Welcome to the home page of The Butler Society.
The Butler Society featured on RTE's Nationwide on 6 February 2015, including an interview with David Butler, journal editor. (Please see part 2 of the show.)
The Butler Society was founded in 1967 and has published The Journal of The Butler Society since 1968. A Butler Rally is held every three years in Kilkenny, Ireland. Members come from many countries including Ireland, UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Spain, Argentina and South Africa.
BUTLER is an occupational name, but it used to have a slightly different meaning. In large medieval households the Butler was the person in charge of the wine. Since many powerful nobles lived in fear of being poisoned, this was a position of considerable trust.
There are a number of different families called Butler, some of which can be traced back to origins in different medieval households in the British Isles. For this reason, The Butler Society deliberately sets out to be a one-name society. In Latin, the name was Buticularius or Pincerna. There used to be many variations in spelling, such as Boteler, Boutillier, Botiller, Butiller, and Botyller. Modern variations include Boutler (France), Buttlar (Germany) and Buteler (Argentina).
However, the Butler Society is not a professional research organisation. The society is run "on a shoestring", on a voluntary basis, by its members. The society tries to help individuals with their research by facilitating networking between members and maintaining a clearing system for information. Like any other networking activity, one tends to get out as much as one puts in.
The Society has been focused on Kilkenny, as the then Marquis stipulated that the Society would have a room set aside in Kilkenny Castle. The Committee meets at the Castle and it is the centre for the triennial rallies etc.