Butler, Charles

Butler, Charles a Romanist writer, was born in London 1750, educated at Douai, and practiced law in London for many years. Besides writing and editing a number of law books, he wrote Horae Biblicoe (2 vols. 8vo), containing an account of the literary history of the Old and New Testament, and of the sacred books of the Mohammedans, Hindoos, Chinese, Parsees, etc. It has gone through many editions. After 1806 his pen was largely employed on subjects regarding his own Church, which are collected in his general works. Among them are lives of Bossuet, of Fenelon, of Abbe de Rance, abbot of La Trappe; of St. Vincent de Paul, of Erasmus, of Grotius, of Henrie Marie de Boudon, of Thomas à Kempis, of the Chancellor L'Hopital, etc., and of his own uncle, the Rev. Alban Butler, author of Lives of the Saints, a work which Mr. Butler himself continued. He was a strenuous advocate of Roman Catholic emancipation, and much of the progress of that measure is to be attributed to his Historical Memoirs of the English, Irish, and Scottish Catholics (1819). Hitherto he had abstained from controversy, but the appearance of Dr. Southey's Book of the Church engaged him in a series of letters to that writer, and afterward in two replies to Bishop Blomfield (q.v.) of Chester and to the Rev. George Townsend, Book of the R. C. Church (Lond. 1826, 8vo); Vindication of the Book of the R. C. Church (Lond. 1826, 8vo). His principal writings are gathered in five vols. 8vo (Lond. 1817). As he takes the Gallican stand-point throughout, his arguments for Romanism are held in no great repute among Roman theologians. He died June 2, 1832.

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