Baron Dunboyne

Baron Dunboyne was a title first held by the Petit family some time after the Norman invasion of Ireland. Dunboyne was part of the Lordship of Meath. The Petit family also had land holdings in Mullingar. In 1227, Ralph Petit became Bishop of Meath. In that capacity he founded a priory of the Blessed Virgin in Mullingar and he endowed this establishment with the townland of Kilbraynan (or Kilbrena) in Dunboyne, along with the rectory of Dunboyne, its tithes and other ecclesiastical revenues.[1] A century later, Thomas Butler, son of Theobald Butler, 4th Chief Butler of Ireland, married Sinolda, heiress of William le Petit. In 1324, Butler was created Baron Dunboyne by prescription. In this way, the Dunboyne properties and titles passed to the Butlers. In 1541, the barony was created by patent in the Peerage of Ireland.[2] The barons are alternately numbered from the early 14th century by numbers ten greater than the number dating to the patent (e.g. the 28th/18th Baron Dunboyne died May 19, 2004). The first baron of this sequence in turn married the heiress to an earlier line of Barons Dunboyne.

Barons Dunboyne (1324)

Kiltinan Castle, Fethard, County Tipperary, was the seat of the barons until the Reformation in Ireland.

Barons Dunboyne (1541)

The heir presumptive is the present holder's second cousin once removed Michael James Butler (born 1944).[5]

Note As a Roman Catholic bishop, when the 12th/22nd baron inherited the titles, he feared that his vows of celebacy would lead to the extinguishment of the titles altogether. Following the refusal of the Pope to release him from his vows, he Apostatised, embraced the Church of Ireland and married late in life in the hope of fathering an heir. Following the death of a son in infancy, it looked like the title would indeed become extinct. Howerever, a distant relative of the 2nd/12th baron was found in County Clare who succeeded to the title. His ancestry is as follows:[6]

James Butler, 2nd/12th Baron Dunboyne married Margaret O'Brien. Their son,

See also


  1. Dunboyne parish history
  2. Mosley, ed. Burke's Peerage 10th Edition 2003 Vol.1 p.1212
  3. – Knockelly Castle
  4. Burke's Peerage, p.1212
  5. "Peerage News – DUNBOYNE, The Rt Hon 29th Baron (John Fitzwalter BUTLER 1951–2013)". Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  6. The Peerage – 23rd Baron Dunboyne
  7. Edmund Lodge, "The peerage of the British empire as at present existing.", London 1832, p145
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