Hubert Butler and Peggy Butler Papers

Repository: Trinity College Dublin

Identity Statement

TitleHubert Butler and Peggy Butler Papers
Archive ReferenceIE TCD MS/10304
Web Link to this Entry
Creation Dates1736-1988
Extent Medium67 archival boxes


Creator(s): Butler, Hubert, 1900-1991, Writer and Market Gardener Butler, Susan Margaret 'Peggy', née Guthrie

  • Administrative History ↴

    Hubert Butler graduated in classics in 1922 from St John's College Oxford and began to travel around Europe making observations on historical, political and social circumstances which were to inform his writings for many years. He helped rescuing Jewish families in Vienna after Austria was annexed by Germany in 1938. He returned to live in the place of his birth, Maidenhall, co Kilkenny in 1941 and dedicated himself, in his writing, broadcasts and lectures, to seeking to understand Irish political and social developments with particular emphasis on the relationship between Protestant and Catholic citizens. His book 'Ten Thousand Saints: a study of Irish and European origins' (Kilkenny: Wellbrook Press, 1972) sought to prove that Irish saints' legends serve as a parable describing the movement of pre-historic tribes around Europe. He was attacked by the Catholic hierarchy for drawing attention to the role of the Catholic Church in genocidal atrocity in Yugoslavia during the Second World War. He was a co-reviver of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society and founded the Butler Society. With his wife, Susan Margaret [Peggy] Butler née Guthrie, he was a keen market gardener. He published another book 'The sub-prefect should have held his tongue' (London: Penguin 1990) and several collections of essays. The Butlers had two children; a daughter Julia (m. Dr Richard Crampton) and an adopted son, the author Joseph Hone.
  • Archival History ↴

    Purchased from Hubert Butler and his wife Susan Margaret (Peggy) Butler (née Guthrie) and collected from their home, Maidenall, Co. Kilkenny in April 1988.
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴


Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Butler, Hubert, 1900-1991, Writer and Market Gardener Butler, Susan Margaret 'Peggy', née Guthrie ↴

    The collection contains material relating to the families of both Hubert and Peggy Butler, mostly in the19th century but also earlier and later: this includes the Power, Kirk, Guthrie and Prim families and contains estate records, correspondence and genealogy. It also includes material relating to Dr John Moorhead, of the Medical College of Ohio who, with his wife Susan, owned Annaghmakerrig in co Monaghan. The bulk of the collection derives from Hubert Butler and includes his research material for Ten Thousand Saints: a study of Irish and European origins (Kilkenny: Wellbrook Press, 1972). There are also articles, lectures and research/reading notebooks, scrapbooks and presscuttings on a wide range of topics including the Kilkenny Archeological Society; agriculture; Irish and European and other history and current affairs; philosophy; classical and modern literature. There is autobiographical material, works of fiction and a substantial collection of correspondence including letters to his wife and family members; with publishers and literary journals; copies of outgoing correspondence; and the correspondence of the Butler Society of which HB was the secretary. There are some estate records from Maidenhall, and another property in Dunmore East, as well as domestic household papers, financial material and family photographs.
    There is a separate section of correspondence between Peggy Butler [née Susan Margaret Guthrie] and her family, including her brother Sir Tyrone Guthrie; her diaries and notebooks; a substantial amount of gardening records; some artworks, poetry and reviews.

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    Permanent Retention
  • Arrangement ↴

    The collection is arranged by subject and is broadly arranged as follows:
    Early Butler family papers 10304/1-74
    Hubert Butler papers 10304/75-835
    Susan Margaret Butler papers 10304/836-868
    Butler Society papers 10304/874-922
    Moorhead family papers 10304/923-987 including those of John Moorhead Professor of Obstetrics and Diseases of Women and Children, Medical College of Ohio
    Power family papers 10304-988-1009
    Papers of ancestors and associated objects 10304/1010-1022
    Guthrie family papers 10304/1029-1046
    Kirk family papers 10304/1047
    Prim family papers 10304/1048-1052

Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions Please contact in advance of your visit
Conditions Governing ReproductionPlease contact for guidance
Creation Dates1736-1988
Extent Medium67 archival boxes
Material Language ScriptEnglish
Finding Aids A full descriptive list with index and a timeline of Hubert Butler's locations 1923-1942 is available for consultation in the Manuscripts & Archives Research Library at Trinity College Library Dublin. The descriptive list can also be viewed online: Archive Web Link →

Allied Materials

There are no Allied Materials

Descriptive Control Area

Archivist NoteAdapted by N Milne
Rules/ConventionsISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottowa: International Council on Archives, 2000. National Council on Archives: Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names. Chippenham: National Council on Archives, 1997.
Date of Descriptions42005