BUTLER, James (c.1680-1741), of Warminghurst Park, Suss.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1705 - 1708
1715 - 1722
29 Feb. 1728 - 17 May 1741

Family and Education

b. c.1680, s. of James Butler, M.P. Arundel 1679-81, 1690-5, of Amberley Castle, Suss. by Grace, da. and coh. of Richard Caldecott of Hawkhurst, Kent. educ. Trinity Hall, Camb. 1698. m. 31 Jan. 1704, Elizabeth, da. of Sir Charles Caesar, M.P., of Bennington, Herts., sis. of Charles Caesar and wid. of Sir Richard Bennet, 3rd Bt., of Babraham, Cambs., 1s suc. fa. 1696.

Offices Held


James Butler was the grandson of a London merchant, to whom the forfeited estates commission of Parliament in 1648 sold Amberley Castle, near Arundel, which his father sold in 1683. He himself bought Warminghurst from William Penn in 1702.1 Returned as a Whig for the county on George I’s accession, he voted against the septennial bill in 1716, against Lord Cadogan in 1717, and the peerage bill in 1719, and was absent from the division on the repeal of the Occasional Conformity and Schism Acts. In 1721 he spoke against the Government on a subsidy to Sweden. Thereafter he voted consistently with the Government, sharing the representation of his county with Henry Pelham, who wrote of him during the Sussex election campaign of 1733-4:

I have spared neither breath, cost, nor drink, all of which has fallen singly on me, for my brother Butler, though a good man, is no burgessor.2

During the 1741 campaign the Duke of Richmond reported to Newcastle: ‘Whoring lost Yates his first election, a bad omen for the Butlers’.3 Butler died of small-pox4 shortly after his re-election, 17 May 1741, aged 61.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Romney R. Sedgwick


  • 1. Suss. Arch. Colls. lxxii. 228; D. G. C. Elwes, Castles, Mansions and Manors of W. Sussex, 250-1.
  • 2. EHR, xii. 479-80.
  • 3. 2 Jan. 1741, Add. 32696, f. 6.
  • 4. Newcastle to the Duchess, 14 May 1741, Add. 33073, f. 180.