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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A butler in the White House Butler's Pantry.

A butler is a servant in a well-to-do household. In the great houses of the past, the household was sometimes divided into departments with the butler in charge of the dining room, wine cellar, and pantry. Some also have charge of the entire parlour floor, and housekeepers caring for the entire house and its appearance.[1] A butler is male, and in charge of male servants, while a housekeeper is usually a woman, and in charge of female servants. Male servants (such as footmen) were better paid and therefore rarer and of higher status than female servants. The butler, as the senior male servant, therefore had the highest status of all.

In modern usage, the butler is in charge of food service, wine, spirits, and silver, supervises other servants, and may perform a wide array of household management duties. Butlers may also be titled majordomo, butler administrator, staff manager, or head of household staff, and in the grandest homes or when the employer owns more than one residence, there is sometimes an estate manager of higher rank than the butler.



In modern houses where the butler is the most senior worker, titles such as majordomo, butler administrator, house manager, manservant, staff manager, chief of staff, staff captain, estate manager and head of household staff are sometimes given. The precise duties of the employee will vary to some extent in line with the title given, but perhaps more importantly in line with the requirements of the individual employer.

The earliest literary mention of a butler is probably that of the man whose release from prison was predicted by Joseph in the biblical account of Joseph's interpretation of the dreams of the Pharaoh's servants. The word "butler" derives from the Old French bouteillier (cup bearer), from bouteille, (bottle), and ultimately from Latin. The role of the butler, for centuries, has been that of the chief steward of a household, the attendant entrusted with the care and serving of wine and other bottled beverages which in ancient times might have represented a considerable portion of the household's assets.

In Britain, the butler was originally a middle ranking member of the staff of a grand household. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the butler gradually became the usually senior male member of a household's staff in the very grandest households, though there was sometimes a steward who ran the outside estate and financial affairs, rather than just the household, and who was senior to the butler in social status into the nineteenth century. Butlers used to always be attired in a special uniform, distinct from the livery of junior servants, but today a butler is more likely to wear a business suit or business casual clothing and appear in uniform only on special occasions.

A Silverman or Silver Butler has expertise and professional knowledge of the management, secure storage, use and cleaning of all silverware, associated tableware and other paraphernalia for use at military and other special functions. See also Silver (household).

Origin and history

A slave in charge of wine in ancient Rome. The garb indicates he was probably of Phrygian origin.

The modern role of the butler has evolved from earlier roles that were generally concerned with the care and serving of alcoholic beverages.

Ancient through medieval eras

From ancient through medieval times, alcoholic beverages were chiefly stored first in earthenware vessels, then later in wooden barrels, rather than in glass bottles; these containers would have been an important part of a household's possessions. The care of these assets was therefore generally reserved for trusted slaves, although the job could also go to free persons because of heredity-based class lines or the inheritance of trades.

The biblical book of Genesis contains a reference to a role precursive to modern butlers. The early Hebrew Joseph interpreted a dream of Pharaoh's שקה (shaqah) (literally "to give to drink"), which is most often translated into English as "chief butler" or "chief cup-bearer".[2]

In ancient Greece and Rome, it was nearly always slaves who were charged with the care and service of wine, while during the Medieval Era the pincerna, usually a serf, filled the role within the noble court. The English word "butler" itself derives from the Middle English word boteler (and several other forms), from Old French bouteillier ("bottle bearer"), and before that from Middle Latin butticula. "Butticula", in turn, came down to English as "butt" from the Latin buttis, meaning a large cask. The modern English "butler" thus relates both to bottles and casks.

A pincerna depicted in service to a noble court during the Medieval Era.

Eventually the European butler emerged as a middle-ranking member of the servants of a great house, in charge of the buttery (originally a storeroom for "butts" of liquor, although the term later came to mean a general storeroom or pantry).[3] While this is so for household butlers, those with the same title but in service to the Crown enjoyed a position of administrative power and were only minimally involved with various stores.

In a large house, the butler (centre-left) is traditionally head over a full array of household servants. This is the servant staff at the Stonehouse Hill of Massachusetts, the estate of F. Lothrop Ames, 1914.

Elizabethan through Victorian eras

The Steward of the Elizabethan era was more akin to the butler that later emerged.[4] Gradually, throughout the nineteenth century and particularly the Victorian era, as the number of butlers and other domestic servants greatly increased in various countries (including America), the butler became a senior male servant of a household's staff. By this time he was in charge of the more modern wine cellar, the "buttery" or pantry (from French pan from Latin panis, bread) as it came to be called, which supplied bread, butter, cheese, and other basic provisions, and the ewery, which contained napkins and basins for washing and shaving.[5] In the very grandest households there was sometimes an Estate Steward or other senior steward who oversaw the butler and his duties.[6] Mrs Beaton's Book of Household Management, a manual published in Britain in 1861, reported:

The number of the male domestics in a family varies according to the wealth and position of the master, from the owner of the ducal mansion, with a retinue of attendants, at the head of which is the chamberlain and house-steward, to the occupier of the humbler house, where a single footman, or even the odd man-of-all-work, is the only male retainer. The majority of gentlemen's establishments probably comprise a servant out of livery, or butler, a footman, and coachman, or coachman and groom, where the horses exceed two or three.[7]

Glanusk Park in Powys County, U.K., in 1891. The residence had 17 servants in residence. The largest stately houses could have 40 or more.

Butlers were head of a strict service hierarchy and therein held a position of power and respect. They were more managerial than "hands on"—more so than serving, they officiated in service. For example, although the butler was at the door to greet and announce the arrival of a formal guest, the door was actually opened by a footman, who would receive the guest's hat and coat. Even though the butler helped his employer into his coat, this had been handed to him by a footman. However, even the highest-ranking butler would "pitch in" when necessary, such as during a staff shortage, to ensure that the household ran smoothly, although some evidence suggests this was so even during normal times.[8]

The household itself was generally divided into areas of responsibility. The butler was in charge of the dining room, the wine cellar, pantry, and sometimes the entire main floor. Directly under the butler was the first footman (or head footman), who was also deputy butler or under-butler that would fill in as butler during the butler's illness or absence. The footman—there were frequently numerous young men in the role within a household—performed a range of duties including serving meals, attending doors, carrying or moving heavy items, and they often doubled as valets. Valets themselves performed a variety of personal duties for their employer. Butlers engaged and directed all these junior staff and each reported directly to him. The housekeeper was in charge of the house as a whole and its appearance. In a household without an official head housekeeper, female servants and kitchen staff were also directly under the butler's management, while in smaller households, the butler usually doubled as valet. Employers and their children and guests addressed the butler by last name alone; fellow servants, retainers, and tradespersons as "Mr. [Surname]".

Butlers were typically hired by the master of the house but usually reported to its lady. Beaton in her manual suggested a GBP 25 - 50 (USD 2,675 - 5,350) per-year salary for butlers; room and board and livery clothing were additional benefits, and tipping known as vails, were common.[9] The few butlers who were married had to make separate housing arrangements for their families, as did all other servants within the hierarchy.

Butlers in early America

Robert Roberts's The House Servant' Directory, 1827.

From the beginning of slavery in America, in the early 1600s, African Americans were put to task as domestic servants. Some eventually became butlers. Gary Puckrein, a social historian, argues that those used in particularly affluent homes authentically internalised the sorts of "refined" norms and personal attributes that would reflect highly upon the social stature of their masters or mistresses. One of the first books written and published through a commercial U.S. publisher by an African American was by a butler named Robert Roberts. The book, The House Servant's Directory,[10] first published in 1827, is essentially a manual for butlers and waiters, and is called by Puckrein "the most remarkable book by an African American in antebellum America". The book generated such interest that a second edition was published in 1828, and a third in 1843.[11]

European indentured servants formed a corps of domestic workers from which butlers were eventually drawn. Although not the victims of institutionalised slavery, many of these had not volunteered for domestic service, but were forced into it by indebtedness or coercion. As with African American slaves, they could rise in domestic service, and their happiness or misery depended greatly on the disposition of their masters.

The modern butler

Beginning around the early 1920s, employment in domestic service occupations began a sharp overall decline in western European countries, and even more markedly in the United States. Even so, there were still around 30,000 butlers employed in Britain by World War II. As few as one-hundred were estimated to remain by the mid-1980s.[12] Social historian Barry Higman argues that a high number of domestic workers within a society correlates with a high level of socio-economic inequality. Conversely, as a society undergoes levelling among its social classes, the number employed in domestic service declines.[13]

Following varied shifts and changes accompanying accelerated globalisation beginning in the late 1980s, overall global demand for butlers since the turn of the millennium has risen dramatically. According to Charles MacPherson, vice chairman of the International Guild of Professional Butlers, the proximate cause is that the number of millionaires and billionaires has increased in recent years, and such people are finding that they desire assistance in managing their households. MacPherson emphasises that the number of wealthy in China has particularly increased, creating in that country a high demand for professional butlers who have been trained in the European butlering tradition.[14] There is also increasing demand for such butlers in other Asian countries, India, and the petroleum-rich Middle East.[15] [16]

Higman additionally argues that the inequality/equality levels of societies are a major determinant of the nature of the domestic servant/employer relationship.[17] As the twenty-first century approached, many butlers began carrying out an increasing number of duties formerly reserved for more junior household servants. Butlers today may be called upon to do whatever household and personal duties their employers deem fitting, in the goal of freeing their employers to carry out their own personal and professional affairs. Professional butler and author Steven M. Ferry states that the image of tray-wielding butlers who specialise in serving tables and decanting wine is now anachronistic, and that employers may well be more interested in a butler who is capable of managing a full array of household affairs—from providing the traditional dinner service, to acting as valet, to managing high-tech systems and multiple homes with complexes of staff. Whilst in truly grand houses the modern butler may still function exclusively as a top-ranked household affairs manager,[18] in lesser homes, such as those of dual-income middle-class professionals,[19] they perform a full array of household and personal assistant duties,[20] including mundane housekeeping.[21] Butlers today may also be situated within corporate settings, embassies, cruise ships, yachts, or within their own small "Rent-a-Butler" business or similar agency.[22]

Along with these changes of scope and context, butlering attire has changed. Whereas butlers have traditionally worn a special uniform that separated them from junior servants, and although this is still often the case, butlers today may adorn more casual clothing geared for climate, while exchanging it for formal business attire only upon special service occasions. There are cultural distinctivenesses, as well. In the United States, butlers may frequently adorn a polo short and slacks, while in Bali they typically wear sarongs.[23]

In 2007, the number of butlers in Britain had risen to an estimated 5,000.[24]


Butlers traditionally learned their position while progressing their way up the service ladder. For example, in the documentary The Authenticity of Gosford Park, retired butler Arthur Inch (born 1915) describes starting as a hall boy.[25] Whilst this is still often the case, numerous private butlering schools exist today, such as the International Institute of Modern Butlers, the Guild of Professional English Butlers, and the The International Guild of Butlers & Household Managers; top graduates can start at USD 50,000 - 60,000 (GBP 25,350 - 30,400).[26] Additionally, major up-market hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton offer traditional butler training, while some hotels have trained a sort of pseudo-butler for service in defined areas such as "technology butlers", who fix guests' computers and other electronic devices, and "bath butlers" who draw custom baths.[27] [28] [29]

Starkey International distinguishes between the "British butler" prototype and its American counterpart, often dubbed the "household manager". Starkey states that they train and promote the latter, believing that Americans do not have the "servant mentality" that is part of the British Butler tradition. They stress that their American-style butlers and valets are educated and certified,[30] although some students, numerous former Starkey employees, and several wealthy clients have criticised the programme and its owner.[31] Magnums Butlers, a school based in Australia, conducts training after the British model at sites in Asia and the Pacific, Australia, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.[32] The International Institute of Modern Butlers provides on-site training in various places around the world as well as via correspondence. In 2007, City & Guilds, the U.K.'s largest awarder of vocational credentials, introduced a diploma programme for butlers.[33]

In addition to formal training, a few books have been published recently to assist butlers in their duties, including Arthur Inch's and Arlene Hirst's 2003 Dinner is Served. Moreover, websites, as well as a news publication, Modern Butlers' Journal, help butlers to network and keep abreast of developments within their field.

Ferry argues that what he calls a "butler mindset" is beneficial to all people within all professions. He states that an attitude of devoted service to others, deference, and the keeping of confidences can help all people succeed.

Gender and butlering

Butlers have traditionally been male, and this remains the norm. Probably the first mention of a female butler is in the 1892 book Interludes being Two Essays, a Story, and Some Verses by Horace Smith. In it Smith quotes a certain Sydney Smith who had apparently run into lean times:

A man servant was too expensive, so I caught up a little garden girl, made like a milestone, christened her Bunch, put a napkin in her hand, and made her my butler. The girls taught her to read, Mrs. Sydney to wait, and I undertook her morals. Bunch became the best butler in the country.[34]

Today, female butlers are sometimes preferred,[35] especially for work within Middle and Far Eastern families where it may be culturally problematic for males to work closely with females in a household.[36] Western female celebrities may also prefer a female butler,[37] as may households where the wife is driving the decision to hire a butler,[38] and in 2004 Buckingham Palace announced it was actively recruiting females for the position.[39] Despite these trends, the Ivor Spencer School asserts that female butlers are not easily placed, on the whole.

In ancient times, the roles precursive to butlering were reserved for chattel or those confined within heredity-based class structures. With the advent of the medieval era, butlering became an opportunity for social advancement—even more so during Victorian times. Although still based upon various antecedent roles as manifested during different eras, butlering today has frequently taken over many of the roles formerly reserved for lower ranking domestic servants. At the same time it has become a potentially lucrative career option.[40]

Historically important butlers

  • Clive McGonigal, founder of The Butler Bureau
  • Paul Burrell, butler to the late Diana, Princess of Wales
  • Wayne Fitzharris, Household Manager and Head Butler, King Hussein of Jordan
  • Arthur Richard Inch, long-time real-life butler, Butler Technical Consultant for the film Gosford Park
  • Charles MacPherson, Majordomo and etiquette specialist, head of the Charles MacPherson Academy for Butlers and Household Managers
  • Ivor Spencer, Toastmaster and etiquette specialist, head of the Ivor Spencer International School for Butler Administrators/Personal Assistants and Estate Managers

Alonzo Fields

Alonzo Fields
Page from Alonzo Fields's personal papers. This one describes his conduction of a service-event that resulted in Truman's decision to enter the Korean War.

By nature of their position and its requisite staunch discretion, it is exceptional when a butler achieves historical importance. One butler who did is Alonzo Fields (1900-1994), who served as a White House butler for twenty-one years, all but his first year as chief butler, under presidents Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower. After his retirement Fields in 1960 published My 21 Years in the White House in which he weaved together his private papers and cryptically-written journals, written while serving, with his recollections. Although restrained, his memoir nonetheless provides a uniquely intimate primary source account of the U.S. presidents he served, several who came to trust Fields as a close personal friend. Fields reports, for example, that he was present when Roosevelt was first informed of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and that Roosevelt "broke down completely" during that moment, and also emoted racial slurs against the Japanese before gaining control. Truman was especially close with Fields and even related with him as an emotional confidant at times, and the two at one point sat together for a portrait.

When Fields began his tenure at the White House, senators from the U.S. South frequently addressed him with the racially condescending term "boy", and an obvious racial hierarchy existed between white and black White House house staff, with whites dominating. Whilst the attitudes of most southern U.S. senators would not begin to change until the advent of U.S. Civil Rights Movement, Roosevelt took it upon himself to remove racial tensions among the house staff by making it all black.[41] [42] [43]

More than a decade after Fields's death in 1994, his story was cast into a one-man theatrical performance, Looking Over the President's Shoulder.[44] [45] Historians, such as David McCullough in his 2003 biography Truman, continue to consult Fields's memoirs when constructing accounts of the presidents he served.[46]


As a surname, “Butler” was originated by Theobald le Botiller FitzWalter (Lord of Preston). Lord FitzWalter accompanied King John to Ireland to help secure Norman areas. When men Walter led killed Dermot MacCarthy, prince of Desmond, Walter was granted land holdings of Baggotrath, County Dublin, and the Stein River lands around what is now Trinity College Dublin. He was also given an important fief, on which Walter both founded an abbey and established his Irish seat. Upon returning to England, King John endowed Walter with the hereditary office "Butler to the Lord of Ireland" in 1177; some evidence indicates that he was also dubbed "Butler of Ireland". As such, he had the right to pour the King's wine. This title can be defined as Governor by today's standards. His son, Theobalde Butler, was the first to hold the name and pass it to his descendants. Walter's grandson was James Butler, 1st Duke Of Ormonde.[47] Kilkenny Castle was the main seat of the Butler family.

In visual art

Heads of Six of Hogarth's Servants.

Butlers have been occasionally depicted in visual art. A famous painting, Heads of Six of Hogarth's Servants (c. 1758), is unique among such works. In it, the 17th-century English artist William Hogarth depicted his household servants, each surrounding the butler. In showing the group in a close-knit assemblage rather than in the performance of their routine household duties, Hogarth sought to humanise and dignify them in a manner akin to wealthy-class members, who were the normal subjects of such portraits. Whilst this was a subversive act that certainly raised many eyebrows in his day—Hogarth conspicuously displayed the work in his estate home in full view of guests—at the same time he had painted his servants' facial expressions to convey the sincerity and deference expected of servant-class members.[48]

In contemporary art, "The Butler's in Love" series by U.S. artist Mark Stock is especially poignant. In the series, Stock portrays the butler as sick with love, but the possibility of fulfillment is hopeless: the love is a forbidden love, perhaps felt for the lady of the house, and so it must be suffered alone in silent hiddenness. In addition to the ongoing mannerisms and facial expressions of the butler, a seated lady once-appearing in a curtained room and a recurring lipstick-stained absinthe glass over which the butler obsesses provide the interpretive clues. In selecting a butler as his subject, Stock sought to provide a "universal character", a pathos-laden figuration that could be widely related to and that could depict the universality of loneliness felt by someone who can only look in from the outside. Stock began the series in 1985 to express his difficult feelings during a personal experience of unrequited love. One of the paintings was inspiration for a 3-D short film, "The Butler's in Love" by actor/director David Arquette, shot in 2008 at San Francisco's historic Westerfield Mansion.[49] [50] [51]

In fiction

The real-life modern butler attempts to be discreet and unobtrusive, friendly but not familiar, keenly anticipative of the needs of his or her employer, and graceful and precise in execution of duty. The butler of fiction, by contrast, often tends to be larger-than-life and has become a plot device in literature and a traditional role in the performing arts. Butlers may provide comic relief with wry comments, clues as to the perpetrators of various crimes and are represented as at least as intelligent and moral, or even more so, than their “betters”. They are often portrayed as being serious and expressionless and in the case that the wealthy hero be an orphan—such as Batman, Chrono Crusade's Satella Harvenheit, or Tomb Raider's Lara Croft—be a father figure to said hero. Regardless of the genre in which they are cast, butlers in fiction almost invariably follow the "British butler" model and are given an appropriate-sounding surname. The fictional butler tends to be given a typical Anglo-Celtic surname and have a British accent. The Asian, African American, or Caribbean houseboy is a variant, but even these major-domos are based on the British icon.

Today, butlers are usually portrayed as being refined and well-spoken. However, in nineteenth century fiction such as Dracula, butlers generally spoke with a strong Cockney or other regional accent.

"The butler" is integral to the plot of countless potboilers and melodramas, whether or not the character has been given a name. Butlers figure so prominently in period pieces and whodunits that they can be considered stock characters in film and theatre where a catch phrase is "the butler did it!"

See valet for a list of characters who are often mistaken for butlers, but strictly speaking are valets. The best-known fictional manservant, and the prototype of the quintessential British butler, is himself not a butler at all. Reginald Jeeves, the iconic creation of author P.G. Wodehouse is a "gentleman's gentleman" and general factotum. Probably the best-known fictional butlers are Alfred from the Batman comic and films; Hudson of Upstairs, Downstairs television fame; and, Crichton from J.M. Barrie's The Admirable Crichton. Lesser-knowns include Mr. Belvedere from the novel Belvedere, which was adapted into a feature film with sequels and later a television series; Lurch, from the television series The Addams Family, based on Charles Addams' New Yorker cartoons; Beach, from the Wodehouse series about Blandings Castle; and, Benson from the two series Soap and Benson.

Playing off Wodehouse's Jeeves character, computer scientist David Warthen in 1996 founded a search engine, "Ask Jeeves" (, which became the fourth-most-used among such sites. Greeted with a cartoon depiction of Jeeves, information-seekers followed a simple analogy when searching with the site: when asked questions in natural language, the ever-ready Jeeves would snappily fetch answers from the World Wide Web and serve them up with a pleased smile. After Wodehouse's estate threatened legal action against Ask Jeeves for copyright infringement, the search engine settled in 2006, humorously announced that Jeeves had retired, and renamed itself[52]

Not all fictional butlers portray the "butler stereotype", however. Alan Bates, who played the butler Jennings in the film Gosford Park, was coached in brooding detail by Arthur Inch, a longtime real-life butler.[53] Mr. Stevens, the butler played by Anthony Hopkins in the film Remains of the Day, was also acted with remarkable realism. A female butler, Sarah Stevens, is the principle character in Linda Howard's 2002 Dying to Please, a murder/romance novel. Howard gives detailed and generally accurate descriptions of butlering in the work.[54]



  • This article incorporates material from the Citizendium article "Butler", which is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Unported License but not under the GFDL.
  • This article incorporates material from "A Brief History of Butlers and Buttling" by Stephen Ewen, which is licensed under the Creative Common Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
  1. ^ Post, Emily (2007). Emily Post's Etiquette. Echo Library. ISBN 1406812153. 
  2. ^ Genesis 39-40.
  3. ^ This was most likely from a loss of the original Latin meaning and the mistaken belief that buttery related to "butter".
  4. ^ Lord Montague's Book of Rules and Orders, 1595.
  5. ^ Nancy Scanlon (2006). "The Development of the Kitchen in the English Country House 1315-1864". Journal of Culinary Science & Technology 4 (2/3): 79-92. 
  6. ^ Beeton, Isabella (1861) (2000). Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management. Oxford University Press. pp. 393. ISBN 0192833456. 
  7. ^ Beeton (1861), 393.
  8. ^ Carrolyn Steedman, "The servant’s labour: the business of life, England, 1760–1820", Social History, Vol. 29 No. 1, (Feb., 2004).
  9. ^ D. Marshall, "The Domestic Servants of the Eighteenth Century", Economica, No. 25, (Apr., 1929), pp. 15-40. Available online with subscription.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Gary Puckrein (Oct/Nov 98). "The Science of Service". American Visions 13 (5). 
  12. ^ J. Lee (1988). "Steady, Jeeves—you've got company!". U.S. News & World Report 104 (17). 
  13. ^ Higman, Barry (2002). Domestic Service in Australia. Melbourne University Publishing. ISBN 0522850111. 
  14. ^ Scott Simon (10 Feb 2007). "By Jeeves, We're Having a Butler Shortage—Interview with Charles MacPherson" (Streaming Audio). Weekend Edition Saturday. NPR News. Retrieved 2007-08-13.  Also see Sheelah Kolhatka, "Inside the Billionaire Service Industry". The Atlantic, Sept 2006, 97-101. Archived by WebCite®.
  15. ^ See for example Chadha, Monica. "Royal tips for Indian butlers", BBC News, 17 Feb 2003. Available online. Archived by WebCite®.
  16. ^ "Butlers: A Jeeves of my very own", The Daily Telegraph, 15 Nov 2007. Available online. Archived by WebCite®.
  17. ^ Higman (2002).
  18. ^ Ferry, Steven M. Butlers & Household Managers: 21st Century Professionals. BookSurge Publishing. pp. 14. ISBN 1591093066. 
  19. ^ "Butlers: A Jeeves of my very own", The Daily Telegraph, 15 Nov 2007. Available online. Archived by WebCite®.
  20. ^ William Loeffler (15 April 2007). "The butler does it". The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Lifestyle. 
  21. ^ James Woodford (2007-08-13). "Move over, Jeeves, a new breed of butler is working her way up". The Sydney Morning Herald.  Archived by WebCite®. Elizabeth Camille, a butler in Sydney, states, "I still make beds, clean toilets and peg out washing.... It's not all as glamourous as people perceive it to be." Additionally see "Desperately seeking Jeeves", The Globe and Mail (Canada), 20 July 2007. Lynda Reeves, president of the Toronto-based House & Home Media, says that the term "butler" today is just "a pretentious name for a housekeeper".
  22. ^ Jones, Harvey. "More money than time? Rent a butler". The Independent (UK), 15 Dec 2001. Available online. Archived by WebCite®. Also see and
  23. ^ Patrao, Michael. "The alter ago of Jeeves". The Deccan Herald, 27 July 2007. Available online. Archived by WebCite®.
  24. ^ Sapstead, David. "Shortage of Butlers Has World's Wealthy Facing a Crisis", New York Sun, 30 May 2007. Available online. Archived by WebCite®.
  25. ^ The Authenticity of Gosford Park, Documentary featurette in Gosford Park Collector's Edition DVD, Universal Studios, 2002.
  26. ^ Simon (10 Feb 2007).
  27. ^ Witchel (2000). "At Hotels, the Butlers Are Doing It". New York Times 149 (51486): 2.  Ferry, as quoted in "Desperately seeking Jeeves", The Globe and Mail (Canada), 20 July 2007, was quoted as saying that hotel butlers are not rooted in the European tradition of butlering. He states that some hotels essentially rename their pool attendants as "pool butlers" and this is not a real butler so much as a marketing gimmick.
  28. ^ Rouvalis, Cristina. "Butler provides the perfect pampering", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 06 May 2007. Available online. Archived by WebCite®.
  29. ^ Hotels are rated by the International Institute of Modern Butlers according to their butler service offerings, which can range from the one-on-one personalized butler (a 5-Butler rating) to the "pool butler (a 0-Butler rating). See
  30. ^ Starkey does lay claim to understanding the British butler tradition; however, her general approach seems to be that American domestic staff are better suited to American families.
  31. ^ Joel Warner (9 Aug 2007). "At Your Disservice". Denver Westword News.  Archived by WebCite®.
  32. ^ See Magnums Butlers, accessed 12/31/2007. Archived by WebCite®.
  33. ^ See
  34. ^ Smith, Horace; Joel Lehtonen (translator) (1892). Interludes being Two Essays, a Story, and Some Verses. MacMillan & Co. ISBN 1406919659. Available online (full text). Archived by WebCite®.
  35. ^ James Woodford (2007-08-13). "Move over, Jeeves, a new breed of butler is working her way up". The Sydney Morning Herald.  Archived by WebCite®.
  36. ^ See "Unique Rosewood Ladies Floor could start trend in Saudi, Middle East Hotels", 12 Oct 2007. Available online. Archived by WebCite®. Also, for interesting background see Elizabeth Warnock Fernea, Guests of the Sheik: An Ethnography of an Iraqi Village. Anchor, 1995. ISBN 0385014856.
  37. ^ See The International Guild of Professional Butlers, accessed 12/31/2007. Archived by WebCite®.
  38. ^ "Butlers: A Jeeves of my very own", The Daily Telegraph, 15 Nov 2007. Available online. Archived by WebCite®.
  39. ^ Milne, Meg. "The Royal butlerettes", The Financial Mail, 31 Oct 2004. Available online. Archived by WebCite®.
  40. ^ In Loeffler (15 April 2007), Nathalie Laitmon of The Calendar Group in Stamford, Connecticut, states that skilled butlers within the grandest households can make USD 200,000 (GBP 101,500). She states, "The bigger the lifestyle of the family, the more they can earn".
  41. ^ Fields, Alonzo. My 21 years in the White House, New York: Coward-McCann, 1960.
  42. ^ Sam Stiegler, "When Speaking About Me, 'Don’t Talk too Long and Don’t Tell the Truth': A Biography of Mr. Alonzo Fields (1900-1994), West Medford Afro-American Remembrance Project, 2005. Available online. Archived by WebCite®.
  43. ^ U.S. News & World Report, "Alonzo Fields diary, Truman's butler", 16 July 2007. Available online. Archived by WebCite®.
  44. ^ Burlingham Ellis, Caroline. "Review of 'Looking Over the President's Shoulder'", Theatre Mania, 8 Dec 2003. Available online. Archived by WebCite®.
  45. ^ Bales-Sherrod, Lesli. "Serving up a slice of history", The American Observer, Vol. 9, No. 3, 24 Feb 2004. Available online. Archived by WebCite®.
  46. ^ McCullough, David. Truman, Simon & Schuster, pp 472, 473, 502, 623, 931. ISBN 0-7432-6029-5.
  47. ^ "Butler", Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911 edition. Available online. Also see The Carey Estate BCM/H [n.d.], Berkeley Castle Muniments, U.K. National Archives, available online. Archived by WebCite®.; National Archive Record MS 613, f. 21; National Archive Record MS 613, f. 30.
  48. ^ Waterfield G., A. French and M. Craske, Eds. (2003). Below stairs, 400 years of servants' portraits. London: National Portrait Gallery. ISBN 185514512X. 
  49. ^ Croft, Karen. "Butlers in Love", Salon, 24 May 2001. Available online: Page 1, Page 2, Archive 1, Archive 2.
  50. ^ Stock, Mark. Correspondence with Stephen Ewen, Also see
  51. ^ Garchik, Leah. San Francisco Chronicle, 14 May 2008. Available online. Archived by WebCite®. Also see for a brief history of the mansion.
  52. ^ Buresh, Scott. " Search Engine - A Brief History", 1 May 2008. Available online. Archived by WebCite®. Also see and stated, "Jeeves is taking a much deserved break and cruising around the world in blissful retirement, aboard his luxury cruise liner."
  53. ^ "The man who got it right for Gosford Park and told Richard E Grant what was wrong", Mid Sussex Times, 2002. Available online. Archived by WebCite®. Also see The Authenticity of Gosford Park.
  54. ^ For a synopsis of Howard's book, see

See also

External links


This article is based upon the Citizendium article of the same title, available at

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Butler [1] is a city in Pennsylvania.

Get in

Butler County Airport

  • East Side Taxi Co, (724) 282-8294‎
  • Ridgecrest Taxi, 502 W. Jefferson St, (760) 793-7374‎
  • Butler Public Library.  edit
  • Family Dollar.  edit
  • Garfield's.  edit
  • Mama Rosa's.  edit known for making their own sauces
  • The Rock Ann Haven.  edit
  • Cheers.  edit
  • Kairos Coffee & Tea.  edit
  • Comfort Inn, 1 Comfort Lane, (724) 287-7177‎.  edit
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites, 200 Fairfield Lane, (724) 283-0009‎ (fax: 1-724-283-1045), [2]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: Noon.  edit
  • Police Headquarters, 200 W New Castle St, (724) 287-7743‎.  edit
  • Meadowood, a small town south of Butler
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BUTLER, the name of a family famous in the history of Ireland. The great house of the Butlers, alone among the families of the conquerors, rivalled the Geraldines, their neighbours, kinsfolk and mortal foes. Theobald Walter, their ancestor, was not among the first of the invaders. He was the grandson of one Hervey Walter who, in the time of Henry I., held Witheton or Weeton in Amounderness, a small fee of the honour of Lancaster, the manor of Newton in Suffolk, and certain lands in Norfolk. In the great inquest of Lancaster lands that followed a writ of 1212, this Hervey, named as the father of Hervey Walter, is said to have given lands in his fee of Weeton to Orm, son of Magnus, with his daughter Alice in marriage. Hervey Walter, son of this Hervey, advanced his family by matching with Maude, daughter of Theobald de Valognes, lord of Parham, whose sister Bertha was wife of Ranulf de Glanville, the great justiciar, "the eye of the king." When Ranulf had founded the Austin Canons priory of Butley, Hervey Walter, his wife's brother-in-law, gave to the house lands in Wingfield for the soul's health of himself and his wife Maude, of Ranulf de Glanville and Bertha his wife, the charter, still preserved in the Harleian collection, being witnessed by Hervey's younger sons, Hubert Walter, Roger and Hamon. Another son, Bartholomew, witnessed a charter of his brother Hubert, 1190-1193. That these nephews of the justiciar profited early by their kinship is seen in Hubert Walter's foundation charter of the abbey of West Dereham, wherein he speaks of "dominus Ranulphus de Glanvilla et domina Bertha uxor eius, qui nos nutrierunt." Hubert, indeed, becoming one of his uncle's clerks, was so much in his confidence that Gervase of Canterbury speaks of the two as ruling the kingdom together. King Richard, whom he accompanied to the Holy Land, made him bishop of Salisbury and (1193) archbishop of Canterbury. "Wary of counsel, subtle of wit," he was the champion of Canterbury and of England, and the news of his death drew the cry from King John that "now, for the first time, am I king in truth." Between these two great statesmen Theobald Walter, the eldest brother of the archbishop, rose and flourished. Theobald is found in the Liber Niger (c. 1166) as holding Amounderness by the service of one knight. In 1185 he went over sea to Waterford with John the king's son, the freight of the harness sent after him being charged in the Pipe Roll. Clad in that harness he led the men of Cork when Dermot MacCarthy, prince of Desmond, was put to the sword, John rewarding his services with lands in Limerick and with the important fief of Arklow in the vale of Avoca, where he made his Irish seat and founded an abbey. Returning to England he accompanied his uncle Randulf to France, both witnessing a charter delivered by the king at Chinon when near to death. Soon afterwards, Theobald Walter was given by John that hereditary office of butler to the lord of Ireland, which makes a surname for his descendants, styling himself pincerna when he attests John's charter to Dublin on the 15th of May 1192. J. Horace Round has pointed out that he also took a fresh seal, the inscription of which calls him Theobald Walter, Butler of Ireland, and henceforward he is sometimes surnamed Butler (le Botiller). When John went abroad in 1192, Theobald was given the charge of Lancaster castle, but in 1194 he was forced to surrender to his brother Hubert, who summoned it in King Richard's name. Making his peace through Hubert's influence, he was sheriff of Lancashire for King Richard, who regranted to him all Amounderness. His fortunes turned with the king's death. The new sovereign, treating his surrender of the castle as treachery, took the shrievalty from him, disseised him of Amounderness and sold his cantreds of Limerick land to William de Braose. But the great archbishop soon found means to bring his brother back to favour, and on the 2nd of January 1201-2 Amounderness, by writ of the king, is to be restored to Theobald Walter, dilecto et fideli nostro. Within a year or two Theobald left England to end his days upon his Arklow fief, busying himself with religious foundations at Wotheney in Limerick, at Arklow and at Nenagh. At Wotheney he is said to have been buried shortly before the 12th of February 1205-6, when an entry in the Close Roll is concerned with his widow. This widow, Maude, daughter of Robert le Vavasor of Denton, was given up to her father, who, buying the right of marrying her at a price of 1200 marks and two palfreys, gave her to Fulk fitz-Warine. Theobald, the son and heir of Theobald and Maude, a child of six years old, was likewise taken into the keeping of his grandfather Robert, but letters from the king, dated the 2nd of March 1205-6, told Robert, "as he loved his body," to surrender the heir at once to Gilbert fitz-Reinfrid, the baron of Kendal.

Adding to its possessions by marriages the house advanced itself among the nobility of Ireland. On the 1st of September 1315, its chief, Edmund Walter alias Edmund the Butler, for services against the Scottish raiders and Ulster rebels, had a charter of the castle and manors of Carrick, Macgriffyn and Roscrea to hold to him and his heirs sub nomine et honore comitis de Karryk. This charter, however, while apparently creating an earldom, failed, as Mr Round has explained, to make his issue earls of Carrick. But James, the son and heir of Edmund, having married in 1327 Eleanor de Bohun, daughter of Humfrey, earl of Hereford and Essex, high constable of England, by a daughter of Edward I., was created an Irish earl on the 2nd of November 1328, with the title of Ormonde.

From the early years of the 14th century the Ormonde earls, generation by generation, were called to the chief government of Ireland as lords-keeper, lords-lieutenant, deputies or lordsjustices, and unlike their hereditary enemies the Geraldines they kept a tradition of loyalty to the English crown and to English custom. Their history is full of warring with the native Irish, and as the sun stood still upon Gibeon, even so, we are told, it rested over the red bog of Athy while James the White Earl was staying the wild O'Mores. More than one of the earls of Ormonde had the name of a scholar, while of the 6th earl, master of every European tongue and ambassador to many courts, Edward IV. is said to have declared that were good breeding and liberal qualities lost to the world they might be found again in John, earl of Ormonde. The earls were often absent from Ireland on errands of war or peace. James, the 5th earl, had the English earldom of Wiltshire given him in 1449 for his Lancastrian zeal. He fought at St Albans in 1455, casting his harness into a ditch as he fled the field, and he led a wing at Wakefield. His stall plate as a knight of the Garter is still in St George's chapel. Defeated with the earl of Pembroke at Mortimer's Cross and taken prisoner after Towton, his fate is uncertain, but rumour said that he was beheaded at Newcastle, and a letter addressed to John Paston about May 1461 sends tidings that "the Erle of Wylchir is hed is sette on London Brigge." To his time belongs a document illustrating a curious tradition of the Butlers. His petition to parliament when he was conveying Buckinghamshire lands to the hospital of St Thomas of Acres in London, recites that he does so "in worship of that glorious martyr St Thomas, sometime archbishop of Canterbury, of whose blood the said earl of Wiltshire, his father and many of his ancestors are lineally descended." But the pedigrees in which genealogists have sought to make this descent definite will not bear investigation. The Wiltshire earldom died with him and the Irish earldom was for a time forfeited, his two brothers, John and Thomas, sharing his attainder. John was restored in blood by Edward IV.; and Thomas, the 7th earl, summoned to the English parliament in 1495 as Lord Rochford, a title taken from a Bohun manor in Essex, saw the statute of attainder annulled by Henry VII.'s first parliament. He died without male issue in 1515. Of his two daughters and co-heirs Anne was married to Sir James St Leger, and Margaret to Sir William Boleyn of Blickling, by whom she was mother of Sir James and Sir Thomas Boleyn. The latter, the father of Anne Boleyn, was created earl of Wiltshire and Ormonde in 1529.

In Ireland the heir male of the Ormonde earls, Sir Piers Butler - "red Piers" - assumed the earldom of Ormonde in 1515 and seized upon the Irish estates. Being a good ally against the rebel Irish, the government temporized with his claim. He was an Irishman born, allied to the wild Irish chieftains by his mother, a daughter of the MacMorrogh Kavanagh; the earldom had been long in the male line; all Irish sentiment was against the feudal custom which would take it out of the family, and the two co-heirs were widows of English knights. In 1522, styled "Sir Piers Butler pretending himself to be earl of Ormonde," he was made chief governor of Ireland as lord deputy, and on the 23rd of February 1527/8, following an agreement with the co-heirs of the 7th earl, whereby the earldom of Ormonde was declared to be at the king's disposal, he was created earl of Ossory. But the Irish estates, declared forfeit to the crown in 1536 under the Act of Absentees, were granted to him as "earl of Ossory and Ormonde." Although the Boleyn earl of Ormonde and Wiltshire was still alive, there can be no doubt that Piers Butler had a patent of the Ormonde earldom about the 22nd of February 1 537/ 8, from which date his successors must reckon their peerage. His son and heir, James the Lame, who had been created Viscount Thurles on the 2nd of January 1535/6, obtained an act of parliament in 1543/4 which, confirming the grant to his father of the earldom, gave him the old "pre-eminence" of the ancient earldom of 1328.

Earl James was poisoned at a supper in Ely House in 1546, and Thomas the Black Earl, his son and heir, was brought up at the English court, professing the reformed religion. His sympathies were with the Irish, although he stood staunchly for law and order, and for the great part of his life he was wrestling with rebellion. His lands having been harried by his hereditary enemies the Desmond Geraldines, Elizabeth gave him his revenge by appointing him in 1580 military governor of Munster, with a commission to "banish and vanquish these cankered Desmonds," then in open rebellion. In three months, by his own account, he had put to the sword 46 captains, Boo notorious traitors and 4000 others, and, after four years' fighting, Gerald, earl of Desmond, a price on his head, was taken and killed. Dying in 1614 without lawful issue, Thomas was succeeded by his nephew Walter of Kilcash, who had fought beside him against the Burkes and O'Mores. But Sir Robert Preston, afterwards created earl of Desmond, claimed a great part of the Ormonde lands in right of his wife, the Black Earl's daughter and heir. In spite of the loyal services of Earl Walter, King James supported the claimant, and the earl, refusing to submit to a royal award, was thrown into gaol, where he lay for eight years in great poverty, his rents being cut off. Although liberated in 1625 he was not acknowledged heir to his uncle's estates until 1630. His son, Viscount Thurles, being drowned on a passage to England, a grandson succeeded him.

This grandson, James Butler, is perhaps the most famous of the long line of Ormondes. By his marriage with his cousin Elizabeth Preston, the Ormonde titles were once more united with all the Ormonde estates. A loyal soldier and statesman, he commanded for the king in Ireland, where he was between the two fires of Catholic rebels and Protestant parliamentarians. In Ireland he stayed long enough to proclaim Charles II. in 1649, but defeated at Rathmines, his garrisons broken by Cromwell, he quitted the country at the end of 1650. At the Restoration he was appointed lord-lieutenant, his estates having been restored to him with the addition of the county palatine of Tipperary, taken by James I. from his grandfather. In 1632 he had been created a marquess. The English earldom of Brecknock was added in 1660 and an Irish dukedom of Ormonde in the following year. In 1682 he had a patent for an English dukedom with the same title. Buckingham's intrigues deprived him for seven years of his lord-lieutenancy, and a desperate attempt was made upon his life in 1670, when a company of ruffians dragged him from his coach in St James's Street and sought to hurry him to the gallows at Tyburn. His son's threat that, if harm befell his father he would pistol Buckingham, even if he were behind the king's chair, may have saved him from assassination. At the accession of James II. he was once more taken from active employment, and "Barzillai, crowned with honour and with years" died at his Dorsetshire house in 1688. He had seen his great-great-uncle the Black Earl, who was born in 1532, and a great-grandson was playing beside him a few hours before his death. His brave son Ossory, "the eldest hope with every grace adorned," died eight years before him, and he was succeeded by a grandson James, the second duke of Ormonde, who, a recognized leader of the London Jacobites, was attainted in 1715, his honours and estates being forfeited. The duke lived thirty years in exile, chiefly at Avignon, and died in the rebellion year of 1745 without surviving issue. His younger brother Charles, whom King William had created Lord Butler of Weston in the English peerage and earl of Arran in the Irish, was allowed to purchase the Ormonde estates. On the earl's death without issue in 1758 the estates were enjoyed by a sister, passing in 1760, by settlement of the earl of Arran, to John Butler of Kilcash, descendant of a younger brother of the first duke. John dying six years later was succeeded by Walter Butler, a first cousin, whose son John, heir-male of the line of Ormonde, became earl of Ormonde and Ossory and Viscount Thurles in 1791, the Irish parliament reversing the attainder of 1715. Walter, son and heir of the restored earl, was given an English peerage as Lord Butler of Llanthony (r80r) and an Irish marquessate of Ormonde (1816), titles that died with him. This Lord Ormonde in r810 sold to the crown for the great sum of 216,000 his ancestral right to the prisage of wines in Ireland. For his brother and heir, created Lord Ormonde of Llanthony at the coronation of George IV., the Irish marquessate was revived in 1825 and descended in the direct line.

The earls of Carrick (Ireland 1748), Viscounts Ikerrin (Ireland 1629), claim descent from a brother of the first Ormonde earl, while the viscounts Mountgarret (Ireland 1550) spring from a younger son of Piers, the Red Earl of Ossory. The barony of Caher (Ireland 1543), created for Sir Thomas Butler of Chaier or Caher-down-Eske, a descendant in an illegitimate branch of the Butlers, fell into abeyance among heirs general on the death of the 2nd baron in 1560. It was again created, after the surrender of their rights by the heirs general, in 1583 for Sir Theobald Butler (d. 1596), and became extinct in 1858 on the death of Richard Butler, 13th baron and 2nd viscount Caher, and second earl of Glengall. Buttler von Clonebough, genannt Haimhausen, count of the Holy Roman Empire, descends from the 3rd earl of Ormonde, the imperial title having been revived in 1681 in memory of the services of a kinsman, Walter, Count Butler (d. 1634), the dragoon officer who carried out the murder of Wallenstein.

See Lancashire Inquests, 1205-1307; Lancashire and Cheshire Record Society, xlviii.; Chronicles of Matthew Paris, Roger of Hoveden, Giraldus Cambrensis, &c.; Dictionary of National Biography; G. E. C.'s Complete Peerage; Carte's Ormonde papers; Paston Letters; Rolls of parliament; fine rolls, liberate rolls, pipe rolls, &c. (0. BA.)

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also butler



Proper noun




Wikipedia has an article on:


  1. An English and Irish occupational surname for someone who was a butler or wine servant.
  2. An Anglicized form of the French surname Boutilier, of similar derivation.



From English butler

Proper noun


  1. An English and Irish occupational surname for someone who was a butler or wine servant.


A Butler, domestic butler


From English butler


  • IPA: /ˈbatlɐ/


Butler m.

  1. A butler, chief male servant, majordomo

Proper noun


  1. An English and Irish occupational surname for someone who was a butler or wine servant.


Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Arthur Gardiner Butler article)

From Wikispecies

(27.VI.1844 - 28.V.1925)

British zoologist.

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

properly a servant in charge of the wine (Gen 40:1-13; 41:9). The Hebrew word, mashkeh, thus translated is rendered also (plural) "cup-bearers" (1 Kg 10:5; 2Chr 9:4). Nehemiah (1:11) was cup-bearer to king Artaxerxes. It was a position of great responsibility and honour in royal households.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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