Thomas Butler, Viscount Thurles

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Thomas Butler, Viscount Thurles (before 1596 – 15 December 1619) was the son and heir apparent of Walter Butler, 11th Earl of Ormond (1559 – 1632/3) (whom he predeceased) and Helen Butler. He resided at Thurles Castle, Thurles, County Tipperary. He was the father of the noted Anglo-Irish statesman and Royalist commander James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde.

Marriage and early death[edit]

Sometime before 1610, he married Elizabeth Poyntz against his father's wishes. She was the daughter of Sir John Poyntz (d.1633) of Iron Acton in Gloucestershire and Elizabeth Sydenham.

In 1619 at the beginning of his father's long imprisonment in the Fleet Prison, Thomas was summoned to England to answer charges of treason, specifically, of having garrisoned Kilkenny. However, the ship conveying him was wrecked off the coast of The Skerries, Isle of Anglesey and he was drowned. Like his father, Viscount Thurles was a prominent Catholic and it seems likely that his refusal to conform to the established Anglican religion had angered King James I, and may have been the true motive for his summons.


His children by Elizabeth Poyntz were:

  • James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde (1610–1688). With his father drowned and his grandfather in prison, James was made a royal ward and, unlike his parents or siblings, was brought up in the Protestant religion.
  • John Butler who died unmarried at Naples, on his travels, in 1636.[1]
  • Richard Butler of Kilcash (b. 1615 - d. 1701) 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.
  • Ellen (Eleanor) Butler (died April 1682), married to Donough MacCarty, 1st Earl of Clancarty, was buried in the Chancel of St. Michan's church.
  • Elizabeth Butler. She first married James Purcell, titular Baron of Loughmoe, by whom she had one son Nicholas and two daughters; Catharine and Mary.
  • Mary Butler who married Sir George Hamilton, 1st Baronet, of Donalong and had descendants.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lodge, John: The Peerage of Ireland or, A Genealogical History Of The Present Nobility Of That Kingdom, 1789, Vol IV, pg39.