He was born in London, and was educated in London and in France. His father, John Burke (1787–1848), was also a genealogist, and in 1826 issued a Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the United Kingdom. This work, generally known as Burke's Peerage, was issued annually starting in 1847. While practising as a barrister Bernard Burke assisted his father in his genealogical work, including the two volumes entitled The Royal Families of England, Scotland, and Wales, with their Descendants &c., which were not published until after his father's death (volume 1 in 1848, volume 2 in 1851), following which he took control of his publications. Continuing the strong family tradition of genealogy and heraldry, Burke's son, Sir Henry Farnham Burke, would eventually rise to the office of Garter Principal King of Arms.
Heraldic and genealogical work
In 1853 Burke was appointed Ulster King of Arms. In 1854 he was knighted and in 1855 he became Keeper of the State Papers in Ireland. After having devoted his life to genealogical studies he died in Dublin on 12 December 1892.
In addition to editing Burke's Peerage from 1847 to his death, Burke brought out several editions of a companion volume, Burke's Landed Gentry, which was first published between 1833 and 1838. In 1866 and 1883 he published editions of his father's Dictionary of the Peerages of England, Scotland and Ireland, extinct, dormant and in abeyance (earlier editions, 1831,1840, 1846); and in 1855 and 1876 editions of his Royal Families of England, Scotland and Wales (1st edition, 1847–1851) Integral to the study of armorists was the publication in 1878 (enlarged edition in 1883) of his Encyclopaedia of Heraldry, or General Armoury of England, Scotland and Ireland (aka: The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales; comprising a registry of armorial bearings from the earliest to the present time, by Sir Bernard Burke, C.B., LL.D., Ulster King of Arms, London, Harrison, 59, Pall Mall, 1884).
Burke's own works include:
- The Roll of Battle Abbey (1848)
- The Romance of the Aristocracy (1855)
- The Romance of the Forum (185-)
- Vicissitudes of Families (1883 and several earlier editions)
- The Rise of Great Families (1882)
- A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Colonial Gentry. Vols 1 & 2 (1891)
He was succeeded as editor of Burke's Peerage and Landed Gentry by his fourth son, Ashworth Peter Burke.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Burke, Sir John Bernard.|
Sir William Betham
|Ulster King of Arms|
1853 – 1892
| Succeeded by|
Sir Arthur Vicars
|NAME||Burke, John Bernard|
|DATE OF BIRTH||5 January 1814|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||London|
|DATE OF DEATH||12 December 1892|
|PLACE OF DEATH||Dublin|
|This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Bernard Burke. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.|