James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormond

Last updated

James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormond
BornMay 23, 1393
Kilkenny, Ireland
DiedAugust 23, 1452
Dublin, Ireland
Buried St. Mary's Abbey, Dublin
Spouse(s) Joan de Beauchamp
Elizabeth FitzGerald
Issue James Butler, 5th Earl of Ormond
John Butler, 6th Earl of Ormond
Thomas Butler, 7th Earl of Ormond
Elizabeth Butler
Anne Butler
Father James Butler, 3rd Earl of Ormond
Mother Anne Welles

James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormond (23 May 1393 – 23 August 1452) was the son of James Butler, 3rd Earl of Ormond. He was called 'The White Earl', and was esteemed for his learning. He was the patron of the Irish literary work, 'The Book of the White Earl'. His career was marked by his long and bitter feud with the Talbot family.

Contents

Family

James Butler was the second but eldest surviving son of James Butler, 3rd Earl of Ormond, and his first wife Anne Welles, daughter of John de Welles, 4th Baron Welles by Maude de Ros, daughter of William de Ros, 2nd Baron de Ros of Helmsley. [1]

Career

Ireland in 1450 showing the Earldom of Ormond. Ireland 1450.png
Ireland in 1450 showing the Earldom of Ormond.

He prevailed upon Henry V to create a King of Arms in Ireland, with the title of Ireland King of Arms (altered by Edward VI to Ulster King of Arms), and he gave lands in perpetuity to the College of Heralds, London. He was appointed Lord Deputy of Ireland in 1405, and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1420, 1425, and 1442. He appointed James FitzGerald, 6th Earl of Desmond as Seneschal of Imokilly in 1420.

The Butler–Talbot feud

His term as Lord Lieutenant was marked by his bitter feud with the Talbot family, headed by John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, and his brother Richard, Archbishop of Dublin, which is said to have involved feelings of actual hatred on both sides. The feud dominated Irish politics to such a degree that almost no public figure could remain neutral: all ended as supporters of one or the other faction. The dispute reached its height in 1442 when Archbishop Talbot, supposedly acting on behalf of the Irish Parliament, presented the Privy Council with a long list of grievances against Ormond, who was accused of being old and feeble (in fact he was only fifty, which was not considered a great age even in the fifteenth century), and of having lost most of his Irish estates through negligence; there were also vague references to treason and "other crimes which could not be named". [2]

The Council summoned Ormond to account for his actions: he defended himself vigorously, and made detailed counter-charges against the Archbishop. The Council took no action against him. Instead, it rebuked both sides of the dispute severely for disrupting the good governance of Ireland.

In 1444, Ormond, in an effort to bolster his position, summoned a meeting of the Great Council at Drogheda, and inquired whether there were any complaints about his government. [3] The Council through its Speaker, Sir James Alleyn, replied that they had no complaints, but on the contrary, were truly grateful to Ormond for his "good and gracious rule" and his "laborious defence of the realm" and that his continued rule was necessary for the public good. [3]

The feud gradually cooled off, and friendly relations between the two families were finally established by the marriage of Ormond's daughter Elizabeth to Shrewsbury's son and heir John. [4]

Later years

Ormond remained an influential figure in Irish politics, although his later years were troubled by fresh quarrels with the Earl of Desmond, with Giles Thorndon, the Treasurer of Ireland, whom he accused of threatening to murder him, with Thomas Fitzgerald, Prior of the Knights Hospitaller at Kilmainham, and with Richard Wogan, the Lord Chancellor of Ireland. Wogan, in particular, complained that he was no longer able to endure the burden of Ormond's "heavy lordship" and asked to be allowed to deputize his duties. [5] Relations between Ormond and Prior Fitzgerald became so bad that in 1444 it was seriously suggested that they settle the matter through trial by combat, but King Henry VI intervened personally to persuade them to make peace. FitzGerald was removed from office a few years later. [6]

In 1440, Ormond had a grant of the temporalities of the See of Cashel for ten years, following the death of the Archbishop of Cashel, Richard O'Hedian. He built the castles of Nenagh, Roscrea and Templemore in North County Tipperary and Tulleophelim (or Tullowphelim) in County Carlow. He gave the manor and advowson of Hickcote in Buckinghamshire to the Hospital of St Thomas of Acre in London, which was confirmed by the Parliament of England (in the third year of Henry VI) at the suit of his son. [7]

Since his father-in-law had no surviving son, Ormond, in right of his second wife Elizabeth, claimed possession of the Earldom of Kildare, and for some years he was able to keep the legitimate heir out of his inheritance.

He died in Dublin on 23 August 1452 on his return from an expedition against Connor O'Mulrian, and was buried in St. Mary's Abbey near Dublin.

Marriage and Children

He married firstly, in 1413, Joan Beauchamp (1396–1430), the daughter of William de Beauchamp, 1st Baron Bergavenny and Joan FitzAlan, by whom he had three sons and two daughters: [8]

He married secondly, by licence dated 18 July 1432, Elizabeth FitzGerald (c. 1398 6 August 1452), widow of John Grey, 2nd Baron Grey of Codnor (died 14 September 1430), and daughter of Gerald FitzGerald, 5th Earl of Kildare and his second wife Agnes Darcy, by whom he had no children.

See also

Notes

  1. Richardson I 2011, pp. 379–80.
  2. O'Flanagan, J. Roderick Lives of the Lord Chancellors of Ireland London 1870.
  3. 1 2 Patent Roll 22 Henry VI
  4. Otway-Ruthven, J.A. History of Mediaeval Ireland. Barnes and Noble 1993.
  5. Otway-Ruthven
  6. Burton, Rev. Nathaniel History of the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, from the Original Foundation to the Present Time William Curry and Co. Dublin 1843 pp.92-93
  7. Lodge, John The Peerage of Ireland or, A Genealogical History Of The Present Nobility Of That Kingdom, 1789, Vol IV, p 11.
  8. Richardson I 2011, p. 380.
  9. Weis, Frederick Lewis (2004). Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America before 1700, 8th Edition. Baltimore, MD 21211-1953: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. p. 11. ISBN   978-0-8063-1752-6.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury</span> 15th-century English nobleman and military officer

John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, 1st Earl of Waterford, 7th Baron Talbot, KG, known as "Old Talbot", was an English nobleman and a noted military commander during the Hundred Years' War. He was the most renowned in England and most feared in France of the English captains in the last stages of the conflict. Known as a tough, cruel, and quarrelsome man, Talbot distinguished himself militarily in a time of decline for the English. Called the "English Achilles" and the "Terror of the French", he is lavishly praised in the plays of Shakespeare. The manner of his death, leading an ill-advised charge against field artillery, has come to symbolize the passing of the age of chivalry. He also held the subsidiary titles of 10th Baron Strange of Blackmere and 6th Baron Furnivalljure uxoris.

Sir James OrmondaliasButler was the son of John Butler, 6th Earl of Ormond. He was Lord Treasurer of Ireland from 1492 to 1494, and helped to defend the Lordship of Ireland against the forces of Perkin Warbeck. He was murdered by Sir Piers Butler on 17 July 1497. Piers would later hold the title of Earl of Ormond.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Piers Butler, 8th Earl of Ormond</span> 16th-century Irish earl

Piers Butler, 8th Earl of Ormond, 1st Earl of Ossory also known as Red Piers, was from the Polestown branch of the Butler family of Ireland. In the succession crisis at the death of Thomas Butler, 7th Earl of Ormond he succeeded to the earldom as heir male, but lost the title in 1528 to Thomas Boleyn. He regained it after Boleyn's death in 1538.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Talbot, 2nd Earl of Shrewsbury</span> English nobleman

John Talbot, 2nd Earl of Shrewsbury, 2nd Earl of Waterford, 8th Baron Talbot, KG was an English nobleman and soldier. He was the son of John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, 1st Earl of Waterford, 7th Baron Talbot, 10th Baron Strange of Blackmere, and Maud Neville, 6th Baroness Furnivall.

Thomas Butler, 7th Earl of Ormond, P.C. was the youngest son of James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormond. He was attainted, but restored by Henry VII's first Parliament in November 1485, and the statutes made at Westminster, by Edward IV, which declared him and his brothers traitors, were abrogated.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James Butler, 5th Earl of Ormond</span> Anglo-Irish nobleman

James Butler, 5th Earl of Ormond, Earl of Wiltshire was an Anglo-Irish nobleman and soldier. Butler was a staunch Lancastrian and supporter of Queen consort Margaret of Anjou during the Wars of the Roses. He was beheaded by the victorious Yorkists following the Battle of Towton.

James Butler, 3rd Earl of Ormond, was a noble in the Peerage of Ireland. He acceded to the title in 1382, and built Gowran Castle three years later in 1385 close to the centre of Gowran, making it his usual residence, whence his common epithet, The Earl of Gowran.

Elizabeth Butler, Countess of Ormond, was the wife of Irish peer James Butler, 2nd Earl of Ormond, and the mother of his six children, including James Butler, 3rd Earl of Ormond.

Anne Butler, Countess of Ormond, was the first wife of Irish noble James Butler, 3rd Earl of Ormond, and the mother of James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormond. She was the first countess of Ormond to live at Kilkenny Castle, Ireland.

Gerald FitzMaurice FitzGerald, 5th Earl of Kildare was an Irish peer. Gerald was the son of Maurice FitzGerald, 4th Earl of Kildare and Elizabeth Burghersh.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Butler of Kilcash</span> Irish landowner and soldier (died 1570)

John Butler of Kilcash was an Irish landowner and soldier. A younger son of James Butler, 9th Earl of Ormond and brother of Thomas Butler, 10th Earl of Ormond, he received Kilcash Castle as appanage. He fought in the Desmond–Ormond conflict and was badly wounded in 1563, just before the Battle of Affane. He was the start-point of the Kilcash branch of the Ormonds and the father of Walter Butler, 11th Earl of Ormond.

Sir Laurence Merbury was an English-born statesman in Ireland who held the office of Treasurer of Ireland and was also Deputy to the Lord Chancellor of Ireland.

Thomas Le Boteller, or Thomas Butler, nicknamed Thomas Bacach i.e. Thomas the Lame, was the illegitimate son of the 3rd Earl of Ormond, and a leading political figure in early fifteenth-century Ireland. He held the offices of Lord Chancellor of Ireland, Lord Deputy of Ireland and Prior of Kilmainham. In his own lifetime, he was a highly unpopular statesman, who was accused by his numerous enemies of treason. He is now chiefly remembered as a professional soldier, who was present at the Siege of Rouen in 1418–19. He had previously fought in the sanguinary conflict known as the Battle of Bloody Bank near Dublin in 1402.

Richard Talbot was an English-born statesman and cleric in fifteenth-century Ireland. He was a younger brother of John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury. He held the offices of Archbishop of Dublin and Lord Chancellor of Ireland. He was one of the leading political figures in Ireland for more than thirty years, but his career was marked by controversy and frequent conflicts with other statesmen. In particular, the Talbot brothers' quarrel with the powerful Earl of Ormonde was the main cause of the Butler–Talbot feud, which dominated Irish politics for decades, and seriously weakened the authority of the English Crown in Ireland.

James Cornwalsh was an Irish judge who held the office of Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer. He was a political figure of considerable importance in fifteenth-century Ireland, and a supporter of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormond. He was murdered as a result of a feud over the possession of Baggotrath Castle, near Dublin.

Christopher Bernevall, or Barnewall (1370–1446) was an Irish politician and judge of the fifteenth century, who held the offices of Vice-Treasurer of Ireland and Lord Chief Justice of Ireland. He was deeply involved in the political controversies of his time, and was a leading opponent of the powerful Anglo-Irish magnate James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormond. His elder son Nicholas also held office as Lord Chief Justice, and his younger son Robert was created the first Baron Trimleston.

William Chevir was an Irish politician and judge, whose career was marked by accusations of oppression and corruption.

Giles Thorndon was a senior official of the English Crown in the fifteenth century, who was noted for his long and loyal service to the House of Lancaster and for his troubled and unsuccessful career as Lord Treasurer of Ireland.

Edward Dantsey or Dauntsey (c.1370-1430) was a fifteenth-century Bishop of Meath, who also held high political office in Ireland, serving as Lord High Treasurer of Ireland and twice as Deputy to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. In a curious episode in 1426, he was wrongfully charged with theft, but acquitted.

References

Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by Earl of Ormond
1405–1452
Succeeded by