|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|
|Spouse(s)||Elizabeth Berkeley, Elizabeth Sheffield, & Helena Barry|
Elizabeth, only surviving child
Thomas Butler, 10th Earl of Ormond and 3rd Earl of Ossory PC (Ire) (Irish: 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 Tyrone's Rebellion.
Birth and origins
Thomas was born about February 1531.[a] 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. His parents married about 1520.
Thomas was one of seven sons:
|Thomas listed among his brothers|
|He heads the list of brothers as the eldest:
It seems that he had no sisters. At least none of the sources cited here mention sisters.
The young Thomas Butler was born in Ireland but was sent to London in May 1544 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 Thomas 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.
on 20 February 1547, at the coronation of Edward VI, Lord Ormond was knighted. 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 reigh of Queen Mary, Ormond helped to put down Wyatt's rebellion.
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. 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 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.
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. 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 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"). However, only a bit more than a month after her death on 2 January 1565, on 8 February 1565 the two sides fought the private Battle of Affane, in which her husband Gerald FitzGerald, 15th 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.
Ormond was that summer high in favour with the Queen.
First Desmond rebellion
The first Desmond Rebellion (1569–1573) was started in 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 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 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.
Lord Desmond was released about 1573 and allowed to return from England to Ireland. James FitzMaurice FitzGerald left for the continent.
Second Desmond rebellion
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 Ireland and 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.
Second marriage and children
At the age of 51, having been freed by the death of his estranged first wife on 1 September 1582, Ormond remarried to 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:
- John (1584–1589), died young;
- Elizabeth (before 1593 – 1628), married 1st her first cousin Theobald, son of Thomas's brother Edmund, but Theobald died childless in 1613; she married 2ndly Richard Preston, 1st Earl of Desmond, and had one daughter, Elizabeth Preston;
- Thomas (before 1601 – 1606), died young.
Ormond's second wife died in November 1600.
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 Tyson's Rising. Between April 1600 and June 1600 he was held captive by Owny MacRory O'More.
He was appointed Vice-Admiral of Leinster in 1602.
An anonymous manuscript originating from the library of the Irish College at Louvain tells 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 Lord Tulleophelim died childless in his forties. A son of Lord Thomond asked for her hand, but the King decided that she should marry Lord Dingwall, a favourite from his days in Scotland.
Death and timeline
The tenth Lord Ormond died on 22 November 1614. 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[a]|
|13||1546, May||Left for London|
|15||1546, 28 Oct||Father died poisoned in London|
|15||1547, 28 Jan||Accession of Edward VI, replacing 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, replacing Edward VI of England|
|23||1554||Birth of his illegitimate son Piers FitzThomas Butler|
|27||1558, 17 Nov||Accession of Queen Elizabeth I, replacing 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||His 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, replacing 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|
- Treasurer of Ireland (1559–1614)
- Lieutenant of County Tipperary (1575)
- Lieutenant of County Kilkenny (1575)
- Lord General of the Forces in Munster (1582–1583)
- General of the Forces in Leinster (1594–1596)
- Lieutenant-General of the all Forces in Ireland (1597)
- Vice-Admiral of Leinster (1602)
|Ancestors of Thomas Butler, 10th Earl of Ormond|
- Edwards 2004, p. 220: "... was born about February 1531"
- Cokayne 1895, p. 148, line 15: "... b. 1532;"
- Lee 1886, p. 79, left column: "born in 1532"
- Debrett 1828, p. 640: "THEOBALD LE BOTELER on whom that office [Chief Butler of Ireland] was conferred by King Henry II., 1177 ..."
- Cokayne 1895, p. 148, line 5: "He m., about 1520, Joan, da. and h. of James (FITZ-MAURICE FITZGERALD), 11th EARL OF DESMOND [I.] ..."
- Dunboyne 1968, pp. 16–17: "Butler Family Tree condensed"
- Burke & Burke 1909, p. 1399, right column, line 62: "2. Edmund, Sir, Knt. of Roscrea and Cloughgrenan, co. Carlow, m. Hon. Eleanor Eustace, dau. of Rowland, 2nd Baltinglass ..." sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFBurkeBurke1909 (help)
- Burke & Burke 1909, p. 1399, right column, line 77: "3. John, of Kilcash, to whom his father granted lands by deed, 26 May, 1544; ..." sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFBurkeBurke1909 (help)
- Burke & Burke 1909, p. 1399, right column, line 84: "4. Walter, of Ballynodagh, m. Jane, dau. of O'Brien Goragh ..." sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFBurkeBurke1909 (help)
- Lodge 1789, p. 28, line 18: "Walter Butler of Ballynenoddagh, Nodstown, or Moyalisse, Esq; who married Anne, daughter of Mae Brian O Gonagh, and dying in 1560, was buried at Kilkenny;"
- Burke & Burke 1909, p. 1399, right column, line 86: "5. James, of Duisk, m. Margaret, dau. of James Tobin, of Consinnagh ..." sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFBurkeBurke1909 (help)
- Burke & Burke 1909, p. 1399, right column, line 90: "6. Edward, of Cloughinche, m. 1st, Lady Eleanor FitzGerald, dau. of James FitzJohn, 14th Earl of Desmond; and 2ndly, Margaret Burke, dau. of Richard, 4th Earl of Clanricarde. ..." sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFBurkeBurke1909 (help)
- Burke & Burke 1909, p. 1399, right column, line 91: "7. Piers, of Grantstown, m. Katherine Le Poer, dau. of John, 2nd Lord Power of Curaghmore ..." sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFBurkeBurke1909 (help)
- Edwards 2004, p. 220, left column, line 40: "Butler departed for London early in May 1544 and entered a select group of English and Welsh noble youths ..."
- Barron 1910, p. 880, right column, line 2: "Thomas the Black Earl, his son and heir, was brought up at the English court, professing the reformed religion."
- Cokayne 1895, p. 146.
- Cokayne 1895, p. 148, line 6: "He d. in London, 28 Oct. 1546, from the effects of poison taken on the 17th at supper at Ely House, Holborn ..."
- Lodge 1789, p. 31, line 16: "... at whose coronation 20 February 1546 [O.S.] he was made a Knight of the Bath."
- Lodge 1789, p. 31, line 21: "... served as a volunteer under the Duke of Somerset in his Scots expedition, and behaved with great bravery in the battle of Musselburgh."
- Dunboyne 1968, p. 13, line 12: "Black Tom won his spurs and possibly his nickname when suppressing the rebellion against Queen Mary of Sir Thomas Wyatt, whom some called White Tom."
- Cokayne 1895, p. 148, line 9: "His widow m. Sir Francis BRYAN, Knight Marshal of Ireland, and m. subsequently (as his first wife) Gerald (FITZ JAMES FITZGERALD), 15th EARL OF DESMOND [I.] (the rebel earl, forfeited in 1582) ..."
- Dunboyne 1968, p. 13, line 32: "... rather startling rumour that the Virgin Queen bore him Piers Butler of Duiske ..."
- Smyth 1839, p. xiii, line 16: "Elizabeth / [Accession] / 17 November 1558"
- Burke & Burke 1909, p. 14400, left column, line 11: "... Queen Elizabeth, by whom, in 1559, he was constituted lord treasurer of Ireland. ..." sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFBurkeBurke1909 (help)
- Lodge 1789, p. 33, line 17: "The Queen, 26 August 1559, (in the first year of her reign) made him Lord Treasurer of Ireland."
- Lee 1886, p. 79, right column, line 5: "... took the oath as privy councillor in 1559, and became Lord Treasurer of Ireland at the same time;"
- Edwards 2004, p. 221, left column: "Ormond married Elizabeth (1534–1582), daughter and heir of Thomas Berkeley, 6th Baron Berkeley, and his second wife, Anne, about 1559 "
- O'Mahany 2018, p. 137: "Thomas Butler, better known as Black Tom, significantly modified the 14th-century fortress and the 15th-century tower houses, when they became integrated into the 10th Earl's new house constructed in 1565."
- McGurk 2004, p. 809, line 44: "The death of Desmond's wife on 2 February 1565 ..."
- Joyce 1903, p. 146, line 15: "Desmond, taken unawares, was defeated in a battle fought in 1565 at Affane in the County Waterford, and he himself was wounded and taken prisoner."
- McGurk 2004, p. 809, left column: "On 8 February 1565 the two rival armies met at the ford of Affane on the Blackwater in co. Waterford. Desmond was wounded in the thigh and taken prisoner by Ormond, but soon released."
- Weir 1999, p. 166, line 29: "When her distant cousin, Thomas Butler, tenth Earl of Ormonde and Lord Treasurer of Ireland, visited court, she began singling him out."
- Lee 1886, p. 80, left column: "In June 1569 Sir Edmund, who had a personal hatred of Sidney, in temporary concert with some members of the Desmond family, broke into open revolt against the lord deputy."
- Lee 1886, p. 80, right column, line 7: "In April  Ormonde's three brothers Edmund, Edward and Piers, were attainted, and Ormonde passionately protested against the indignity."
- Carte 1851, p. cxviii"I had almost forgot to observe that this earl Thomas was a protestant ..."
- Cokayne 1895, p. 148, line 33: "JOHN BUTLER, styled VISCOUNT THURLES, 1st s. and h. ap., b. 1584, d. an infant and was bur. in Westm. Abbey."
- Burke & Burke 1909, p. 14400, left column, line 20: "Elizabeth, m. 1st Theobald, Viscount Butler of Tulleophelim, who d.s.p. Jan. 1613; and 2ndly Sir Richard Preston, created a peer of Scotland, 8 June 1609, under the title of BARON DINGWALL, with remainder to his heirs whatsoever ..." sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFBurkeBurke1909 (help)
- Cokayne 1895, p. 148, line 35: "THOMAS BUTLER, styled VISCOUNT THURLES, 2nd but only surviving s. and h. ap., sheriff of co. Tipperary 1605; d. unm. and v.p. 12 Jan. 1605/6 and was bur. at Carrick, M.I."
- Cokayne 1895, p. 148, line 27: "She [Elizabeth Sheffield] d. Nov. 1600 and was bur. at St Canice. Kilkenny."
- Cokayne 1895, p. 148, line 20: "He was el. K.G. 23 April and inst. 27 May 1588."
- Weir 1999, p. 392: "... the Earl of Ormonde bearing the sword of state."
- Edwards 2004, p. 225, left column, line 6: "At some time between 2 and 24 June 1601 Ormond married Helen (d. 1642), daughter of David Barry, Viscount Buttevant ..."
- Burke 1866, p. 25, left column: "Her lordship m. 2ndly Thomas, earl of Ormonde, but had no issue;"
- Graves 1863, p. 277, line 1: "... transferred from the Irish College at Louvain to the Burgundian Library at Bruxelles."
- Graves 1863, p. 278–279.
- Burke & Burke 1909, p. 1400, left column, line 20: "... Theobald, Viscount Butler of Tulleophelim, who d.s.p. Jan. 1613;" sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFBurkeBurke1909 (help)
- Bagwell 1909, p. 139: "Tullophelim died childless early in 1613, and a son of Lord Thomond's immediately sought the widow's hand, but the King insisted on her marrying Richard Preston, a Scottish gentleman of the bedchamber ..."
- Cokayne 1895, p. 148, line 30: "He d. at Carrick, 22 Nov. 1614, aged 82, having been 15 years blind."
- Smyth 1839, p. xiii, line 14: "Edward VI / [Accession] / 28 January 1547"
- Smyth 1839, p. xiii, line 15: "Mary I / [Accession] / 6 July 1553"
- Smyth 1839, p. xiii, line 17: "James I. / [Accession] / 24 March 1603"
- Bagwell, Richard (1909). Ireland under the Stuarts and under the Interregnum. 1. London: Longmans, Green, and Co. – 1603 to 1642
- Burke, Bernard (1866). A Genealogical History of the Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited and Extinct Peerages of the British Empire (New ed.). London: Harrison.
- Burke, Bernard; Burke, Ashworth P. (1909). A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, the Privy Council, Knightage and Companionage (71st ed.). London: Harrison.
- Barron, Oswald (1910). "Butler". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopaedia Britannica. 4 (11th ed.). New York: The Encyclopaedia Britannica Company. pp. 879–881].
- Burke, Bernard; Burke, Ashworth P. (1909). A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, the Privy Council, Knightage and Companionage (71st ed.). London: Harrison.
- Carte, Thomas (1851). The Life of James Duke of Ormond. 1 (new ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. – 1613 to 1641
- Cokayne, George Edward (1895). Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct, or Dormant. 6 (1st ed.). London: George Bell and Sons. – N to R (for Ormond)
- Debrett, John (1828). Peerage of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. 2 (17th ed.). London: F. C. and J. Rivington. – Scotland and Ireland
- Dunboyne, Patrick Theobald Tower Butler, Baron (1968). Butler Family History (2nd ed.). Kilkenny: Rothe House.
- Edwards, David (2004). "Butler, Thomas, tenth earl of Ormond and third earl of Ossory (1531–1558)". In Matthew, Henry Colin Gray.; Harrison, Brian (eds.). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 9. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 220–225. ISBN 0-19-861359-8.
- Graves, James (1863). "Anonymous Account of the Early Life and Marriage of James, First Duke of Ormond". The Journal of the Kilkenny and South-East of Ireland Archaeological Society. New. 4 (2): 276–292. doi:10.2307/25502636.
- Joyce, Patrick Weston (1903), A Concise History of Ireland from the Earliest Times to 1837 (12th ed.), Dublin: M. H. Gill & Son
- Lee, Sidney (1886). "Butler, Thomas, tenth Earl of Ormonde (1532–1614)". In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 8. New York: MacMillan and Co. pp. 79–81.
- Lodge, John (1789). The Peerage of Ireland. 4. Dublin: James Moore. – Viscounts
- McCormack, Anthony M. (2004). "FitzGerald, James fitz Maurice (d. 1579)". In Matthew, Colin; Harrison, Brian (eds.). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 19. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. [ https://archive.org/details/oxforddictionary19matt/page/832/ 819–821]. ISBN 0-19-861369-5.
- McGurk, J. J. N. (2004). "FitzGerald, Gerald Fitz James, fourteenth earl of Desmond (c. 1533–1583)". In Matthew, Colin; Harrison, Brian (eds.). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 19. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 809–811. ISBN 0-19-861369-5. – 15th Earl of Desmond
- O'Mahany, Flora (2018). "Royalty, Ruin and Restoration". Irish Arts Review. 35 (2): 134–139. – Ormond Castle
- Smyth, Constantine (1839). Chronicle of the Law Officers of Ireland. London: Henry Butterworth. (for Table of reigns)
- Weir, Alison (1999). Elizabeth the Queen. London: Pimlico.
- Butler, Rachel Evelyn (1862). The Prophecy. 1. London: Richard Bentley.
|Peerage of Ireland|
| Earl of Ormonde