 1, Vol. II.

[2] Earl: This James Butler was a minor at his father’s death. He married Eleanor De Bohun, grand-daughter of Edward I.; which marriage procured him the grant of the “Regalities and Liberties of Tipperary,” and the rights of a Palatine in that county. He engaged on the side of his cousin, the Earl of Kildare, in his wars with the Be Burghs and Le Poers. In 1329 and 1330 he was at war with the O’Nolans and MacGeoghagans. He founded, in 1336, the Friary of Little Carrick, in the county of Waterford, and dying on the 6th of January, 1337-8, was buried at Gowran.