Thursday 8th March 1984F4 Clare 8.30 p.m.
"Burke's Peerage"
Or, more precisely, the Burke Family and their Publications
David V. White
John Horton
Nicholas Rogers
R.F. Brown
T.J. Cockerill
Paul A. Fox
Peter D. Hinton [?]
Robert B. Pinkham
Chloƫ Cockerill
Christopher Marsden
Philip Whittome
Andrew Gough
Gorton Wright

After dining at Jesus David White delivered a scholarly, entertaining and useful talk to the assembled masses. Bernard Burke, the man who started it all, was praised for his writing efforts in the field, and admonished for being a romantic who accepted the pedigrees that he was offered totally uncritically. The first works were of course the Peerage, based on Collins' 1709 book, and the Landed Gentry of 1833, which was even more ludicrously misleading. Mr Burke, who became Ulster King of Arms in 1853, was well known for such popular works as "Anecdotes of the Aristocracy" in addition to the heraldic and genealogical material.

Burke's General Armory of 1878 contained 80,000 coats of arms, many of them not legally borne by the people concerned. The first book on the Irish Gentry appeared in 1879 and the Colonial Gentry in 1882, although the latter did not survive long. The Irish Landed Gentry have, on the other hand, been brought up to date with the Irish Family Records book of 1976. Needless to say, after much criticism, especially by certain Scottish heralds, the publications have been very much more reliable, and much has been removed.

With the death of the third generation Burke the different titles were split up but have now been re-united by an American publisher.

The President concluded the meeting by thanking David for reminding us of the days when members were much more keen to address the Society.

P.A. Fox

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