Butler (le Botiller), Theobald (1242–85), magnate and 4th chief butler of Ireland, was only son of Theobald Butler (qv) and Margery, daughter of Richard de Burgh (qv). After his father's death (1248) his wardship was initially granted to Peter de Bermingham (qv), but on the payment of a substantial sum was transferred to John FitzGeoffrey (qv) in January 1251. The wardship then became part of a complicated settlement between Peter of Savoy (the queen's uncle) and the king, over debts owed by the latter to the former, and eventually ended up in the hands of Geoffrey de Lusignan. This caused a disagreement, eventually settled, between the king and the Lord Edward.
Theobald came into his inheritance c.1263, and on 6 December 1264 he was captured (along with Richard de la Rochelle (qv), the justiciar) at Castledermot in Co. Kildare by Maurice fitz Maurice FitzGerald (qv) (d. 1286) and Maurice fitz Gerald FitzGerald (qv) (d. 1268), and was imprisoned at Lea castle and Dunmase. This action was part of a war between the Geraldines and Walter de Burgh (qv), earl of Ulster, Butler's cousin and brother-in-law, with whom he had sided during the conflict. His release was probably procured after the mediation of a peace between the two sides by Geoffrey de Geneville (qv) on 15 April 1265.
Butler may have been part of an Irish contingent that fought at Evesham on the victorious royalist side. He seems to have remained in England over the following years, though he had returned to Ireland by 1269. Over the rest of his career he often commuted between his estates on both sides of the Irish Sea. In December 1269 he came before the justiciar, Robert of Ufford (qv), and made a fine for £500 for his men and tenants in Tipperary and Limerick who were accused of regularly disturbing the peace. His mounting debts (some of them inherited, the rest a result of a land-buying spree and speculation) led to an agreement with the king by which he relinquished a valuable advowson in Lancashire in part-payment, the remainder to be paid off in yearly instalments.
In February 1282 he acquired the lands of Philip de la Rochelle in Connacht in exchange for lands in Co. Dublin; he also agreed to shoulder part of Philip's debt to the crown. During the course of the Easter parliament held at Dublin in 1281 he forcibly evicted the citizens of Dublin from lands he claimed in the county. They complained vigorously to the king, stating that Theobald's influence was such with the justiciar and the Irish council that the matter would never be fairly tried. The same year he accompanied Ufford on an expedition to Thomond against the O'Briens. He died on 29 September 1285 at Arklow castle and was buried in the Dominican church there.
He married (a. 1268) Joan, daughter of John FitzGeoffrey, his former guardian; they had at least eight sons and one daughter. Theobald (qv), his eldest son and heir, initially succeeded to the Butler estates and was in turn succeeded by his brother Edmund (qv).