Francis BUTLER



Francis BUTLER(1713) , who was the father of Rhoda BUTLER1, was described as a labourer, and at the time of Rhoda's baptism in 18212 her parents were shown as being of the parish of Westhall, Suffolk.

It appears that Francis and his wife Amy (sometimes spelt Ame), had five daughters and two sons. The twin sons, born and baptised on the same day, look as if they may not have survived:

At the time of the 1851 census12 Francis and Amy BUTLER were at 8 North Green, Southwold, Suffolk. He was 73, a labourer, born in Halesworth, Suffolk. She was 78, a servant, born in Rumburgh, Suffolk. So he was born about 1777/78 and she around 1772/73. There is a record of a marriage between Francis BUTLER and Amy HOWLETT, which took place in the parish of All Saints with St Nicholas, South Elmham, which is adjacent to Rumburgh. The marriage was by banns and was on 2 Aug 1802. Francis was a single man from the parish of Halesworth, and Amy a single woman of the parish of South Elmham. The witnesses were Amy HUFFLET (Hufflet not clearly written) and Wm CHAPMAN. All, bride, groom and witnesses, made their mark13.

Given the birth of daughter Maria in 1806, this looks a possible marriage for Francis.

The Familysearch records of Halesworth Independent Church (founded 1793), where some of Francis and Amy's chidren were baptised, covers 1796-1863, and so would not have a record for Francis. A possibility would be the Walpole Old Chapel, which was in Halesworth Road, Walpole, and was established following the 1689 Act of Toleration, but the register there contains no entry for a Francis BUTLER14. Rumburgh, where Amy was born, is a parish about 4 miles NNW of Halesworth. The parish church is dedicated to St Michael and St Felix, and the parish register for the period 1813-1900 with an index of the older register 1559-1812 has been published on cd by the Suffolk Family History Society, but contains no Amy HOWLETT.

Francis BUTLER, agricultural labourer, died at Chediston St, Halesworth, on 10 Mar 1859, aged 8115. The informant was Maria TAYLOR, his eldest daughter. He was buried on 14 Mar 1859 at Halesworth 16. The death of his wife Amy occurred a little later in the same year on 11 Jun17, and she was buried, also at Halesworth, on 15 Jun 185918.


1) His name appears on the 1842 marriage certificate for Rhoda BUTLER and George BERTRAM, which was registered at Blything in the Dec quarter of 1842, GRO vol.13, p.245.
2) Familysearch, based on FHL film 825404, item 5, which contains manuscript records of births and baptisms, 1796-1836, for the Independent Church, Halesworth, from the original at the then Public Record Office, London, now the National Archives, RG4/1842. A page image for this baptism is available through the website
3) Familysearch, based on a large set of films of Bishop's Transcripts for the Archdeaconry of Suffolk, with no further details given.
4) See note 3 above.
5) Familysearch, based on film 825404, Non- conformist registers, National Archives, RG4, 1842, though in this case I have not found a page image on
6) see note 3 above.
7) see note 5 above.
8) Marriage certificate, 14 Nov 1842, parish of Sotherton, Suffolk.
9) GRO marriage index, Blything, Suffolk, Jun quarter of 1844, vol.13, p.627.
10) See note 2 above.
11) See note 5 above.
12) 1851 England census, Southwold, HO 107, piece 1803, folio 801, p.2, through
13) This information comes from transcripts held by Pamela Palgrave, of the Suffolk Family History Society, and was communicated to me by email on 26 Aug 2015.
14) The Walpole Old Chapel register for the years 1775-1780 was kindly checked by Simon Weeks, through
15) Death certificate. GRO deaths index, Halesworth sub-district, Blything district, Suffolk, Mar quarter of 1859, vol.4a, p.456.
16) National Burial Index, data provided by Suffolk Family History Society, through
17) Death certificate. GRO deaths index, Halesworth, Blything, Suffolk, Jun quarter of 1859, vol.4a, p.434.
18) National Burial Index, see note 16 above.

© John Stowell 2015             This file last edited on 29 August 2015.

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