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George Butler (headmaster)

For the schoolteacher who lived 1819–1890, see George Butler (schoolmaster).

George Butler (1774–1853) was an English schoolmaster and divine, headmaster of Harrow School from 1805 to 1829.


Son of Weeden Butler (1742–1823), George Butler was educated at the Chelsea school where his father taught and proceeded to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, where he graduated senior wrangler in 1794.[1] He became a fellow of Sidney Sussex, first as mathematical lecturer, and afterwards as 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 headmaster of Harrow School (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).

Personal life

His eldest son, also named 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. As Josephine Butler, she was a noted campaigner for the welfare of prostitutes.

His youngest son was the Rev. Dr Henry Montagu Butler, who also became head master of Harrow, while another of his sons, Albert Gray became headmaster of Haileybury School.[2]


  1. ^ "Butler, George (BTLR790G)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ 12px Lee, Sidney, ed. (1912). "[[s:Albert Gray Butler (DNB12)#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
    This page is a soft redirect.Albert Gray Butler]]". Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement​. London: Smith, Elder & Co.

External links

Academic offices
Preceded by
Joseph Drury
Head Master of Harrow School
Succeeded by
Charles Longley