James Butler

James Butler (1359 - 1405)

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Sir James "3rd Earl of Ormond, Lord Justice of Ireland" Butler
Born in Gowran Castle, Gowran, County Kilkenny, Irelandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 17 Jun 1386 (to 13 Nov 1397) in Kilkenny, Irelandmap
Husband of — married 1399 [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Growan Castle, Gowran, County Kilkenny, Irelandmap
Profile last modified 15 Aug 2019 | Created 14 Apr 2010
This page has been accessed 8,698 times.
James Butler was a member of aristocracy in the British Isles.



James Butler, 3rd Earl of Ormond was born about 1359; his father was James Butler, 2nd Earl and his grandfather James Butler 1st Earl of Ormond. His ancestor, Edmund Butler was Earl of Carrick and 6th Chief Butler of Ireland. [1]

He was a noble in the Peerage of Ireland, succeeded to the title in 1382. He is sometimes referred to as the Noble Earl, being a great-grandson through his mother, of King Edward I of England.

In 1385, he built Gowran Castle in County Kilkenny, becoming known locally as The Earl of Gowran.

In 1391 he bought the Castle of Kilkenny, originally established about 1172 by Richard de Clare (Strongbow).

James died in Gowran Castle 7th September 1405, and is buried in St. Mary's Collegiate Church Gowran, alongside his father James Butler 2nd Earl of Ormond, his grandfather James Butler 1st Earl of Ormond, and his great great grandfather Edmund Butler, Earl of Carrick. and 6th Chief Butler of Ireland. [2]


In 1391 he purchased Kilkenny Castle by deed from Sir Thomas le Despencer, 1st Earl of Gloucester and Isabel his wife, daughter of Gilbert de Clare. He also built the castle of Dunfert (also called Danefort) and in 1386 founded a Friary of minorities at Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire.

In 1384 he was a Governor of Ireland, deputy to Sir Philip Courtenay, the then Lieutenant of Ireland, who was the nephew of the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Courtenay. A rift occurred between them over the disagreement between the Archbishop of Canterbury and Richard II with Butler taking the side of the latter. Insurrection followed which prompted Richard II to send an expedition under the banner of his close friend Robert de Vere, Duke of Ireland to quell it. This enterprise was led by John I Stanley of the Isle of Man who was accompanied by Bishop Alexander de Balscot of Meath and Sir Robert Crull. Butler joined them upon their arrival in Ireland.

The result of its success was Stanley's appointment as Lieutenant of Ireland, Bishop Alexander as chancellor, Crull as treasurer, and Butler again as governor.

In 25 July 1392, he was appointed Lord Justice of Ireland as he was again in 1401. On the departure of Sir Stephen Scrope to England on 26 October 1404, by commission, dated at Carlow, 12 February 1388-9, he was appointed keeper of the peace and governor of counties Kilkenny and Tipperary. He was vested with full power to treat with, to execute, to protect, and to give safe conduct to any rebels, etc. In 1397 he assisted Edmond Earl of March, L.L. against O Brien, and in 1390 took prisoner Teige O Carrol, Prince of Elye.

Marriage and issue

Some time before 17 June 1386, he married Anne Welles, the daughter of John de Welles, 4th Baron Welles by his spouse Maud (née de Roos). Anne Welles died on 13 November 1397, around the age of 37.

They had five children:-
- James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormond (1392–1452), married firstly Joan de Beauchamp, daughter of William Beauchamp, 1st Baron Bergavenny and Lady Joan FitzAlan, and had issue. He married secondly, Lady Joan, widow of Jenico Grey, and daughter and heiress of Gerald FitzGerald, 5th Earl of Kildare, but had no issue.
- Sir Richard Butler of Polestown, county Kilkenny, (b. b 1396). His godfather was King Richard II of England. He married Catherine, daughter of Gildas O'Reilly of Cavar, Lord of East Breffny, and had issue.
- Anne Butler, married John Wogan, and had issue.
- Sir Philip Butler, married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Cockayne, Chief Baron of the Exchequer, by his wife Ida de Grey, and had issue. Ancestor of Barons Boteler of Brantfield.[6][7][8]
- Sir Ralph Butler, married Margaret de Berwick, and had issue.

In 1399 the Earl married Katherine FitzGerald of Desmond.

They had four children:-
- James "Gallda" Butler,
- Edmund Butler
- Gerald Butler
- Theobald Butler

By an unknown mistress he had at least one illegitimate son, Thomas Le Boteller (died 1420) aka Thomas Bacach (the lame). Thomas was Lord Deputy of Ireland and Prior of Kilmainham, a distinguished soldier who led an Irish force of 700 men at the Siege of Rouen in 1419.


  1. Wikipedia : James Butler, 3rd Earl of Ormond
  2. Wikipedia : James Butler, 3rd Earl of Ormond
  • ROYAL ANCESTRY by Douglas Richardson Vol. II page 49-50
  • ROYAL ANCESTRY by Douglas Richardson Vol. V page 331

Jump up ^ A History of St. Mary’s Church. Text by Imelda Kehoe. Published by the Gowran Development Association 1992 Jump up ^ http://www.kilkennycastle.ie/en/TouroftheCastle/TheBuildingoftheCastle/TheButlerCastle/ Purchased Kilkenny Castle. Jump up ^ Lodge, John The Peerage of Ireland or, A Genealogical History Of The Present Nobility Of That Kingdom, 1789, Vol IV, p 10. Jump up ^ Rolls of 9 Richard II- Part I Membrane 1, cont. June 18, 1386 Westminister {as before Membrane 6}, 163. See Peter Crooks. The 'Calculus of Faction' And Richard II's Duchy of Ireland, c. 1382-9 ,in Fourteenth Century England, V, ed. Nigel Saul. Woodbridge: England: The Boydel Press, 2008. 94-115. ISBN 978-1-84383-387-1. This serves as an excellent overview of the history and capsulates the relationship between Bishop Alexander Balscot, Butler, Crull and Stanley Jump up ^ Calendar of Patent Rolls 1385-9. 125-6, 128, 130-31 Jump up ^ http://thepeerage.com/p13766.htm#i137652 Jump up ^ http://megankeith.com/past/wc05/wc05_284.html Jump up ^ John Boteler of Woodhall on RootsWeb Richardson, Douglas, and Kimball G. Everingham. Magna Carta Ancestry A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families. Royal ancestry series. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Pub. Co, 2005. googlebooks.com Accessed November 9, 2007 Doyle, James William Edmund. The Official Baronage of England, Showing the Succession, Dignities, and Offices of Every Peer from 1066 to 1885, with Sixteen Hundred Illustrations. London: Longmans, Green, 1886. googlebooks.com Accessed November 9, 2007 thepeerage.com Accessed November 9, 2007

This citation provides evidence for James "The Earl of Gowran" Butler 3rd Earl of Ormond

Millennium File 1 citation provides evidence for Name, Death, Birth, Marriage

U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 1 citation provides evidence for Name, Birth

UK and Ireland, Find A Grave Index, 1300s-Current 1 citation provides evidence for Name, Death, Birth, Burial Find A Grave Memorial# 101873613

Web: International, Find A Grave Index 1 citation provides evidence for Name, Death, Birth, Burial

Web: Netherlands, GenealogieOnline Trees Index, 1000-Current (in Dutch) 1 citation provides evidence for Name, Death, Birth

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James is the 9th great grandfather of George Washington George Washington 1732-1799
posted by Andrea (Stawski) Pack

James is 23 degrees from Danielle Liard, 17 degrees from Jack London and 6 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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