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Ormond, James Butler, 1st duke of

Ormond, James Butler, 1st duke of (1610–88). Ormond, a protestant and a leading member of the Anglo-Irish ascendancy, succeeded to the earldom in 1633. After the departure of Strafford from Ireland in 1640, Ormond became the mainstay of royal authority, first as commander-in-chief, then as lord-lieutenant. He struggled with considerable success after 1641 to keep a footing in the shifting sands of Irish politics. He checked the Irish rebels at Kilrush in March 1642 and again in 1643 at Ross, but the king, hard pressed, constantly urged him to negotiate, in the hope of obtaining troops to turn the scales in the Civil War. By the time a settlement was reached in 1646, the position in England had been lost. The following year, Ormond left Ireland, handing over Dublin to Michael Jones, representing the English Parliament. When he returned with royalist troops late in the second civil war, he was defeated by Jones at Rathmines and left the country in 1650. In exile until the Restoration, Ormond resumed his position in Ireland under Charles II, acting as lord-lieutenant from 1662 to 1669 and again from 1677 to 1685. He was given an Irish dukedom in 1661 and an English dukedom in 1682. At James II's accession, he retired from public life. Like Strafford, Ormond did not receive from the Stuarts the loyalty he gave.

J. A. Cannon

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