Paul Davys and Sir H. Tichborne, with the body of members, to the bar of the House of Lords. The lords themselves ordered that his seat should be above all the earls. The speaker of the commons gave thanks to the lords for the honour thus done to Ossory, who was further complimented by the lord chancellor. In April 1664 Ormonde left Ireland for court, returning in October 1665, during which interval Ossory acted as his deputy.
In 1665 he returned to England, and was on a visit to his future brother-in-law, Arlington, at the latter's seat at Euston, when the first great battle, lasting for four days, took place with the Dutch off the Suffolk coast. Hearing the guns at sea, he, with Sir Thomas Clifford, managed to get from Harwich on board the Duke of Albemarle's ship, and bring him the welcome news that Rupert was on his way to reinforce him; and he remained with the duke, for whom he had ever afterwards a high opinion, during two days' fighting. He is stated by his daring conduct in this fight to have ‘become the darling of the kingdom, and especially of the seamen, who called him the preserver of the navy.’ He was shortly made a gentleman of the king's bedchamber upon his father's resignation, was placed on the English privy council in June 1666, and on 14 Sept. in the same year was summoned to the English House of Lords by the title of Lord Butler of Moore Park, taking his seat on 18 Sept. The lords were soon treated to a specimen of his fiery temper. The Duke of Buckingham, who was busily plotting against Ormonde, asserted in the house that none were against the bill then before them, prohibiting the importation of Irish cattle, except such as had Irish estates or Irish understandings (Pepys, 27 Oct. 1666). Ossory, on 26 Oct., angrily replied, and delighted to find an excuse for quarrelling with Buckingham at once challenged him, but on arriving at the place of meeting was arrested by the king's guard, Buckingham having, according to Carte (iv. 270), given notice to Charles. Clarendon's account differs somewhat from that of Carte. He says nothing of an arrest, and mentions that Buckingham went to a place other than that appointed, pretending that it was called by the same name (Life, 969). Buckingham having complained of a breach of privilege, Ossory was released by the king to make his defence, but was sent back to the Tower by the lords, the duke too being taken into custody. On 31 Oct. Ossory presented a petition to the lords, drawn up by Arlington, who had vigorously espoused his quarrel in the house, expressing his regret, and praying to be released, which was done two days after the arrest. Pepys states that the quarrel was between Ossory and Clarendon; but this is of course a clerical error, as Clarendon was one of Ormonde's greatest friends, and himself rebuked Buckingham (Carte, iv. 270). A fresh quarrel, it appears, broke out on 19 Nov., in which Ossory flatly gave Buckingham the lie (Hist. MSS. Comm. 8th Rep. 102 a, 102 b). For this, and for a similar attack upon Ashley, when, after great provocation, he said that Ashley spoke like one of Oliver's council, the fiery young man was compelled by the house to ask pardon of his opponents.
In 1668 Ormonde asked leave of Charles to come to court, leaving his son as his deputy. Ossory accordingly set out in March and remained until his father's deprivation of the lord-lieutenancy in March of the following year, 1669, when he returned to England. He had been put in full possession of the intrigues against Ormonde by Arlington, who was sincerely attached to himself, but who was at the time engaged in them.
In May 1670 Ossory went in the king's train to Dover to meet the Duchess of Orleans, and in the following October was sent with a fleet of yachts to bring the Prince of Orange to England, sailing from Harwich about the 13th (ib. 6th Rep. 367 b), and returning with him at the end of the month. It was in this year that the attempt was made by Blood upon his father's life. Ossory ascribed the outrage directly to the Duke of Buckingham before the king's face, and added: ‘If my father comes to a violent end, by sword or pistol, … I shall not be at a loss to know the first author of it. I shall consider you as the assassin; … and wherever I meet you I shall pistol you, though you stood behind the king's chair. And I tell it you in his majesty's presence, that you may be sure I shall keep my word.’
In February Ossory was again appointed to attend the Prince of Orange back to the Hague. Thence he returned by Flanders and Paris, intending to serve as a volunteer in the French force destined for Alsace. The expedition having, however, fallen through, Ossory once more came to Holland and thence to England. He had completely won the respect of Orange, who in April sent him as a present ‘a bason and ewer of massy gold.’
In June 1671 Ossory went over to Flanders to be present at the siege of Brunswick. Disappointed here, he was, in January 1671–2, in command of the third-rate king's ship the Resolution, and was on board of her when, along with Sir Robert Holmes, he attacked, on 14 March, the Dutch Smyrna