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EARL OF THOMAS BUTLER OSSORY (1634-1680)

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Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 355 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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EARL OF THOMAS BUTLER OSSORY (1634-1680), eldest son of James Butler, 1st duke of Ormonde, was born at Kilkenny on the 8th or 9th of July 1634. His early years were spent in Ireland and France, and he became an accomplished athlete and and four are signed and dated, while seventeen are signed with by no means an indifferent scholar. Having come to London the name but not with the date. in 1652 he was rightly suspected of sympathizing with the Adrian Ostade was the contemporary of David Teniers and exiled royalists, and in 1655 was put into prison by Cromwell; Adrian Brouwer. Like them he spent his life in the delineation after his release about a year later he went to Holland and of the homeliest subjects—tavern scenes, village fairs and country married a Dutch lady of good family, accompanying Charles II. quarters. Between Teniers and Ostade the contrast lies in the to England in 166o. In 1661 Butler became a member of both different condition of the agricultural classes of Brabant and the English and the Irish Houses of Commons, representing Holland, and the atmosphere and dwellings that were peculiar Bristol in the former and Dublin University in the latter House; to each region. Brabant has more sun, more comfort and a and in 1662 was made an Irish peer as earl of Ossory. He held higher type of humanity; Teniers, in consequence, is silvery several military appointments, in 1665 was made lieutenant- and sparkling; the people he paints are fair specimens of a well-general of the army in Ireland, and in 1666 was created an built race. Holland, in the vicinity of Haarlem seems to have English peer as Lord Butler; but almost as soon as he appeared suffered much from war; the air is moist and hazy, and the in the House of Lords he was imprisoned for two days for chal- people, as depicted by Ostade, are short, ill-favoured and marked lenging the duke of Buckingham. In 1665 a fortunate accident with the stamp of adversity on their features and dress. Brouwer, had allowed Ossory to take part in a big naval fight with the who painted the Dutch boor in his frolics and passion, imported Dutch, and in May 1672, being now in command of a ship, he more of the spirit of Frans Hals into his delineations than his fought against the same enemies in Southwold Bay, serving colleague; but the type is the same as Ostade's. During the with great distinction on both occasions. The earl was partly first years of his career Ostade displayed the same tendency responsible for this latter struggle, as in March 1672 before war to exaggeration and frolic as his comrade, but he is to be diswas declared he had attacked the Dutch Smyrna fleet, an action tinguished from his rival by a more general use of the principles which he is said to have greatly regretted later in life. Whilst of light and shade, and especially by a greater concentration visiting France in 1672 he rejected the liberal offers made by of light on a small surface in contrast with a broad expanse of Louis XIV. to induce him to enter the service of France, and gloom. The key of his harmonies remains for a time in the returning to England he added to his high reputation by his scale of greys. But his treatment is dry and careful, and in conduct during a sea-fight in August 1673. The earl was intimate this style he shuns no difficulties of detail, representing cottages with William, prince of Orange, and in 1677 he joined the allied inside and out, with the vine leaves covering the poorness of the army in the Netherlands, commanding the British section and outer walls, and nothing inside to deck the patchwork of rafters winning great fame at the siege of Mons in 1678. He acted as and thatch, or tumble-down chimneys and ladder staircases, deputy for his father, who was lord-lieutenant of Ireland, and in that make up the sordid interior of the Dutch rustic of those parliament he defended Ormonde's Irish administration with days. The greatness of Ostade lies in the fact that he often great vigour. In 168o he was appointed governor of Tangier, but caught the poetic side of the life of the peasant class, in spite his death on the 3oth of July 168o prevented him from taking up of its ugliness, and stunted form and misshapen features. He his new duties. One of his most intimate friends was John did so by giving their vulgar sports, their quarrels, even their Evelyn, who eulogizes him in his Diary. Ossory had eleven quieter moods of enjoyment, the magic light of the sungleam, children, and his eldest son James became duke of Ormonde in and by clothing the wreck of cottages with gay vegetation. 1688. See T. Carte, Life of lames, duke of Ormonde (1851); and J. Evelyn, Diary, edited by W. Bray (189o).
End of Article: EARL OF THOMAS BUTLER OSSORY (1634-1680)
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