|Earl of Ormond|
|Predecessor||James, 9th Earl of Ormond|
|Successor||Walter, 11th Earl of Ormond|
|Died||22 November 1614|
|Buried||St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny|
|Elizabeth, only surviving child|
Thomas Butler, 10th Earl of Ormond and 3rd Earl of Ossory: Tomás Dubh de Buitléir, Iarla Urmhamhan; c. 1531 – 1614), was an influential courtier in London at the court of Elizabeth I. He was Lord Treasurer of Ireland from 1559 to his death. He fought for the crown in the Rough Wooing, the Desmond Rebellions, and Tyrone's Rebellion. He fought his rival, Gerald FitzGerald, 14th Earl of Desmond in the Battle of Affane in 1565.PC (Ire) (Irish
Thomas was born about February 1531.He was the eldest son of James Butler and his wife Joan FitzGerald. His father was the 9th Earl of Ormond and head of the Butler dynasty, an Old English family that descended from Theobald Walter, who had been appointed Chief Butler of Ireland by King Henry II in 1177. Thomas's mother was a child of James FitzGerald, 10th Earl of Desmond. Her family, the Geraldines, also were an Old English family. It was once believed that his parents had married about 1520, but this is now known to be impossible as, in 1521-2, his father was briefly betrothed to his English cousin Anne Boleyn. James and Joan did not marry until about 1528, with Thomas as their first child being born three, rather than eleven, years later.
He had six brothers, no sisters seem to be known, which are listed in his father's article.
Butler was born in Ireland but was sent to London in May 1544 when he was about 13 year old.to be brought up at the English court where he adopted English speech, dress, and manners, as well as the Protestant religion.
The future Lord Ormond and the future Queen Elizabeth met in London as children. Thomas, the "son of an Irish Earl", and Elizabeth, the "illegitimate daughter of Henry VIII", shared a common experience: neither was well-treated by the other young nobles at court. They were distant (4th) cousins through her mother, Anne Boleyn, whose paternal grandmother, Lady Margaret Butler, was a daughter of the 7th Earl (open the collapsed family tree below).
|Family tree: Thomas & Elizabeth|
Elizabeth called him her "black husband."
On 28 October 1546, when Butler was 15, his father, the 9th Earl of Ormond died in London after having been poisoned during a banquet at Ely House, probably at the instigation of Anthony St Leger, who was Lord Deputy of Ireland and a political opponent. Thomas Butler succeeded as the 10th Earl of Ormond and the 3rd Earl of Ossory. He became a ward of the King.
Ormond, as he now was, was knighted on 20 February 1547, at the coronation of Edward VI. On 10 September 1547 during the Rough Wooing he served at the Battle of Pinkie under Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset against the Scots. In 1554, during the reign of Queen Mary, Ormond helped to put down Wyatt's rebellion.
His mother remarried to Francis Bryan in 1548, and then to Gerald FitzGerald, 14th Earl of Desmond in 1551.
In 1554 his illegitimate son, Piers FitzThomas Butler of Duisk, was born. There were unfounded rumours that Elizabeth was the mother, something which was particularly impossible at the time of Piers's birth when the Princess was away from court, imprisoned, then under house arrest, and frequent public questioning for her alleged complicity in the Wyatt Rebellion.Piers's son, Edward would become the 1st Viscount Galmoye.
On 17 November 1558 Elizabeth succeeded Mary as Queen of England. On 26 August 1559 Ormond was appointed Lord Treasurer of Ireland by the Queen, which automatically made him a privy councillor of Ireland.
About 1559 Ormond married his first wife, Elizabeth Berkeley, daughter of Thomas Berkeley, 6th Baron Berkeley and Anne Savage. September 1582 in Bristol. That meant that Ormond did not have an heir and that according to the normal rule of succession, his younger brother Edmund was his heir presumptive.She was considered a beauty at the court. However, the marriage was not happy and she had lovers. They separated in 1564 without having had children, but she refused a divorce. She would finally die on 1
In the 1560s Ormond built the Tudor manor-house extension to Ormonde Castle on the banks of the River Suir in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary.All of this was to provide Elizabeth with a suitable palace at which to stay when she travelled to Ireland. Elizabeth planned twice to visit him there: once in 1602 (which visit was cancelled by her illness); and again in 1603. She died, however, before the planned visit could take place. It is known that Elizabeth appreciated Thomas's effort, and was—as she was with all of her maternal cousins—very fond of him. Thomas survived Elizabeth by 11 years.
Much of Ormond's life was taken up with a fierce feud with his hereditary foes, the Earls of Desmond. The Desmonds were the Ormonds' neighbours on the western and southern sides. Despite their enmity, these two families were both more or less Gaelicized Old English and had intermarried many times; the last such marriage having been that of Ormond's parents. The Desmond rebellions should also be seen in the wider picture of the Tudor conquest of Ireland.
In 1560 his mother's intervention secured a peaceful outcome to a stand-off at Bohermore (known as "the battle that never was"). January 1565, on 8 February 1565, the two sides fought the private Battle of Affane, in which her husband Gerald FitzGerald, 14th Earl of Desmond was taken prisoner by the Ormond faction after her son Edmund had shot him into the hip with his pistol. Lords Ormond and Desmond were called to London and promised to keep the peace.However, only a bit more than a month after her death on 2
Ormond was that summer high in favour with the Queen.
The first Desmond Rebellion (1569–1573) was started by James fitz Maurice FitzGerald, captain of the Desmond forces in the earl's absence. He was supported by many Irish in southern Ireland but also by some of Ormond's six brothers, notably Edmund.The rebellion was directed against Henry Sidney the Lord Deputy of Ireland. Ormond returned to Ireland landing at Waterford in July 1569. His brothers submitted quickly.
However, Edmund, Edward and Piers were attainted in April 1570 May 1570. John's eldest son, Walter, therefore became heir presumptive. James fitz Maurice FitzGerald surrendered on 23 February 1573 and Gerald followed in September ending the first Desmond rebellion.by an act of the Irish Parliament. That meant that Edmund ceased to be Ormond's heir presumptive and the next brother, John Butler of Kilcash, took his place. However, not for long as John died on 10
Lord Desmond was released about 1573 and allowed to return from England to Ireland. James FitzMaurice FitzGerald left for the continent.
The second Desmond Rebellion (1579–1583) was triggered by the landing of James fitz Maurice FitzGerald at Dingle On 17 June 1579. Lord Desmond rose in rebellion. Ormond was appointed governor of Munster and sent to Ireland.
Both rebellions desolated Munster for many years. Ormond was a Protestant belonging to the Church of Irelandand threw his great influence on the side of Queen Elizabeth I and her ministers in their efforts to crush the rebels, although he was motivated as much by factional rivalry with the Desmond dynasty as by religion. He had command of the Royal Irish Army tasked with the suppression of the rebellions, which he eventually accomplished.
At the age of 51, having been freed by the death of his estranged first wife on 1 September 1582, Ormond remarried Elizabeth Sheffield on 9 November in London. She was the daughter of John Sheffield, 2nd Baron Sheffield and Douglas, daughter of William Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Effingham.
Thomas and Elizabeth had three children:
In 1580 Ormond improved Kilkenny Castle by building the great gallery.
In spring 1588, the Queen made Ormond a Knight of the Garter.When in the summer of that year the Spanish Armada menaced England, he was with her at the review of the troops at Tilbury where she gave the patriotic speech to the troop at Tilbury. He had at that occasion the honour to carry the sword of state before her.
In 1600 he helped to suppress Tyrone's Rebellion. Between April 1600 and June 1600 he was held captive by Owny MacRory O'More who had invaded Munster with Irish forces from Leinster.
Ormond's second wife died in November 1600.In June 1601 Ormond, aged 70, married his third wife, Helena Barry, daughter of David de Barry, 5th Viscount Buttevant. It was her second marriage, her first husband having been John Power. The marriage remained childless.
He was further honoured by being appointed vice-admiral of Leinster in 1602.
An anonymous manuscript originating from the library of the Irish College at Louvaintells us the following anecdote.
The 10th Earl of Ormond, as an old blind man, celebrated Christmas with his family at Carrick Castle. The adults sat at the table, while the children played on the floor around them. The Earl heard a noise behind him and asked who it was. He was told it was little Jemmy of Kilcash, Walter's grandson whipping his top. The Earl asked for the boy to be brought to him, held him on his lap, and caressed his hair. He sighed and said "My family shall be much oppressed and brought very low, but by this boy it shall be restored again and in his time be in greater splendour than ever it has been".
In 1613 his son-in-law Lord Tulleophelim died childless in his forties.A son of Lord Thomond asked for his widow Elizabeth's hand, but the King decided that she should marry Lord Dingwall, a favourite from his days in Scotland.
The tenth Lord Ormond died on 22 November 1614 at Carrick. As the Earl died without legally recognised male issue, and his younger brother Edmund was attainted, the Earldom reverted in the male line, to the Kilcash cadet branch, which had started with the third brother John Butler of Kilcash and whose living representative was John's son Walter.
|As his birth date is uncertain, so are all his ages.|
|0||1531, Feb, about||Born|
|13||1546, May||Left for London|
|15||1546, 28 Oct||Father died poisoned in London|
|15||1547, 28 Jan||Accession of Edward VI, succeeding Henry VIII of England|
|16||1547, 20 Feb||Knighted at the coronation of Edward VI|
|16||1547, 10 Sep||Present at the Battle of Pinkie during the Rough Wooing|
|22||1553, 6 Jul||Accession of Queen Mary I, succeeding Edward VI of England|
|23||1554, 10 Sep||Birth of his illegitimate son Piers FitzThomas Butler|
|27||1558, 17 Nov||Accession of Queen Elizabeth I, succeeding Queen Mary I|
|28||1559, 26 Aug||Appointed Lord Treasurer of Ireland by the Queen|
|28||1559, about||Married his 1st wife, Elizabeth Sheffield|
|33||1565, 2 Jan||Mother died|
|34||1565, 8 Feb||Battle of Affane|
|38||1569||Outbreak of the 1st Desmond Rebellion|
|39||1570, April||His brothers Edmund, Edward, and Piers attainted|
|48||1579||Outbreak of the 2nd Desmond Rebellion.|
|51||1582, 1 Sep||Estranged 1st wife died in Bristol.|
|51||1582, 9 Nov||Married his 2nd wife.|
|54||1585, about||Daughter born|
|57||1588, August||Carried the sword of state before the queen at her Tilbury speech|
|62||1593||Outbreak of Tyrone's Rebellion|
|69||1600, Nov||2nd wife died.|
|70||1601, Jun||Married 3rd wife|
|72||1603, 24 Mar||Accession of King James I, succeeding Queen Elizabeth I|
|72||1603||Daughter married Theobald|
|82||1613, early in||Son-in-law died|
|83||1614, autumn||Daughter married Richard Preston, Lord Dingwall|
|83||1614, 22 Nov||Died at Carrick-on-Suir|
Lieutenant-General James FitzThomas Butler, 1st Duke of Ormond, KG, PC, was a statesman and soldier, known as Earl of Ormond from 1634 to 1642 and Marquess of Ormond from 1642 to 1661. Following the failure of the senior line of the Butler family, he was the second representative of the Kilcash branch to inherit the earldom.
Gerald FitzGerald, 14th Earl of Desmond, also counted as 15th or 16th, owned large part of the Irish province of Munster. In 1565 he fought the private Battle of Affane against his neighbours, the Butlers. After this, he was for some time a prisoner in the Tower of London. The First Desmond Rebellion took place during his absence. He was the leader of the Second Desmond Rebellion from 1579 to his death and was therefore called the Rebel Earl. He was attainted in 1582 and went into hiding but was hunted down and killed.
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.
David Fitz-James de Barry, 18th Baron Barry, 5th Viscount Buttevant (1550–1617), sided initially with fitz Maurice, the rebel, in the 1st Desmond rebellion but changed sides and fought against the rebels. He also fought for the crown in the Nine Years' War.
Sir Walter Butler, 11th Earl of Ormond and 4th Earl of Ossory (1559–1633), succeeded his uncle the 10th earl, in 1614. He was called "Walter of the Beads" because he was a devout Catholic, whereas his uncle had been a Protestant. King James I intervened and awarded half of the inheritance to his uncle's Protestant daughter Elizabeth. Ormond contested the King's decision and was for that detained in the Fleet Prison from 1619 until 1625 when he submitted to the King's ruling. He then found a means to reunite the Ormond estate, by marrying his grandson James, who had been raised a Protestant, to Elizabeth's only daughter.
James Butler, 9th Earl of Ormond and 2nd Earl of Ossory, known as the Lame, was in 1541 confirmed as Earl of Ormond thereby ending the dispute over the Ormond earldom between his father, Piers Butler, 8th Earl of Ormond, and Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire. He died from poison in London.
Connor O'Brien, 3rd Earl of Thomond also spelt Conor and called Groibleach, or the "long-nailed", fought his uncle Donnell over his father's succession during thirty years from 1535 to 1565. He was confirmed as 3rd Earl of Thomond in 1558 by the Lord Deputy of Ireland, Thomas Radclyffe, 3rd Earl of Sussex. O'Brien intrigued with fitz Maurice in 1569 during the 1st Desmond Rebellion and fled to France. He returned and was pardoned in 1571, being restored to his lands at the end of the rebellion in 1573.
Joan Fitzgerald, Countess of Ormond, Countess of Desmond, was an Irish noblewoman and heiress, a member of the Old English FitzGerald family, who were also known as the "Geraldines".
Sir Theobald Butler, 1st Baron Cahir, Caher, or Cahier was the first baron Cahir of the second creation, which occurred in 1583.
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.
Thomas Butler, Viscount Thurles was the son and heir apparent of Walter Butler, 11th Earl of Ormond, whom he predeceased. He resided at Thurles Castle, Thurles, County Tipperary. He was the father of the Irish statesman and Royalist commander James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde.
Richard Butler of Kilcash (1615–1701) was an Irish soldier and landowner, the third son of Thomas Butler, Viscount Thurles and brother of James, 1st Duke of Ormonde. He sided with the Irish Confederacy at the Irish Rebellion of 1641. He scouted the enemy on the morning of the Battle of Cloughleagh. His descendants succeeded to the earldom of Ormond following the failure in 1758 of the senior branch of the family.
Cormac na Haoine MacCarthy Reagh, 13th Prince of Carbery (1490–1567) was an Irish chieftain who owned almost half a million acres in south west Ireland.
Thomas Butler of Garryricken, also known as Thomas Butler of Kilcash and sometimes distinguished by his rank of Colonel, was an Irish landowner. He succeeded to the estates of his grandfather Richard Butler of Kilcash. His brother Christopher was the Catholic Archbishop of Cashel and Emly. Thomas Butler fought for the Jacobites in the Williamite war and was taken prisoner at the Battle of Aughrim. His son John would, de jure, become the 15th Earl of Ormond.
James fitz John FitzGerald, 13th Earl of Desmond, also counted as the 14th, owned large parts of the Irish province of Munster. He was appointed Lord Treasurer of Ireland in 1547.
Sir Richard Preston, 1st Earl of Desmond was a favourite of King James VI and I of Scotland and England. In 1609 the king made him Lord Dingwall. In 1614 he married him to Elizabeth Butler, the only child of Black Tom, the 10th Earl of Ormond. In 1619 he created him Earl of Desmond.
James fitz Maurice FitzGerald, 10th Earl of Desmond, also counted as the 11th, plotted against King Henry VIII with King Francis I of France in 1523 and with Emperor Charles V in 1528 and 1529.
Elizabeth Preston, Countess of Desmond and 2nd Baroness Dingwall was the only daughter of Thomas Butler, 10th Earl of Ormond, called Black Tom, a lone Protestant in his Catholic Old English family. Her marriage and inheritance were manipulated by James I to keep Black Tom's inheritance out of the hands of his Catholic successor, Walter of the beads and bring them into the hands of his Scottish favourite Richard Preston, Lord Dingwall.
Elizabeth Butler, Duchess of Ormond and 2nd Baroness Dingwall reunited the Ormond estate as her maternal grandfather, Black Tom, 10th Earl of Ormond had it, by marrying James Butler, later Duke of Ormond, her second cousin once removed. She had inherited her share of the Ormond estate through her mother, Elizabeth Preston, who was Black Tom's daughter and only surviving child. Her husband had inherited his share from his grandfather Walter Butler, 11th Earl of Ormond, Black Tom's successor in the earldom. Her share was the bigger one and included Kilkenny Castle.
Richard Power, 1st Baron Power of Curraghmore