Richard Butler of Kilcash

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Richard Butler
probably Thurles Castle
Kilcash Castle
Spouse(s)Frances Tuchet (or Touchet)
Walter & others
FatherThomas Butler
MotherElizabeth Pointz

Richard Butler of Kilcash (1615–1701) was an Irish soldier and landowner, the third son of Thomas Butler, Viscount Thurles and brother of James, 1st Duke of Ormonde. He sided with the Irish Confederacy at the Irish Rebellion of 1641. He scouted the enemy on the morning of the Battle of Cloughleagh. His descendants succeeded to the earldom of Ormond following the failure in 1758 of the senior branch of the family.

Birth and origins[edit]

Richard was born in 1615, probably at Thurles Castle. He was one of six children, and the third son, of Thomas Butler and his wife Elizabeth Pointz. His father, who was styled Viscount Thurles, was the eldest son and heir apparent of Walter Butler, 11th Earl of Ormond, called "Walter of the rosary beads". His father's family, the Butler dynasty, was Old English and descended from Theobald Walter, who had been appointed Chief Butler of Ireland by King Henry II in 1177.[1] Richard's mother was an English Catholic, a daughter of Sir John Pointz of Iron Acton in Gloucestershire and his second wife Elizabeth Sydenham.

Family tree
Richard Butler with wife, parents, and other selected relatives.[a]
11th Earl


d. 1631

d. 1619

2nd Earl

1st Duke



3rd Earl

c. 1617 – 1684
6th Earl



d. 1700
2nd Duke

1st Earl


d. 1738

de jure
15th Earl

d. 1766
de jure
16th Earl

d. 1783

d. 1794
XXXSubject of
the article
XXXEarls and dukes
of Ormond
XXXEarls of
*d.v.p. = predeceased his father (decessit vita patris).

Early life[edit]

In 1619 his father perished on his way from Ireland to England in a shipwreck[8] near the Skerries off the coast of Anglesey. On 24 February 1633, his grandfather died. His brother James succeeded to the earldom as the 12th Earl of Ormond[9] and he was given the lands and the castle of Kilcash as an appanage becoming Richard Butler of Kilcash.

Marriage and children[edit]

In 1636, Kilcash married Frances Tuchet (or Touchet; died 1688), youngest daughter of the ill-famed Mervyn Tuchet, 2nd Earl of Castlehaven.[10] This marriage made him the brother-in-law of James, the 3rd Earl of Castlehaven, his future military ally.

Richard and Frances had five children, two sons:

  1. Walter (died 1700), known as Walter Butler of Garryricken, married Mary Plunkett, only daughter of Christopher Plunkett, 2nd Earl of Fingall[11][12][13]
  2. John (died 1714), married Catharine, daughter of James Aylmer, of Cragbryen, County Clare[14]

—and three daughters:

  1. Lucia (died 1685), married Sir Laurence Esmond, of Clonegall, County Carlow[15]
  2. Mary (died 1737), married Christopher, Lord Delvin[16]
  3. Frances (died 1709), married Patrick Barnewall, 3rd Baronet of Crickstown Castle[17]

Later life[edit]

He and his family lived in Kilcash Castle at the foot of Slievenamon. In 1639 Kilcash was confirmed in the ownership of the lands of Kilcash, Garryricken, and many others in the counties of Tipperary and Kilkenny by the Commission of Grace with special remainder to the heirs male of his grandfather, Walter Butler, 11th Earl of Ormond and some other family members.[18][19] These lands would form the Manor of Garryricken.[20]

Late in 1641 or early in 1642, Kilcash sided with the rebellion and was made governor of County Waterford. In January 1642 he was asked to take the city of Waterford but was prevented by the mayor and council. He nevertheless reduced the town of Cappoquin and other places. In March 1642, Kilcash, together with Lord Muskerry, Theobald Purcell, Maurice Roche, 8th Viscount Fermoy, Ikerrin, and Dunboyne unsuccessfully besieged St Leger in Cork.[21][22] He joined the Irish Catholic Confederation when it was founded in October 1642 and was made an officer in the Confederate Munster Army, which continued the fight of the Munster rebels against the Protestants in southern Munster, which after St Leger's death were led by Murrough O'Brien, 1st Earl of Inchiquin.

On the morning of 4 June 1643, Kilcash scouted the location of a detachment of Inchiquin's troops under Charles Vavasour at Cloughleagh Castle.[23] The intelligence allowed the Munster Army to surprise and defeat Vavasour in the Battle of Cloughleagh. The victory was gained by a cavalry attack led by James Tuchet, 3rd Earl of Castlehaven.

When in October 1645 Giovanni Battista Rinuccini, the papal nuncio, landed at Kenmare on Ireland's west coast,[24] and then made his way from there to Kilkenny, the Confederate capital, the Confederate Supreme Council sent Kilcash with two troops of horse to escort the nuncio through the most dangerous parts of his itinerary in southern Munster, where war raged between the Munster Army and Inchiquin, who was at that time allied with the parliament. Kilcash's protection came a bit late as he met Rinuccini at Drumsicane Castle after the nuncio had already passed much of the dangerous stretch of his route.[25][26][27]

Kilcash must not be confused with Richard Butler, the second son of Piers Butler, 1st Viscount Ikerrin, who was in 1647 Lieutenant-General of the Confederate Munster Army under Glamorgan and who was one of the few officers who remained faithful to Glamorgan in his rivalry with Muskerry.[28]

When his side lost to Cromwell's army, Kilcash went into exile in France where he lived, often in poverty, until the Restoration of Charles II who returned his estates to him.[29]

About 1660 Kilcash's son Walter built a house at Garryricken and started to live there with his family.[30]

Death, succession, and timeline[edit]

Richard Butler died in 1701 at Kilcash Castle, aged 85 or 86.[31]

He was succeeded by his grandson Colonel Thomas Butler of Garryricken, the heir of his eldest son, Walter Butler of Garryricken. Richard's descendants, dubbed the Garryricken branch, would inherit the earldom of Ormond following the failure of the senior branch that occurred when Charles Butler, 1st Earl of Arran died childless in 1658 (see Family tree). Arran had been de jure 3rd Duke of Ormond and 14th Earl.

Notes, citations, and sources[edit]


  1. ^ This family tree is partly derived from the condensed Butler family tree pictured in Dunboyne.[2] Also see the lists of siblings and children in the text.


  1. ^ Debrett 1828, p. 640. "Theobald le Boteler on whom that office [Chief Butler of Ireland] was conferred by King Henry II., 1177 ..."
  2. ^ Dunboyne 1968, pp. 16–17. "Butler Family Tree condensed"
  3. ^ Lodge 1789, p. 39, line 27. "James, successor to his grandfather, created Duke of Ormond, one of the ablest statesmen, and worthiest person of the age in which he flourished."
  4. ^ Lodge 1789, p. 39, line 30. "John who died unmarried at Naples, on his travels, in 1636."
  5. ^ Lodge 1789, p. 39, line 33. "Daughter Ellen, married to Donogh, Earl of Clancarthy, and dying in April 1682, AEt. 70, was buried 24 in the Chancel of St. Michan's church."
  6. ^ Lodge 1789, p. 39, line 36. "Elizabeth, first married to James Purcell, Esq.; titular baron of Loughmoe, by whom she had one son Nicholas, and two daughters;"
  7. ^ Lodge 1789, p. 40, line 14. "Mary, married to Sir George Hamilton, ancestor by her to the Earl of Abercorn, and died in August 1680."
  8. ^ a b Cokayne 1895, p. 149, line 14. "He d. v.p. [predeceased his father], being drowned off the Skerries, 15 December 1619."
  9. ^ a b Burke 1949, p. 1540, right column, line 5. "The Earl [Walter, 11th] d. [died] 24 Feb 1632 and was s. [succeeded] by his grandson, James, 1st Duke of Ormonde ..."
  10. ^ Flood 2020, p. 70.
  11. ^ Burke & Burke 1909, p. left column, line 52. "Walter, m. [married] Lady Mary Plunkett, dau. [daughter] of 2nd Earl of Fingal ..."
  12. ^ Carrigan 1905, p. 319. "[Walter Butler] dying at Garryricken in 1700, one year before his father, was buried in the church of Kilcash."
  13. ^ Cokayne 1895, p. 153, line 10. "... Walter Butler of Garryricken (who d. [died] 1700) ..."
  14. ^ Burke 1949, p. 1540, left column, line 100. "John, of Westcourt, co. Kilkenny, Col in the army, m. Katherine widow of Sir Nicholas Plunkett ..."
  15. ^ Lodge 1789, p. 41, line 23. "Lucia, married to Sir Lawrence Esmond, of Clonegall, county. of Carlow, son and heir to Sir Thomas of Ballytroman, county of Wexford, Bart. and she died 7 April 1685, leaving issue ..."
  16. ^ Burke 1949, p. 1540, left column, line 106. "Mary, m. Christopher, Lord Delvin, eldest son of 2nd Earl of Westmeath, and died 28 March 1737, leaving issue."
  17. ^ Burke 1949, p. 1540, left column, line 108. "Frances, m. Sir Patrick Barnewall, 3rd Bt. of Crickstown, and died 1709, leaving issue."
  18. ^ Lodge 1789, p. 40. "Richard Butler of Kilcash, Esq.; the youngest son, had a confirmation (by virtue of the commission of grace) 24 June 1639, of the lands of Kilcash, Garryricken, and many others in the counties of Tipperary and Kilkenny; with a limitation thereof to his heirs male; remainder to the respective heirs male of Walter Earl of Ormond; Pierce Butler Fitz-Walter ..."
  19. ^ a b Burke 1949, p. 1540, left column, line 82. "Richard of Kilcash, who had a confirmation, 24 June 1639, of that place Garryricken and other lands in cos. Kilkenny and Tipperary, with a limitation thereof to his heirs male."
  20. ^ Carrigan 1905, p. 318, line 21. "... these townlands to be created the Manor of Garryrickin."
  21. ^ Bagwell 1909, p. 3. "... besieged in Cork 'by a vast body of enemy lying within four miles of the town, under my Lord of Muskerry, O'Sullivan Roe, MacCarthy Reagh, and all the western gentry ...'"
  22. ^ McGrath 1997, p. 266. "In April 1642 he [St Leger] was besieged in Cork by Theobald Purcell, Richard Butler, and Lords Roche, Ikerrin, Dunboyne and Muskerry."
  23. ^ a b Castlehaven 1815, p. 40. "My brother Richard Butler of Kilcash, brother to the now Duke of Ormond, was sent out the same night to discover the enemy, and in the morning word was brought us ..."]
  24. ^ Coffey 1914, p. 152, line 16. "[Rinuccini] ... landed at Kenmare, October, 21st [1645]."
  25. ^ a b Bagwell 1909, p. 102. "... Ormonde's brother Richard, specially sent by the Supreme Council, was among those that escorted him."
  26. ^ Meehan 1882, p. 137, line 3. "Here [at Dromsecane] he was met by Richard Butler, brother of Lord Ormond, at the head of two troops of horse."
  27. ^ Lee 1914, p. 64. "The castle thyat the Papal Nuncio actually visited ... was Drumsicane, not Drishane."
  28. ^ Duignan, "Butler, Piers", 2nd paragraph. "... his [Piers Butler's] scond son Richard was appointed lieutenant-general of that [the Munster] army."
  29. ^ Flood 2020, p. 79.
  30. ^ Carrigan 1905, p. 318, line 25. "He [Walter Butler] built the old Garryricken Ho., and made it his residence, about the year 1660."
  31. ^ a b Carrigan 1905, p. 318, line 22. "Mr. [Richard] Butler died at Kilcash, at a very advanced, age in 1701."
  32. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, p. 44, line 16. "Charles I. ... acc. 27 Mar. 1625 ..."
  33. ^ Warner 1768, p. 6. "... the twenty-third October [1641] ... seized all the towns, castles, and houses belonging to the Protestants which they had force enough to possess;"
  34. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, p. 44, line 17. "Charles I. ... exec. 30 Jan. 1649 ..."
  35. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, p. 44, line 39. "Charles II. ... acc. 29 May 1660 ..."
  36. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, p. 44, line 46. "James II. ... acc. 6 Feb. 1685 ..."
  37. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, p. 45, line 11. "William III. ... acc. 13 Feb. 1689 ..."