Butler, George James

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Dates Active in Dublin: 



34 Sackville Street, 1832
59 Mary Street, 1833
11 Ellis Quay, 1866–70
[Also: 29 Haymarket, London]


According to advertisements placed by George James’s grandson William John Butler and great-granddaughter Jane Butler, the Butler business was established in 1795/1798 which suggests that George James (born c. 1799) was not the first of the Butler family in the music trade in Dublin (Staszynski). However, Algernon Rose (Talks with Bandsmen, London 1894, cited in Waterhouse) states that George James succeeded the business of 'a Mr Dollard, maker of flute, Kent-bugle, serpent and bass-horn' in 1826 and an advertisement placed by his son George Patrick Butler in 1878 (Irish Times) state that the business was established in Dublin in 1826, which aligns with Rose’s timeline.

Traded under “Butler’s Musical Instruments”.

The Evening Freeman advertisement of 15 January 1869 states that Butler's 'Manufactory' was in Haymarket London and the 'Branch Establishment' was at 11 Essex Quay, Dublin.

His sons James Bernard John Edward Butler, George Patrick Butler, and Thomas Aloysius Butler worked with him in Dublin as musical instrument makers and on his death in 1870, he was likely succeeded in business in Dublin by George Patrick (Staszynski).

[Addresses differ according to sources: the Dublin Directories give the Sackville Street and Mary Street addresses as above. The Irish Times, Evening Freeman and Waterhouse give the Ellis Quay address. An advertisement in The Army and Navy Gazette from 24 November 1866 (in the possession of Staszynski) gives the earliest known date for Ellis Quay.]

Select Product/Work List: 


  • ‘Butler’s Cornets and Saxhorns, Butler’s Flutes and Flageolets, Butler’s Clarionets and Oboes, Butler’s Drums and Fifes, Butler’s Violins and Banjos, Butler’s Concertinas, English and German. Butler’s Harmoniums and Musical Instruments of every description are in use in all parts of the kingdom and colonies, giving universal satisfaction.’ (Irish Times, 1869)
  • Repaired

  • ‘G. Butler has the honour to inform Officers of Regiments stationed in Ireland that he has opened a Depot for his Military Band Instruments in DUBLIN, at No. 11, ELLIS’S Quay, near the Royal Barracks, where every requisite for Bands will be kept in stock. G.B. will also keep some of his most experienced workmen at the above address, to do whatever repairs may be required, so as to obviate the expense and delay of sending to London.’ (Army and Navy Gazette)
  • Last Update: 08-08-2021