George was a musical instrument maker in the family business. According to census information, George was born in the St. Martin-in-the-Fields registration district (now incorporated into the City of Westminster), although it is not known exactly where. The Butlers' London shops as listed below would eventually be located in this area.
William Waterhouse's "The New Langwill Index: A Dictionary of Musical Wind-Instrument Makers and Inventors" gives the following dates and addresses for the Butler business (my notes are in parentheses):
1859: 17 Brydges St., Covent Garden, London
1860-1865: 57 Greek St., London
1865-1898: 29 Haymarket, London (at the corner of Shaver's Place, now the location of the Tiger Tiger night club)
1898-1913: 29 Haymarket (under the name 'George Butler & Sons')
1868-1882: 11 Ellis Quay, Dublin
1882-1926: 34 Bachelor's Walk, Dublin (in Monument House)
1926-1927: 2 Lower Abbey St., Dublin
[Notes on the above dates: (i) According to the 1871 census of England, George was employing at that time five men and four boys (in the Haymarket premises), and (ii) The business actually moved from Bachelor's Walk to Lower Abbey St. in 1917 although the family seems to have retained the Bachelor's Walk premises]
"The New Langwill Index" lists Algernon Rose's "Talk with Bandsmen" (London, 1894; reprint ed., London: T. Bingham, 1996) as a secondary source for George's business. According to Mr. Rose, "Sixty years ago all metal instruments of extended compass were played with keys. Mr. George Butler, of 29, Haymarket, London, and of Monument House, O'Connell Bridge, Dublin, will tell you that in 1874 he came across a complete set of copper instruments with brass keys…. Mr. Butler's business was established in the Haymarket in 1826 [actually 1865], and he now exports largely to distant parts of the world. Both of his sons have had Continental experience. Mr. Butler's father succeeded Mr. Dollard, who set up in Dublin about the year 1810."
George and his wife, Jane, seem to have moved around a lot after their marriage: in 1863 they were living at 29a Haymarket (next door to their future shop?), and by 1865 they had moved to 2 Duncan Place (now 31 The Vineyard) in Richmond upon Thames. In 1871, according to the census of that year, their home was 6 Brompton Square, Kensington. By the time of the 1881 census, they were living at 32 St. Mary Abbots Terrace, Kensington, and in 1891, the census shows they were living at 9 Gunterstone Road in West Kensington. The 1901 census tells us that the family had moved to 23 Rowan Road in nearby Hammersmith. Sometime after Jane's death in 1902, George moved to 59 Rowan Road where he lived with his son George and his daughter Mary and her family. It is not known who moved in with whom but George senior's name is given as the head of the household in the 1911 census.
Interestingly, at the time of the 1891 census, the family of Thomas Hussey, whose sons married George's daughters, Mary and Jane, lived at 23 St. Mary Abbots Terrace (having moved there between 1884 and 1991), the same street where George and Jane were living in 1881. Perhaps the two families had been close neighbours at some point and perhaps that's how Mary and Jane first met the Hussey boys. Another possibility is that the Butlers and the Husseys met through their connection with St. Edmund's College in Hertfordshire: Mary's and Jane's younger brother, William, may have attended the college at the same time as some of Thomas Hussey senior's sons.
The cause of George's death was "cerebral haemorrhage, 4 months; hemiplegia; congestion of lungs".