House of Burgh

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House of Burgh (Burke)
Arms of the House of de Burgh.svg
Arms: de Burgh (Burke)
Blazon: Or, a cross gules
Country Kingdom of France
 Kingdom of England
 Lordship of Ireland
 Kingdom of Ireland
 Kingdom of Scotland
 Kingdom of Great Britain
 United Kingdom
 British Empire
 Kingdom of Spain
Founded1193; 829 years ago (1193)
FounderWilliam de Burgh
Hubert de Burgh
Current headThe Marquess of Sligo
The Earl of Mayo
The Lord Burgh
Titles
TraditionsRoman Catholicism
Motto
Ung Roy, Ung Foy, Ung Loy

("One King, One Faith, One Law")
Heirlooms
Estate(s)
List
Dissolution1363 (1363) (Original line)
1916 (1916) (Clanricarde line)
Cadet branches

The House of Burgh or Burke (English: /d ˈbɜːr/; d’-BER; French pronunciation: ​[d.buʁ]; Irish: de Búrca; Latin: de Burgo) was an ancient Anglo-Norman and later Hiberno-Norman aristocratic dynasty (with the Anglo-Irish branches later adopting the surname Burke and its variants) who held the earldoms of Kent, Ulster, Clanricarde, and Mayo at various times, provided one Queen Consort of Scotland, and played a prominent role in the Norman invasion of Ireland.

The surname de Burgh derives from the English village of Burgh-next-Aylsham, Norfolk or Burgh, Suffolk. The name is of Old English origin and means ‘fortified town’. The first of the de Burgh family to settle in Ireland was the Anglo-Norman adventurer, William de Burgh (c. 1160–1205/6), who arrived in 1185 with Henry II of England. He was the elder brother of Hubert de Burgh, who was Earl of Kent and Justiciar of England (and believed to be the ancestor of the Lords Burgh).[1]

William de Burgh founded the Irish line of the family which included the Lords of Connaught, Earls of Ulster and Earls of Clanricarde.[1] After the fourteenth century, some branches of the Irish line gaelicised the surname in Irish as de Búrca which gradually became Búrc then later Burke or Bourke, and this surname has been associated with Connaught for more than seven centuries. Later, some branches returned to their original surname of 'de Burgh' in the late nineteenth century most notably the Earls and Marquesses of Clanricarde).[2]

William de Burgh's great-great-granddaughter, Elizabeth de Burgh, daughter of Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster, married Robert the Bruce (later King Robert I of Scots) and became Queen Consort of Scotland. Another descendant, Elizabeth de Burgh, 4th Countess of Ulster, was the wife of Edward III's son Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence, from whom the Yorkist Plantagenets later derived their claim to the throne of England.

In England, one branch of the family (Lords Burgh) changed the name to 'Burgh' at some time after the Civil War in the seventeenth century (the 'de' having been removed to hide the family's connection to the nobility and Catholicism).

The de Burgh/Burke family has include many prominent figures during the Middle Ages, Crusades, British Empire, World War I and World War II.

Family History[edit]

Hubert de Burgh, from Matthew Paris's Historia Anglorum

The earliest documented generation of the family was represented in the late 12th and early 13th centuries by three brothers, William de Burgh (who played a major role in the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland), Hubert de Burgh (who, as Chief Justiciar of England and Ireland, was created Earl of Kent), and Geoffrey de Burgh (who became Bishop of Ely). The Kent Earldom became extinct on Hubert's death, and his family passed into relative obscurity until one line (Baron Burgh) was ennobled in the later 15th/early sixteenth century. William gave rise to one of the most prominent Anglo-Irish families of the later Middle Ages.[1][3]

Descendant of Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent (d. before 1243)[edit]

The grant of the Earldom of Kent to Hubert was limited to himself and any male heirs born to his final wife, Princess Margaret of Scotland, but their only child was a daughter who was herself childless. Hubert's sons, John and Hubert, inherited his lands, the latter thought to be ancestor Thomas Burgh of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, who in 1487 was summoned to Parliament as Baron Burgh (or Borough) of Gainsborough. Thomas, 3rd Baron was Lord Deputy of Ireland (1597), and his younger brother, Sir John (d. 1594), was a distinguished soldier and sailor. The 6th Baron died as a young child in 1602, and the barony fell into abeyance among four his sisters.[4][5]

Descendants of William de Burgh (d. 1206)[edit]

William de Burgh (d. 1206) received a grant of lands from King John (1189). At John's accession (1199) he was installed in Thomond and became Governor of Limerick. Between 1199 and 1201 he was supporting, in turn, Cathal Carrach and Cathal Crovderg for the native throne, but William was expelled from Limerick (1203) and, lost his Connaught (though not Munster) estates. William married a daughter of Domnall Mór Ó Briain (O'Brien), King of Thomond, King of Limerick, and claimant to the Kingdom of Munster (a descendant of Brian Boru and the O'Brien dynasty).[1]

Lords of Connaught William's son, Richard Mór de Burgh, 1st Lord of Connaught (d. 1243), received the land of "Connok" (Connaught) as forfeited by its king, whom he helped to fight (1227). He was Justiciar of Ireland (1228–32). In 1234, he sided with the crown against Richard, Earl Marshal, who fell in battle against him. Richard Mór's eldest son, Sir Richard de Burgh (d. 1248) succeeded him, briefly, as Lord of Connaught.[6]

Earls of Ulster

Robert the Bruce and Elizabeth de Burgh, from the Seton Armorial.

Richard Mór's second son, Walter de Burgh (d. 1271), continued warfare against the native chieftains and added greatly to his vast domains by obtaining, from Prince Edward, a grant of "the county of Ulster" (c. 1255) in consequence of which he was styled later Earl of Ulster.[7]

Walter, 1st Earl of Ulster was succeeded by his son, Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster. In 1286, he ravaged and subdued Connaught, and deposed the chief native king (Bryan O'Neill), substituting how own nominee. He also attacked the native king of Connaught, in favour of that branch of the O'Conors whom his own family supported. He led his forces from Ireland to support Edward I in his Scottish campaigns, and on Edward Bruce's invasion of Ulster (1315), Richard marched against him, but had given his daughter, Elizabeth, in marriage (c. 1304) to Robert Bruce (afterwards Robert I, King of Scots). Occasionally summoned to English parliaments, he spent most of his forty years of activity in Ireland, where he was the greatest noble of his day, usually fighting the natives or his Anglo-Norman rivals. The patent roll of 1290 shows that in addition to his lands in Ulster, Connaught and Munster, he held the Isle of Man, but later surrendered it to the king.[8][9][10]

Richard, 2nd Earl's grandson and successor was William Donn de Burgh, 3rd Earl of Ulster (d. 1333), son of John de Burgh (d. 1313) and Elizabeth, Lady of Clare (d. 1360), sister and co-heir of the last Clare Earl of Hertford (d. 1314).[11] William Donn married Maud of Lancaster (daughter of Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster) and was appointed Lieutenant of Ireland (1331), but was murdered in his 21st year, leaving his only daughter, Elizabeth de Burgh, as the sole heiress not only of the de Burgh possessions but of the vast Clare estates. She was married in childhood to Lionel, 1st Duke of Clarence (third son of Edward III) who was recognized in her right as Earl of Ulster from whom the Yorkist Plantagenets later derived their claim to the throne of England. Their descendant, Edward, 4th Duke of York, ascended the throne in 1461 as Edward IV, since when the Earldom of Ulster has been only held by members of the British Royal Family.[12][13]

Burke Civil War (1333–38)

Lough Foyle

On the murder of William Donn de Burgh, 3rd Earl of Ulster (1333), his male kinsmen (who had a better right to the succession than his daughter, according to native Irish ideas), adopting Irish names and customs, became virtually native chieftains and succeeded in holding the bulk of the de Burgh territories.

Their two main branches were those of Mac William Uachtar (Upper Mac William) or Clanricarde (in southern Connacht and Galway) and Mac William Íochtar (Lower Mac William) in northern Connacht (Mayo).[14]

Burke/de Burgh of Mac William Uachtar (Earls and Marquesses of Clanricarde)

In 1543, the Mac William Uachtar (Upper Mac William) chief, as Ulick na gCeann "Bourck, alias Makwilliam" surrendered it to Henry VIII, receiving it back to hold, by English custom, as Earl of Clanricarde and Lord Dunkellin (1543).

His descendant, Richard Burke, 4th Earl of Clanricarde distinguished himself on the English side in O'Neill's Rebellion and afterwards obtained the English Earldom of St Albans (1628).[15] His son, Ulick Burke, received the Irish Marquessate of Clanricarde (first creation, 1646).[16][17] His cousin and heir, Richard Burke, 6th Earl of Clanricarde was uncle of Richard Burke, 8th Earl and John Burke, 9th Earl, both of whom fought for James II and paid the penalty for doing so (1691), but the latter was restored (1702), and his great-grandson, Henry de Burgh, 12th Earl, was created Marquess of Clanricarde (second creation, 1789).

He left no son, but his brother, John de Burgh, 13th Earl was created Earl of Clanricarde (second creation, 1800) and the Marquessate was later revived (1825), for John's son, Ulick de Burgh, 14th and 2nd Earl His heir, Hubert de Burgh-Canning was the 2nd and last Marquess. The Earldom of Clanricarde (second creation) passed by special remainder to the 6th Marquess of Sligo. This family, which changed its name from Burke to de Burgh (1752) and added that of Canning (1862), owned a vast estate in County Galway.[14][18][19]

Bourke of Mac William Íochtar (Viscounts Mayo and Earls of Mayo)

Seaán mac Oliver Bourke, 17th Lord of Mac William Íochtar was created Baron Ardenerie in 1580. Tibbot (Theobald) MacWalter Kittagh Bourke, 21st Lord of Mac William Íochtar, fled to Spain where he was created Marquess of Mayo (1602) in the Spanish peerage.

In 1603, the 19th Lord of Mac William Íochtar, Tiobóid na Long (Theobald) Bourke (d. 1629), resigned his territory in Mayo, and received it back to hold by English tenure and was later created Viscount Mayo (1627). Miles, 2nd Viscount (d. 1649) and Theobald, 3rd Viscount (d. 1652) suffered at Cromwell's hands, but Theobald, 4th Viscount was restored to his estates (some 50,000 acres) in 1666. The peerage became extinct or dormant on the death of John, 8th Viscount (1767).

In 1781, a Mayo man believed to be descended from the line of Mac William Íochtar, John Bourke, was created Viscount Mayo (1781) and later Earl of Mayo (1785). Richard Bourke, 6th Earl of Mayo was appointed Viceroy of India in 1869 and was murdered in the Andaman Islands in 1872. His younger brother was the politician Robert Bourke, 1st Baron Connemara who was appointed Governor of Madras.[14][20][21][22]

The baronies of Bourke of Castleconnell (1580) and Bourke of Brittas (1618), both forfeited in 1691, were bestowed on branches of the family which still has representatives in the baronetage and landed gentry of Ireland.

Arms (Heraldry)[edit]

The original de Burgh coat of arms is blazoned as Or, a cross gules (a red cross on a gold shield).

Variations on this original shield were adopted by different branches of the family. For instance, the arms of the Burke/de Burgh family of Clanricarde added a black lion to the upper-left quadrant (Or, a cross gules in the first quarter a lion rampant sable). Another Burke family added a fleur-de-llys to the cross (Or, on a cross gules a fleur-de-llys of the first), and the arms of the Burkes or Bourkes, Viscounts Mayo, was Party per fess Or and Ermine, a cross gules the first quarter charged with a lion rampant sable and the second with a dexter hand couped at the wrist and erect gules.[23]

The crest, a seated and chained 'mountain cat', is said to represent liberty and courage and is believed to be awarded for a de Burgh's courage and skill in battle during the Crusades.[citation needed]

The motto has varied between A cruce Salus (Latin: 'salvation from the cross'), which would have originated in the Crusades, and ung roy, ung foy, ung loy (archaic French: 'one king, one faith, one law'), originating when the family moved to Ireland.

Genealogy[edit]

de Burgh Genealogy: Lords of Connacht, Earls of Ulster and Earls of Kent
Walter de Burgh
of Burgh Castle,
Norfolk
m. Alice
William de Burgh
(d. 1206)
Geoffrey de Burgh
Bishop of Ely
(d. 1228)
Hubert de Burgh
1st Earl of Kent
(d. before 1243)
Thomas de Burgh
Richard Mór / Óge
de Burgh
Lord of Connacht
(d. 1242/3)
Hubert de Burgh
Bishop of Limerick
(d. 1250)
William de Burgh
Sheriff of Connacht
John de BurghHubert de Burgh
Sir Richard de Burgh
Constable of
Montgomery Castle

(d. 1248)
Walter de Burgh
Lord of Connacht
1st Earl of Ulster
(d. 1271)
William Óg de Burgh
(d. 1270)
Barons Burgh
of Gainsborough
15th century
Richard Óg de Burgh
Lord of Connacht
2nd Earl of Ulster
(1259–1326)
de Burgh/Burkes
of Mayo
(Mac William Íochtar)
de Burgh/Burkes
of Galway
(Mac William Uachtar/
Clanricarde
)
Elizabeth de Burgh
(c.1289–1327)
m. Robert I of Scotland
John de Burgh
(1286–1313)
Edmond de Burgh
(1298–1338)
William Donn de Burgh
Lord of Connacht
3rd Earl of Ulster
(1312–33)
de Burgh/Burkes
of ClanWilliam
Elizabeth de Burgh
4th Countess of Ulster
(1332–63)
m. Lionel
Duke of Clarence

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Bourke, Eamonn (1995). Burke: People and Places. ISBN 0-946130-10-8.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Empey, C. A. (2004). "Burgh, William de (d. 1206), baron". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/4000. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 20 December 2021. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ Woulfe, Patrick (1923). Irish Names and Surnames (in English and Ga). Dublin: M. H. Gill & Sons Ltd.
  3. ^ "Burgh, Geoffrey de (d. 1228), bishop of Ely". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/95140. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 20 December 2021. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  4. ^ Ellis, Clarence (1952). Hubert de Burgh: A Study in Constancy. London: Phoenix House Ltd.
  5. ^ "Burgh, Hubert de, earl of Kent (c. 1170–1243), justiciar". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/3991. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 20 December 2021. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  6. ^ B. Smith, "Burgh, Richard de (died 1243)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. online edition, Oxford University Press, September 2004
  7. ^ Frame, Robin (2004). "Burgh, Walter de, first earl of Ulster (d. 1271), magnate and soldier". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/3998. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 20 December 2021. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  8. ^ Archer, Thomas Andrew (1886). "Burgh, Richard de (1259?-1326)" . In Stephen, Leslie (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 7. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  9. ^ "Elizabeth [née Elizabeth de Burgh] (d. 1327), queen of Scots". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/54180. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 20 December 2021. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  10. ^ Duffy, Seán (2004). "Burgh, Richard de, second earl of Ulster [called the Red Earl] (b. in or after 1259, d. 1326), magnate, lord of Connacht". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/3995. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 20 December 2021. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  11. ^ Ward, Jennifer C. (2004). "Clare, Elizabeth de [Elizabeth de Burgh; known as lady of Clare] (1294/5–1360), magnate and founder of Clare College, Cambridge". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/5435. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 20 December 2021. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  12. ^ Archer, Thomas Andrew (1886). "Burgh, William de" . In Stephen, Leslie (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 7. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  13. ^ Frame, Robin (2004). "Burgh, William de, third earl of Ulster [called the Brown Earl] (1312–1333), magnate". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/4001. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 20 December 2021. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  14. ^ a b c A New History of Ireland: IX: Maps, Genealogies, Lists, A Companion to Irish History, Part II. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1989. pp. 170–2, 235–6. ISBN 978-0-19-959306-4.
  15. ^ "Burke, Richard, fourth earl of Clanricarde and first earl of St Albans (1572–1635), politician". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/67043. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 20 December 2021. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  16. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Clanricarde, Ulick de Burgh, Marquess of" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 421–422.
  17. ^ "Burke [de Burgh], Ulick, marquess of Clanricarde (1604–1658), landowner and politician". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/3996. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 20 December 2021. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  18. ^ "Burgh, Ulick John de, first marquess of Clanricarde (1802–1874), politician". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/37245. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 20 December 2021. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  19. ^ "Canning, Hubert George de Burgh, second marquess of Clanricarde (1832–1916), landlord in Ireland". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/32179. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 20 December 2021. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  20. ^ Chambers, A. (2007). Shadow Lord: Theobald Bourke, Tibbott-Ne-Long, 1567–1629: Son of the pirate queen Grace O'Malley. Dublin 2007: Ashfield Press. pp. 65–66.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  21. ^ Gopal, S. (2004). "Bourke, Richard Southwell, sixth earl of Mayo (1822–1872), viceroy of India". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/2998. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 20 December 2021. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  22. ^ "Bourke, Robert, Baron Connemara (1827–1902), administrator in India". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/31990. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 20 December 2021. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  23. ^ Burke, John; Burke, Bernard (1844). Encyclopædia of Heraldry: Or General Armory of England, Scotland, and Ireland, Comprising a Registry of All Armorial Bearings from the Earliest to the Present Time, Including the Late Grants by the College of Arms. H. G. Bohn.

External links[edit]