Alban Butler, an English Roman Catholic priest and hagiologist, was born in Northampton in 1710. He was educated at the English college in Douai, France, where after his ordination to the priesthood he held successively the chairs of philosophy and divinity. He was appointed president of the English seminary at Saint-Omer in 1766, where he remained until his death in 1773. Butler’s greatest work was The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints—now known as The Lives of the Saints—which started life as four volumes and was published in London from 1756 to 1759. It was the result of thirty years study.