George Butler (1774-1853), English schoolmaster and divine, was born in London and educated at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, where he afterwards became fellow, in the capacity first of mathematical lecturer, and afterwards of classical tutor. He was elected a public examiner of the university in 1804, and in the following year was one of the select preachers. As head master of Harrow (1805-1829) his all-round knowledge, his tact and his skill as an athlete rendered his administration successful and popular. On his retirement he settled down at Gayton, Northamptonshire, a living which had been presented to him by his college in 1814. In 1836 he became chancellor of the diocese of Peterborough, and in 1842 was appointed dean of Peterborough. His few publications include some notes of Harrow, entitled Harrow, a Selection of Lists of the School between 1770 and 1828 (Peterborough, 1849).
His eldest son, George Butler (1819-1890), was principal of Liverpool College (1866-1882) and canon of Winchester. In 1852 he married Josephine Elizabeth, daughter of John Grey of Dilston. She died on the 30th of December 1906 (see her Autobiography, 1909). Mrs Josephine Butler, as she was commonly called afterwards, was a woman of intense moral and spiritual force, who devoted herself to rescue work, and specially to resisting the "state regulation of vice" whether by the C.D. Acts in India or by any system analogous to that of the continent in England.
His youngest son, the Rev. Dr Henry Montagu Butler, became one of the best-known scholars of his day. Born in 1833, and educated at Harrow and Trinity, Cambridge, he was senior classic in 1855 and was elected a fellow of his college. In 1859 he became head master of Harrow, as his father had been, and only resigned on being made dean of Gloucester in 1885. In 1886 he was elected master of Trinity, Cambridge. His publications include various volumes of sermons, but his reputation rests on his wide scholarship, his remarkable gifts as a public speaker, and his great practical influence both as a headmaster and at Cambridge. He married first (1861), Georgina Elliot, and secondly (1888) Agneta Frances Ramsay (who in 1887 was senior classic at Cambridge), and had five sons and two daughters.