Butler, James (1543–79), landowner, was the eldest son of Piers Butler (qv) of Grallagh (d. 1578) and Honora Fitzgerald (d. 1577), the apparently illegitimate daughter of James (qv), 11th earl of Desmond (d. 1529). He participated in his father's military actions against Gerald Fitzgerald (qv), 15th earl of Desmond (d. 1583), during the 1560s at the height of the Ormond–Desmond feud, and fought in February 1565 at the battle of Affane in Co. Waterford, where the Butlers won a crushing victory over Desmond. Despite the government's demands that the feud end, James and his father continued to raid Desmond's lands in late 1566 and early 1567. James, along with his brother John, supported the Butler revolt of 1569 led by Sir Edmund Butler (qv) of Cloghgrenan, for which they were both attainted in 1570. Eventually, however, both were pardoned, on 2 January 1572. Resident at Ballinrosse, Co. Tipperary, in 1572, James inherited Grallagh upon his father's death in 1578, but became embroiled in a succession dispute with his cousin James Butler, Lord Dunboyne, over Grallagh. He died before 14 November 1579.
Butler married, firstly, Eleanor Purcell, daughter of Thomas Purcell of Ballinrosse, Co. Tipperary, with whom he had two daughters. His second wife was Honora, daughter of Philip O'Dwyer, of Kilnamanagh, Co. Tipperary. They had two sons and one daughter. This second marriage gave him a life interest in O'Dwyer property in Tipperary. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Edmund, who, on coming of age, transferred Grallagh to Dunboyne in return for Dunboyne's lands at Boytonrath.