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Henry Montagu Butler
Born 2 July 1833(1833-07-02)
Gayton, Northamptonshire, England
Died 14 January 1918 (aged 84)
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Nationality British
Occupation Headmaster, Academic
Spouse(s) (1) Georgina Elliot (2) Agnata Frances Ramsay

Henry Montagu Butler (2 July 1833 Gayton, Northamptonshire – 14 January 1918, Cambridge) was an English academic. He was the son of the Headmaster of Harrow School, George Butler. Educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge,[1] he married Georgina Elliot in 1861. His second wife was a very young Agnata Frances Ramsay (who in 1887 attained the highest marks in the Classical Tripos at Cambridge). He had five sons and two daughters, including the historian Sir James Butler


He served as headmaster of Harrow from 1859 to 1885. Dean of Gloucester Cathedral in 1885. He was also Master of Trinity College, Cambridge from 1886 to 1918, Vice Chancellor of the University, 1889-1890. As headmaster, he influenced many young people, including Stanley Baldwin (Prime Minister); Lord Davidson (Archbishop of Canterbury); Galsworthy of the Forsyte Saga; 10 bishops, including Bishop Gore; 17 judges; 4 viceroys; 12 governors; 12 ambassadors; 33 privy councillors; and 64 generals. He changed Harrow from a hide-bound and backward seventeenth century institution to a rebuilt and well-equipped contemporary school. He wrote one hymn, Lift up your hearts! We lift them, Lord, to thee in 1881. He died in Cambridge on 1918-01-14 [2].


Butler's desk was donated to Duke Hospital by Dr. William John Dann in March, 1938. After it had been moved to storage, circumstances led the school to refinish it and hence to discover the plaque telling of its historical significance.


  1. ^ Butler, Henry Montagu in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958.
  2. ^ GRO Register of Deaths: MAR 1918 3b 576 CAMBRIDGE - Henry M. Butler, aged 84
Academic offices
Preceded by
William Hepworth Thompson
Master of Trinity College, Cambridge
Succeeded by
J. J. Thomson

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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