Mr Edward BUTLER, QC (1823 - 1879)**

  • Date of Birth: 01/01/1823
  • Place of Birth: County Kilkenny, Ireland
  • Date of Death: 09/06/1879
  • Place of Death: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Parliamentary Service

Member of the NSW Legislative Council3 Sep 186119 Nov 18632yr(s) 2mth(s) 17day(s)
Life Appointments under the Constitution Act: Date of Writ of Summons 2 September 1861.
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly13 Dec 186912 Oct 18777yr(s) 9mth(s) 30day(s)
Member of the NSW Legislative Council5 Dec 18779 Jun 18791yr(s) 6mth(s) 5day(s)
Life Appointment under the Constitution Act: Date of Writ of Summons 29 October 1877.
Member for Argyle13 Dec 18693 Feb 18722yr(s) 1mth(s) 22day(s)
6th (1870 - 1872)
Member for Argyle4 Mar 187214 May 18722mth(s) 11day(s)
7th (1872 - 1874)
Member for Argyle27 May 187228 Nov 18742yr(s) 6mth(s) 2day(s)
7th (1872 - 1874)
Member for Argyle28 Dec 187412 Oct 18772yr(s) 9mth(s) 15day(s)
8th (1875 - 1877)
Attorney General15 May 187210 Nov 18731yr(s) 5mth(s) 27day(s)
Standing Orders Committee No.32 Feb 187022 Feb 187021days
6th (1870 - 1872)
Elections and Qualifications Committee No.511 Aug 18703 Nov 18702mths 24days
6th (1870 - 1872)
Standing Orders Committee No.312 Aug 187022 Mar 18717mths 11days
6th (1870 - 1872)
Standing Orders Committee No.315 Nov 18711 Feb 18722mths 18days
6th (1870 - 1872)

Community Activity

Fellow of St John's College at the University of Sydney in 1858. Involved in church activities but often opposed the hierarchy. Member of the Law Reform Committee in 1871.

Qualifications, occupations and interests

Lawyer (Barrister). Educated at Kilkenny College. Employed as a journalist and became a protege of Charles Gavan Duffy in the Young Ireland movement. Became the editor of the nationalist newspaper, Galway Vindicator, in 1848 and subsequently the editor of Duffy's 'Nation'. Was briefly imprisoned for nationalist activities. Emigrated to New South Wales because to pursue a legal career. Arrived in New South Wales in 1853 and began work on Henry Parkes' 'Empire' and was associated with the liberal movement. (Sir Henry Parkes was in the first to sixteenth Parliaments and was Premier six times.) Broke with Parkes in 1873. Admitted to the New South Wales Bar on 16 October 1855. He became Crown Prosecutor and Commissoner of the Court of Claims in 1857 at £500 per annum. His appointment was reviewed in 1859 and from 1860 to 1867 he worked mainly as a criminal lawyer. From 1868, he was a speciaist in common and commercial law. He became a Queen's Counsel in 1873. Successful as a squatter and became wealthy.


Son of Michael, a farmer, and Mary, nee Joyce. Married (1) Ellen Mary Connolly on 1 May 1858 at Parramatta and had issue, 4 sons and 5 daughters. Married (2) to Marion Daintry on 22 April 1875 in Sydney and had issue, 1 daughter. Roman Catholic.

Additional Information

Australian Dictionary of Biography, volume three; Members of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales 1856-1901