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|The Butlers of County Clare by Sir Henry Blackall|
Bunnahow; Walterstown; Kilcommon and Ballyline; Doonbeg
William Butler II of Bunnahow (known as “Liam Oge”) who thus succeeded in 1823, also took part in the Emancipation movement and as later as 1827 we find him moving a resolution calling for “complete, unequivocal and unqualified Emancipation”. But at the eventful Clare election of the following year all Butlers including William, supported Vesey Fitzgerald against O’Connell. This does not, however, imply a recantation of principle, for Vesey Fitzgerald was himself a supporter of the Catholic claims, and there were other reasons which caused the Butlers to regard his candidature with more favour than his opponent’s. In those days, and indeed for long after, it was generally accepted that a County Member should not only be a large landowner, but that his property should lie within the county he represented in Parliament. Fitzgerald possessed both of these qualifications, but the Liberator did not. Further, the Fitzgeralds were neighbours of the Butlers, and the families were intermarried.
William II, like his cousin James Blake Butler, was the target of attack by the Terry Alts, who committed several outrages on his property. In March 1831 a large party of them attacked Bunnahow House. William Butler and his eldest son were absent at the Assizes at the time, but his second son Robert, a lad of eighteen, returned the fire with effect, his mother reloading the guns for him  and drove off the attackers. Robert’s spirited conduct had a gratifying sequel, for the Lord Lieutenant (the Marquis of Anglesey) who was staying with the FitzGeralds of Carrigoran at the time, forthwith presented Robert Butler with a commission in the 41st Regiment of Foot “for the gallant defence of his father’s house when recently attacked.” It was on this visit of Lord Anglesey to Carrigoran that the Terry Alts, by way of welcoming His Majesty’s representative, dug a grave in front of the house.
Robert’s elder brother, William Butler III of Bunnahow, was educated at Trinity College, Dublin but left without taking a degree, owing to an exploit which cut short his academic career. A fellow-student laid him a wager that he would not kiss the Archbishop of Dublin’s daughter (Miss Whately) on her way out of the College Chapel after morning Service on the following Sunday. William took on the bet and won it, but the College authorities were not amused and the delinquent was rusticated. Some years later he married Ellen Lambert of Castle Ellen, Co. Galway. Her younger sister Isabella, was mother of Lord (better known as Sir Edward) Carson, leader of the Ulster Party in its opposition to Home Rule. William Butler III had two sons and two daughters. Lambert, the younger son, married the daughter of a wealthy mineowner in Australia. Their daughter Mary was an ardent Gaelic Leaguer, and in her political outlook departed from the traditional loyalty of the Butlers to the Crown. Pious Orangemen will be shocked to learn that a cousin of “King” Carson should have christened Sinn Fein, but such was the case, for it was Mary Butler who suggested to Arthur Griffith that he should call his new movement by that name.
William Butler IV of Bunnahow, the eldest son, served as High Sheriff at the age of twenty five but died two years later. He married Margaret MacNamara, who had an interesting strain of Butler blood through her mother, Margaret Galwey  a descendant of Richard Butler of Kilcash, the Confederate leader (supra).
When William Butler II died in 1871 at the patriarchal age of 87, he was succeeded by his great-gransdson William Butler V of Bunnahow, who died unmarried in 1891 aet 27. Of his brothers and sisters only one (Isabella) married. She was mother of the present writer, who represents the Bunnahow branch in the female line.
Nicholas Butler’s youngest brother Anthony had a remarkable career. After eighteen years in the Royal Irish Fusiliers, in the course of which he saw service in the Indian Mutiny and the China War of 1860, Capt. Butler astonished his relatives by resigning from the Army in 1866 in order to become a Jesuit. Twelve years later he was consecrated a Bishop and appointed Vicar-Apostolic of British Guiana, where he died in 1901 after a successful episcopate of twenty-five years. The Soldier-Bishop was buried with full military honours in Brickdam Cathedral, Georgetown.
Kilcommon and Ballyline
James Butler of Castlekeale, Co. Clare, his son and heir, married a daughter of the 7th Lord Cahir, while Sir Toby’s daughter, Frances, was wife of the 8th Baron. After Sir Toby’s death his widow resided with her daughter Lady Cahir, and died at Rehill Castle near Clogheen in 1735. Her grandson James Butler migrated from Clare to Tipperary on succeeding his brother Theobald (who died unmarried) and took up his residence at Kilcommon adjoing Cahir Castle, and he continued to live there until his death. By his will (proved 12 May 1780) he appointed his intimate friends Lord Chief Justice Patterson as executor, and directed that he be buried in the Parish Church of Cahir with his second wife and that a monument be erected to his memory.
James Butler’s eldest son Theobald who succeeded to both the Clare and Tipperary estates, resided in the latter county until his death in 1810. But when his son Augustine (Austin) came of age, he decided to make his home in Clare. As the lease of Millbrooke, of which he was head landlord, had previously been determined, he made this the family seat. Augustine Butler was Colonel of the Clare Militia and a Deputy Lieutenant for the county. He was a keep sportsman and was the last winner of the Clare Gold Cup, which mysteriously disappeared from Ballyline House after his death. A full length portrait of Col. Butler hung in the County Club at Ennis until its dissolution a few years ago. Augustine Butler married Kate Stacpoole  by whom he had an only son Theobald, who succeeded him. On the latter’s death in 1886 without male issue, estates were inherited by his two daughters as co-heiresses.