an endownment for the divinity school in Trinity College. On the important question of the revision of the prayer book ‘Dr. Butcher rather aided with the revision party, to which undoubtedly his character, position, and learning contributed very considerable weight’ (Freeman’s Journal, 31 July 1876).
In the midst of these labours, and while still in the enjoyment of a remarkably vigorous constitution, he was suddenly prostrated by a severe attack of congestion of the lungs and bronchitis. In a moment of delirium he inflicted on himself a wound from which he expired almost immediately. He died on 29 July 1876, at his episcopal residence, Ardbraccan House, Navan. His public life was a solid and unbroken success, no less honourable to himself than useful to the university and the church to which he belonged. Within the private circle of his own family he was peculiarly happy and fortunate, and he possessed in the fullest degree the affection of his friends and the respect of the public. He was buried in the churchyard of Ardbraccan. He married, in 1847, Mary, second daughter of John Leahy, of South Hill, Killarney, by whom he had two sons and four daughters. His eldest son (S. H. Butcher) is now (1886) professor of Greek at Edinburgh.
His published works consist chiefly of occasional addresses, sermons, and charges to his clergy, and a treatise (published after his death) on the ‘Theory and Construction of the Ecclesiastical Calendar,’ London, 1877. Of his charges perhaps the one which excited most attention was that of October 1874 (Dublin), in which he dealt exhaustively with Professor Tyndall’s address to the British Association, delivered in Belfast in 1874.
[Cork Examiner; Saunders’s Newsletter, 8 Aug. 1866; Irish Times, 7 Aug. 1866; Daily Express, 31 July 1876.]
BUTE, Earls and Marquises of. [See Stuart.]
BUTLER, ALBAN (1711–1773), hagiographer, was descended from the ancient family of the Butlers of Aston-le-Walls, in Northamptonshire. Towards the close of the seventeenth century that family was represented by two brothers, Alban and Simon. Alban, the elder, had issue only one daughter, who married Mr. Edward Plowden, of Plowden, Shropshire. She inherited the estate at Aston-le-Walls, and from her it descended to the Plowden family. The Appletree estate devolved to Simon, the younger brother. His son, also named Simon, married Ann, daughter of Thomas Birch, of Garscott, Staffordshire. They had issue three sons, Charles, Alban, and James. At a very early age Alban Butler was sent to a school in Lancashire, where he distinguished himself by his intense application to literature, sacred biography being, even then, his favourite pursuit. When eight years old he was transferred to the English college at Douay, and about this time lost both his parents. After the usual course of study he was admitted an alumnus of the college, and appointed professor, first of philosophy, and then of divinity. He was ordained priest in 1735. The solicitude with which he tended the wounded English soldiers who were conveyed as prisoners to Douay, after the battle of Fontenoy, was brought under the notice of the Duke of Cumberland, who promised Butler a special protection whenever he should come over to England. While he remained at Douay his first publication made its appearance: ‘Letters on the History of the Popes published by Mr. Archibald Bower’ [q. v.] In l745-6 he accompanied the Earl of Shrewsbury and the Hon. James Talbot and Thomas Talbot on their travels through France and Italy. He wrote a full account of the tour, which was published at Edinburgh in 1803 by his nephew, Charles Butler. On his return from his travels he was sent to the English mission. He had long been engaged in composing the ‘Lives of the Saints,’ and he naturally wished to be stationed in London for its literary resources; but the vicar apostolic of the midland district claimed him as belonging to that district, and appointed him to a mission in Staffordshire. Thence he removed to Warkworth, the seat of Mr. Francis Eyre, and next he was appointed chaplain to Edward, duke of Norfolk, and charged with superintending the education of Edward, the duke’s nephew, and presumptive heir to the title. His first residence, after he was appointed to this situation, was at Norwich, in a house generally called the Duke’s palace. Thither some large boxes of books belonging to him were directed, but by mistake were sent to the bishop’s palace. The bishop opened them, and, finding that they contained catholic books, refused to deliver them. In this difficulty Butler appealed to the Duke of Cumberland, who immediately wrote to the bishop, and the books were sent to the owner.
Butler accompanied his pupil, Mr. Edward Howard, to Paris, where that young nobleman, who was the Marcellus of the English catholics, was suddenly taken ill and died a few days afterwards. During his residence in the French capital he completed his ‘Lives of the Saints,’ a monument of erudition on which he had been engaged for thirty years. The work was published anonymously in London, the full title being ‘The Lives of