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Butler’s Grange, County Carlow

Butler’s Grange, County Carlow

Click here for other stories about County Carlow places such as Tobinstown, Killerrig and Clonmore.




Butler’s Grange lies just to the north of Tullow, County Carlow. The 735-acre townland was called Vetus Grangia, or the old granary, in 1309 and was probably a monastic farm (or grange) for monks from Tullow. It has been called Butlers Grange since at least since 1559.

In 1703, 412 acres at Butler’s Grange was sold by the Duke of Ormonde to Benjamin Bunbury Jnr. of ‘Killerick’ [Killerrig] for £825 2s. 6d.[i]

The next record I have is for the rent of land there as per the Dublin Evening Post of 3 February 1781, p. 1.

To be LET from the 25th of March next, for such Terms as may be agreed upon, part of the Lands of BUTLER’s GRANGE, near Tullow, in the county of Carlow, consisting of 340 Acres, or thereabouts.
Proposals will be received by Charles Desvoeux, . Esq.; Portarlington, or by Mr. George Shipby, Castledermot

During the early Victorian era, various well regarded stallions stood at Rath in Butler’s Grange for the seasons, including ‘the superior speedy horse’ Pioneer in 1838 and 1844, Earl Fitzwilliam’s Tamburini in 1848 and 1849.

John Byrne was registered as a £10 voter from Butler’s Grange in February 1838.

On 13 November 1841, the Waterford Mail carried a story of a near murder of a Butler’s Grange residence, as originally published in the Carlow Sentinel:

‘On Sunday last James Haydon, of Butler’s grange— whose family has been grievously persecuted since the election of December 1840-proceeded to Tullow chapel. to worship his Creator. On the discovery being made that a “black sheep” was in the chapel, a rush was made, and he was knocked down across the forms and severely beaten. Several of the rioters threw themselves on his body and attempted to suffocate him, while others cried out “kill him.” Hayden escaped out of the chapel with great difficulty, after which he was hooted and pelted with stones until he reached the police barracks, where he sought protection. This riot took place, it is alleged, while the priest was on the altar celebrating mass from which, we infer the ruffians concerned in the outrage and the attempt at murder, possessed no more regard for the precepts of their religion, or the dictates of humanity, than the savages who in France threw down the altars and set up the Goddess of Reason. We cannot find language to express in suitable terms our disgust and abhorrence of these barbarous scenes which are again renewed, and we regret to find in those places where peace and charity towards all mankind should predominate.
Outrages of this nature are disgraceful to civilization, and the frequency with which they are perpetrated in the presence of the Roman Catholic clergy, in the chapels, proves the existence of a wide spread conspiracy that sets the law of the land at defiance— that embitters all the charities of life – that deprives a man of his free agency, and punishes him with mortal vengeance for daring to exercise any social or civil right. We regret to say the advice given in Carlow by the Assistant Barrister, has not been attended with effect; and it is to be hoped that such of the rioters as are identified will be made amenable and punished with the utmost rigour of the law.’

That was not the end of it, as reported in the English Chronicle and Whitehall Evening Post of 31 December 1840:

The disgraceful outrages which were committed in Tullow Chapel on the 6th inst., were again repeated on the day set apart for celebrating the Nativity of the SAVIOUR, as we find, by letters received this morning, that Hayden and [John] Byrne, jun. of Butler’s Grange, were dragged out of the chapel yesterday, and, in all probability, would have been killed on the spot, but for the timely interposition of the constabulary. Amid the tumult that followed this savage outrage, one of the fanatics cried out, “he would suffer to be torn to pieces before one of the renegades should ever enter the chapel!”

We then have this record:

‘[name missing] of Butler’s-grange , Tullow , county Carlow. He left Ireland in 1849; when last heard of was in St. Louis. His nephew, James Burke, whose address is 29 Great Britain street, Dublin, Ireland, would be happy to hear from him.’ [ii]

In 1878, Simon Kenny Furney of Butler’s Grange was licensed by the Royal College of Surgeons. A licence from the Apothecary Hall in Dublin followed the next year. On 23 November 1880, he was entered in the register of the Medical Council. On 10 March 1883, the Kildare Observer reported on the marriage on 6 March, at St. Peter’s Church, by the Rev. T. C. Trench, of Thomas, only son of Joseph Molyneux, Decoy House, Dunlavin, County Wicklow, and Mary Grace (Minnie), daughter of Benjamin Furney, Butler’s Grange, county Carlow,

Richard Fenton of Butlers Grange died in November 1881 and was interred at Donard, county Wicklow. As the Dublin Weekly Nation recorded on 26 November 1881, the coffin was carried on a military brake as Mr Fenton junior was unable ‘to procure a hearse though he tired every town within a circuit of thirty miles.’ He was boycotted for taking the farm at Liscolman  for which Mr O’Toole, by then being held in Naas Gaol, had not been accepted as a tenant. There was a police presence at the Donard funeral.

In 1903, Thom’s Directory recorded it as the home of James Fenton.

There were 62 people living in Butler’s Grange at the time of the 1911 census, as per here, including John and Hannah Fenton, and William Groves of the railway.

Shane O’Reilly of S-Vax is among the residents there in the 2020s.




[i] 1703 Counterpart of a release from James, Duke of Ormonde, to Benjamin Bunbury Jnr. of ‘Killerick’ [Killerrig], Co. Catherlogh (Carlow), of the lands of Butler’s Grange, Co. Carlow, totalling 412 acres, for ever in consideration of a payment of £825 2s. 6d. This deed is signed and sealed by Bunbury. Attached is a 1p schedule of [palatine] lands recently sold by Ormonde to enable him to pay his creditors under the terms of 1701 legislation. 20 Apr. 1703. 2pp. National Library of Ireland Collection List No.176 Ormonde Papers (Additional). MS 48,373/14 1703.

[ii] The Search for Missing Friends: Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot, Volume 7, Ruth-Ann Mellish Harris, Donald M. Jacobs, B. Emer O’Keeffe (New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1989).