Colonel Francis Butler, Amateur

(d. 1702)


From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

Was son of Sir Stephen Butler, of Clonose, Co. Cavan, and was M.P. for Belturbet in 1662 and from 1692 to 1699, and a colonel in the army. Aaron Crossley, in his "Peerage of Ireland," 1725, says he was "a gentleman of a mechanical head in drawing, painting, embossing of figures," etc. John Dunton, in "Some Account of my Conversations in Ireland," 1699, speaks of "the Hon. Colonel Butler, M.P., of St. Stephen's Green," and of his learning and accomplishments, styling him "the Mecaenas of Ireland." "I do believe," he says, "his noble attainments in the art of painting have no parallel in the Kingdom of Ireland." He records his visit to Colonel Butler in St. Stephen's Green, and mentions the dining-room "hung round with curious pictures all of his own drawing, some of which were King Edward VI, the Lady Jane Grey, the two Charles', King William and Queen Mary, and others which I now forget." Colonel Butler died on the 15th August, 1702. He was father of Theophilus, 1st Lord Newtownbutler, and of Brinsley, 1st Viscount Lanesborough.

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