Butler, Richard (1794–1862), clergyman and antiquarian, was born 14 October 1794 near Granard, Co. Longford, second son among six sons and a daughter of Richard Butler, clergyman in Burnchurch, Co. Kilkenny, and Martha Butler (née Rothwell). He attended Kilkenny College and schools in England before entering Balliol College, Oxford; he graduated (1818) with a first-class honours degree in classics and took deacon's orders. He failed a fellowship examination, and in 1819 was ordained and took over from his father as vicar of Trim. From 1823 to 1837 he was a magistrate in Trim, where he founded a school at his own expense; his considerable personal influence in the area was used on several occasions to quell riots and discontent, particularly over the tithe question. He was sometimes at variance with other protestant gentry, and did not strongly support the evangelical movement. In 1835 he published The country churchyard, the first book ever printed in Trim; also an English version of a Latin redaction of the Annals of the Four Masters, an edition (1842) of Grace's Annals of Ireland, and religious works in 1856 and 1857. He was a founder in 1840 of the Irish Archaeological Society, which published in 1849 his edition of Clyn's and Dowling's annals. His best-known work was Some notices of the castle and of the abbies [sic] of Trim (1835; 2nd ed. 1840). He introduced reforms into Trim jail and helped found a fever hospital in 1841. In 1847 he was made dean of Clonmacnoise, a sinecure post. In 1859 he became paralysed, and died on 17 July 1862. He married (14 August 1826) Harriet, daughter of Richard Edgeworth (qv) of Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford; some of her nephews and nieces and her half-sister, Maria Edgeworth (qv), occasionally lived with them, but the Butlers had no children of their own.
Harriet Butler, A memoir of the Very Reverend Richard Butler, dean of Clonmacnois and vicar of Trim (1863); Boase; Burke, LGI (1912), 93