Butler of Mountgarret

Butler of Mountgarret

The first Viscount Mountgarret was Richard, the second son of Piers Roe Butler the 8th Earl of Ormonde. Piers Roe himself was the son of Sir Richard Butler of Polestown and Sadbh Kavanagh the sister of Art Bui Kavanagh the McMurrough and King of Leinster. Piers Roe 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 Roe she soon became a dedicated Butler and used her not inconsiderable talents and influences to further the interests of that family. Her eldest son was James who became the 9th Earl of Ormonde and Richard was her second son.[1] She strove with all her maternal instincts to ensure that Richard became a very powerful lord also.

The 16th century in Ireland was a very exciting time for the entrepreneurial English and Anglo Irish such as the Butlers. Huge swathes of church lands were taken by Henry VIII and leased or sold to members of the powerful ruling families. In 1541 Richard Butler was given leases of lands in Wexford and Kilkenny, notably in Inistioge, Thomastown and Shankill

[1] Her third son, Thomas, was killed in a battle with his Geraldine cousins, at Jerpoint Abbey in Co. Kilkenny in 1532. Lady Margaret’s niece, Lady Alice Fitzgerald, was married to Cahir McArt Kavanagh of Borris, Co. Carlow, ancestor of the present day Kavanaghs of Borris.

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Nidd Hall

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