BUTLER, James I (c.1651-96), of Patcham, Suss.
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Family and Education
b. c.1651, 1st s. of James Butler, Clothworker, of St. Benet Fink, London and Amberley, nr. Arundel, Suss. by his 2nd w. Prudence, da. of John Vanacker, merchant, of London. educ. St. Edmund Hall, Oxf. matric. 5 May 1668, aged 17; travelled abroad c.1669. m. 1673, Grace (d. 1734), da. and coh. of Richard Caldicott of Sherrington, Selmeston, Suss., 1s. 4da. suc. fa. 1660.1
Commr. enclosures, Ashdown forest 1691.2
The son of a wealthy London merchant, Butler acquired an estate at Patcham in Sussex through his marriage and made this his principal seat. At the same time he retained some interests in the City and in 1689 held stock worth £1,500 in the East India Company. Probably a nonconformist in the Restoration period, Butler had represented Arundel in the Exclusion Parliaments, and successfully contested the borough again in 1690 when he was classed as a Court supporter in a list of March 1690 and as a Whig in Lord Carmarthen’s (Sir Thomas Osborne†) list of the new Parliament. He was again classed as a Court supporter in a list of about October 1690 and in December as a probable supporter against an attack on Carmarthen in the Commons. Robert Harley* listed Butler as a Country party supporter in April 1691, but Grascome followed the more usual course in classifying him as a Court supporter in his list of spring 1693 extended to 1695. Butler was not active in the House, being sent for in custody on 2 Jan. 1693 for being absent at a call of the House, and then being granted leave of absence for 14 days on 19 Dec. 1693 and for 21 days on 23 Feb. 1694. On 22 Feb. 1694 he gave evidence for and acted as a teller in support of John Cooke*, the Whig candidate in the disputed by-election at Arundel. He did not stand again and died 11 July 1696, aged 45. He was buried at Thakeham in Sussex, his only son James later sitting for Arundel and Sussex.3