Butt, Isaac

Butt, Isaac

Butt, Isaac, 1813–79, Irish politician and nationalist leader. A member of both the Irish and the English bar, he was a noted conservative lawyer and scholar and an opponent of Daniel O'Connell. After the Irish famine experience of the 1840s, however, he became increasingly liberal, defended participants in the abortive Young Ireland revolt (1848), and entered (1852) Parliament as a Liberal-Conservative. He continually urged land tenure reform, defended the Fenian leaders, and founded (1870) the Home Rule Society. By 1874 the parliamentary group, the Home Rule League, comprised 56 members under his leadership. He remained nominal leader of the Home Rule movement until his death, although effective leadership gradually passed to Charles Stewart Parnell.

Bibliography

See L. J. McCaffrey, Irish Federalism in the 1870's (1962); D. Thornley, Isaac Butt and Home Rule (1964).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Butt, Isaac

 

Born Sept. 6, 1813, in Glenfin, County Donegal; died May 5, 1879, in Dublin. Irish political figure.

Butt was a professor of political economy at Dublin University (from 1836), a journalist, and an attorney. In the 1860’s he was prominent as a defense attorney in several trials of participants in the Irish liberation movement. In 1870 he was one of the founders of the Association for the Home Government of Ireland (after 1873, the Irish Home Rule League) and one of the leaders of the Irish opposition in the British Parliament. In the struggle for Irish self-government Butt supported moderate tactics and criticized the method of parliamentary obstruction. As a result, Butt lost his influence in the Home Rule League, and Charles Parnell became its leader.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.