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Thomas Butler (bef. 1590 - 1619)

Thomas "Viscount Thurles" Butler
Born before in Irelandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 1608 in Irelandmap
Descendants descendants
Died after age 29 in sea, off the coast of the Skerries, Isle of Angleseymap
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Profile last modified | Created 6 Jan 2010
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European Aristocracy
Thomas Butler was a member of the aristocracy in British Isles.

Thomas Butler, Viscount Thurles, was the son and heir of Walter Butler, 11th Earl of Ormonde and Helen Butler.

Thomas Butler & Elizabeth Poyntz "had three sons and four daughters before he drowned on 15 December 1619, when the ship carrying him to England was wrecked off the Skerries near Anglesey. This was shortly after the start of his father's long imprisonment in the Fleet Prison in London and Thomas had been on his way to answer charges of treason for having garrisoned Kilkenny."[1]

Thomas drowned along with his sister Ellen's husband James Butler of Grallagh, son of the 2nd/12th Baron of Dunboyne.[2]

September 1628. Declaration of Captain James Tobin,[3] made at Hampton Court:[4]

  • He has for many years been a dependent of the house of Ormond, and was for years so close to Viscount Thurles that he came to be treated as a confidential companion.
  • Nine years ago [1619, shortly before his death] Lord Thurles told [Tobin] at Kilkenny, after promising him 100 marks a year, with prospects of increase, and swearing him to secrecy, that his house was going to ruin, and that he would take arms and run his own fortune rather than be destroyed altogether.
  • In answer to further inquiries, [Viscount Thurles told Tobin] his base was Kilkenny Castle, where he had great store of all necessaries for war except lead, which he would get from the roof of the house. He could have 1,500 men round him in 15 days, and was sure of help from Spain whither he had sent the titulary Archbishop of Cashel to treat. He had 400 men ready to throw into Kilkenny Castle at any time, who would be led by Mr. Pursell (since killed by Sir Edmund Blanchfield).[5]
  • [Viscount Thurles] would victual the castle from the surrounding town and country. He would not stick at difficulties, and had 90 of the Moores, who were living disguised under other names, to take command, besides the sept of the Connors. He could count on 1,200 or 1,300 of the Clancartys and their dependents, besides others who would join him as soon as he was in arms.
  • Lord Thurles went about the country from house to house getting people to swear to follow him ... In this way Lord Thurles excited the jealousy of the State and was sent for to England, on the way whither he was drowned.
  • After his death Captain Tobin came to England and told the Earl of Ormond [Viscount Thurles' father] that he [Tobin] was going to mend his ways, and avert punishment by getting a pardon for himself and 39 others, the list to be filled by those who were also implicated with Lord Thurles. The Earl promised assistance, but his intercessions with Sir Francis Blundell were not successful, and Tobin went to Flanders and France for 18 mouths.
  • Captain Tobin adds that one More, whom he could find in Ireland, and Captain Tyrrell, who lives in Westmeath, were, he thinks, privy to Lord Thurles' design. [Tobin] would have disclosed these things before, but that he feared for his life, which is now in danger. He never knew of the oath alleged to have been taken at the Holy Cross by Lord Thurles and other noblemen who were in disguise.
  • The person for whom [Tobin] wished to get a pardon beside himself was Thomas Pursell [younger brother of Theobald, Baron of Loughmoe].


Children of Elizabeth Poyntz and Thomas Butler:

  • James Butler, first Duke of Ormonde, b. 19 Oct 1610, d. 21 Jul 1688;[6]
  • Mary Butler, died August 1680, who was married to Sir George Hamilton of Donalong, co Tyrone.[6]
  • Richard d. 1701 married Lady Frances Tuchet, daughter of Mervyn Tuchet, 2nd Earl of Castlehaven and Elizabeth Barnham. [8]
  • Eleanor d. 1682 married Donough MacCarty, 1st Earl of Clancarty, son of Charles MacCarty, 1st Viscount Muskerry and Margaret O'Brien, before 1648. [9]
  • John d. 1636 at Naples, Italy, without issue.


  2. John Lodge, The Peerage of Ireland, Vol. 6 (publisher J. Moore, 1789), p.224:
  3. James was most likely descended from Thomas Tobin, Lord of Compsy.
  4. Calendar of State Papers for Ireland during the reign of Charles I (covering the period 1625-32), item 1165, pp.389-390:
  5. For details of this famous killing in 1625, see Purcells in Ireland (1200-1600) and search for "Blancheville".
  6. 6.0 6.1 George Edward Cokayne, The Complete Peerage of England Scotland Ireland and Great Britian and the United Kingdom Extant Extinct or Dormant, Ed. The Hon. Vicary Gibbs, I AB-ADAM to BASING, (London: The St Catherine Press Ltd, 1910), accessed 30 June 2014, pp.6.
  10. Col. James Purcell descended from Patrick Purcell and a long line of Barons of Loughmoe dating back to the 1300s. James & Elizabeth's son was the well-known military commander Col. Nicholas Purcell.
  12. John FitzPatrick was a likely descendant of Florence, 3rd Baron Ossory, since Florence's elder brother Barnaby had no male issue. Family Papers Belonging to the Purcells of Loughmoe, p.125, specifies that John's parents were Florence FitzPatrick and Bridget Darcey:

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