William Boteler (fl. 1640s and 1650s) was a member of the Parliament of England. After the English Civil War, he was appointed Major-General for Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland during the Rule of the Major-Generals.
In April 1640, Boteler was elected MP for Bedford in the Short Parliament in a double return and was taken off. He became a Colonel of Horse (cavalry) in the New Model Army. He was zealous and uncompromising in his hostility to his religious and political enemies, and was a severe persecutor of Quakers in Northamptonshire. In 1656 he advocated that James Nayler should be stoned to death for blasphemy. Boteler was also aggressive in his persecution of Royalists in his area, unlawfully imprisoning the Earl of Northampton for failing to pay his taxes.
Boteler represented Bedford in the First Protectorate Parliament, and he represented Northamptonshire in the Second Protectorate Parliament from 1656 to 1658. Early in 1658, Boteler replaced William Packer as commander of Cromwell’s regiment of horse.
Boteler was not returned to Third Protectorate Parliament in 1659, and he suffered a mauling by MPs over his record as a Major-General. He was exempted from pardon at the Restoration, but was not prosecuted. He lived at Oatlands Park, Walton-on-Thames and became a lawyer In 1665, he was arrested on suspicion of plotting against Charles II, and was arrested again in 1670 for attending an unlawful prayer meeting. The date of his death is not known.
- Roots, Ivan (2004), "Boteler, William", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.), Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/37209 (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Willis, Browne (1750), Notitia Parliamentaria, Part II: A Series or Lists of the Representatives in the several Parliaments held from the Reformation 1541, to the Restoration 1660 ..., London, pp. 229–239
- Plant, David (10 March 2007), William Boteler (Butler), bcw-project.org, retrieved 13 July 2017