Burke's Landed Gentry

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Burke's Landed Gentry
Burke's Landed Gentry 2006.jpg
Burke’s Landed Gentry: The Principality of Wales and The North West (2006)

Edited by John Burke (first)
Country United Kingdom
Genre Nobility, heraldry, genealogy
Publisher John Burke family et al.
Published 1826 (first edition)

Burke's Landed Gentry (originally titled Burke's Commoners) is a reference work listing families in Great Britain and Ireland who have owned rural estates. The work has been existence from the first half of the 19th century, and was founded by John Burke, he and successors from the Burke family, and others since, have written in it on genealogy and heraldry relating to gentry families.[1] It has evolved alongside Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage.

Rationale[edit]

The title of the first edition in 1833 expressed its scope clearly: A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland, enjoying Territorial Possessions or High Official Rank, but uninvested with Heritable Honours. It looked at both the family history and the arms of selected families who owned land or occupied important posts in the United Kingdom but did not hold inherited titles, this excluded group, consisting of peers and baronets, had their own book called Burke's Peerage.

At the time the series started, the group it covered had considerable political, social and economic influence in their localities and in some cases nationally, during the 20th century, the power of rural landowners and the public's interest in buying books about them largely disappeared. Few of the families in the books still own country estates, a rare example being the Fulfords at Great Fulford near Dunsford in Devon who were mentioned in the 2012 TV series "Country House Rescue" and were described in Burke's Landed Gentry as having lived there since the reign of King Richard I (1189–1199).[2] Until 1914, possession of landed property was a strict requirement; if a family sold or lost its estates, it was no longer included in Burke's Landed Gentry. Illustrating this point, at least half of the families included in 1861 were omitted from the 1914 edition. Following the alienation of families from their land after the First World War, however, the editors considered that so strict a policy was no longer productive, and in recognition of historical and genealogical value many pedigrees appeared titled (family name) 'formerly of' or 'late of' (place).[3]

Uses[edit]

Owing to the characteristic prose style developed by John Burke, the publication's founder, the material included in Burke's Landed Gentry, often based on work by many earlier authorities, was made more readable than had previously been the case, a style maintained by his successors;[4] this prose style, when subsequently employed by John Burke's son, Ulster King of Arms Sir Bernard Burke, took a turn towards flowery wording in keeping with the literary tastes of the Victorian period in which he wrote.[1] The widespread inclusion of family legends which, due to the large number of families included in each edition, the Burke family were unable to comprehensively check, resulted in some criticism of the accuracy of information contained in the volumes. Accordingly, more recent editions are more scrupulously checked and rewritten for accuracy, notably under the chief editorship, from 1949-59, of L. G. Pine- who was very sceptical regarding many families' claims to antiquity: ('If everybody who claims to have come over with the Conqueror were right, William must have landed with 200,000 men-at-arms instead of about 12,000')-[5] and Hugh Massingberd (1971-83).[6]

Editions[edit]

Date range Edition Full title Volumes archive.org Online
1833–5[7] 1st A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland, enjoying Territorial Possessions or High Official Rank, but uninvested with Heritable Honours 3 Volume 1


Volume 2

Volume 1 on Google Books
1836–37[7] reissue with additional volume same 4 (additional volume in 1837) 1836, Volume 1 [1](archive.org)


1836, Volume 2, "Egerton-Warburton" to "Selby of Earle"[2] (Google Books)
1836, Volume 3 [3] (archive.org)

1843–9 1st edition A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, a companion to the Baronetage and Knightage 3 Vol. 1 (A to L)[4] (Google Books).


[5] (archive.org);[6] (Google Books)

1850–3 2nd edition, re-issue of previous edition, with additional pages in Addenda A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland comprising particulars of 100,000 individuals 3 Volume 3, Google Books
1855–8 3rd edition A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland with Supplement 1, with Supplement
1862/3 4th edition A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland 2 Part 2, 1863 [7] Part 1, 1862 Google Books, Part 2 Google Books
1868 revised 4th edition A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, with Supplement and Corrigenda
1871 5th Edition, re-issued with two Supplements and Addenda, 1875 A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland 2 Volume 1, 1871 [8](Google Books) Volume 2, 1871 [9](Google Books), Volume 1, 1875 reissue [10](Google Books)
1879 6th edition, re-issued with larger Supplement and Addenda, 1882 A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland 2 Volume 1, 1879 [11](archive.org), Volume 2, 1879 [12] (archive.org)
1886 7th edition A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland[7] 2
1894 8th edition A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland 2 Volume 2 [13] c (archive.org)
1898 9th edition, including a separate section on Ireland A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry 2
1900 10th edition, with Addenda A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain
1906 11th edition A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain
1914 12th edition A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry, revised by A. C. Fox-Davies
1921 13th edition) A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain, ed. A. Winton Thorpe
1925 14th edition, re-issue of 1921 edition, with Supplement A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, ed. Alfred T. Butler
1937 15th "Centenary" edition Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry, ed. Pirie-Gordon, H. 1 Volume
1939 16th edition Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry including American Families with British Ancestry, ed. L. G. Pine et al.
1952 17th edition, 1954 Supplement, also ed. L. G. Pine Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry, ed. L. G. Pine
1965–72 18th edition Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry, Vol. 1 & 2 1965-9, ed. Peter Townend; Vol. 3 1972 (with Index to all three Volumes) ed. Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd 3
2001–6 19th edition Burke's Landed Gentry 4 (Vol 1: The Kingdom of Scotland, 2001 ed. Peter Beauclerk Dewar; Vol. 2: The Ridings of York, 2005 ed. Charles Mosley; Vol 3 & 4: The Principality of Wales and the North West, 2006 ed. Charles Mosley)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The History of Burke's Landed Gentry" Burke's Peerage & Gentry, 2005, Scotland, United Kingdom, [www.burkespeerage.com].
  2. ^ Fulford BLG, 1937, p.847
  3. ^ Burke's Landed Gentry 18th Edition (1972), editorial preface, Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd
  4. ^ "Hugh Massingberd". Telegraph.co.uk. 27 December 2007. 
  5. ^ Time magazine, 'Twentieth Century Squires', 10 Dec 1951
  6. ^ Burke's Landed Gentry 18th Edition (1972), editorial preface, Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd
  7. ^ a b c http://www.burkespeerage.com/organisation_bibliography.php

External links[edit]

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