Death of Lieut-Colonel Butts, Wellington NZ 1891
New Zealand Times, 8 Dec 1891
BUTTS - On the 5th December 1891, at his residence, Gordon-street, Newtown, Wellington, John George Butts, retired major 18th Royal Irish Regiment, aged 51 years
New Zealand Times, 7 Dec 1891
DEATH of Lieutenant-Colonel Butts
It is with much regret that we have to chronicle the death of Lieut-Colonel Butts, which occurred about 6.30 on Saturday evening from a paralytic stroke. The deceased, John Geo. Butts, was 51 years of age and was born at Hartest, Suffolk, England, where his father, the Rev Edward Drury Butts, was incumbent. He left there when quite young, on account of his father going to a place called Melplash, near Bridport (Dorset), where he lived until he entered the army, in in 1861, as ensign in the 2nd Battalion 18th Royal Irish. He was stationed first at Jersey and then in the Isle of Wight and in 1863 formed one of the Prince of Wales' Guard of Honour on the occasion of his marriage. Shortly afterwards he came out with his regiment to this Colony on the occasion of the Maori rising and served through the Waikato and Wanganui campaigns.
The Regiment was the last to leave New Zealand in 1869. It was afterwards stationed for some time at Hobart, and after being located at several military centres in the Old Country, Lieutenant Butts received his company, being at the same time transferred from the 2nd to the 1st battalion of the regiment. Subsequently the regiment was ordered to Malta and thence in 1874 to India, where he was stationed at Bareilly for some time and then to Firozpur. During the chief part of his residence there he was paymaster of the regiment.
In 1880 the regiment went to Afghanistan and after remaining with it there for six months he was invalided home on account of a severe fever he had contracted and was, in 1881, compulsorily retired from the service, under the new regulations, at the age of 40. It was then that he came back to New Zealand and after having been in the Colony about four months the War Office did him the high honour, of offering him by telegraph, reinstatement as Major in his old regiment. However, as the acceptance of this offer would have necessitated his going to India, which he was warned against by his physician, he was obliged to refuse, besides which his family affairs rendered any such acceptance almost impossible.
In 1887 he was gazetted to the Adjutancy of Volunteers in Wellington, a position he retained until the present Government retrenched him in March last.
In July 1890 be sustained a paralytic stroke, consequent on overwork, which was followed by a second stroke about two months since. He had been in fairly good health up till Friday night last, when about 10 o'clock the third stroke came and, despite the efforts of Dr Henry, who was immediately called in, he died on Saturday evening without having regained consciousness.
He married in (NZ) 1869 to Lucy Anne, daughter of the late Major Nixon, of Wanganui, by whom he had issue four children - two sons and two daughters - all of whom are now living.
The deceased was a member of an ancient family and was able to trace back his ancestry to very early times in English history. That it has numbered among its members men of prominence may be gathered from the fact that a Sir William Butts was Court physician to Bluff King Hal (King Henry VIII 1509-1547).
A brother of the deceased, Mr E. D. Butts, was formerly Postmaster in this city and is now occupying a similar position at Dunedin.
The late Lieutenant-Colonel Butts was a gentleman highly respected and esteemed by all with whom he came in contact and his death will be regretted by a large circle of friends and relatives. He will be buried with full military honours to-morrow afternoon, the funeral procession leaving his late residence in Gordon-street, Newtown, at 4p.m.
Evening Post, 7 Dec 1891
OBITUARY of Lieutenant-Colonel Butts
The brief announcement made in our last issue will have prepared our readers for the news of Lieut-Colonel Butts death, which occurred at his residence, Newtown, at 6.30 on Saturday evening. Deceased was the son of the Rev Edward Drury Butts, incumbent of Hartest, Suffolk and was born in that parish in the year 1840. His family was one of some note in early English history and one of its members, Sir Wm. Butts, was a Court physician to Henry VIII. The deceased gentleman entered the army in 1861, holding an ensign's commission in the 18th Royal Irish. He was in the guard of honour of the Prince of Wales on the occasion of His Royal Highness' marriage in 1863.
The outbreak of the Maori was brought the gallant 18th out to New Zealand, and with it the officer now deceased, who served throughout the fighting in the Waikato and on the West Coast. After leaving New Zealand in 1869 the Royal Irish did service at Hobart, in various parts of the Old Country (where Lieut Butts was given his company), Malta, India and Afghanistan. It was in the last-named country that the subject of this notice was seized with the fever that necessitated his retirement from the service in 1881. Immediately afterwards he settled in New Zealand.
The War Office cabled out an offer to reinstate him in his old regiment with promotion to the rank of Major, but he was unable to accept the honour, as the state of his health forbade his going to India, whither the regiment was ordered and family affairs also stood in the way.
The Adjuntancy of the Wellington Volunteers with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, was conferred upon him in 1883 and he held it until March last.
Paralysis told upon his health for the last year or two and the third stroke has now had the usual fatal consequence. Colonel Butts was married in 1869 to a daughter of the late Major Nixon, of Wanganui, who survives him with four children, two sons and two daughters.
Deceased was one of those men whom to know was to esteem and he leaves behind a very wide circle of mourning friends. St Mark's Parish loses in him an active worker. He was formerly a member of the parish vestry and acted for some time as lay-reader at the Newtown Church-room services. The Rev R. Coffey made allusion last night to the melancholy fact of Colonel Butts' death, bracketing together his name and that of Mr Joseph Holgate as two useful parishioners who had just passed away.
At the close of the service the Dead March in 'Saul" was played on the organ by Mr A. J. Hamerston, in memory of the departed officer. Military honours are to be paid by the Wellington Volunteers to the remains of their late commanding officer. The District Orders in reference to the funeral will be found elsewhere.
Evening Post, 9 Dec 1891
FUNERAL of Lieutenant-Colonel Butts
The late Lieut-Colonel Butts was interred in the Church of England Cemetery, Thorndon, yesterday afternoon, with all the military honours befitting an officer of his rank. The funeral cortege, which was a large one before it reached the cemetery, left the late residence of the deceased in Gordon-street, Newtown, at 4 o'clock. The coffin, covered with the Union Jack and surmounted with the accoutrements of the officer, together with a number of beautiful wreaths of white flowers sent by friends and relatives, was carried on a gun carriage belonging to the D Battery of Artillery. A detachment of 30 of the Permanent Artillery, under Major Messenger, which subsequently formed the firing party at the grave, marched in front with arms reversed and immediately behind the gun carriage and led by two members of the Artillery, came the deceased officer's charger, with trapping, the regimental boots being reversed in the stirrups. Next came a detachment of the Torpedo Corps and then several closed carriages containing the chief mourners - namely, Mr H. P. Butts, son of the deceased, Messrs T. Butts and H. Radcliffe, nephews, Mr Arthur Nixon, brother-in-law of the deceased and also a number of friends. At the Mount Cook Barracks the cortege was joined by the garrison officers, detachments from the various Volunteer corps and also the Garrison Band, under Bandmaster Herd. The officers present included the following:- Major Newall, Major McCredie, Adjutant Quick, Captain Coleman and Quartermaster Anderson (Permanent Artillery), Capt. Collins, Lieut. Wilson (City Rifles), Capt. Paterson and Lieut. Porritt (Wellington Guards), Lieut.-Commander Duncan, Lieuts. Hislop and Hume (Wellington Navals), Lieut-Commander Davy and Lieut Kirk (Petone Navals), Capt Loveday and Lieut Purdy (Heretaunga Mounted Infantry), Col. Pearce (Unattached) and Staff-Sergt-Major Finn were also present, whilst Inspector Thomson attended in uniform to represent the Police Department and Mr P.S. Garvey, Governor of the Wellington Gaol, on behalf of the Prisons Department, the deceased officer having been a visiting Justice of the Peace up to the time of his death. Liuet-Colonel Hume, Inspector of Volunteers, being absent in Auckland was represented by Sub-Lieut R. Hume of the Wellington Navals. The Volunteer Companies represented by detachments were the Wellington Rifles, Wellington Guards, City Rifles, Petone and Wellington Navals and Heretaunga, Mounted Infantry.
The parade was under command of Major Newall. A large number of civilians, including many prominent citizens, joined in the procession as it proceeded through the streets of the city. On the way to the cemetery the Garrison Band played the "Dead March from Saul" and Beethoven's beautiful "Funeral March"
The gun carriage was relinquished at the foot of Bolton-street and the coffin being placed on the shoulders of several officers was carried to the Mortuary Chapel in the cemetery, the following officers acting as pall-bearers:- Major McCredie, Adjutant Quick, Captains Coleman and Collins, Lieutenant-Commander Duncan, Captains Barclay and Beamish (representing the Imperial Army) and Mr Cole, late Captain of the Newtown Rifles.
After a short service in the chapel by the Rev. R. Coffey, curate of St Mark's Church, assisted by the Rev A. M. Bradbury of the same parish, the coffin was removed to the grave, which is situated in a sunny little spot on the western slope, where the last sad rites of the Church having been performed by the officiating clergyman, the firing party delivered three volleys over the grave and the assembly, which had been a most orderly one throughout, the dispersed.
A posse of police constables, under Sergeant-Major Ramsay, kept order at the entrance gate and at the grave, where there was a large assembly of people, but their duties were merely nominal.
John George Butts (1840-1891)
married in Wanganui 20 July 1869 to
Lucy Anna Nixon (1851-1931)
Lucy was born in Stoke, Nelson, 1 of 7 children of John Nixon & Eliza Julia Peterson from Nottingham (buried Wanganui)
Wellington Independent, 24 July 1869
BUTTS-NIXON - On July 20, at Sedgebrook Grange, the residence of the bride's father, by the Rev C. H. T. Nicholes, John George Butts, Lieutenant 18th Royal Irish, youngest son of the late Rev. Edward Drury Butts, Incumbent of Meipleish, Dorset, to Lucy Anna, youngest daughter of John Nixon, Esq., J.P. Wanganui
* marriage of Anna's sister On the 9th July 1863, at Sydney, Theodore Henry Dickens, Esq., barrister, Calcutta, to Matilda Julia, eldest daughter of John Nixon, Esq., J.P., Sedgebrook Grange, Wanganui, New Zealand, and niece to A.T.T. Peterson, Esq., barrister, Calcutta
* Sedgebrook Grange was a large family estate on the left bank of the Wanganui River. Anna's brother John Henry Nixon, Manager of the BNZ in Wanganui lived on the estate and breed thoroughbred horses and pedigree Jersey cattle
the children of John & Lucy
* 1871 - 1960 Harry Paulet Butts
born in Devonport, England, he married Edith Mary Templar in 1900 & died in Tauranga
* 1875 - 1961 Eva Mary Butts
born in Bareilly, India, never married. Eva was a school-mistress, she taught elocution, arithmetic and geography at the Terrace School, Fitzherbert Terrace, Wellington to the Beauchamps (Katherine Mansfield), among others. Katherine wrote that she tolerated, even sometimes liked, Miss Butts, who didn't attempt to make her conform, like Mrs. Henry Smith. Eva died in Christchurch and was cremated and buried at Bolton street with her family
* 1878 - 1926 Muriel St Clair Butts
born in Karauli, India, never married, Muriel died in Wellington, was cremated and buried at Bolton street with her family
* 1883 - 1960 George Aubrey Pitt Butts
born in New Zealand
* 1885 - 1885 Emily Butts
born in Wellington, Emily lived for 2 hours and was buried at Bolton Street cemetery
John George Butts died 5 Dec 1891
Lucy Anna Butts died 30 Oct 1931 aged 80
The family were buried Plot 7904 at Bolton Street cemetery
Butts headstone at Plot 7904
INSCRIPTION READS: In loving memory of Lieut Colonel J.G. BUTTS, late The Royal Irish Regiment, born 2 April 1840, died 5 December 1891. Lucy Anna BUTTS beloved wife of above, born 1851, died 1931. Eva Mary BUTTS, born India, died at Christchurch 31 May 1961, aged 86. Muriel St Clair BUTTS, born at Kasauli, died at Wellington 6 March 1926, aged 47
Erected by the Officers, Noncommissioned Officers and men of the Volunteer Force, Wellington District, 1892.