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Funeral of 2nd Marquis of Ormonde

Funeral of  2nd Marquis of Ormonde

John Butler (b.1808) died on the 26th of September 1854. The removal of the remains of the much-lamented nobleman, from Loftus Hall to Kilkenny Castle, took place on the 30th; and on Monday morning they were deposited in their last resting place.

From an early hour, the tenantry from the Kilcash, the Garryricken, the Dunmore, and Kilmacshane estates began to pour into Kilkenny, to pay the last melancholy tribute. The concourse of the gentry of the county was also immense; and at eleven o'clock, the hour fixed upon for forming the funeral procession, drew nigh, the citizens might be seen approaching the Castle en masse.


The coffin was laid out in the hall, with pall and coronet; the suite of apartments adjoining was appropriated, for the occasion, for the purpose of robing rooms. The military officers and clergy intending to take part in the procession were received in the library; the members of the Corporation, the Masonic bodies of Kilkenny, and the gentry of the county and city waited in the picture gallery; and the tenantry, in their white scarfs and hatbands, were marshalled in the court-yard. At half-past eleven o'clock the procession began to move.

Sketch taken from Victoria Hotel by E. FitzPatrick

The Procession

  1. Body of tenantry

  2. ​Officers of the Kilkenny garrison

  3. County Inspector, and other local officers

  4. The clergy of the city & county

  5. ​The coronet of the deceased Marquis, borne on a crimson velvet cushion, by Mr King, his Lordship's butler.

  6. The coffin shouldered by a picked body of young men from the tenantry. On each side of the coffin was a row of noblemen and gentlemen, acting as pall-bearers; on one side, these were led by the Earl of Desart, on the other by the Earl of Bessborough. The coffin was followed by the relatives of the deceased, as mourners.

  7. Household servants and dependants of the Marquess

  8. Corporation of Kilkenny, before whom the civic sword and massive silver mace - a present to the Municipal Council from the Duke of Ormonde in the latter end of the seventeenth century - draped in crape, were borne reversed. The members of the Council walked two and two; city High Sheriff, Thomas Hart, Esq., J.P. They were attended by the Corporation officials.

  9. Long double line of nearly 100 members of the Masonic Lodges of Kilkenny

  10. Pupils of Kilkenny College

  11. Gentry of County Kilkenny: Ponsonobys, Butlers, Langrishes, Connellans, De Montmorencys, Floods, Cuffes, Powers, Blundens, Wemyses, Bookeys, Izods, Greenes, Stannards, Milwards, Wheelers, Aylwards, Warrens, Lanes, Hamiltons, Cookes, and all the names and lineages that are identified with the property and respectability of Kilkenny in vast multitude.

  12. Citizens of Kilkenny

  13. Another body of Ormonde tenantry

St. Canice's Cathedral

As the procession wended through the streets to the Cathedral, the bells tolled from the belfries of all the churches. The shops were shut up; even the banks were closed for the occasion and the business was totally suspended. Immense crowds lined the streets.

Arriving at the Cathedral precinct, the procession was met by the Lord Bishop of Ossory, and the members of the Chapter, in full canonicals. As the procession entered the Cathedral the organ played the Dead March in "Saul". The Cathedral was hung with mourning. It was densely crowded with spectators. The choir chanted the service, and the Bishop preached an eloquent and impressive sermon, from St. Mark c. xiii., v. 33, 37.

At the conclusion of the sermon, the procession again formed and proceeded from the chancel towards the south transept, where the grave had been prepared, and the Bishop concluded the ceremony; when the sorrowing tenantry and sympathizing spectators retired from the sacred edifice and separated.

Tomb of John Butler,  St. Canice's Cathe

The tomb of John Butler, St. Canice's Cathedral

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