Burke's Peerage

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Burke's Peerage

Burke's Peerage , Baronetage & Knightage , or Burke's Peerage for short , is the authoritative dictionary of nobility relating to the nobility of the British Isles .


The genealogical reference work was founded in 1826 by John Burke (1786–1848) and initially continued by his sons. In the years 1840 to 1917 and between 1923 and 1940 revised new editions were published annually , later they appeared only sporadically. After the 105th edition in 1970, the bankruptcy of Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd resulted in an almost 30-year hiatus until the 106th updated edition was put into print in 1999 by Morris Genealogical Books . The current 107th edition was published in 2004 by the publisher Charles Mosley under the publisher name Burke's Peerage & Gentry . It was mainly in the areas of chivalry (Knightage), the leading early medieval Irish and Scottish families and the Scottish feudal barons expanded and now also includes the details of 120,000 living persons.


In Burke's Peerage there are mainly entries about historical and existing noble families, politicians, artists, industrialists, teachers and military personnel.

Burke's original title of the first edition A General and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the United Kingdom for MDCCCXXVI, exhibiting under strict alphabetical arrangement the present state of those exalted ranks, with their armorial bearings, mottoes etc., and deducing the Lineage of each House from the founder of its Honors already describes the outstanding characteristics of the work which highlighted it among the other nobility lists circulating at the time. Burke's alphabetical arrangement could almost be described as revolutionary compared to the practice of his time of arranging the noble houses according to their rank or age. Other nobility lexicons had sections for the nobility who lived in England ( Peerage of England ), Scotland ( Peerage of Scotland ), Ireland ( Peerage of Ireland ) or in the period after the founding of Great Britain ( Peerage of Great Britain ) or the United Kingdom ( Peerage of the United Kingdom ) was created. All of these registers assume a thorough prior knowledge of the structure and history of the British monarchy . In contrast to these, Burke's Peerage was also suitable as a reference work for the interested layperson.

To Burke's Peerage joined in 1833, founded by John Burke's son, Sir Bernard Burke, Burke's Landed Gentry , a genealogical register of British landowners and country gentlemen. After years of separate publication in different publishing houses, the rights to the two directories were reunited in one house from 1999 and have been managed by Burke's Peerage and Gentry (publisher Charles Mosley) since 2001 .

In the Anglo-Saxon area, Burke's Peerage is as important as the Gotha aristocratic almanac in continental Europe .

Burke's Peerage & Baronetage is not to be confused with the Burke's Peerage World Book of Names, which is owned by another company and has published a controversial work claiming the relationships of every common last name in the US, UK, Ireland and Scotland and which was widely used in the United States via telemarketing. Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 , the Burke's Peerage World Book of Names has been consulted again and again by conspiracy theorists who try to use it to prove that the Bush family is related to certain European royalty. The Original Burke's Peerage Team has clearly distanced itself from these claims several times.

Mention in the literature

In the original edition of the Discworld novels by fantasy author Terry Pratchett, there is a comparable work called Twurp's Peerage . It is a humorous amalgamation of Burke's (which rhymes with Twurp's ) and the English term Twerp , an insult that can be translated as "annoying person" or "bottle", "Heini" or something similar. This relates to the behavior of many aristocrats in the past centuries, perceived as snooty and elitist.

See also

Web links