Butler, Thomas (c.1424–1515), 7th earl of Ormond , was third son of James (qv), 4th earl of Ormond, and his first wife, Joan, daughter of William Beauchamp, Lord Abergavenny. Though born in Ireland he spent virtually his entire life in England. Butler was neither a prominent soldier nor a politician during his youth, but became the holder of a significant landed estate in England when he married (1445) Anne Hankeford. He remained a committed supporter of the Lancastrians and was one of those attainted by the English parliament in November 1461. He supported the attempt by John Butler (qv), 6th earl of Ormond, to raise a Lancastrian revolt in Ireland, and received a second attainder in Ireland in January 1463. Butler went into exile in France with the Lancastrian court, returned to England during the short-lived restoration of Henry VI, fought and was captured at Tewkesbury, and was formally pardoned in October 1473. Although he never developed a cordial relationship with the king, Butler did begin to recover his family's position in England in this period. He succeeded to his brother's Irish titles in June 1477 and was knighted at the coronation of Richard III, whom he served as a privy councillor – a position he retained in the reign of Henry VII. Under Henry VII the English attainder was reversed (November 1485) and Ormond was restored to his lands in England. He was appointed chamberlain to the queen (before August 1486), regularly attended council meetings, and served as an ambassador to Brittany (1491) and Burgundy (1497). He was created Lord Ormond of Rocheford, in England, before 1489, and was a regular presence at court functions throughout the reign.
Although Ormond successfully restored his position in England, he was faced with troubles in Ireland during the 1490s. Prior to this, he had generally ignored his lands in Ireland, and his efforts to impose his authority there were opposed to a great extent by his cousin Sir Piers Butler (qv), who was supported by Gerald FitzGerald (qv), 8th earl of Kildare. In an attempt to secure his Irish lordship, Ormond sent his illegitimate nephew, Sir James Butler of Ormond (qv), to be his deputy in Ireland, a move that was bitterly opposed by Sir Piers and Kildare. When this experiment failed, Ormond was forced to turn to Sir Piers Butler to restore order. Despite his personal successes, Ormond's failure to provide a male heir caused problems after his death when the possession of the earldom was contested between Sir Piers Butler and Ormond's grandchildren led by Sir Thomas Boleyn. Ormond died in early August 1515 and was buried in the House of St Thomas of Acre in London.