Butler, Piers (d. 1652), soldier and politician, was eldest son of Edward Butler, 1st Viscount Galmoy (cr. 1646), and Anne, daughter of Edmund Butler, 2nd Viscount Mountgarret. Piers entered Gray's Inn in 1623 and on his return to Ireland married Margaret Netterville, daughter of Nicholas, 1st Viscount Netterville (qv). He lived at Barrowmount, Co. Kilkenny, and represented his native county in the 1640 parliament, but does not appear to have played a significant role. Butler joined the rebellion that erupted in October 1641 at an early stage, commanding a company of soldiers in the vicinity of Gowran. Local protestants accused him of complicity in a number of murders at this stage, but could provide only circumstantial evidence. Whatever the truth, Butler was formally expelled from the commons on 22 June 1642. A nephew of Richard Butler (qv), 3rd Viscount Mountgarret, he became an active confederate, taking the oath of association, and attending meetings of the general assembly in Kilkenny. His involvement, however, was primarily military: he served in the Leinster army and participated in the 1644 Ulster campaign as a captain in the regiment of Lord Castleconnell (qv). Butler also acted as sheriff of Kilkenny until the crisis over the Ormond peace treaty in August 1646. The surviving evidence for the next eighteen months is confusing. A Piers Butler sat on the next two supreme councils, supporting the papal nuncio GianBattista Rinuccini (qv) in opposing accommodation with the royalists, but this was almost certainly Piers Butler of Moneyhore, Co. Wexford, another prominent confederate. By 1648, as the nuncio's support began to wane, the peace faction recovered lost ground. In April 1648 Butler attended a meeting of the Leinster provincial council, and supported the idea of a truce with the protestant Murrough O'Brien (qv), Lord Inchiquin. Some time later he left for England, joining the royalist forces as a captain of the dragoons. He was killed in a skirmish in Wexford shortly before 6 May 1652. His eldest son Edward became 2nd Viscount Galmoy in 1653, and recovered the family estates after the restoration of Charles II.
BL, Add. MS 4781, ff 12–34; Bodl., Carte MSS, xviii, 291, 368; xx, 556, xxi, 571; PRO, SPI 265/19, f. 131; King's Inns, Prendergast papers, vi, f. 827; x, f. 185; Bodl., Rawlinson MS B507, f. 43; TCD, MS 812, ff 287, 319, 321, 323; Ulick Burke, Clanricarde memoirs (1747), 171–2; Stat. Ire., ii (1786), 256; Lodge, Peerage (1789) iv, 48; Commons jn. Ire. (1796), i, 299; Gilbert, Ir. confed., ii, 47–8, 213; iii, 202; vi, 86, 93–4; CSPI, 1633–47; G. D. Burtchaell, Genealogical memoirs of the members of parliament for the county and city of Kilkenny (1888), 33–4; G.E.C., Peerage, v, 609; R. Dunlop (ed.), Ireland under the commonwealth (2 vols, 1913), i, 191; Aidan Clarke, The Old English in Ireland, 1625–42 (1966); Donald Jackson, Intermarriage in Ireland 1550–1650 (1970), 48–9; D. F. Cregan, ‘Irish catholic admissions to the English inns of court’, Ir. Jurist, v (summer 1970), 109; Hugh Kearney, Strafford in Ireland 1633–41 (1989 ed.)