James Butler KG
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James Butler KG (1610 - 1688)

James "1st Duke of Ormonde" Butler KG
Born in Clerkenwell, Middlesex, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married Dec 1629 [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died at age 77 in Kingston Hall, Kingston Lacy, Dorset, Englandmap
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Profile last modified | Created 6 Jan 2010
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Walter Butler 11th Earl of Ormonde
James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde
1642 (Marquess) - 1688
James Butler 2nd Duke of Ormonde


European Aristocracy
James Butler was a member of the aristocracy in England.

James Butler, 12th Earl and 1st Duke of Ormonde, was born in 1610. He gained his first title as Viscount Thurles when his father drowned at sea in 1619.

James Butler married his cousin Elizabeth Preston, Baroness Dingwall suo jure (in her own right).[1]

They had five sons and three daughters, 5 of which survived to adulthood.

Their fifth son Richard, born 15 June, 1639, died in London January 1685/6 was created Baron Butler of Cloughgrenan, Viscount Tullogh and Earl of Arran on 13 May 1662, and on 27 August 1673 he was created Baron Butler of Weston co Huntingdon.[1] He married 1) Mary, Baroness Clyfton de Layton Bromswold, baptized 10 July 1651, sister and heir of Esme, Duke of Richmond, and daughter of James Stuart, Duke of Richmond and Duke of Lennox, and Mary, the daughter of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, and 2) Dorothy, daughter of John Ferrers, of Tamworth Castle and Anne the daughter of Sir Dudley Carleton,[1]

They also had a younger son, John Butler.[1]

Knight of the Garter in 1661.[2]

James Butler passed away on 21 July 1688 at Kingston Hall, Kingston Lacy, Dorset, England. [3]

The following description of the duke is extracted, verbatim, from the biography "The Life of James, Duke of Ormond", written by English historian Thomas Carte (1686-1754):[4]

  • The Duke in his person was of a fair complexion, . . a lively and ingenuous look, and a countenance that expressed a greatness of mind, and was yet full of sweetness and modesty. He was somewhat taller than what is deemed the middle size, well shaped and limbed as any man of his time, of active and clever strength, not corpulent, yet always preserving a good embonpoint. He had a noble air and mien: had he been dressed like a ploughman, he would have still appeared a man of quality; and the manner of his address was natural, easy, graceful, and engaging.
  • His dress was plain, but very elegant and neat, nobody wore his clothes better, but he still suited them to the weather. . . The cheerfulness of his temper, the liveliness of his conversation, the ready flow and pleasant tarn of his wit, and the care he always took to adapt himself to the King's manner and humour, rendered him very agreeable to that prince; . . but King James II seemed always to stand in awe of him.
  • The Ministers about Court cannot be supposed to have much affection to a person whom they could not but consider as their rival in power, . . and who would never enter into any of their cabals. . . Conscious of . . integrity, and depending on the remembrance of his services, he despised all the little arts that are used about courts to get into power. . . He detested making a low court to any of the King's mistresses; and yet he was not averse to the keeping of measures with them, when it might be useful to the public service, the great end by which he regulated his own conduct in public affairs. He had a wonderful memory; was an early riser, fond of field sports, and regular and temperate in his habits.

The Duke of Ormond is one of the historical figures profiled in the documentary "Cromwell: God's Executioner".[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Ed. The Hon. Vicary Gibbs, I AB-ADAM to BASING, (London: The St Catherine Press Ltd, 1910), accessed 30 June 2014, https://archive.org/stream/completepeerageo01coka#page/224/mode/2up pp.225.
  2. Knights of the Garter, 1348-present:
  3. Dictionary of National Biography (Smith, Elder & Co., London, 1885-1900) Vol. 3, Page 504 HathiTrust.
  4. https://www.libraryireland.com/biography/JamesButler12thEarlandDukeofOrmond.php
  5. The documentary "Cromwell: God's Executioner" (2008) is narrated by Trinity College historian Micheál Ó Siochrú:
  • His profile in the Dictionary of Irish Biography:
    • The Ormond Lordship in County Kilkenny, 1515-1642 is an in-depth study by David Edwards for the University of Dublin's History Department. Covers the tenures of Piers the 8th Earl; James 9th Earl; Thomas 10th Earl; Walter 11th Earl; and James the 1st Duke of Ormond. Divided into sections based on themes rather than the tenures of the men themselves. Not for the faint-hearted (it's a 400-page thesis) but it's well researched and written.
    See also:
    • Memorial: Find a Grave (has image)
      Find A Grave: Memorial #148253978 (accessed 30 March 2024)
      Memorial page for Sir James Butler (19 Oct 1610-21 Jul 1688), citing Westminster Abbey, Westminster, City of Westminster, Greater London, England; Maintained by CMWJR (contributor 50059520).
    • "Family Tree," database, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org : modified 22 March 2022, 00:09), entry for (FamilySearch Person: L148-CKH); contributed by various users.


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    Seems he also had an illegitimate son, James, a barrister of Lincoln's Inn when he was knighted by Charles II at an extravagant dinner and evening entertainment in the rooms of Sir Francis Goodricke at Lincoln's Inn on 29 February 1672.

    See: Shaw, William Arthur., Burtchaell, George Dames., (1906)., The Knights of England. A complete record from the earliest time to the present day of the knights of all the orders of chivalry in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and of knights bachelors, incorporating a complete list of knights bachelors dubbed in Ireland. (Vol. 2. p.247)., London Sherratt and Hughes. Retrieved from the Internet Archive (Here;) Accessed 4 Jul 2023.

    The arms he is wearing are of Edward, the Black Prince (1330-1376). Interesting picture.
    posted by C. Mackinnon

    Rejected matches › James Butler (-1749)James Butler

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