Bernard Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, 1863


Cat No.:   IE0101:

Republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom is the 1863 4th edition of Burke's Land Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland. Carrying the full-title A Genealogical & Heraldic Dictionary of the Land Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland by Sir John Bernard Burke. Published in two parts, the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland contains more than 1,700 printed pages

Sir John Bernard Burke (1814-1892) was born in London, the son of John Burke (1787-1848) and educated in France. Like his father, Sir John was first and foremost a genealogist. In 1826 John Burke issued the first edition of a Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the United Kingdom. From 1847 to the present day this has been published regularly and is generally known as Burke's Peerage. After his father's death Sir John took control of his father's publications and issued for the first time The Royal Families of England, Scotland, and Wales, with their Descendants. In 1853 Burke was appointed Ulster King at Arms and was knighted the following year. After his appointment as Keeper of the State Papers of Ireland, Burke moved to Dublin and eventually died there in 1892.

In addition to his editorial work on Burke's Peerage, Sir John also issued a number of companion volumes of this flagship publication, which included the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, while also continuing his father's Dictionary of the Peerages of England, Scotland and Ireland, extinct, dormant and in abeyance. Integral to Burke's study of armorial bearings was his 1878 publication Encyclopaedia of Heraldry, or General Armoury of England, Scotland and Ireland. In addition to these works, Burke is credited with a number of publications in his own right, rather than as general editor. These included The Roll of Battle Abbey (1848); The Romance of the Aristocracy (1855); The Romance of the Forum (185-); The Rise of Great Families (1882) and the Vicissitudes of Families (1860). At the time of his death Burke was succeeded as editor of Burke's Peerage by his fourth son, Ashworth Peter Burke and another son, Sir Henry Farnham Burke, would eventually rise to the position of Garter Principal King of Arms.

First published by John Burke in 1826 under the title A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland, enjoying territorial possessions or high official rank, or Burke's Commoners for short. By the time of the publication of the second edition the less than flattering title of 'commoner' was replaced by the phrase 'landed gentry'. Included in the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland were all families of consequence that were not entitled to be included in Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, although some of the families did appear in both publications and as such these were, initially at least, the landowning upper-class who came to identify and adopt the phrase 'Landed Gentry' first coined by Burke. Subsequent editions of the Landed Gentry came to include aspiring wealthy families from the middle classes, such as merchants and those from the professions.

Providing sometimes-detailed genealogies on collateral lines, junior branches of families and in-laws, Land Gentry provides details on male lineage, seats, arms, crests and mottoes for thousands of families and as such remains an indispensable genealogical and historical source and remains one of Burke's flagship publications to this day. 

No. of CDs is:  1 ;   Format is:  PDF ;   Searchable?:  YES;

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