Butler, James, second Earl of Ormonde 1331-1382, was descended from the same family as Theobald Butler [qv.]. The grandfather of the second earl of Ormonde was created earl of Carrick, but this title, according to Mr. J. H. Round, was not inherited by the son, who was created earl of Ormonde after his marriage to Eleanor de Bohun, granddaughter of Edward I. The second earl, surnamed the noble earl (because the son of a princess), was born at Kilkenny on 4 Oct. 1331. On his father's death in 1337-8 he was given in ward to Maurice, earl of Desmond, and afterwards to Sir John d'Arcy, whose daughter he married during his minority. His royal descent, as well as his personal services, commended him to the favour of Edward III and Richard II, from whom he received many grants of lands. On 18 April 1359 he was made viceroy of Ireland as lord justice, and after a short absence in England, during which the office was held by Maurice FitzThomas, earl of Kildare, he was again appointed on 15 March 1360. When Lionel, duke of Clarence, was sent to Ireland as viceroy in 1361 in order to take more energetic measures for its reduction, he was appointed one of the three chief officers of his army at the pay of 4s. a day. He did great service in assisting the prince, and, according to records preserved in the corporation books of Kilkenny, slew at Teagstoffin, in the county of Kilkenny, 600 of MacMorrogh's men on the feast of St. Kenelm, 1362. During Lionel's absence in 1364-6 he was appointed deputy along with Sir Thomas Dale. He was again made lord justice in 1376, and continued in this office till the first of Richard II. He died on 18 Oct. 1382 in his castle of Knoctopher, and was buried in the cathedral of St. Canice, Kilkenny. He left one son, James, who succeeded him as third earl.
Carte's Life of the Duke of Ormonde (Oxford ed. 1851), i. lxx-i
Lodge's Peerage of Ireland, iv. pp. 8, 9
Gilbert's Viceroys of Ireland
Genealogist, new ser. vol. ii. (1885), p. 188.
Contributor: T. F. H. [Thomas Finlayson Henderson]