BUTLER, John I (?1503/4-72/3), of Warwick.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. ?1503/4, ?s. of John Butler of Solihull by Katherine, da. and h. of Alan Hore of Elmdon. educ. ?M. Temple. m. Alice, at least 1s. 4da. suc. fa. ?4 Feb. 1512.

Offices Held

Bailiff, Warwick 1555.

Servant of the Earl of Leicester.


Butler sold his mother’s manor of Elmdon in 1542 and subsequently resided in Warwick where he became a prominent townsman. In 1564 he was noted in the bishop’s letter as ‘indifferent’ and of ‘no religion’. Shortly before his death Butler was described as ‘of great credit and trust’ with the Earl of Leicester, being ‘both his servant and one of the principal burgesses of this borough’. As such he was returned to Parliament, and took a leading part in negotiations with the Earl on the occasion of his visit to Warwick in September 1571, which lead to the foundation of the borough’s Leicester hospital. It was Butler who sold the town £11 worth of oxen to be presented to Leicester. When a misunderstanding arose as to the timing of the ceremony, Butler came in for a share of the blame. In December when he was at Kenilworth, he was asked by the bailiff and principal burgesses to convey to Leicester as a new year’s gift from the borough the title deed to the Burgess Hall and the adjacent land whereon the hospital was to be built. Butler declined the invitation. Earlier that month he may have been the ‘Mr. Butler’ who was one of the pall-bearers at the funeral of William, Marquess of Northampton at Warwick.

Butler made his will 25 Sept. 1572, asking to be buried in the church at Warwick, to which he left 6s.8d. His wife was to have all her household goods, a barn, some corn and cattle and a £16 annuity, part of which was to be represented by the tenure of her own house. He appointed his son Thomas sole executor, leaving him all his lands and leases and the residue of his goods. The will was proved 19 Feb. 1573.

Dugdale, Warws. ii. 1001; C142/27/17; Cam. Misc. ix(3), p. 8; Black Bk. of Warwick, 31-64, 424; PCC 7 Peter.

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: J.E.M.