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Thomas Butler Ormonde, 10th earl of

Ormonde, Thomas Butler, 10th earl of, 1532–1614, Irish nobleman. Brought up at the English court, he was the first of his family to embrace Protestantism. He succeeded to the earldom of Ormonde in 1546, and in 1554 he went to Ireland, where he tried to mediate between the Irish and their English rulers. He became involved in a bitter quarrel in Munster with Gerald Fitzgerald, 15th earl of Desmond, the representative of the traditional enemies of the Ormondes, as a result of which Desmond was imprisoned. Ormonde was at the court of Elizabeth I (1565–69) and returned to Ireland only because his presence there was essential to maintain order. When Desmond (who had been released in 1573) rose in rebellion in 1579, Ormonde was made military governor of Munster and led the fight against the Desmond faction until the rebellious earl was captured and slain (1583). In 1588, Ormonde helped to capture the survivors of the Spanish Armada on the coast of Ireland, and in 1597 he was made lieutenant general of Ireland and supported the English troops against Hugh O'Neill, 2d earl of Tyrone. In 1612 he became vice admiral of Ireland.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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