Hervey WALTER Theobald 2nd Butler Le Botiller FITZWALTER Maud LE VAVASOUR Maud DE VALOIGNES Mini tree diagram

Theobald Walter 1st Butler DE BOTILLER1,3

also known as Theobald FITZWALTER2

before 11561 - after Apr 12061

Life History

before 1156

Born in West Dereham, Downham, Norfolk, England.1

about 1185

Appointed in Chief Butler of Ireland for the King of England.1


Birth of son Theobald 2nd Butler Le Botiller FITZWALTER in Arklow, Wicklow, Leinster, Ireland.4

after Apr 1206

Died in Arklow, Wicklow, Leinster, Ireland.1

after Apr 1206

Buried in Abbey of Wotheney, Limerick, Ireland.1

(most likely)

Other facts


Married Maud LE VAVASOUR


Buried in Wortheney Abbey, Limerick, Ireland.2


  • Theobald Walter born before 1156 was created the first "Butler of Ireland" (about 1185) on behalf of the Norman King of England.  "De Botiler" or "De Botiller" are spellings of the word that became modern English "butler."

    Theobald Walter was also known as the Baron of Arklow, though there might not have been an official barony of Arklow established at that time.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica gives us this sumamry of Arklow:


    "Irish AN TINBHEAR MÓR, port, seaside resort and urban district on the Irish Sea coast, in County Wicklow, southeast Ireland. In 431 St. Palladius, the Christian missionary, landed at the present site of Arklow. The Vikings had a settlement there, and the town was granted by John of England in 1189 to Theobald Fitz-Walter, Lord Butler of Ireland. It was an English stronghold during the late medieval period, and there are remains of a 13th-century Dominican friary and fragments of the Butler castle. Small boats, pottery, and fertilizers are manufactured there."
    --  Encyclopaedia Britannica, Electronic, 1997, "ARKLOW"

    A source presents comments by Jay Weber on the relation of the Fitzwalter/Butler family to Arklow, their primary seat in Ireland:


    "The existence of the Barony of Arklow as an Irish Peerage, though believed in by some, can hardly be maintained. In the elaborate account of the Butler family give (1754 and 1789) by John Lodge, in his Peerage of Ireland, the title of "Baron of Arklow" is not even mentioned. William Lynch, however (who may be considered as an authority on Feudal Institutions in Ireland), classes it as "an ancient feudal Barony" descending (in accordance with his views on these "prescriptive or feudal dignities") to the heir male. He contends that the first holder of this "Barony" was Theobald Walter, the first "Butler" (who was possessed, possibly in 1177, but certainly in 1205, of the Lordship of Arklow), and that from him it has descended to his heirs male, thereby vesting in each successive Earl of Ormonde of the house of Butler. In support of this assertion he urges that "it continued to be enjoyed by the heir male of the Butler family, even when, under Henry VII, the heir male had ceased to hold the Earldom", and that it was "so enjoyed by the successive heirs male who became Earls". [Complete Peerage I:213-4] Note: CP does not recognize the "Barony" of Arklow."  This source includes other facts from Irish Butler history.
    -- http://awtc.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=:2738450&id=I76626

    The Butlerage was associated with the title of the Earl of Ormonde.  I became first acquainted with them in the history of King Edward I in relation to the De Burgh house in Ireland.  De Burghs were allied with the Norman King Edward and attempted to bring some Norman order (read: submission) to the unruly and independent Lords of Ireland, the traditional kings (chiefs) of the island.  A De Burgh married into the Irish family.  Though the Norman lords were initially allied with the ruling dynasty of England, they gradually became more Irish.  They are often referred to in history as the "Anglo-Irish" lords.  This De Burgh name is also found in the spelling Burke or Burk.

    This De Burgh line is related to the Butler line in Scotland, which is the source of the Butler lineage related in this genealogy the McSwains of Arkansas.  One connection to Scotland is that an Elizabeth de Burgh, daughter of Richard De Burgh, the Earl of Ulster Richard De Burgh, married Robert de Bruce (de Bruis).

    Richard was the son of Walter de Burgh (c. 1230-71), the 1st earl of Ulster.  (There has previously been an Earldom of Ulster; this one was a new "creation" for Walter De Burgh.)  Richard was ruthless in his dominance of the province of Connaught, re-establishing his family's power there by deposing the native King of Ulster, Brian O'Neill, and appointing his own.

    Elizabeth's husband Robert the Bruce already had associations with Ireland, since he inherited form his father (also Robert) the title of Earl of Carrick (Ireland).  Robert later became King of Scotland about 1304 under the suzerainty of King Edward.  It was this Robert the Bruce (there were several among his descendants) who finally led the successful independence movement stared at the popular level by William Wallace, that led to independence of Scotland.

    This independence was much more successful than the Irish efforts.  Scotland continued independent, though with much interference from the English crown, until the unification of the two crowns under the Stewart family, when James VI of Scotland became James I of England, to succeed the "Virgin Queen," Elizabeth I of England.  The two countries were united into one united kingdom in 1707 under the Stewart Queen Anne.

    More detail is provided about the appointment of the Frist Butler in another source.  The following was provided by Curt Hofemann, curt_hofemannyahoo.com, in a post-em:

    "King Henry II of England appointed his youngest son John as Lord of Ireland. John came to view his acquisition in 1185 and initiated a policy of granting lands, hitherto uncolonised, to members of his entourage. lmost all of the area now comprising the administrative county called Tipperary North Riding - which includes the baronies of Upper and Lower Ormond - was part of the grant made by John to Theobald, eldest son of Hervey Walter of Lancashire, England. Theobald was subsequently appointed Pincerna Hiberniae or Chief Butler of Ireland. By about 1250, title and surname had become Le Botiller, later anglicised to Butler."
    --  Curt Hofemann, http://homepage.tinet.ie/~marydan/nenagh.htm

    "Le Botller" or "Le Botiler" were the Norman-French forms of the germanic word for "butler."  The Latin words for the equivalent meaning are given in the above source:  "Pincerna Hiberniae."  The term was at that time roughly equivalent to the title originally held by the father of Charlemagne, Charles Martel, in the kingdom of the Franks, "Major Domo" of the palace.

    The Butler Family History, cited by several sources, reports that the First Butler (Theobald FitzWalter) built the Abbey of Wotheney, where he was buried, and the Monastery of Arklow, in Wicklow, where the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Butlers were buried.
    --  cited in http://awtc.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=:2738450&id=I76626


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