Charles Butler, an English historian and lawyer, nephew of Alban Butler, born in London, Aug. 15, 1750, died there, June 2, 1832. He was called to the bar in 1791, being the first Roman Catholic admitted after the passing of the relief bill of that year, and gained a high reputation as a constitutional lawyer. His first work which attracted any attention was Horae Biblicm, a history of the original text, early versions, and printed editions of the Old and New Testaments, and also of the Koran, the Zend-Avesta, and the Edda (2 vols. 8vo, 1797-1807), which passed through five editions and a French translation. This was followed by Horm Juridicce Subsecivae, a connected series of notes respecting the geography, chronology, and literary history of the principal codes and original documents of the Grecian, Roman, feudal, and canon law. He continued and completed Hargrave's " Coke upon Littleton," supervised the 6th edition of Eearne's "Essay on Contingent Remainders," and contributed to Seward's " Anecdotes " an interesting " Essay on the Character of Lord Mansfield's Forensic Eloquence." He wrote a history of the geographical and political revolutions in the empire of Germany, and a "Historical and Literary Account of the Formularies, Confessions of Faith, or Symbolic Books of the Roman Catholic, Greek, and Principal Protestant Churches." During his last 25 years Mr. Butler devoted his pen especially to the vindication of the Catholic church.
He continued his uncle's "Lives of the Saints," and produced "Historical Memoirs of the English, Irish, and Scottish Catholics." When Southey's "Book of the Church " appeared, it was replied to in Butler's "Book of the Roman Catholic Church," which gave rise to a voluminous controversy. He also wrote biographies of Fene-lon, Bossuet, Erasmus, Grotius, etc. In 1822 was published the first volume of his " Reminiscences," an autobiography; the second appeared in 1827.