Edmond Butler


Edmond (or Edmund) Butler probably was born in Ireland probably before 1750.

He later stated that he had settled in Albany in 1771 and that he was a blacksmith.

In April 1773, he recieved a New York license to marry Anne Tillen (Tillson). In February 1776, their daughter was christened at the Albany Dutch church. Otherwise, his name has not been found among the available records of the Albany churches.

He was living in Albany at the beginning of the war. Although he claimed that he had "Declared against the Americans," he stated that he "went with" the Albany militia on a number of occasions - sometimes bearing arms.

In May 1776, he was paid by the Albany Committee for firewood and repairs to the barracks. In August 1777, he was paid for keeping the wells in repair.

But like most unconnected newcomers, Butler ultimately came under the scrutiny of the Albany revolutionaries. He later testified that they suspected him of supporting Burgoyne and that he was put in "Gaol for Toryism." Prior to joining the British in Canada in 1782, he did admit to forwarding dispatches from Canada to New York and that he was on the British payroll. Fleeing Albany, he was pursued but escaped first to New York and finally re-located to Windsor, Ontario where he worked as a blacksmith again.

He stated that he had purchased a house and lot in Albany from "Francis Lansen and others" in 1776. He added a store to the property and sold a "variety of merchandize." In 1776, he purchased a negro wench and her child. He also owned a cow. A number of witnesses corroborated his claims and he subsequently was partially compensated. The witnesses also offered that he was a blacksmith who became a merchant/storekeeper, had apprentices and/or journeymen, and was in "good circumstances."

In 1779, his house and property in the first ward were valued on the Albany assessment roll.

In 1781, he was called a merchant and was listed among those who purchased the freedom of Albany. Probably sometime in 1781, his corner house on "Churchyard Street" was referenced as one of the boundaries of the first ward.

By the end of 1781, he seems to have left Albany.

A number of same-named contemporaries were at-large in the region during the last quarter of the eighteenth century. This sketch is focused on the immigrant blacksmith loyalist who lived in Albany during the 1770s. Presently, it leaves many un-answered questions.

We seek information on the early life and passing of Albany's Edmond Butler.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Edmond Butler is CAP biography number 7501. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

first posted: 5/10/10