John Butler, 17th Earl of Ormonde

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John Butler
Earl of Ormond
Predecessor Walter, 16th Earl of Ormonde
Successor Walter, 1st Marquess of Ormonde
Born10 December 1740
Died25 or 30 December 1795
Kilkenny Castle
Spouse(s)Anne Wandesford
Walter, James, & others
Father Walter, 16th Earl of Ormonde
MotherEllen Morres

John Butler, 17th Earl of Ormonde, 10th Earl of Ossory (1740–1795) was an Irish peer and Member of Parliament (MP). He became a Protestant in 1764. He was an Irish MP, representing Gowran between 1776 and 1783, and Kilkenny City between 1783 and 1792. In 1791, his right to the peerage was acknowledged in the Irish House of Lords and he became the 17th Earl of Ormond.


Birth and origins

Family tree
John Butler with wife, parents, and other selected relatives. [lower-alpha 1]

d. 1700

d. 1738

de jure
15th Earl

d. 1766
de jure
16th Earl


d. 1794
17th Earl



d. 1817


XXXSubject of
the article
XXX Earls & marquesses
of Ormond

John was born on 10 December 1740 [2] at Garryricken. [3] He was the only son, of Walter Butler and his wife Ellen Morres. [4] At the time of his birth his father was the heir apparent of his father the esquire of Garryricken. In 1766 his father would become the de jure 16th Earl of Ormond. His father's family, the Butler ynasty, was Old English and descended from Theobald Walter, who had been appointed Chief Butler of Ireland by King Henry II in 1177. [5]

John's mother was a daughter of Nicholas Morres of the Court, County Dublin, granddaughter of Sir John Morres, 7th Baronet Morres of Knockagh. [6] [7] John was one of four siblings, who are listed in his father's article.

Conforms and marries a Protestant heiress

On 16 December 1764 he conformed to the established Church of Ireland in a ceremony performed in the church of Golden, County Tipperary. [8] In other words: he became a Protestant.

In February 1769 he married Frances Susan Elizabeth Wandesford. [9] also called Anne. [10] [11] She was a rich heiress being the only surviving child of John Wandesford the 1st Earl Wandesford and 5th Viscount Castlecomer and his wife Agnes Southwell. The Wandesfords were Protestants and had supported the Prince of Orange during the Williamite War in Ireland. They owned land and coal mines around Castlecomer in northern County Kilkenny. His wife's mother belonged to a junior branch of the family of Viscount Southwell. When the Earl of Wandesford died in 1784, his titles became extinct, but his estates passed to John Butler. [12]

John and Anne (or Frances Susan Elizabeth) had three sons:

  1. Walter (1770–1820), who was in 1816 created Marquess of Ormonde [13]
  2. James (1777–1838), who was in 1825 created Marquess of Ormonde after his brother's death
  3. Charles Harward (1781–1860), who married firstly Lady Sarah Butler, daughter of Henry Thomas Butler, 2nd Earl of Carrick and, secondly, Lucy French, daughter of Arthur French

—and two daughters:

  1. Eleanor (died 1859), who married Cornelius O'Callaghan, 1st Viscount Lismore (1775–1857) in 1808
  2. Elizabeth (died 1822), who married Thomas Kavanagh (1767–1837), The MacMorrough, in 1799
His wife, Anne Wandesford, painted by Hugh Hamiltson Susan-Frances-Wanderford (1754-1830).jpg
His wife, Anne Wandesford, painted by Hugh Hamiltson

Two inheritances

In 1783 his father died in Kilkenny Castle. [14] John inherited Kilkenny and the lands, notably those that his father had inherited from John Butler of Kilcash, the de jure 15th Earl of Ormond, in 1766. [15] In 1784 his father-in-law, the Earl of Wandesford died. His titles became extinct, but John inherited the land and the coal mines. [12]


In 1791 he claimed the title of Earl of Ormond, which was believed to have become extinct in 1715. The Irish House of Lords accepted this claim and he was restored to become the 17th Earl of Ormonde. [16] [11]

Death and succession

Ormond, as he now wa, died on 25 or 30 December 1795 at Kilkenny Castle and was buried in Kilcash. [17] [18] His widow died in Dublin in 1830. [19] He was succeeded by his son Walter, who was made a Marquess in 1816.

01740, 10 DecBorn at Garryricken [3]
1191760, 25 OctAccession of King George III, succeeding King George II [20]
241764, 16 DecBecame a Protestant [8]
251766, 24 JunFather inherited the estate of John Butler of Kilcash and unknowingly became de jure the 16th Earl of Ormond. [15]
281769, 26 FebMarried Frances Susan Elizabeth Wandesford [10]
431783Father died at Kilkenny Castle. [14]
441784Father-in-law died, and he inherits in the name of his wife. [12]
511791Became Earl of Ormond [16]
551795, DecDied [17] [18]

Notes and references


  1. This family tree is partly derived from the condensed Butler family tree pictured in Dunboyne. [1] Also see the lists of siblings and children in the text.


  1. Dunboyne 1968, pp.  16–17. "Butler Family Tree condensed"
  2. Burke & Burke 1915, p.  1551, left column, line 38. "John, 17th Earl of Ormonde, b. 10 Dec. 1740 ..."
  3. 1 2 Carrigan 1905, p.  320, line 1. "John Butler of Kilkenny Castle. He was born in Garryricken, Dec. 10th 1740."
  4. Burke & Burke 1915, p.  1551, left column, line 32 . "... [Walter Butler] had issue, 1. John, 17th Earl."
  5. Debrett 1828, p.  640. "Theobald le Boteler on whom that office [Chief Butler of Ireland] was conferred by King Henry II., 1177 ..."
  6. Burke & Burke 1915, p.  1551, left column, line 29. "[Walter Butler] m. [married] 19 Dec. 1732 Ellen (d. Jan. 1794) dau. of Nicholas Morres, of Lataragh, co. Tipperary, and grand-dau. of Sir John Morres, 7th Bt., of Knockagh ..."
  7. Cokayne 1895, p.  153, line 22. "He m. [married], 19 Dec. 1732, Eleanor 1st da. [daughter] of Nicholas Morris, of the Court, co. Dublin, and of Lataragh, co. Tipperary."
  8. 1 2 Carrigan 1905, p.  320, line 2. "On Sunday, Dec. 16th, 1764, he conformed to the Established church in the church of Golden, near Cashel, and was thus the first Protestant of his branch of the Butler family."
  9. Burke & Burke 1915, p.  1551, left column, line . "His lordship [John Butler] m. [married] 14 Feb. 1769, Lady Frances Susan Elizabeth Wandesford, dau. and sole heir of John Earl of Wandesforde ..."
  10. 1 2 Debrett 1828, p.  642, line 33. "John Butler who claimed ... m. [married] 26 Feb. 1769, Anne da. & sole h. of John, earl of Wandesford ..."
  11. 1 2 Burke 1883, p.  568, left column, line . "I. Anne, m. [married] 13 February 1769 to John Butler, Esq. of Garryricken, to whom the Earldom of Ormonde was restored by the House of Lords of Ireland in 1791."
  12. 1 2 3 Lodge 1789, p.  65. "... but his estates devolved on Mr. Butler (in right of Lady Anne)."
  13. Burke & Burke 1915, p.  1541, left column, line 51. "Walter, Marquess of Ormonde and 18th Earl of Ormonde K.P. b. 5 Feb. 1770, created Marquess of Ormonde in Ireland, and Baron Butler of Llanthony in England."
  14. 1 2 Carrigan 1905, p.  319, line 35. "... [Walter Butler] died, in Kilkenny Castle, in 1783."
  15. 1 2 Dunboyne 1968, p.  19. "Having died childless in 1766, he [John Butler] was buried at Kilcash and was succeeded by his first cousin, Walter, then aged 63.
  16. 1 2 Carrigan 1905, p.  320, line 4. "In 1791 he was restored to the title of Earl of Ormonde which was supposed to have been extinguished since 1715."
  17. 1 2 Debrett 1838, p.  523, right column, line 34. "The earl [John Butler] d. [died] 30 Dec 1795, and was succeeded by his son ..."
  18. 1 2 Carrigan 1905, p.  320, line 5. "He died at Kilkenny Castle on Christmas Day 1795 and is buried at Kilcash."
  19. Cokayne 1895, p.  153, line 33. "His widow d. [died] 3 April 1830 in Dublin, aged 76."
  20. Fryde et al. 1986, p.  46, line 35. "George III … acc. 25 Oct. 1760;"


Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Gowran
With: James Agar 1776–77
Sir Boyle Roche, 1st Bt 1777–83
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Kilkenny City
With: William Cuffe
Succeeded by
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Walter Butler
(de jure)
Earl of Ormonde
Earl of Ossory

Succeeded by

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