RepositoryJesuits in Britain Archives
Ref NoABSI/SJ/162
TitleFr William Butler SJ (1911-1982)
LevelSub fonds
DescriptionThis collectionincludes correspondence, mathematical papers, spiritual writings, and personal documents.
Admin_HistoryFr William Butler SJ was born on 25 June 1911 at Norbury, London. He first attended Emmanuel School in Wandsworth, then won a scholarship to Westminster City School. William and his sister Vivien were informally adopted by the McCarthy family following the deaths of their parents.

William entered the Society of Jesus as a Novitiate at Manresa House, Roehampton on 7 September 1929. His erudition was recognised at Manresa House and he was not made to do a Juniorate. In 1933 he went to the newly founded Jesuit house at Endsleigh Street and completed a four year course for a London M.A. and M.Sc. in pure mathematics.

In 1937 he went to teach at Beaumont College. In 1939, he returned to war-time Heythrop for his Theology, and was ordained on 19 July 1942. Fr Butler then taught at Sunderland (1943-46) and Mount St Mary’s School, Spinkhill, near Sheffield (1946-47) before completing his Tertianship at St Beuno’s. In August 1948 he was sent to St George’s College, Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe). He taught mathematics and physics at the College for 11 years. In 1959 Fr Butler was appointed Professor of Mathematics at the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and in 1969 was elected Dean of the Faculty of Science for that year. He was appointed to Lecturer in 1970, remaining at the university in that capacity till 1973.

At Heythrop Fr Butler had passed both parts of the Gilwell Scout Wood Badge course. This qualified him to run recognised training courses and soon after his arrival at St George’s he got in touch with the scouting authorities. In February in 1974 he retired from the university and moved to the Catholic Church, Belville, Cape Province, where he worked till 1980 as the assistant priest, often taking responsibility for the position of parish priest.. He was also working as mathematics lecturer at the Western Cape University.

Fr Butler returned to the United Kingdom and was assigned a part-time job at St Ignatius College in Enfield, London teaching selected groups advanced mathematics. He died 27 May 1982.
Related MaterialFor photographs see:
4 black and white photographs. 1 in clerical dress (oval), 1 at his ordination, 2 of him reading. See J/PH/144
AccessConditionsThe papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to archive material in the Jesuits in Britain Archives.
DS/UK/1771Butler; William (1911-1982); Jesuit Priest1911-1982

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