Friday, 2 November 2012

Butlers of Co. Wexford- Ch.1: Richard 1st Viscount Mountgarrett



According to Wexford historian and author Hilary Murphy in his book "Families of Co Wexford" (pub. Wexford 1986), Butlers did not settle to any great extent in County Wexford, and most Wexford Butlers were descendants of the Mountgarrett line, an offshoot of the Ormond line. This may be true of many of the Catholic Butlers living in Wexford in the latter centuries, although there was a pocket of Protestant Butlers living in the area of Gorey who were descendants of the Cloghgrennan branch in County Carlow. This blog will explore the Wexford descendants of Richard 1st Viscount Mountgarrett who first settled in Wexford in the mid 16th century.

Richard Butler, 1st Viscount Mountgarrett, and his descendants by his second son Pierce Butler, played an active and important role in the history of the County of Wexford, Ireland, for two centuries. Documentary evidence gathered on this line will be explored over a series of articles, beginning with Richard himself.

Refer to Blog on the Ancestry of the Butlers of Ireland from 1170:
And the ancestry of Richard Butler 1st Viscount Mountgarrett, viz. called the ‘MacRichard’ line:


Richard 1st Viscount Mountgarrett's signature- 27 January 1551/52
(Document: Common Supplication - SP61.4., f.14 date 1552)

Richard Butler, born c.1500, was the second surviving  son of Piers Butler 8th Earl of Ormond and Margaret Fitzgerald, daughter of Gerald Fitzgerald  8th Earl of Kildare. He was also brother to James 9th Earl of Ormond. 

A letter to Cromwell in 1538 recounted the "cruell murdring of the Erle of Ormond's second son Thomas Butler." (see chronology below for full statement.) This event was witnessed by Thomas's brothers James and Richard, and James was also assaulted and "given dethly wounds by their own handes".

Unfounded rumours that became part of family lore claimed that Richard may have been the result of an affair between his mother Margaret Fitzgerald and Henry VII. It was noted that Margaret made every effort to advance her son Richard, but given her strength of character this was not unusual. The late 17th Viscount Mountgarrett (d. 2004) continued to claim descent from Henry VII. However, there is no relevant documentation in the public domain to support this claim.

The Viscounts Mountgarrett held vast lands in Counties Wexford, Carlow, Queens, Nth Kilkenny and Nth Tipperary. Richard would own 20,000 acres in northern Kilkenny.

Piers the 8th Earl of Ormond, was the son of Sir James Butler (great grandson of the 3rd Earl of Ormonde through his second son Richard of Knocktopher, and his son Edmund MacRichard), and Sadbh Kavanagh, the sister of Art Bui Kavanagh of Enniscorthy, known as the MacMurrough or King of Leinster; and daughter of Donnell Reagh Kavanagh eldest son of Gerald, Lord of Ferns.
Piers, g.g.grandson of the 3rd Earl of Ormond, eventually inherited the Ormond title after the death of his 3rd cousin, the 7th Earl who left no male heirs. This branch of the Butlers was known as the “MacRichard” line.

Piers married c.1503 to Margaret Fitzgerald, the daughter of Gerald Fitzgerald 8th Earl of Kildare, and they became a formidable couple.
Margaret was known as “a ladie of such port that all estates of the realm crouch unto her”.

Margaret favoured Ballyraggett Castle in northern county Kilkenny as her favourite residence and is said to have “ frequently issued from the castle at the head of her armed retainers to ravage the property of such of the neighbouring families as she deemed to be her enemies.” Ballyraggett Lodge was described as a “fine mansion”. Margaret’s favourite property at Ballyraggett was inherited by her second son Richard.  (Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1830)

According to Art Kavanagh’s book “The Landed Gentry and Aristocracy of Kilkenny”:
 “Piers was given a Gaelic upbringing by his Kavanagh mother but his FitzGerald wife, the famous Lady Margaret soon brought him back to ‘civility’. She was the daughter of the Great Earl of Kildare but when she married Piers she soon became a dedicated Butler and used her not inconsiderable talents and influences to further her interests of that family. Her eldest son was James who became 9th Earl of Ormond, and Richard was her second son. She strove with all her maternal instincts to ensure that Richard became a powerful lord also.” 

(Art Kavanagh, The Landed Gentry and Aristocracy of Kilkenny, Dublin & Co Wexford Ireland, 2004, Vol. 1, p61)

Richard had a very close relationship with his elder brother James 9th Earl of Ormond, working together in furthering the Butler powerbase in Ireland.

James encouraged Richard to take charge of Butler interests in the eastern counties, advocating that Richard be placed in charge of the garrison at Ferns in Co. Wexford to control the Irish clans. Richard inherited his mother’s jointured and personal estates in Kilkenny, Wexford and Tipperary. Apart from her favourite estate at Ballyragget, Richard inherited four other manors at Fiddown and Tibraghney in the south of Co Kilkenny and Urlingford and Baleen in the north.

Richard was destined to become a very powerful lord and, following the premature death of his brother James the 9th Earl of Ormond in 1546, and during his nephew’s minority, would continue to keep the MacRichard Butler power base in Ireland, alive and well. He was knighted in 1546/7 and created Viscount Mountgarrett and Baron Kells in 1550 in direct response to his plea to be given a title that would outshine that of the McMurrough. (ie. Kavanagh, King of Leinster, who was classed as “the Irish enemy”).
Created Viscount Mountgarrett on 23 October 1550, the name derived from Mountgarrett Manor and castle, on the outskirts of New Ross, County Wexford. The Manor was formerly Church lands and the castle was the home of the famous Bishop Barrett during the 1400’s.   
In 1543 Richard was granted all the Augustinian lands in and near New Ross:
 “Henry VIII., granted to Richard Butler, of Dormerstown, Esq., in consideration of the sum of
₤25 13s 4d., the site of the Monastery of Augustine Friars of Ross, County Wexford, together with tenements in Ross, held by James Courcy, Edmund Hopper, Denis Couly, James Travers, and John Browne, and land in Pollcapyll in County Wexford, to hold for ever, by the service of the twentieth part of a Knight’s fee and a rent of 16d yearly.” [1]

(Dublin Penny Journal, Vol.4 No.202, May 14, 1836- Monuments in St Mary's Abbey New Ross p364)

Mountgarrett Castle

Richard gained further prominence in the Catholic Court of Queen Mary during her brief reign between 1553 and 1558. Richard and young nephew Thomas Earl of Ormond were singled out as "acquitting themselves gallantly," during the Wyatt rebellion at the beginning of 1554. 
Richard then was chosen in the entourage that went to Spain later that year to sign a marriage treaty and escort Prince Philip of Spain to England for his marriage to Queen Mary, and he and his nephew Ormond were rewarded with gifts on Philip's arrival.

The following entry is  from The Peerage of Ireland”, 1798, on the Mountgarrett Viscountcy:
“Richard 1st Viscount Mountgarrett: Richard, the second son is described (by the Privy Council) to have been a Knight of goodly personage, and as comely a man as could be seen; he was a very honourable and worthy gentleman, and performed many great services to the Crown of England.[2] Created Viscount Mountgarrett on 5 August 1550 and by patent on 23 October 1550. In the Reigns of King Edward and Queen Mary, he was keeper of the castle of Fernes; and 20 Mar 1558 (Eliz I) joined in a commission of martial law with Sir Nicholas Devereux for the territories of Fassaghbentry and Le-Moroes country. 13 April 1559 was in several commissions for the preservation of the peace in the counties of Kilkenny, Tipperary and Wexford, during the absence of the L.D. Sussex in the North, upon his expedition against Shane O’Neile; and 12 Jan following was present in the Parliament, then opened by the said L.D. He departed this life in 1571 and was buried in the Cathedral Church of St Canice, Kilkenny, in a tomb, whereon is engraven his effigies in armour with his feet resting against a dog and a circumscription now defaced, what remained legible being
Ricardus Butler, Vicecomes Montgarrett
Qui obut 20 Dece bris 1571." [3]

(NB Fassaghbentry- refers to an area in the Barony of Bantry in Co. Wexford; Le-Moroes (MacMurrough-Kavanagh) country refers to the Barony of Scarawalsh, near the Blackstairs Mountains in Co. Wexford)

Viscount Mountgarrett's coat of arms is the same as the Ormonde arms with the addition of a crescent to denote the difference as the second son. They are displayed on the side of Richard 1st Viscount Mountgarrett's tomb in St Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny.

On the 17 March 1537, the co. Wexford Borders on the Kavanagh’s;  this notwithstanding the King hath certain lands named Fassagh of Banauntry, parcel of said liberty let to farm by the Kings commissioners to Mr Richard Butler wherein inhabiteth Kavanaghs, McMorghowes etc. who burn spoil and destroy the kings poor subjects etc[4]

During the reign of King Henry VIII, in 1537, prior to being created Viscount Mountgarrett, Richard was appointed constable of the Castle of Ferns in Co. Wexford, in place of Cahir MacInnycross (Kavanagh- the MacMurrough/clan leader, King of Leinster), in an attempt by the crown to curb the power of the Kavanaghs, particularly in the northern region of County Wexford. This was a significant step in the introduction of English rule in this area and the beginning of the decline of the Kavanagh power-base. Richard was chosen because of his close family ties with the Kavanaghs through his Kavanagh grandmother.[5] He would be the last of the Anglo-Irish chosen for the constableship, which was henceforth always chosen from the New English soldier ranks.

On 6 Feb 1537, Martin Pellys of Dublin wrote to Lord Cromwell:

The Irish are always taking counsel to expel all English and wish no Englishmen to know anything of the land. All the King’s (and Cromwell’s) orders should be sent to the Deputy, Treasurer, prior of Kilmainham and Master of the Rolls, commanding them above all to avoid covetousness. Nothing cane be done so long as the Irish know as much of the King’s counsel as the English who are of the Council. The Butlers are of a high courage and live like princes. They would be loth to live in subjection if they can prevent it. All this country prays daily that the Butlers may not be their rulers, but that they have more Englishmen among them to bear rule. Advises the King to have the land between Dublin and Waterford planted. Then Ireland would be clearly won and the King be put to little cost.

(Henry VIII: February 1537, 6-10′, Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 12 Part 1: January-May 1537 (1890), p157)

A recommendation was to be presented in 1537 to King Henry VIII by the Deputy and Council of Ireland, in which it was said:

“ The harm done by McMorgho and his kinsmen the Cavanaghs, O’Byrne, and the Tholes (O’Tooles), who must be expelled and the country inhabited afresh. Many of the army are ‘light fellows’, unsuitable for this. There are, however, many Irishmen in England, and 3,000 or 4,000 of honest substance might be sent over to inhabit the country. A number of gentlemen of Ireland, younger brethren of good discretion, should also be appointed as follows:- one to…. Innyscorthi (ie. Enniscorthy) and the barony there; another to Old Rosse and Fasagh Bentry; etc. Each of these must keep soldiers in wages for two or three years, and allot lands in freehold to them. The head captain should be called earl of Carlaugh and lord of Fernes, and have the manors of Carlaugh and Fernes, etc. The captains and their servants will not be sufficient to inhabit the country; so the common people may be suffered to remain, as there are no better earth tillers, or more obedient if kept from war…. The castles of …. Fernes, etc.. are to be occupied by those whom the King or Deputy shall appoint, and no man of Inheritance dwelling beyond the water of Barrow is to meddle with any of them. The inhabitants to relinquisah Irish dress, except the harness. The Byrnes, tooles and O’Mayles to be ordered to like manner…. Leinster, especially the parts where McMorgho, the Byrnes and Tooles dwell, between Dublin and Waterford, should be subdued. Send a book of a device for this by lord Butler to be shown to the King and Council. “ (Henry VIII: February 1537, 6-10′, Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 12 Part 1: January-May 1537 (1890), pp. 196- MEMSO website)

On 28 Sept 1537, Cromwell wrote to the Council and Commissioners of Ireland:

Has written to the Commissioners to cease disposing of any of the holds in lord Butler’s possession until he repair thither. Mr Richard Butler, brother of the lord Butler, has the Fasagh Bentre by demise of the Under-treasurer. You shall make him a lease of it and of the New Rawon and the Dyppes, the rather as the said Richard guarded the same throughout the rebellion time.

(Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 12 Part 2: June-Dec 1537 [1890], p.272- MEMSO website)

On 12 March 1538, Piers Earl of Ormond and Ossory wrote to Sir Anthony St Leger from Fethard (Tipperary)
... There is nothing so needful now to be attempted, as the enterprising of how to diminish the McMorrowes and Kavanaghs; for they have lately so surely bound together, as they, that have been many years in mortal hate together, taketh now one part, and with one assent concluded to stick in one quarrel against the Englishry of this land. And forasmuch as my son Richard is now the King's Constable in Ferns, which standeth so in the midst of them, being so long time in their possession, as it occasioneth, together with their challenges for tributes of the King's County of Wexford, them to make tines combinations. And this I will affirm, that were it not that I am full glad my said son do so stand in place propise for to execute high service to the King's Highness, though it be dangerous, I would not, for a great profit to him, suffer him as yet to enterprise to inhabit there; for so long as the Kavanaghs are of any power, it shall be right necessary to my said son to be well manned and appointed; though, how be it, I have sum deal provided other possessions for him nigh that parties, to the entente he shall be the better able to do good service in Ferns. And therefore, in my mind, it is the highest enterprise to be attempted in this land to destroy the Kavanaghs; and likest to take effect, my Lord Deputy setting well to it, with the Englishry, Mr Sentloo, with the county of Wexford; and I, with my power, on the other part, no doubting so to work in it, as they shall be of little power, God willing. And considering the King's Highness hath no great army here, to inhabit, or yet much to invade, therefore there cannot be a more liker thing to enterprise for us all, then the same. etc
Your assured Frende,
P. Ormond & Oss.
Written at Fytherd, the 12th daie of March
(SP 650/6 f.62)

On 21 April 1540 Wm. Sayntlo wrote to Lord Thomas Cromwell, lord Privy Seal:

Begs his mediation with the King for the augmentation of the soldiers’ wages. The county of Wexford daily spoiled by the Kavanaghs. Within these three days they have wasted the King’s lordship of the Karycke. They come through the Fassaghe of Bentre, which Mr Sentleger and the other Commissioners let to farm to Mr Richard Butler; and are there succoured by the Irish judges alias “brewys” and rymers, who are suffered to be there on the pretence that they “manure” the King’s lands under Mr Richard. Dare not follow them unless he has power to match both the manifest Irishment and the pretensed tenants.

(Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 15: 1540 (1896), pp. 251- MEMSO)


The period during the 1540’s saw Richard gain in power and property. Many records pertaining to these were recorded by Butler historian the late Theobald Blake Butler:[6]

Mountgarrett Castle is in the Parish of St Mary at New Ross Co. Wexford and in the Diocese of Ferns. It overlooks the town of New Ross which is on the River Barrow.

Richard’s parents were married about 1485 and had issue 3 sons and 6 daughters but no clue of the date of Richard's birth has been found.

12 July 1527: He, as Richard son of Peter Butler was witness of a grant of Boulyndesert Co Waterford (Ormond Deed, viz. O.D. Vol 4 p113)

24 Sept 1533: He was one of the witnesses of an enquiry into the murder of his brother Thomas near Ballykeely in Ossory by the servants of the Earl of Kildare; in this he is described as Richard Butler son of the Earl of Ossory and he was clearly present when the murder took place (OD Vol 4 p159-161)

Feb 1534: The Earl of Ossory with James and Richard his sons with 100 horsemen, 200 gallowglasses and 300 kerne robbed Robert Brown and his tenants to the value of ₤100 (State of Southern Ireland p46)

2 Aug 1534: Edmond Gangath, Richard Butlers servant came to Cullen and there robbed Robert Cullen and his servants of 60 kins etc. (State of Southern Ireland p42)

20 Sept 1535: Richard Butler’s servants committed robberies etc. in Co Kilkenny and in the town of Bannow (State of Southern Ireland p47)

26 Nov 1536: Final accord John Sherlock with Pierce Earl of Ossory with remainder to his son and heir James then to Richard son of said Pierce (OD Vol 4 p169-170)

17 March 1537: The county Wexford borders on the Kavanaghs, this notwithstanding the King hath certain Lands named Fassagh of Banauntrey, parcel of said liberty let to farm by the King’s commissioners… to Mr Richard Butler, wherein inhabeteth Kavanaghs McMorghowes etc… who burn, spoil and destroy the Kings poor subjects etc. (Carew Vol.1 p116)

29 April 1537: That the Earl of Ossory and his son James… sensibly that they meddle not with the King’s lands of Fassagh Bentrey and Olde Rosse which Richard Butler now holdeth (Letters and Papers p436)

4 June 1537: James of Desmond complains that Lord James Butler and his brother Richard having invaded his country of Okalkan (L & P Pt 3 p16)

11 June 1537: And we concluded with Richard Butler that because of his late coming to us and our victuals spent, that he should have gone upon O’Carroll to punish him for succouring the said false traitor O’Connor which he promised that he would have done (L & P 441)

28 Sept 1537: Cromwell to the LD; To make a lease of the Fassagh Bentre and of the New Bawn and of the Dyppes to Mr Richard Butler brother to Lord Butler (Cal SPI Vol. V, 21 (3) p31' SP 60/5/ f.5 . See also 6 Aug 1737 p2)
According to GEC he received a grant of this estate in the following October.

Oct 1537: Presentment of the Jury of the County Wexford.  Item: they present that Richard Butler with all the inhabitants of the Fassahg of Bentrie doth occupy Brehen’s Law and receiveth fine and canes being dissabodient  to the laws of out sovereign Lord

1537: Kavanaghs raided Richard Butler’s lands (History of Wexford by P. F. Hore p.34)

12 March 1538: Ormond to St Leger; my son Richard is now the King’s constable of Ferns.  "This I will affirm that, were it not that I am full glad my said son do so stand in place to execute high service to the King's Highness, though it be dangerous, I would not, for a great profit to him, suffer him as yet to enterprise to inhabit there, for so long as the Kavanaghs are of any power it shall be right necessary to my said son to be well manned and appointed..." I have provided other possessions for him near that part. "And therefore in my mind, it is the highest enterprise to be attempted in this land to destroy the Kavanaghs." (Letters & Papers p.556; SP 60/6 f.62, p.556)

1538: In Letters and Papers Henry VIII vol 12 nos 1124 1288 and 1302: The Earl of Ossory swore an oath that if his sons James and Richard were held in England he would not deliver up Brian O’Connor. Offaly. This appears to refer to the year 1538 (GEC)

28 May 1538: Will of Pierce 8th Earl of Ormond made at Potallrath (died 21 August 1539); To his sons James and Richard.
To his son Richard his second best cloak and his small gold chain (OD Vol 4 -187)
The manor of Urlingford als Aghnemoorling with the lands of Sheepstown, als Ballynagarragh etc… were covenanted in remainder by Pierce late Earl of Ossory to pass after his death and that of his wife to Sir Richard Butler late Viscount Mountgarrett (Inquisition 31 Jas I at Rosskercan 30 Oct 1621)

22 August 1538: Brabazon, Aylmer and J. Alen to Crumwell: Sir Piers Butler, Knight, Erle of Ormond and Ossory and the Lord James Butler his son and heir, High Treasurer of the same Lands- Item: The late Omory's sonnes, Kedagh Roo Rury, and Gilpatrick, being principals bothe of "cruell murdring of the said Erle of Ormond's second son Thomas Butler and afterward of the malicious assaulting and giving by their own hands of deathly wounds to his son and heir Lord Butler in the same rebellyon tyme, etc." ( Henry VIII- State Papers Part III, Doc. 60/7, f.83, p77: Correspondence between the Governments of England and Ireland, CCXLIX)

28 Aug 1538: “A book against the Earl of Ormond and his sons “ Complaints of the Lord Duputy that Richard Butler was dilatory in his service (L & P p74)

22 Sept 1539: Renewal of the Earldom of Ormond and pardon to James (9th Earl) Richard Butler his brother for intrusions into the estate of the late Pierce Earl (OD Vol 4 191)

1540: Tintern Abbey: Rectory of Whitechurch in possession of Richard Butler and William St Leger for 21 years
(History of Wexford by P. F. Hore p.82)

Nov 1540: He was a member of the Privy Council of Ireland when the reformation of Leinster and particularly the Castle of Ferns of which he was constable was submitted to Henry VIII (L & P p272/5)
From this it would appear that he was appointed Grand Master with a retinue of 10 horsemen and ₤200 entertainment.

1 Aug 1541: Lease to Richard Butler of Fernes Esq. of the site of St Colombe of Inistoke and other lands in Kilkenny, Wexford and Waterford (Fiant Henry VIII No 239)

12 August 1542: with his brother James Earl of Ormond he had administration of the goods of his mother Margaret Countess of Ormond who died 9 August.

12 Feb 1543: Richard Butler holds lands at Rossponte Co Wexford

15 & 20 May 1543: Feoffment to the use of the Earl of Ormond of all such lands as Richard his brother is entitled to in Ballydonyll Co Kilkenny (O.D. Vol 4 p251)

8 Oct 1543: Lease of Arclow but that if the Earl should exchange the manor of Arclow with the King or with his brother Richard etc then this lease to be void (O.D. Vol 4 p257)

18 Dec 1543: Bond Richard Butler of Ballybeg Co Tipp? Knt in ₤200 to James Earl of Ormond who grants Richard Butler his brother the castle of Garrygibbon Co Tipp. but to deliver up same of required (O.D. Vol 4  0  250 see also 109, 169, 170)

26 Jan 1544: Old and New Ross- Details of Mountgarrett, Fassagh in Bantry granted to Richard Butler Wexford.

17 March 1544: An arbitrator at Cashel in a dispute between the Earl and Thomas Lord Cahir (OD Vol4 p6 262)

Feb 1544-5: To serve the King abroad (SPI)
(L & PH Vol 16 p305 etc)

16 Jan 1543/4: Grant to Richard Butler of Domestown Co Kilkenny of the site of the late monastry of Augustine Friars of Rosse Co Wexford (Fiant Henry VIII No 396)

10 March 1546: Will of his brother James 9th Earl of Ormond named in remainder of the estates etc.
‘to my brother Richard my purple gown furred with lusardes, my crimson satin coat, embroidered and cut, my hose and dublet for same, my third best standing cup and my best horse.' (OD Vol 4 p290)

1546-1556 and 1567: He was Seneschal of the Liberty of Tipperary (Irish Genealogist Vols 2 & 3) HMC Haliday 279

1545, 1546- 6 April: Richard Butler holds the Great Hall of Ross, Co Wexford (OD Vol 4 p297)

The table of the Council Book dated 1546 in Sir Anthony St Leger’s time: Order whereby the rule of the counties of Kilkenny and Tipperary are committed to the government of the Lady Dowager of Ormond and Sir Richard Butler and others (after 28 Oct 1546 when Ormond died. Table of Council Book Sir Anthony Ledge Lord Justice 1546 HMC Haliday p279)

1546- Acts of the Privy Council of England- Letter to the Lord Deputy of Ireland on the behalf of Sir Richard Butler "for somme preferment of commoditie by the minoritie of the erle of Ormond or otherwise as shall seme convenient". (Henry VIII [725] Add. Mss 5476 f.315 p.562: Acts of the Privy Council of England, Vol. I: 1542-47; also Henry VIII Vol. 21 Part II: 1546 Entry No. 654, p.350, Date 2 January 1546- Letters and Papers Foreign & Domestic)

28 March 1547: ‘Inquisition at Kilkenny finds that Richard Butler holds Ballynicholas and Fyydown and the manor etc of Le Rower by 20/- royal service (OD Vol4 p301-6)

1547 (no date but placed amongst the Patent Rolls of May of this year.): Pardon to Sir Richard Butler of Rosse in the Co. Waterford, Knt. (Morrin Vol 1 p161). The whole of this membrane that is dated is for May with one exception 8 May Fiant Ed VI No 193.

1547: He was knighted by the Lord Deputy Sir Edward Bellingham in Ireland. Shaw describes him as Richard Butler of Ballyraggett Co Kilkenny.
The date of this was either in April or May of that year. He is described as a knight 18 Dec 1543 (OD Vol 4 p250)

11 Feb 1548: Pardon to Sir Richard Butler of Ballyraggett, Knt. (Morrin Vol 1 p173)

12 April 1548: Sir Richard Butler did not come according to his promise to answer for his part at Carlow. His examples are evil for all men as taking of preys, bordrages, wounding of men by the night, taking gentlewomen prisoners. Letter from Anthony Colloght/Colclough and Brian Jonys to Lord Deputy Bellyngham  (Cal SPI Vol 1 p79; SP 61/1/ f.36)

Jan 1549: Injuries done to the town of Wexford by Art Boy (Kavanagh) to be recompensed for Sir Richard Butler has promised much on his behalf  p100

27 Feb 1549: Carlow; Has not heard from Richard Butler and Cahir McArt Kavanagh touching wheat (Cal SPI Vol 1 p101)

April 1549: Sir Richard Butler building a castle at Garryn Denn in Slewmarge Co Carlow. The people will not inhabit there but leave the neighbourhood. The country belongs to o’More and not to Sir Richard (Cal SPI Vol 1 p113)

19 Aug 1549: Sir Richard Butler (the seneschal) not being nigh at hand Edmond Butler Archbishop of Cashel has gone there to commune with the Earl of Desmond (Cal SPI Vol 1 p85)

1549: Dunbrody Abbey; Richard Butler (after Lord Mountgarrett) farmer of 12 acres of Rathcrowe parcel of the disposed abbey of Dunbrody (History of Wexford by P. F. Hore  p.114)

17 Feb 1550: Pardon to Richard Butler of Ballyraggett Co Kilkenny (Fiant Edward VI No 440)

26 March 1550: Cahir M’Art Kavanagh hath of late by tradement attained the possession of the castle of Fernes the chief garrison the King hath in those parts being in the guard of Sir Richard Butler (Cal SPI Vol 1 p107)

23 Oct 1550: For his many great services to the crown of England he was created Viscount Mountgarrett County Wexford. He is also said to have been created Baron of Kells (GEC) Richard was created Viscount Mountgarrett and Baron Kells in direct response to his plea to be given a title that would outshine that of the McMurrough.(viz. Kavanagh, King of Leinster, who was classed as “the Irish enemy”.

4 Nov 1550: Mountgarrett was present at the submission of Hibernia Cahir McArt Kavanagh (Cox Baronia(?) Anglicana)

20 Dec 1551: Grant to Edward St Leger of the monastery Inistoke Co Kilkenny for 21 years in as large and ample manner as Sir Richard Viscount Mountgarrett now hold (Morrin Vol 1 p255)

27 Jan 1552: A common supplication of the nobility and gentry of Ireland to the Queen or dearth of all things, prays that money may be of like value to that of England (Cal SPI Vol IV ,5,II, p122; SP61/4 f.14) Among the signatories, Richard Viscount Montgaret, Viscount Gormanston, J. Fleming Baron of Slane, Thomas Butler, Patrick Barnewall of Trimlestown (Solicitor General of Ireland and Master of the Rolls in Ireland), Roland Viscount of Baltynylas, etc.

20 March 1552 Lord Deputy to Council; That Lord Mountgarrett may be prefered to a further interest in certain farms (Cald SPI Vol 1 p124)

14 June 1552: Grant by the King to Lord Mountgarrett of a lease of 21 years of Mountgarret, and the Furlongs Co Wexford (Morrin Vol 1 p290/1)

October 1552, Richard Butler, Viscount Mountgarrett, was granted a lease of the lands of St. Johns by Enniscorthy and the Rectory of Kilcorbrey. To hold for 21 years from 1563 at the rent of 43s. [7]

26 May 1553: Inquisition at Clonmel before Richard Butler Seneschal of the liberty of Tipperary.
Another Inquisition at same dated 7 Oct 1552 (O.D. Vol 5 pp70 & 73)

5 Nov 1553: Recognizance of Richard Viscount Mountgarrett and others conditional their giving up possession of Shangannagh Co Kilkenny to Thomas Earl of Ormond (OD 2551)

8 Sept 1554: Dispute between Donogh Earl of Thomond and Sir Donald O’Brien Knt for the name and title of O’Brien. Richard Visc. Mountgarrett one of the arbitrators (Cal Carew Papers vol 1 p249)

Circa.1555: The Earl of Kildare (Thos FitzMaurice Fitzgerald, Lord Justice of Ireland) claimed, amongst other Manors and lands, the Manor of “Inskorthy” (Enniscorthy). The description of the bounds of one of them in Bantry is curious:
“In the Parish of Chaple and in Ballymacar 8 plowe lands within the Barony of Cayre (Kayer) which lieth from the water called the Garlane on the north syde unto the Rede Maylere’s Streme on the Sowthe syde, and from the River of Borowe on the east syde unto the olde stone called Cashell bracke on the west syde. 360 acres in Cayliston and 240 in Poreston in said Barony. All the lands, &c, in Ardrownymore in fferingmall, and in the Parish of Killanee (Killann), fferynnemannaght, alias Monklande, Rathmore (Rathnure?), Garrangarowe (Garraun), the Graunge (now Monksgrange), Ratheduff, Ballynotas, Cowlagh, Ballynlaghe (Ballinlug), Rathesonchyn (Rathfunshon), and Powersmill (Milltown). The Earl says all of these Lord Mountgarrett hath for years- ie. on lease, by letters patent- and doth not answer any rents to the Earl.[8]

Queen Mary's Reign 1553-1558:
Following the death of Richard’s brother James 9th Earl of Ormond in 1546 from food poisoning at a banquet in Holburn London, Richard became the defacto head of the Butlers during the minority of his brother’s heir young Thomas 10th Earl of Ormond who grew up at the court as the ward of King Henry VIII and as companion of Henry’s heir, the young Edward VI. Following the death of Edward in 1553, there was much dissension at the accession of the Catholic Queen Mary. Richard, as a Catholic appears to have found much favour in Mary’s Court. He played a prominent role in the quashing of the Wyatt Rebellion, an attempt to replace Mary with her young Protestant sister Elizabeth.

Feb 1554: The Calendar of State Papers Spain (Volume 12 Feb 1554 [pub.1949], p.86), reported:

“The Queen’s cavalry routed the other rebels, taking 400 or 500 prisoners and wounding as many again. Wyatt was captured at the city gate, all his captains killed ot taken, Cobham’s two sons prisoners, Pelham dead, Harper a prisoner; and this was Our Lord pleased to give the Queen victory with a loss of only two men and three wounded; an evident miracle. Lords Pembroke, Clinton, FitzWalter, Mountgarrett, Warmonbrin (Ormonde) and the nobility in general acquitted themselves gallantly.”

When the Queen’s marriage alliance with Prince Philip of Spain was being arranged and negotiated, Mountgarrett was appointed as an ambassador to Spain. Simon Renard de Bermont was advisor of Emperor Charles V and his son Philip II of Spain, and appointed ambassador of Spain in France and England.

On Dec 3 1553, Simon Renard wrote to the Emperor at Vienna:

“News from Ireland say that the wild Irish are submitting and saying they wish to obey the Queen, in earnest of which they will give hostages.

I have approached Lord Derby and Lord Mountgarret, a foremost Irish noble; and they will work in favour of the alliance, for Derby hopes that he may be sent to Spain to pass the treaty, and Mountgarret that he may be received into his Highness’ service. Indeed, Sire, he is a well-bred and accomplished gentleman, brought up at Liége and in the Low Countries, and he has prayed me to beg of your Majesty a passport for two roan horses that he desires to buy in Flanders. I promised to do so, and as it is only for two horses, if your Majesty were pleased to grant his request it would lay him under an obligation; if two were too many, perhaps one might be allowed to pass, and I will leave it to your Majesty’s judgement, only assuring you that he is a lord of position over here.” (CSP Spain, Volume 11: 1553 (1949), p412)

On March 8, 1554 from Brussels, Count d’Egmont and Simon Renard wrote to the Emperor:

In a Postscript, in Renard’s hand: “The Earl of Worcester, Lord Mountgarret, George Howard and a West-country lord have begged M. d' Egmont to ask leave for them to accompany him to Spain, and it has been deemed expedient to consent in order to win them over and bring them into touch with His Highness.” (CSP, Spain, Volume 12: 1554 (1949), p 145)

Five days later, Renard wrote to the Emperor: “Last night a courier arrived here from our ambassador in England with letters relating the conclusion of the betrothal per verba de proesenti, a copy of which is being taken to you by Count d’Egmont, who had already left to sail for Spain with the ambassadors of the Queen. As you can imagine, I am exceedingly glad to know of the success of a negotiation of such import, which augurs so well for God’s service, the welfare of Christendom and the preservation and increase of our states”. Renard then advises the Emperor on pensions that should be paid to various members of Queen Mary’s Court.

March 13, 1554, Brussels- Simon Renard to Prince Philip:

“The Earl of Bedford and Lord FitzWalter are being sent to your Highness by the Queen of England to obtain your personal ratification of the treaty and promise of marriage passed per verba de proesenti, and especially to conduct your Highness to this realm and inform you of all that which it is necessary you should know. By the Queen’s leave, the Earl of Worcester, Lord Mountgarret, Messrs Howard, Kemp, Schelt, Dudley, Drury and several others are also going to Spain, so may your Highness be pleased to give orders that they receive suitable welcome, so as to attach them to you and cause them to report to their countrymen that they have been honourably entertained. Shelt is going as an interpreter, as he alone among them speake Spanish. For the rest, I am awaiting his Majesty’s (viz the Emperor) as to the pensions about which I wrote to him, by means of which hearts might be won over, and your reception here be made certain, for the matter is beset with danger as the English are inconstant, false and variable, as we clearly saw in the recent rebellion.”

(CSP, Spain, Volume 12: 1554 (1949), p149-150- both letters)

On March 16, 1554: A List of names of persons to whom gold chains and gifts have been given, include:

Lord Ormonde 200 crowns (Cal… V 12, etc p158)

In July 1554, A List of persons to whom chains were to be given by Philip, together with the value of the chains, drawn up at about the time of Philip’s landing in England. The list begins:
My Lord of Ormonde… 200 crowns
My Lord of Mountgarret… 200 crowns
Mr. Vice-Chamberlain… 200 crowns,
followed by several other persons, then a list of Pensions to be distributed eg Earls of Arundel, Shrewsbury, Derby and Pembroke, 2000 crowns English each, etc. Earls of Bedford, Sussex, Lord Admiral, Lord Chamberlain etc 1000 crowns each (Cal… Vol 12, etc. p315)

On Mary’s death in 1558, her Protestant sister Elizabeth acceded to the crown. Elizabeth held a life-long close friendship with Mountgarrett’s nephew Thomas 10th Earl of Ormonde, but Mountgarrett appears to have returned to Ireland by 1555

24 April 1555: Order passed by the Seneschal Mountgarret and others, of the Liberty of tipperary, in favour of the clergy of Cashel. (SP62/1 f. 19 p.133

1558: At the commencement of the reign of Queen Elizabeth  we find the Viscount Mountgarrett applying to have “O’Morrowes lands in fee farm,” and to have some title of dignity, which will eclipse that of McMorrowe (Kavanagh), King of Leinster. He promises to build Castles etc.

17 Nov 1558: He had a writ of summons to the Privy Council of Ireland to elect a Lord Justice (Morrin Vol 1 p396)

20 March 1558-9: Commission to Richard Butler Knt Visc. Mountgarrett and Nicholas Devereux Knt to execute martial law in the territories of Fassagh-bentry and the Mores Country (Co. Wexford) (Fiant Eliz. No 54)

20 March 1558-9: do, do, in the Co. Kilkenny (Fiant No 56)
Similar Commission for the Co Wexford (Morrin Vol 1 p422)

13 April 1559: Suit of Richard Visc. Mountgarrett for 21 yrs of Inestoge Co Kilkenny, St John’s Iniscothy, the manor of Old Rosse, Fassagh Bantrie, and the Powes Mill, all of which he says have been devised to him. No grant to be made of any part not already granted (Carew Vol 1 p283 Cal SPI  1 pp155/6)

16 July 1559: Among other items we find " Instructions for these “suits” of Sir Ricahrd Butler the Lord Mountgarrett to be delivered to the Earl of Sussex at Court. (CSP Ireland, Eliz.I, Vol.I, 56; Doc. SP63/1, f.100, p.156)
To hold in fee simple or tail male: The Morrowes Country with the appurtenances, and the howse of Iniscorthye (Enniscorthy) with the temporaltie belonging to same.
The house of Saint Johns (just south of Enniscorthy) with the appurtenances beside Iniscorthy in the fasaghe bentry as the lease do specifye. (Philip Hore’s note-Mountgarrett got a lease of St Johns for 21 years, and the lands in the Fasagh of Bantry, except the ferry.) [9]

15 Nov 1559: Order by the Privy Countil between Richard Visc Mountgarrett and Thomas FitzHenry and others re 4 towns in Fassagh Bentry that lands be divided between them (HMC Haliday p76)

In or before 1559: in the reign of Edward VI: Order by the Lord Deputy that Sir Richard Butler Knt should have part of the manor of Cahir Co Wexford (14 Nov 1620- Chancery Bill No 4746)

12 Jan 1559/60: He sat in Parliament as a Peer (GEC) and was present in the Parliament of 1560 which met in Dublin and which ended in passing the Statute of Uniformity, which made Queen Elizabeth head of the Church, in Ireland, and re-established the reformed worship, as it had existed under Edward VI.

11 July 1561 and 13 March 1563/4: His signature appears on orders of the Privy Council of Ireland (HMC Haliday pp123 & 130)

28 March 1562: He appealed to the Queen from Ross for the speedy granting of Innistioge , and Inislaw-naghty, and the lands in the Fassagh Bentry and O’Morowe’s Country (Barony of Scarawalsh) to be granted to the Viscount Mountgarret and his heirs forever.(Cal SPI L p190/1; SP63/5 f.205)

10 April 1562: Earls of Clanrycard and Thomond to the Queen: in favour of the Viscount Mountgarrett's suit for the renewal to him, of certain farms and possessions which he now holds. (SP 63/5 f.203 p.190)

In 1562: we find the Manor of Ferns applied for to the Privy Council in England by Lord Mountgarrett, who declares he is “willing to kepe the same as all Captaines doth with the appurtenances”; he requests also again, as good policy to break down the clannishness of the O’Morchoes and Kavanaghs to their Chiefs, that he might “have the name of Erle in base Leynster as the said Countrys which hath not ado with his Grace’s manor of Katherlaghe and Laghlin, for defetinge of an Irish name which was accustomed to be there among Irishmen named MacMorchowe in base Leynster.”  This request for the title of earl was rejected, and he had to be satisfied with his viscountcy.[10]

c.1562: Richard Butler was succeeded in his official post as Constable of Ferns Castle by Anthony Colclough. Anthony Colclough complained to the Lord Deputy that Sir Richard refused to attend a hearing to answer complaints against his men. The complaints were that they were responsible for ‘taking preyes, Bordragges, wounding of men by night and taking Gentilwomen prisoners’. [11] Anthony Colcough became the legal owner of Tintern Abbey in 1555, having arrived from Staffordshire in 1542 and posted to Leighlin, where he was to ensure the free passage of shipping up the Barrow. He took possession of Tintern in 1562, which may have been around the time he succeeded as Constable. He would later be appointed as commissioner for Munster and was knighted in 1581. His son Sir Thomas Colcough and Thomas’s many sons and grandsons would play an important role in the turbulent years ahead in the history of County Wexford. The Colclough family whose lands marched with the Butlers of Kayer and Munphin, forged close ties of friendship and kinship with the Butlers of Wexford and Carlow. Sir Thomas Colclough’s daughter married Sir Thomas Butler 1st Bart of Cloughgrennan, nephew of Mountgarrett; two of Sir Thomas’s sons married Mountgarrett’s granddaughters; two granddaughters married Wexford Butlers, including a direct descendant of the Kayer line.

13 April 1563: He had a commission as justice and keeper (or keepe) of the peace in the County Tipperary and Kilkenny while the LD is north against John O’Neil (Fiant Eliz. No542)

2 June 1563: He enfeoffed John Devereux Dean of Ferns and others in the Manor of Caherals Cloungeragh Co Wexford etc to the use of his son Pierce and Margaret Devereux his wife with remainder to his heirs male (Lodge) (History of Wexford by P. F. Hore Vol 2 p.256)

22 June 1564: Grant to Sir Edmond Butler of lands in Rossponte Co Wexford with final remainder to Sir Richard Visc. Mountgarrett (OD Vol 5 p139)

6 Aug 1564: Lord Justices to Lord Mountgarrett, the Seneschal, Sheriff, gentlement and freeholders of Co Wexford, to levy cess for 100 of Kildare’s kerne for a month's entertainment, appointed to prosecute rebels (Cal SPI Vol 1 p243)

14 July 1564: Act of Privy Council to Lord Mountgarrett to execute martial law in the Co Wexford (HMC Haliday p138)

8 Sept 1564 and 1 April 1567: Grant of lands in New Ross als Rossponte Co Wexford. Mountgarret’s lands mentioned (OD 5. 144, 142, 145)

18 Feb 1565: Report on John O’Neill. Evil practices during past 10 years against O'Neill and the Irish. (In part), Conall O'More, chief of that name, was invited to the house of Viscount Mountgarret, father in law to the said Conall, and without trial was executed by Captain Heron.  (Cal Carew Papers Vol 1 p369; SP63/16 f. 70 p.11)

10 May 1567: order passed by Seneschal Mountgarret, David Rothe, justice and officers of the liberty of Tipperary, that the sheriff and under-sheriff of the said liberty shall put the order into execution. Reference is made to a document dated 24 April 1555 at Clonmel and another dated 12 July 1541 Dublin. Order for the cathedral church of St Patrick, Cashel: the prelates and clergy of the cathedral church of St Patrick's in Cashel shall enjoy the full benefit of this order

1 Sept 1569: He signed the statement of the words uttered by Sir Edmund Butler on his meeting with Ormond at Kilkenny at the end of the ‘Butler Rebellion’. (Cal Carew MSS Vol 1 p388)

21 Feb 1569-70: He was under house arrest at his lodging in the city of Dublin and he gave his promise to the Attorney General and others not to leave the house without the Lord Deputy’s licence (HMC Haliday p245)

1570: His lands in the Lordship of Kilkenny were valued at ₤100 (Carew Papers Vol 1 p403)
(Note a similar list exists among the State Papers for the year 1568.)

21 June 1571: Kilkenny: Thomas earl of Ormond to William Cecil, Lord Burghley. 
My Lord Mountgarret, my old uncle, lies at the mercy of God without hope of recover, and so does his son and heir, which with the restraint of my brother's liberty leaves me weakly assisted. Asks Burghley to be a good lord to them. (Cal SPI Vol 1 p.450; SP 63/32, f.171, no 58)

He died 20 December 1571 and is buried in St Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny. A handsome monument was erected over his grave which was pulled down when Cromwell’s soldiers desecrated the cathedral on 28 Mar 1650. It was subsequently partially restored but parts of it have been built into other restored monuments in this building.

Richard 1st Viscount Mountgarrett's tomb in St Canice's Cathedral

St  Canice  Cathedral,  Kilkenny

(photos courtesy of Annabelle Taylor)
For the relationship of the Mountgarretts and Kavanaghs see “The fall of the Clan Kavanagh”, JRIAS, 4th Series, Vol. 4, pp.282-305)

6 November 1598- Henry Power to the Earl of Essex (Robert Devereux)
This country has become a perfect representation of a ruined state. The going out of the Lord of Mongarrett (viz. 2nd Viscount) has much shaken it, and altogether ruined this province of Leinster. Those few that are subjects stay in order for the love they bear to my Lord Lieutenant, of which number he reposeth small trust in any. The rebels are grown so mighty that they make full account of a conquest and to drive the English out of the land. They have gathered all the cattle and wealth into their hands by means whereof they have not only drawn all the rascals after them, but also found means to gain the principallest both of English birth and otherwise into their faction, who ever heretofore made great shows of loyalty. etc. (Calendar of the Manuscripts of the Most Hon. the Marquis of Salisbury; Elizabeth I, Entry No. [878], p.428)

Of Richard’s three, possibly four marriages, one was to his uncle’s grand-daughter Eleanor/Ellen Butler (ie. the daughter of Theobald Butler of Neigham, and granddaughter of Edmund Butler of Neigham, eldest brother of Piers 8th Earl), the mother of his 11 children. There has been some debate and confusion over the exact order of these marriages. Burke has Eleanor as Richard's last wife, whereas Lodge and  Butler family historian Theobald Blake Butler claimed Eleanor was Richard's first wife, married before 1520. Second son Piers was married c.1563, and a description of a Piers Butler of Wexford  as a 'rash young man' in 1573 may refer to this Piers. This would suggest that he was born during the 1540's which would indicate that Eleanor must have been the last wife. However, the reference to the 'rash young man' may refer to a different Piers Butler. 

Richard’s four marriages (NB. exact order in question): [12]
 Catherine Barnewall, dau & heiress of Peter Barnewall of Stackall, co. Meath-
 Anne Plunkett, dau of 4th Lord Killeen- married 1541 (& divorced 1541) (she m. 2nd William Fleming);
 Eleanor Fitzgerald, before 1546, dau of Sir John Fitzgerald, styled Earl of Desmond, and married before 1546 Thomas Tobin of Killaghy, feudal Lord of Cumphinsagh, Co. Tipperary who d 1550;  she m. 3rd John Og Fitzgibbon, the White Knight. This marriage to Mountgarrett is questionable.
 Ellen/Eleanor Butler (still living 4 June 1575 according to Burke- see footnote, however, Lodge and Blake Butler say she was the first wife and died before 1535- see below), dau. of Theobald Butler of Neigham/Neecham.

Blake Butler has the following information on Richard Butler’s marriages and issue: [13]

The wives of Richard 1st Viscount Mountgarrett. He married 4 times.

1.    Before 1520  Ellen eldest daughter of Theobald Butler of Neighome als Newhouse (parish of Dungravan Baron of Gowran) Co Kilkenny.
This family descended from Sir James Butler of Knocktopher Co KK, father of Pierce 8th Earl of Ormond, being his nephew. This Theobald claimed to be the rightful Earl of Ormond. (State Papers Ireland Elizabeth Vol 208 pt1 No 26)
“Genealogie of the Houses of Ormond and Mountgarrett’
Jan 1600/1 gives the following:
“Ellen eldest daughter of Theobald Butler of the house of Neghom being now a poor gent pretending to have better right to the Earldom of Ormond than the now Earl or any other of the house of Boelick hath, alleging that the said house of Neghom (Yeghom?) is the older house that they have more ancient patents than any of the house of Boelick hath.”

This marriage was one of the chief reasons for the claim put forward by Ellen’s sons and heir Edmond 2nd Viscount Mountgarrett when the descent of the Earldom of Ormond was uncertain at the end of the 17th century.
By Ellen, Mountgarrett had 6 sons and 5 daughters.
Ellen died before 1535 when Richard married Katherine Barnewall (Letters and Papers Henry VIII Vol. 1,  pt.1 ADDENDA, Vol. 22.1 (1509-1537), page 352- No. 1007 England )

On 8 October 1532, Ellen's father Theobald Butler wrote to the then Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond (Thomas Boleyn) :
Begs him to send his son James Butler to Ireland. Is sore punished by the earl of Ossory (Piers later 8th Earl of Ormond), so that he has lost his goods and is in "pinfold" in his castle of the Nezam and dare not come abroad. His kinsmen would fain have him out of the country but he trusts his Grace will redress everything. "My lord and his lady desired of me to make a 'tayll' and to put them and their heirs male before me and before my heirs male, and if I had done so they would give me my will and pleasure and I did forsake them of the same utterly." His cousin James (Piers' son and heir) is utterly against him and by his means the earl of Ossory has deprived him of four towns, leaving him only two villages and the twon he dwells in and he supposes the earl and James will have them soon. James says that he took of your Grace the Carryk by the water of the Showyr for a term of years at 10 marks the year and thinks to make it his own; asks Ormond to let him have it and he will pay 12."
(Letters and Papers Henry VIII Vol. 1,  pt.1 ADDENDA, Vol. 22.1 (1509-1537), page 274/5 No. 793)

The above letter shows the toxic relationship between Piers Earl of Ossory and his son James towards Piers' nephew Theobald of Neigham, and their fear that they would lose their right to regain the Ormond Earldom if and when the Boleyns fell out of favour with Henry. This may have been the incentive for the marriage between Lord Mountgarrett and Theobald Butler's daughter Eleanor- a peace offering. The fact that second son Pierce married in 1563 would suggest that he was born in the late 1530's- early 1540's, which thereby contradicts the suggestion this marriage was Mountgarrett's first.

2.    Catherine daughter and heir of Peter Barnewall of Stackallen Co Meath (Lodge Vol 2 p256)
1535. Ossory intends to marry his youngest son Richard to Catherine dau and heiress of Peter Barnewall of Stackallen (Letters and Papers Henry VIII, Vol. 1,  pt.1 ADDENDA, Vol. 22.1 (1509-1537), page 352,  no 1007)
They had issue a son Barnwell who died S.p.

3.    He married thirdly Anne daughter of John Plunkett 4th Lord Killeen. Both Lodge and GEC give the date of this marriage as 1541 and that the parties were divorced the same year. Nevertheless a marriage bond was entered into 3 Dec 1542 for ₤500 (Anthol. Hibern)
She also married William Fleming of Shepardstown Co Meath (MS 1 June 1538 Lodge)

4.    Table of Council Book Henry VIII (HMC Haliday p279 1546 folio 204 & 204b)
Dame Eleanor the Earl of Desmond’s sister divorced from Sir Richard Butler had in recompense of all her marriage goods but 100 marks. Note- she was the daughter of Sir John FitzGerald sometimes called Earl of Desmond.

The same lady married to Thomas Tobin had but 20 marks yearly for all her thirds. Her second husband.
Carew 635 calls her the sister of James Earl of Desmond. This is James the 13th Earl (see GEC).
Carew does not mention the Mountgarrett marriage (nor does Lodge, 'Peerage of Ireland', Vol. IV, 1789, p.26). She married 2ndly before 1546 Thomas Tobyn of Killaghy who died in 1550 and 3rdly John oge FitzGibbon the White Knight who died 1569.

Blake Butler states: So far as is known to the contrary, Richard 1st Visc. Mountgarrett lived unmarried for the last 25 years of his life.
According to the Book of Pedigrees of Sir Joseph Williamson 1678-1700, he married Ellen Blanchville. This appears as though she was his wife in 1550 when he was created a peer. (?Mixed up with daughter Ellen who married Gerald Blanchville?)

The issue of Sir Richard Butler 1st Viscount Mountgarrett[14]

1.    Edmond 2nd Visc. Mountgarrett ob. 24 Nov 1602. who married Grizel/Grainy FitzPatrick dau. of Barnaby, 1st Baron of Upper Ossory

2.    Pierce Butler of Caher also Kayer als Cloghnegeragh, now Wilton co Wexford  ob. 4 June 1599.
(According to SPI he was dead before 6 Nov 1598)
He was ancestor of the Butlers of Caher, Moneyhore, Munfin, Co Wexford & Tullow &  Dowganstown Co Carlow (see pedigrees). He married Margaret Devereux dau. of Sir Nicholas Devereux of Balmagir Co. Wexford

3.    Thomas Butler of CastleCommer Co. KK. He was living 18 Aug 1599 and was ancestor of the Butler of Castle Commer (Castlecomer) and Coolnaleen (Coolnaheen) Co. KK. He married Eleanor Power

4.    John of New Ross Co Wexford and of Wells barony of Idrone Co Carlow. Ancestor of families of same. He was living 7 May 1610.
He married _ O’Meagher; also of Wells Barony of Idrone Co. Carlow; ancestor of families of same; Blake Butler’s Genealogies (V. Mountgarrett Vol 8) has the following:
John of New Ross had Walter and other chn; John Butler the 4th son of Walter (Mountgarrett) had a second son Thomas ancestor of Mr Pierce Butler who has issue Joan and Ellen. SPI Eliz Vol 208 pt 1 No 26 Jan 1600/1. John Butler 4th brother of Lord Mountgarrett that now is married the Chief of O’Meagher of Dowagrie in the co. of Tipperary, his daughter by whom he hath manie daughters. Carew MSS 635-027 John Butler the 7th son married the daughter of O’Meagher and had issue Pierce Butler, Walter Butler Carew MSS 635 027
John Butler the 4th son married the dau. of Meagher lord of Ikerrin and had issue (illegible)

5.    James Butler of Ballymore Parish of Kilbride Barony of Scarwalsh Co Wexford, living 19 May 1601.

6.    Theobald Butler died s.p. (Carew)
Burkes Peerage names 4 sons Edmund, Piers, Thomas and John. Lord Dunboyne’s Pedigrees (No.14) has additionally, sons James and Theobald, as does T. Blake Butler in his Butler Genealogies- V. Mountgarrett, Volume 8- Blake Butler notes that Theobald died s.p. (Carew); 19 April 1600, a near kinsman of Mountgarrett’s of the name of Butler a principal leader of the rebels [O’Neill Rebellion in Leinster] slain at Ballyraggett some 6 miles from Kilkenny (Cal SPI 1600 pp 103 & 108)

NB. Lodge, 'Peerage of Ireland', does not have sons named James and Theobald.

1.    Margaret married Sir Nicholas Devereux “the Younger” of Killmargin Co Wexford. He succeeded his father in 1575. He was knighted 1 July 1591 (Shaw 2. 88) having had livery of his estates 22 Dec 1585. They were married before 6 Nov 1598 when he is described as ‘the best of the Devereux” of the Co Wexford (Cal SPI 1598-9 p340/1)
             He died without male issue in 1602 (Hore, Wexford, Old & New Ross)

2.    Mary/Ellice  married Walter Walsh of Castle Hoel als “The Mountains”, Co. Kilkenny, 1 May 1579-80 as sheriff of Kilkenny he had a commission to execute martial law (Fiant No 3636).
Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland calls him “Baron of Shancahir” and Governor of the Co Kilkenny in 4 Jan 1580 and follows Lodge and others by giving the date of his death 9 May 1619, but in fact he must have died before 3 Sept 1597 when his widow Mary dau. of Richard 1st Visc. Mountgarrett had a pardon (Fiant Eliz. No 6140).
Burke calls her Ellis 1st dau. of Mountgarrett, as does Lodge and Burtcheal calls her Ellice or Cecily, but SPI Eliz. 208 Jan 1600/1 calls her the 2nd daughter.
He may be identical with Walter Walsh the Queen’s Constable of the castle of Coolooney Co Sligo who was hanged with his brother by James Roe O’Galchore (Cal SPI 7 Feb 1596 1592/6)
They were ancestors of the family of Hussey Walsh of Crannagh Co Roscommon (Burke LGI)

3.    Eleanor married Thomas Tobyn of Killaghy who died before 20 Nov 1584 (OD. 6.14)
She married 2ndly Gerald Blanchville of Blanchvillestown Co KK. He died 6 April 1594.
On 28 March 1596 as widow of said Gerald she had a grant from Thomas Earl of Ormond of the manor of Blanchvillestown and other lands during the minority of Edmond son and heir of said Gerald (OD Vol 6 p96). She married 3rdly before July 1596 Thomas Butler 4th Baron of Cahir and was said to have been the cause of her husband’s joining Mountgarrett’s Rebellion (O’Neil) “and was as it is thought the procurer of him to join with her brother Mountgarrett in his rebellion”. (SPI Vol 208 Eliz. No 26 Jan 1600/1)
In July 1596 he and his wife Eleanor were present at Ballyragget with Mountgarrett, Donnell Spannagh Kavanagh and Feagh McHugh O’Byrne when they all took the Sacrament ‘to live and die together in their traitorous actions and to invite Tyrone to spend Christmas at Ormond’s house at Kilkenny’. (Cal SPI 5 Nov 1598)
She was pardoned for her part in the rebellion with her husband 7 Aug 1599 (Fiant o 6305) and again 25 May 1601 (Fiant No 6530)
7 Nov 1606 Chancery Bill No 665
Marcus Barrett and Aulyff Bolger surviving feoffees of Gerald Blanchville, Thomas Lord Cahir and Dame Eleanor Butler his wife v. Edmond Blanchville.
(Index Chancery Bills PRO)
She died before 1615 (Cahir Pedigrees)
According to Burtcheall, Gerald Blanchville was sheriff of Kilkenny in 1565 and MP 1585/6.
Eleanor Butler was his second wife.
?If they were married in 1584/5 See Inquisition Co Kilkenny No 3 Eliz at Kilkenny 25 May 1597.

4.    Joan/Catherine married Matthew/Marcus FitzHarris als FitzHenry of Kilkevan and Mackmine Castle and Kilkevan Co Wexford. (NB. Burkes Peerage names as Catherine. Lord Dunboyne & Blake Butler has name as Joan.)
He was sub seneschal of the Co Wexford 1568.
5 June 1573 he was besieged in his castle of Kilkevan by Rory oge O’More of Leix.
16 Nov 1577 He had a commission to execute martial law in co Wexford (Fiant 3146)
He was MP for Wexford in 1585/6 and on 11 May 1596. He refused to sign the Deed of Attainter of Gerald ‘Revel” Earl of Desmond and others (SPI Eliz Vol 2 p53)
Jan 1600/1, he is described as “a forward gent who hath many children by her” (Joan Butler)( SP Eliz. Vol 208 no 26)
He died before 25 April 1608 when his son and heir Matthew had livery of his estates (Cal Pat Rol Hib)
They were ancestors of Fitzharris Bart crea 4 Nov 1622. Presumed extinct in 1704. (GEC Barts Vol 1 p246-7)
16 Nov 1559: Indenture between Visc. Mountgarrett, Thomas FitzHenrie and Mathew FitzHenrie his son and heir by which 4 towns in Fassahg Bantrie Co Wexford viz. Pyrchehagarde, Ballewarkley, Kilgibbone and Kilkerie in the hundred of Shilmalire shall be divided between them the said Thomas FitzHenrie and Mathew ‘doth demand as the ancient inheritance of their ancestors in the right of their manor of Maghmaine Co Wexford’ (a long deed) (HMC Haliday Acts of PC  I  1556-1571)

5.    Ellen married Sir Oliver Shortall of Ballylarkin (according to Lord Dunboyne)

Bastard Daughters:
1.    Anne married as his first wife James Laffan of Lurgoe and Graystown als Ballingray Co Tipperary.
He was sheriff of Tipperary 1585/6 and again in 1592 when he was a commissioner for the composition of the Cess for the county and entered a recognizance with the Privy Council (HMC Haliday  9  292)
On 8 April 1586 as sheriff he had a pardon for offences committed in the execution of martial law in Tipperary (Fiant 4836)
In 1570 his lands in the manor of Killenaule were valued at ₤30 (Carew 1. P404)
17 Jan 1597/8, Lord Mountgarrett… keepeth with one Laffan, a brother in law of his married to Archer’s sister (Rev. James Archer of Kilkenny, a noted Jesuit.)
… this Laffan hath been High Sheriff of the county, a man well known to the State and much devoted to your Lordship (Lord Justice Loftus).. so if your Lordship could be pleased to deal with Lord Mountgarrett or else with Laffan his brother in law to bring Archer unto you (etc) (Cal SPI 1598/9 p15)
He died before 27 Jan 1616 (Chancery Bill No 2475) and was living in 1601 (Fiants). His Probate 1607. Anne was his first wife and died before 17 Jan 1598 (Above), his second wife Rose daughter of John Archer of Kilkenny, she died before 27 Jan 1616 (CB 2475).
James Laffan- 1 July 1590. He was appointed Commissioner to enquire into te lands in tipperary forfeited by the rebellion of Gerald Earl of Desmond and on 24 March 1593 they held an inquisition into the lands forfeited by O’Kennedy (OD Vol 6 p52 se 3 also pp19, 30, 36, 67 & 85)

2.    Elizabeth Married 1stly Connell Oge O’More Chief of his name of Leix Queen’s Co. (Cal. Carew Papers Vol 1 p369)
Carew 626 p136 calls her widow of Lisagh O’More and Carew 635 p27, widow of Keadragh McLisagh O’More.
“Item: Connell O’More Chief of his name the said Viscount Mountgarret father of the O’More did send him top Capt Hearne by whose commandment the said O’More was hanged and put to execution.
Connell Oge’s father was chief of the O’Mores 1520-1537.
Connel Oge’s estate was ordered to be planted in 1556 (Cal SPI Eliz. Mary 1 p135)
She married 2ndly after July 1568 as his first wife, Walter Butler fitzEdmond of Garryduffe Co. Kilkenny, who was attainted for his part in the ‘Butler Wars’ in June 1570 particularly for his part in the raid on Enniscorthy Aug 1569. He was pardoned 22 Dec 1571 (Fiant No 1926). He was sheriff of Kilkenny 1574/6 and died in 1584 on 8th April (Funeral Entries). He succeeded his eldest brother at Poolestown in 1578. I have not found the date of her death or that of his second marriage (Carew 635 p27 gives her a third marriage to Richard Butler.)

3.    Ellie or Elles married John fitzPatrick of Ballygihin in Ossory Queens Co. This marriage is given in Carew 626  137 & SPI Eliz. Vol 208 No 26, which has the following: “the now Lord Mountgarret his other base sister was married to John fitzPatrick of Ballegehyn in Ossory a gent of the Lord of Upper Ossory his House by whom he had many sonns now of mans estate and daughters which sons were all in action lately of rebellion with the Lord Mountgarret saving the eldest who is blind”. Jan 1600/1
5 Nov 1596: There are also two wicked nephews of his (Mountgarrets) sons of John fitzPatrick of Upper Ossory (Cal SPI Eliz Vol 7 p340)
12 April May 1607 controversy between Florence 3rd Lord of Upper Ossory and Tiege son of John fitzPatrick who Florence claimed was a bastard being the son of Ellene Butler and John fitzPatrick born while the latter was the husband of Onory O’Doyne. A Decree in the Court of Chancery finds the Court is satisfied that Tiege son of John of Ballygibon is a bastard.
By which it appears that John and Elles or Elle never married.that bill called her the supposed faughter of Lord Mountgarret (Pat Rolls of Chanc, James I Vol 2 pp514-517)
From the above it appears that John fitzPatrick died before 1607.
John was a younger son of Barnaby fitzPatrick 1st Baron of upper Ossary. He is not given by Lodge Vol 2 p242. (NB. Grany dau of Barnaby fitzPatrick married 2nd Visc. Mountgarret)

The Ancestral line of the Viscounts Mountgarrett, to the present:

This blog concentrates on Richard 1st Viscount Mountgarrett's second son Pierce and his descendants in County Wexford:

by John Lodge & Mervyn Archdall 1789 (Vol. IV p27):


Pierce ancestor to the family of Caher- By deed dated 2 June 1563, his father, enfeoffed John Devereux, Dean of Fernes, and others, in the manor and lands of Caher alias Clounegeragh, &c, to the use (in part) of his said son Pierce and Margaret Devereux his wife, for life, and the remainder, in which Caher was included, to his heirs male. And he (Pierce) deceasing 30 June 1599 had three sons Edward, James, Thomas, besides daughters- Edward who succeeded was 22 years old at his father’s death, built the house of Caher; married Catherine daughter of Sir Richard Masterson of Fernes; died 9 Sept 1628 and left two sons and two daughters, Pierce, Richard, Mary and Joan.

Richard’s Wexford estate of Kayer in Barony of Bantry, Co Wexford

The estates marked Butler (Pierce and James) and Mountgarrett.
Kayer/Caher/Cloghnageragh made up part of the estate marked Butler-Pierce

Historian Herbert Hore (History of the Town and County of Wexford, Philip Hore edit., pub. 1901-1911, Volume 6, p.560-561) wrote:


 “In this parish is the Castle and beautiful demesne of Wilton by the River Boro. The ancient Castle of Cloghnakayer was built in the fourteenth century. Sir Fulke Furlong, knight, of Horetown, held this Castle and Barony for some time (about 1410), in custody from the Earl of Pembroke. Sir Fulke Denne, Baron of Kayer died in 1497. The Butlers acquired it subsequently and the large territory called Fassagh Bantry, most part of the Barony of Bantry.
Bellaboro, now called Castleboro, was one of their seats, Moneyhore became that of the head of the family in the seventeenth century, and Mountfin, or Munfin, that of the junior branch, of whom Colonel Walter Butler was Lord Lieutenant of this County in 1687.
Edward Butler, Baron of Kayer, (eldest son of Pierce, second son of Richard 1st Viscount Mountgarrett) rebuilt and restored the ancient Castle, and added a mansion house to it in 1599. (Philip Hore notes: “most of these notes relating to Wilton are taken from my father’s collection vol 46, pp30 and 44”). William Alcock of Dublin, bought the estate of Clough na Kayer from Capt. Robert Thornhill in 1695, and rebuilt the Castle, calling it Wilton. Harry Alcock of Wilton, High Sheriff in 1821, father of the late Colonel Harry Alcock, remodelled the Castle in 1838-39 in the castellated style. The late Colonel Alcock told me that some of the walls of the ancient Castle of the Butlers are incorporated in the present building.” (Philip Hore-Note 2: Thornhill was in King William III’s army, son of Capt. Robert Thornhill in Cromwell’s service who had a grant in 1655 of this forfeited estate, owned by Pierce Butler, Irish Papist, in 1641.)

Richard bequeathed the lands of Clough na Kayer (Cloughnageragh) to his second son Pierce. The lands of Kayer comprised all the district from Davidstown and Edermine to Glynn on that side of the Slaney River. Pierce also took possession of Moneyhore, near Enniscorthy. Pierce was succeeded by his son Edward who, in turn, was succeeded by his son Pierce (II) who is given in the Civil Survey 1654 as the papist landlord of Cloghnageragh and its demesne.

showing relationships of Mountgarrett line with various other Butler lines

© B. A. Butler

Contact email:
butler1802 (no spaces)

Links to all of the chapters in this blog:

Pierce Butler of Kayer Co. Wexford (the elder) c.1540-1599
Edward Butler of Kayer Co. Wexford, 1577-1628
Pierce Butler of Kayer and Moneyhore (the younger), c.1600-1652, Part I
Pierce Butler of Kayer and Moneyhore Part II- Pierce Butler's role in the 1642-49 Catholic Confederate Rebellion
Pierce Butler of Kayer and Moneyhore Part III- Depositions against Pierce Butler of Kayer on his role in the 1642-49 Catholic Confederate Rebellion
Pierce Butler of Kayer and Moneyhore Part IV- Land Ownership by the Butlers in County Wexford
Pierce Butler of Kayer and Moneyhore Part V- Pierce Butler and the Cromwellian Confiscations of 1652-56
Sons of Pierce Butler of Kayer and Moneyhore- Edward, James, John, & Walter
Walter Butler of Munphin, Co. Wexford, c.1640-1717, Part I
Walter Butler of Munphin, Part II
Walter Butler of Munphin, Part III
Walter Butler Junior of Munphin (1674-1725) Part I- exile to France in 1690
Walter Butler Junior of Munphin (1674-1725) Part II- Military record
Walter Butler Junior of Munphin (1674-1725) Part III- Marriage to Mary Long
Walter Butler Junior of Munphin (1674-1725) Part IV- Last years
Younger sons of Richard 1st Viscount Mountgarrett: John Butler of New Ross, Thomas Butler of Castlecomer, James and Theobald Butler:
James Butler of Dowganstown and Tullow Co Carlow- 2nd son of Pierce Butler of Kayer (the elder):

Pedigree of Butlers of Ireland, and Ancestry of Butlers of Ireland, and County Wexford:

The MacRichard Line- Ancestors of the Butlers of Wexford

Links to blog on the Ancestry of Theobald Walter, 1st Butler of Ireland

Part 1: The Ancestral Origins of Theobald Walter, Ancestor of the Butlers of Ireland

Part 2: Possible candidates for the Walter surname named 'Walter' in the Domesday Book

Part 3: Analysis of the various theories of the origins of the Walter family

Part 4: Lands of the Walter family

[1] George Griffith, The Wexford Chronicles, printed 1877
[2] Reference came from the Privy Council of England (5 August 1550)
[3] John Lodge and Mervyn Archdall, The Peerage of Ireland, pub 1798, Volume IV
[4] Carew MSS, Vol 1, P.1160
[5] Sadbh (also Sawe/Sabina) Kavanagh married James Butler of Pottlerath (parents of Piers,8th Earl of Ormond). She was daughter of Donnell Reagh Kavanagh King of Leinster and Lord of Enniscorthy and Ferns (d.1476), son of Gerald Kavanagh King of Leinster (d.1431) (Gerald, Lord of Ferns, succeeded his brother Donogh when he was arrested and sent to the Tower of London). Sadbh was also sister of Art Buoy Kavanagh, King of Leinster (d.1518) who was succeeded by their brother Gerald (d.1522), whose son Cahir McInnycross succeeded and was the last King of Leinster- P. Hore, Vol 6 p355.
[6] Theobald Blake Butler (TBB), Genealogy of the Butlers,-Volume 8, Viscount Mountgarrett and Poolestown, Bart, Chapter- Butler, Viscount Mountgarrett & Colaterals Ormond Deeds and Letters (no page numbers);filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah (LDS) FHL British Film [873840]
[7] Philip Hore (ed), History of the Town and County of Wexford, Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.C., London, 1900-1911- 6 volumes- (Compiled principally from the State Papers, The Public Records, and MSS. of the late Herbert F. Hore, Esq., of Pole Hore, in that County) Reprint 1978, Volume 6, page 366 (Faint, 6 Edw. VI., No. 1978)
[8] P. Hore, History…, op.cit, Volume 6, p367 (S.P. Irel., vol. i., p49)
[9] P. Hore, History…, op.cit, Volume 6, p368 (S.P. Irel., vol i., No 50 & No 56; See Queen’s letter, July 16,1559, Carew MSS., vol 628, p.65)
[10] Philip Herbert Hore (ed), History of the Town and County of Wexford, op.cit., Volume 6 page 40 (S.P. Irel, vol v, No 75)
[11] Philip Herbert Hore (ed), History of the Town and County of Wexford, op.cit., Volume 6 page 34-5 (S.P. Irel., vol. i., p 16, A.D. 1548)
[12] Burkes Peerage and Baronetage 106th Edition . (NB. The Peerage of Ireland 1789 and Debrett’s Illustrated Peerage has Richard’s marriage to Eleanor Butler as his first marriage.)
[13] Theobald Blake Butler, Genealogy of the Butlers,-Volume 8, Viscount Mountgarrett and Poolestown, Bart, Chapter- Butler, Viscount Mountgarrett & Colaterals Ormond Deeds and Letters (no page numbers);filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah (LDS) FHL British Film [873840]
[14] Sourced from combination of Burkes Peerage and Baronetage 106th Edition; Lord Dunboyne’s “Paddy’s Pedigrees” (courtesy of the Butler Society) Theobald Butler of ‘Neighome als Newhouse, Parish of Dungrava, Baron of Gowran, Co Kilkenny. Theobald was claimant to the Earldom of Ormond. According to T. Blake Butler, Ellen was the 1st wife, married before 1520 and died before 1535 ref Letters & Papers Henry VIII vol _ no 1007 England.