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(9 December 1902 – 8 March 1982), generally known as R. Butler and familiarly known from his initials as Rab, was a prominent British Conservative politician.

As a child of Empire, from his mid-teens onwards, Butler was expected to look after his younger siblings, arranging for them to stay with relatives during school holidays and sending them Christmas presents that he pretended had been sent by their parents.

His sister was the writer Iris Mary Butler (born 1905), who became Iris Portal upon her marriage and her elder daughter is Jane Williams, Baroness Williams of Elvel, the mother of Justin Welby, the current Archbishop of Canterbury.

In History, he took the Peel special subject, at one point knowing by name which way every Conservative MP voted in the split over the Irish Coercion Bill of 1846.

Butler's mother was the daughter of George Smith (1833-1919 who was Principal of the Doveton Boys College in Calcutta.

Butler's younger brother Jock, a Home Office civil servant and Pilot Officer, was killed in a plane crash at the end of 1942.

He soon became active in student politics, being elected to the Committee of the Cambridge Union Society by the end of his first year.

At the time, the Conservative Leadership was decided by a process of private consultation rather than by a formal vote.