The Chief Butlers of Ireland and the House of Ormond: An Illustrated Genealogical Guide


John Kirwan

June 2023

Historian and genealogist John Kirwan gives a complete history of the Butler family – their lives defined by astounding wealth and their lineage a source of immeasurable interest.


ISBN: 9781788551748 Categories: , ,


This is the lavishly illustrated and fascinating account of one of the most powerful families in Irish history, the Butlers, whose lives were defined by astounding opulence – up to 10 per cent of all wine imported into Ireland was destined for their cellars, paid for by the Crown. The Butlers were based at Kilkenny Castle for over five centuries, and at other seats including Nenagh, Cahir, Roscrea, Kilcash and Thurles.

A vital new history for anyone with an interest in British and Irish genealogy and the dominant force of lineage over half a millennium, The Chief Butlers of Ireland and the House of Ormond is a comprehensive record of the lives of the Chief Butlers, Dukes, Marquesses and Earls of Ormond and their families, sumptuously illustrated with their original portraits. Also included is Kilkenny archaeologist Ben Murtagh’s essential essay, ‘Kilkenny Castle: An Outline of its History, Architecture and Archaeology’.


1. Introduction
2. The Lives of the Chief Butlers, the Earls and Marquesses of Ormonde
3. Kilkenny Castle: An Outline of its History, Architecture and Archaeology ~
Ben Murtagh
4. Appendix 1 ~ A Family Settlement, A Family Row: The History of the
Inheritance of Lady Frances Susannah Anne Wandesforde, Countess of Ormond
and Ossory
5. Appendix 2 ~ Kilkenny Castle – Its Last Days as a Family Home – An Account
Based on the Surviving Papers at Kilkenny Castle
6. Appendix 3 ~ The Will of John Butler of Kilcash, dated 1764

About the Editor

John Kirwan is a historian, author and consultant archivist. He has had many articles and essays published on Kilkenny history, places and families. Previous works include Kilkenny Families in the Great War, The Reminiscences of Marianne-Caroline Hamilton (1777–1861), Nooks and Corners of The County Kilkenny, and Statistical Observations Relative to The County of Kilkenny Made in the years 1801–2.