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View Tree for Elizabeth Southerden ThompsonElizabeth Southerden Thompson (b. 03 Nov 1846, d. 02 Oct 1933)

Elizabeth Southerden Thompson (daughter of Thomas James Thompson and Christiana Jane Weller) was born 03 Nov 1846 in Lausanne, Switzerland, and died 02 Oct 1933 in Gormanston Castle, Co Meath. She married William KGCB PC Ireland ButlerKGCB, PC on 11 Jun 1877.

 Includes NotesNotes for Elizabeth Southerden Thompson:
Elizabeth Southerden Butler, nee ThompsonSource: "Lady Butler, Battle Artist 1846-1933" by PaulUsherwood, Senior Lecturer in Art History, Newcastle upon TynePolytechnic & Jenny Spencer-Smith, Keeper of Fine Art, NationalArmy Museum. "Lady Butler, Battle Artist (1846-1933)",published by Alan Sutton, National Army Museum, for exhibitionsheld at the National Army Museum, London 14 May - 26 September1987, at the Durham Light Infantry Museum and Arts Centre 10October - 8 November 1987, and at Leeds City Art Gallery 25November - 14 February 1988."Elizabeth Southerden Thompson, subsequently Lady Butler, wasthe first painter to celebrate the courage and endurance of theordinary British soldier. In the words of her brother-in-law,Wilfred Meynell, a champion of her work, 'Lady Butler has donefor the soldier in Art what Mr Rudyard Kipling has done for himin Literature - she has taken the individual, separated him,seen him close and let the world so see him'." (Obituary 'TheTimes' 4 October 1933)"Amazon's work this; no doubt about it..." John Ruskin 1875.Her father was Thomas James Thompson (1812-1881), gentleman ofprivate means, having inherited from his grandfather whosemoney had been made in West Indian sugar plantations.(KathleenTillotson ed. "The Letters of Charles Dickens 1844-46,Vol. IV", Clarendon Press Oxford 1977. Thomas James Thompsonhad studied at Trinity College, Cambridge and stood 3 times forparliament as a Liberal candidate, without success. He had metDickens in1838.) "Thompson took to European travel and thepursuit of his own cultural interests. The painter's mother,Christiana Weller (1825 - 1910) shared her husband's interestin art. In her youth she had acquired a reputation as atalented pianist and singer and it was after one of her pianorecitals that Charles Dickens first introduced his friendThompson to her."(Graham Storey and KJ Fielding eds. "The Letters of CharlesDickens 1847-49 Vol.V", Clarendon Press Oxford 1981. Dickensdescribed Weller as '...the fair forte piano player ofLiverpool' in a letter of 11 July 1847. For a brief period hehad been infatuated with her but after his friend's marriage inOctober 1845, his view of her changed. 'Mrs Thompsondisappoints me very much. She is a mere spoiled child, I think,and doesn't turn out half as well as I expected. Matrimony hasimproved him, and certainly has not improved her': ibid. p604, 17 August 1846."Elizabeth Thompson was born on 3 November 1846, in Lausanne byLake Geneva. Her sister, later to achieve considerable fame asthe poet, essayist and critic, Alice Meynell, was born a yearlater. From 1851, the two girls spent much of their childhoodon the Ligurian coast of Italy, constantly moving from place toplace in pursuit of their father's interest in Italianculture."In 1862, at the age of fifteen, ET began taking lessons in oilpainting from W. Standish in London, spending two hours a weekpainting his own copies of Edwin Landseer's pictures. Shortlyafter she enrolled in the elementary class at the Female Schoolof Art., South Kensington. ET settled for one year on Isle ofWight.ET was fiercely competitive. When a study by a fellow student,Kate Greenaway, who later achieved fame as an illustrator, wasjudged to be the best in the class she was chagrined.Before her marriage to William Butler the artist customarilysigned her works with her initials EST or simply ET. Fromabout 1867 to 1880 she added the monogram of a capital Ccontaining across within it, a device which symbolised RedCross Society. The 'society' was a group formed by the artistand a few of her fellow students at the South Kensington Schoolof Art.ET's marriage to Major William Butler of the 69th Regiment(South Lincolnshire Foot, subsequently after 1880 the WelshRegiment) on 11 June 1877 was widely regarded as being a goodmatch. John Ruskin wrote to Butler to congratulate him, 'I amprofoundly thankful for the blessing of power that is nowunited in your wife and you. What may you not do for England,the two of you'.William Francis Butler (1838 - 1910), a Catholic Irishman froman impoverished family, had made his way in the army entirelythrough force of personality, intelligence and a readiness foractive service anywhere in the world. By 1977 he had alreadyserved in Burma, India, Canada and West Africa. He was also agifted and prolific writer who, by this time, had publishedaccounts of his experiences in Canada in "The Great Lone Land"and "The Wild North Land", and during the Ashanti War of 1873 inAkimFoo, "The Story of a Failure", as well as a history of hisown regiment.EB had to reconcile life as army officer's wife and motherbringing up five children. (Patrick eldest b.1880, join RoyalIrish Regiment 1902, and served in Great War; Eileen,Elizabeth (family name 'Coos'); Martin youngest.The Boer War followed a crisis in husband's career. In October1898 he was appointed Commander-in-Chief, South Africa withlocal rank of Lieutenant General. He was Acting Governor ofthe Cape Colony and High Commissioner of South Africa duringthe temporary absence of Sir Alfred Milner. In October 1905,at the age of 67, Sir William was placed on the Retired List,and with his wife and youngest child, moved to Bansha Castle,Co.Tipperary, to spend his remaining years near his birthplace.In June 1906 he was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order ofthe Bath and, three years later he became a member of the PrivyCouncil in Ireland. He died on 7 June, 1910.After the marriage of her daughter Eileen, in the autumn of1911, Lady Butler remained at Bansha alone. In 1922 when thehouse was sequestered by the Republicans she move to live withher younger daughter Eileen, Viscountess Gormanston atGormanston Castle in Co. Meath. EB died at Gormanston Castle on2 October 1933 and was buried at the nearby village ofStamullenReferences:1. June Badeni 'The Slender Tree, A Life of Alice Meynell',Tabb House, Padstow 19812. Viola Meynell Alice Meynell. 'A Memoir' Jonathan Cape,London 19293. Elizabeth Butler 'Letters from the Holy Land' 19034. Elizabeth Butler 'From Sketch Book and Diary' 19095. Elizabeth Butler 'An Autobiography' Constable & Co.Ltd London19226. Edward McCourt 'Remember Butler, The Story of Sir WilliamButler' Routledge and Kegan Paul, London 1967.1881 Census (RG11/2199, f.88, p.8) :3 Ellott Terrace, Plymouth (St Andrew)Elizabeth Butler, head, M, 34, F, Painter (artist), b.Switzerland (British Subject)Patrick R, Butler, son, 4m, b. Plymouth DEVElizabeth F. Butler, dau, 1, b. MDX[Plus 5 servants]

More About Elizabeth Southerden Thompson:
Burial: Unknown, Stamullen, Co Meath.
Record Change: 08 Feb 2003

More About Elizabeth Southerden Thompson and William KGCB PC Ireland ButlerKGCB, PC:
Marriage: 11 Jun 1877

Children of Elizabeth Southerden Thompson and William KGCB PC Ireland ButlerKGCB, PC are:
  1. Eileen Butler, d. date unknown.
  2. Martin Butler, d. date unknown.
  3. Elizabeth 'Coos' Butler, b. 1880, Middlesex [1881 Census], d. date unknown.
  4. Patrick R. Butler, b. Dec 1880, Plymouth DEV [1881 Census], d. date unknown.
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