Sculptor. In 1824 he was awarded a Silver Medal by the Society of Arts for a plaster model after the antique. By then he was already working in the studio of William Behnes and in 1825, on Behnes’ recommendation, he entered the RA Schools, winning the RA Silver Medal in 1827. Although Butler was chiefly known as a portrait sculptor, showing over one hundred busts at the RA, 1828–79, he was also responsible for creating the model for all the original Lion-head mooring ring supports along the Victoria and Albert Embankments and the two Chelsea Embankment Memorials, 1868–70, London. His marble bust of Dr Jacob Bell, 1863, is in the collection of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and that of Hugh Falconer, 1866, the collection of the Royal Society; his marble statue of Richard Cobden, 1876, is in the Wool Exchange, Bradford, Yorks. John Adams Acton trained in Butler’s studio.
Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. xxxv, 18-20, 119–21; T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of South London, Liverpool, 2007, pp. 22–23; I. Roscoe et al, A Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain 1660–1851, New Haven and London, 2009; Mapping Sculpture; P. Ward-Jackson, Public Sculpture of the City of London, Liverpool, 2003, pp. 418–19.
Terry Cavanagh November 2022