The 18th Century

It was not until the 1760s that Walter Butler (1703-83), (de jure) 16th Earl of Ormonde succeeded his father John Butler of Kilcash and moved into the castle. In turn his son, another John Butler (d.1795) inherited and, having converted to the Protestant faith, was confirmed as (de facto) earl of Ormonde in 1791.

John made an advantageous marriage to a Wandesford heiress and the family fortunes were on the rise again. This was particularly evident when John’s son, another Walter (1770-1820), 1st Marquess of Ormonde (2nd creation), succeeded to the title and property. In 1799 the Irish estates of the Ormondes were worth £22,000 a year.

The Crown also paid compensation of £216,000 to Walter when he sold the Butler’s hereditary prisage of wines which they held for centuries.