a surname in Scotland, the same as De Bourg, De Burgh, Bourke, or burke
in Ireland, and Burroughs in England, derived from De Bourg, originally
French. The family of De Bourg or Burke was one of the most powerful of
the Norman settlers in England, and under Strongbow, the principal
branch settled in Ireland in 1169. In process of time, the name was
written Bourk in England and Ireland, and in many Irish families it is
now Burke, but in 1752, King George the Second, by letters under his
signet royal and sign manual, granted to the earl of Clanricarde, (Ulrick
Bourke of London,) and Thomas Bourke of Ireland, and their descendants,
full power, licence, and authority, to assume and use the name of De
Burgh. In Scotland the name is limited and never attained to any
a voluminous writer, was born at Madderty in Perthshire in 1714. After
receiving the rudiments of education at the school of his native place,
he was sent to the university of St. Andrews, with the view of studying
for the church, but bad health soon obliged him to quit college. Having
given up all thoughts of becoming a clergyman, he entered into the linen
trade; which not proving successful, he went to England, where he was
employed at first as a corrector of the press. About a year afterwards
he removed to Great Marlow, where he was engaged as assistant in a free
grammar school. It was here that he commenced author by writing a
pamphlet, entitled, ‘Britain’s Remembrancer,’ published in 1746, which
was followed by various others. This one, however, being adapted to the
feeling of the times, went through five editions in three years, and was
ascribed to some of the bishops. In 1747 he opened an academy at Stoke
Newington in Middlesex, where, and at Newington Green in the
neighbourhood, for nineteen years he conducted his school with great
success. Having acquired a competence, Mr. Burgh determined upon
retiring from business, his more immediate object being to complete one
of his works called ‘Political Disquisitions,’ the first two volumes of
which appeared in 1774 and the third in 1775. Upon quitting his school
in 1771, he settled in Colebrooke Row, Islington, where he continued to
reside till his death, August 26, 1775, in the 61st year of
his age. – Stark’s Biographia Scotica.
works (most of which have long since ceased to be read) are:
Remembrancer. Lond. 1745, 1766.
An Hymn to the
Creator of the World. To which was added, in prose, An Idea of the
Creator from his Works. 2d edit. 1750, 8vo.
A Warning to
Dram Drinkers. 1751. 12mo.
Enquirer. Printed in the General Evening Post. 1753-4 .
An Essay on
the Dignity of Human Nature; or, A Brief Account of the certain and
established Means for attaining the true end of our existence. Lond.
1754, 4to. Reprinted in 2 vols. 8vo.
The Art of
Speaking. Lond. 1762, 1792, 8vo. Three editions. Used mostly as a
Essays on Various Subjects. 1766-7, 2 vols. 12mo. 2d vol. contains,
Essay on the Origin of Evil, and the Rationale of Christianity; with one
on Political Nature, and on the Difficulty and Importance of Education.
Constitutionalist. Printed in the Gazetteer. 1770.
Disquisitions, or an Inquiry into Public Errors, Defects, and Abuses.
Illustrated by, and established upon, facts and remarks extracted from a
variety of authors, ancient and modern; calculated to draw the timely
attention of government and people, to a due consideration of the
necessity, and the means of reforming those errors, defects, and abuses;
of restoring the Constitution, and saving the State. 1774-5, 3 vols.
Advocate; a periodical paper in the Gazetteer.
Prudential, moral, religious, and scientific. Printed for the sole use
of his pupils. Pirated and sold by a bookseller under the title of
Youth’s Friendly Monitor.