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THE MARQUIS OF ORMONDE, K.P.
cause of feudalism, were deprived of their power, wealth, and domains, while the Butlers not only added largely to the territory of Ormonde, but also obtained peerages for the collateral branches of their family.
Thomas, the tenth Earl of Ormonde, having won the favour of Elizabeth by timely conformity to the Protestant faith, was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland ; an office which enabled him to increase the power of his own family, and to weaken the strength of the rival Geraldines. His grandson James, created Marquis of Ormonde in 1642, was the chief support of the royal cause in Ireland during the great civil war. His services were rewarded, after the restoration, by an English peerage, and by the title in Ireland, of Duke of Ormonde ; a title which was subsequently extended to England. From his share in the many political revolutions of his age, rather than from any distinguished exploits, this James was generally called “the great Duke of Ormonde.”
James, the second duke, and the grandson of the preceding, was a favourite with William III., and served under him at the battle of the Boyne. He subsequently held many high diplomatic and military appointments; until at the close of Queen Anne's reign he succeeded the Duke of Marlborough as Commander-in-chief of the British forces in Flanders, and had a share in negociating the Treaty of Utrecht. On his return to England he became one of the chiefs of the party who sought to continue the royal succession in the line of the Stuarts, and to exclude the Elector of Hanover from the British throne. Hence, on the accession of George I., he was obliged to leave the kingdom; being attainted, and the sentence of forfeiture being pronounced upon his titles and estates. He died abroad, without male issue, in 1758, and the title lay dormant until 1791.
In 1791 it was proved before the Irish House of Lords, that the English attainder did not extend to Ireland; and consequently John Butler, Esq., of Kilcash, was admitted as collateral heir, to be the seventeeth Earl of Ormonde. He married the heiress of the Earls of Wandesford, whose titles and estates were thus united to those of the Ormonde family.
His son and successor, Walter, eighteenth earl, was created Marquis of Ormonde and a peer of England in 1805, but dying without male issue in 1820, these new titles became extinct, while his brother James became nineteenth earl. At the coronation of George IV. he claimed and was allowed to exercise his hereditary functions as Chief Butler to that monarch. He was, soon afterwards, created an English peer; and in 1825 he was, as his brother had been, advanced to a marquisate. He had previously been created a knight of St. Patrick.
Although this nobleman did not take a very prominent part in political life, he rendered good service to his country by his exertions, and example, as an Irish proprietor. He laboured sedulously for the moral and agricultural improvement of the tenantry on his extensive estates; and at the same time, in the decoration of his princely residence, the Castle of Kilkenny, he showed himself at once a generous and judicious patron of Irish art.
This nobleman died, May 18th, 1838, leaving by his Marchioness (daughter of the Right Hon. John Staples, to whom he was married in 1807) a family of five sons and five daughters. He was succeeded by his son John, twentieth earl, and second Marquis of Ormonde, who is honourably imitating the example of his father, in endeavouring to develop the industrial resources of Ireland.
THE CASTLE OF KILKEN N Y.
Tae noble Castle of Kilkenny, the seat of the Marquis of Ormonde,* stands on an eminence overhanging the banks of the river Nore, in the city from which it takes its name. The magnificence and picturesque effect of this fine structure are heightened by the great advantages of its position. It was once a spacious square, surrounded by bastions, towers, and out-works; and the natural rampart, fronting the river, was faced by a wall of solid masonry, forty feet in height. After the attainder of the Duke of Ormonde, much of the ancient works were permitted, to fall into decay, and only two sides of the original square now remain. The finest view of the Castle is commanded by the spectator who gazes on it from the school-meadow; and this view is here selected for illustration. In the foreground of the accompanying plate, is seen the river Nore, remarkable for its rapidity; upon the surface of which the spectator of imagination, may fancy our skiff to represent Spenser's poetic barge, navigating
“ the stubborn Newre, whose waters gray, By fair Kilkenny, and Ros-ponte board."
• The original of the house of Ormonde is too ancient to be clearly traced, and its earliest descendants, even after it became eminent for its possessions, power, and alliances, cannot now be ascertained. We know, however, a few interesting circamstances relative to this noble family, in the remote ages of our own history. In the year 1170, Theobald Walter attended King Henry into France, to assist in the adjustment of the controversy relative to Thomas à Beckett, and in the succeeding year, he accompanied his master into Ireland. At that time Theobald obtained large grants of land in Ireland, together with a grant of the office of “ Chief Butler" of Ireland ; which, together with his estate, was made hereditary. From this time the family adopted the surname of Butler ; nor is the real name of the family, previous to this date, ascertained with any tolerable certainty.--James Butler, created Earl of Ormonde in 1322, married the cousin-german of Edward III., and obtained the rights of a Palatinate in the County Tipperary. The son of this illustrious personage was surnamed the Noble Earl, but his modesty procured for him the more enviable appellation of James the Chaste. We pass, per saltum, to Thomas de Ormonde, the seventh Earl, who, having no male issue, suppressed the deeds by which his predecessors had entailed their estates upon the heirs male solely, and divided his English estates between his two daughters, to each of whom he gave thirty-six manors. One of these ladies was married to Sir William Bullen, and thereby became mother of Sir Thomas Bullen, grandmother of the unfortunate Anna Boleyn, (or Bullen) and so, great-grandmother of Queen Elizabeth. This degree of consanguinity was the pretext used by Sir Thomas Bullen, for the extravagant request made by him, of Henry VIII. ; which was, that Piers Butler, Earl of Ormonde, inheritor of the Irish estate, should, forthwith, resign the title of Ormonde to him. It is needless to add, that what Henry willed was instantly executed. Sir Thomas, however, enjoyed the title but for a short period; and, at his decease, it was permitted to return to its natural and legal proprietor, whose descendant now enjoys the dignity of Marquis of Ormonde.Vide Carte, Harris, Anonymous Biography, &c. &c.