John Burke (1795–1839), of Claremorris, county Mayo

The following links provide historical context for, first, the early years of John Burke's life in the parish of Kilcolman (Clanmorris), county Mayo, and second, the 39th Foot during John Burke's tenure in that regiment:

Blog article: Unsung Hero.

ireland w claremorris cc1


Hailing from a numerous clan, John Burke was born in 1795, in or near the town of Claremorris, in the parish of Kilcolman (Clanmorris), county Mayo. [source and note no. 1] He was the husband of Mary McDonnell (1794-1869) [2], who also hailed from the county of Mayo [3]. John and Mary had two children: Margaret Jane (1823-1898) [4], and James (1829-1860).

Click on map to open in new window.


Source: © OpenStreetMap contributors.
Licensed under the Open Data Commons Database License (ODbL), by the OpenStreetMap Foundation (OSMF). Online at openstreetmap.org (accessed 2015-11-11).

They may have had more children. However, the documented genealogical trail for John Burke is scant. Indeed, the records which survive amount to just the following: his British Army service record, a regimental register of service, the baptism of his daughter, and the British civil registration of his death. Beyond the facts recorded in these documents, we can look, first, to local histories and other sources that describe the socio-economic conditions in which he lived; then, second, the life history of John's wife Mary McDonnell (for whom, a biographical sketch is pending at the time of this writing). [5]

As an example of the former, in which we look to contemporary sources to provide the context for his life, the region in which John Burke was born and raised is called the Plains of Mayo—a pastoral tract, embracing a very large extent of country, extending from the Roscommon border on the east, to the vicinity of Castlebar on the west, and from the Slieve Carnon on the north to the borders of Galway on the south. [6] This is a region of low rolling hills, when in times long past, people lit bonfires and could see their neighbours' fires at ten miles' distance.

map baronies mayo

In the heart of these plains lies the Barony of Clanmorris, so named after Maurice de Prendergast, an Anglo Norman who came to Ireland with Strongbow in 1170. [7] The Prendergast family features largely in the history of this barony. A hint of their influence in the area can be seen in the ruins of Brize Castle, situated about halfway between the towns of Claremorris and Balla.

Map of the baronies of county Mayo. [8] The barony
of Clanmorris measures fourteen miles by seven. It is
bounded by the barony of Carra on the north and west,
Kilmaine on the south and west, Costello on the east,
and by the county of Galway on the south. [9]
Click on map to open in new window.

The Burke surname also descends from an Anglo Norman, in the person of William Fitz-Adelm de Burgho, who, in turn, descended from a half-brother to William the Conqueror. William Fitz-Adelm was made governor of Ireland: his son, Richard de Burgho, was born to Isabel, the natural daughter of Richard I of England. Richard de Burgho was, first, made lord of Connaught and Trim, then constituted Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland in 1227. He died in 1242, after having built the castle of Galway and Loughreah. [10] Needless to say, over the succeeding centuries our branch of Burkes drifted far, far away from the noble line. Though pedigrees of varying genealogical reliability exist for the noble lines, no early records survive for the mercantile, trade, and peasant classes.

By extension, we do not know when people with the surname Burke settled in the parish of Kilcolman (Clanmorris). However, a survey of the county, including the barony of Clanmorris, conducted by James M'Parlan in 1802, reveals much about the local economy and living conditions of the late 18th century. In Mr. M'Parlan's view, the state of agriculture was, in general, backward in the county, mitigated, in Clanmorris, by the example set by Colonel Browne of Castlemagarret, in the use of horses and mules in lieu of oxen, the English plough, green manure, growth and sale of trees and timber, and the promotion of the linen industry. Unlike many parts of Mayo, the area of this barony consisted of just ten per cent bog and waste land. Otherwise, the soils of Clanmorris largely yielded sweet and rich pasture land, capable of fattening both sheep and cattle. Local fairs for livestock were held in the town of Claremorris in May and June, at which meat, dairy, hides, and wool were offered for sale. [9]

Habitations ranged from the castles occupied by the local gentry (the few); one-and-a-half storey houses, built of lime and stone, with thatched rooves, for the "upper order of inhabitants;" and far more extensively, the "lower ranks" lived in cabins constructed of stone, generally with chimneys. As was the case for all of Ireland, most people occupied land as tenants to landlords—many of whom were non-resident—who offered tenancy at will (that is no lease: the usual case), or more rarely, leases of varying terms, generally of just two lives' duration. Thus, most families lived with the spectre of getting turfed from their homes at the landlord's will. [9]

For the poorer classes, that is, the bulk of the population, the daily diet consisted of food, potatoes, oaten bread, milk, butter, and herrings with, perhaps, a piece of pork at festivals, or bad beef or mutton (i.e., from an animal that had died recently). Food was cooked over a turf fire. Though suppressed by the suspension of distilleries, shebeens flourished, providing the country folk with beer and whisky. Clothing was rough and simply made, of frize, linens, flannels, and druggets, [9] often by the services of a country tailor.

Aside from the necessary trades, the profits of which were confined to proportionably few residents, the linen trade had taken hold in the district, had increased much of late, and showed signs of continued growth. Two flour and many oaten mills were the only other manufactures in Clanmorris.

Schooling for children was very defective, having suffered much since the rebellion of 1798. [9] Not surprising, then, were the very high rates of illiteracy—in the English language—that resulted. At this period, virtually all of the people still "had the gaeilge," that is, spoke the Irish language, almost exclusively. Not just a cultural ornament, but the very stuff of identity, in the ensuing century the Irish language would suffer almost irreparable decline by enforced inculcation in English.

The countryside of Clanmorris held many antiquities. In addition to Brize Castle already cited, there were also the ruins at Castlemagarret and Murneen. [9] Mayo Abbey, situated just six-and-a-half miles northwest of Claremorris, was founded in the seventh century by St. Colman, whose name is immortalized in the name given to the parish of Kilcolman. Though suffering keenly after the Elizabethan dissolution of the monasteries in the sixteenth century, and the persecution of Roman Catholics that persisted well into the nineteenth, the ancient Carmelite Abbey at Ballinasmale (founded in 1288), [11] and the mediæval churches in Barnycarroll and Kilcolman townlands, served as the spiritual beacons in the parish.

In a telling expression of opinion, Mr. M'Parlan cited three obstacles to the possibility and means of improving bog and waste ground (which would better support a hungry population): superfluous grazing, expatriation, and short leases. Of the English government's institutionalized habit of plundering the young male population of Ireland to wage its wars, he wrote:

      Expatriation of the most useful part of the
      community must obviously enervate the sinews of
      industry, and weaken every effort towards the
      cultivation of mountains. This is too plain to
      attempt enforcing by any argument. I therefore
      anxiously hope, that some personage of ingenious
      talents, an ingenuous heart, and influence and
      consequence for such an undertaking, may devise
      and mature some means, by way of European committee
      or otherwise, to prevent a renovation of war——a
      renovation of scenes, at which in the abstract the
      human heart, the heart of the bravest man must
      shudder. ... Expatriation I hope, as there is an
      end of the war, we shall hear no more of. The
      inventive power of some glorious mortal will
      immortalize his name, by devising some means to
      prevent that for ever. [9]

The previous paragraphs having described the landscape—geographical, political, and social—into which our John Burke was born, we turn to a chronology of local events which further defined the context of his youth.

Between 1793 and 1801, a series of political thrust and parries created upheaval, solidified the British position in Ireland, and established the tableau for similar engagements for many years to come. In 1793, the Irish Parliament passed the third in a series of Catholic Relief Acts. In the previous year, the Roman Catholics of Claremorris had declared their support for this bill, [12] as part of a national campaign to win the vote for Catholics.

Then, in 1798, the United Irishmen led a rebellion, in an attempt to wrest control of Ireland from their English masters. Various parts of the county Mayo were seized, including Claremorris. Eventually, the insurgents were suppressed, an outcome which led to the legislative Union of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801 [Act 40 Geo. III, cap. 38], the cessation of the Irish Parliament, and, with a reduced number of Irish representatives, the administration of Irish affairs from Westminster. At least as significantly, the aftermath of this rebellion heralded "the era of landlordism, and throughout this time Ireland was owned and governed by the Protestant ascendancy." [13]

One of these was Denis Browne (1763–1828), a prominent landlord in the barony of Clanmorris, who had been appointed High Sheriff of the county Mayo in 1798—and whose house in Claremorris was destroyed by the rebels. Styled Denis the Rope, or in the gaeilge, Donnchadha an Rópa, Browne displayed a zeal for hanging suspected rebels. [14] The Brownes and the other "aristocratic interests" of the county grasped tight the reins of power for the remainder of the century. [15]

After 1798, the poorer inhabitants of Clanmorris slid ever nearer the abyss of extreme poverty. The typical property "holding" consisted of one rood (1/4 of an acre) of ground, and a cabin constructed of loose stone or bog-sods dashed with clay. Furnishings were scant, consisting of a ricketty stool or two; and, a bed of sticks, covered with straw, one sheet, and one blanket, served the household. The landlords, numbering a dozen or so, exercised the right to let these meagre holdings at will, and to evict in the event of non-payment. In these cases, the tenants, who were responsible for repairs, lost any investment made in the landholding. Cottiers, who could not afford to enter into a lease-at-will, rented in turn from the small holders. Widows suffered particularly: though most families cared for their elders, when they could not, the women could not look to a charitable institution for relief, as there were none. Accordingly, they were reduced to living in hovels by the side of the road, begging for their subsistence. As poor as the "lower order" of inhabitants were, those who occupied a mean cabin never turned away someone begging a bed for the night—a couple of dozen beggars roamed the parish, exclusive of the widows, soliciting alms in the form of provisions—neither did they require payment for the kindness. No small wonder, then, that the business of illicit distillation—the shebeens—proliferated in the parish of Kilcolman, whether to acquire the means to purchase provisions, to self-anæsthetize, or both. [16]

By 1815, the British Army's requirement for able-bodied soldiers having decreased, and the population having nearly doubled since 1802, employment became more scarce for day-labourers. [16,17]

This was the state of things in the parish of Kilcolman when John Burke attested into the 96th (Queen's Own) Regiment of Foot at Mullingar, county Westmeath, 24th March 1817. (Mullingar is located about 120 km east-southeast of Claremorris.) John was a tailor by trade, perhaps of the kind known as a country tailor, who made up coarse plain clothes and took in mending; or, he may have apprenticed to his father or an uncle in the town of Claremorris, thereby acquiring some finer tailoring skills. John served with the 96th Foot for just twenty-one months when, on the 10th December 1818, the regiment was disbanded at Limerick. [18] Three months later, John Burke attested to the 39th Foot, which had been stationed at Castlebar, in the county of Mayo, since early January, 1819. [19]

There was much to occupy the attention of the 39th regiment during its tenure at Castlebar. The following are a sampling, from reports published in the contemporary newspapers, of the instances when the 39th was called out in service [20]:

  • in July 1819, the seizure of seven stills, six heads and six worms, a quantity of whiskey, and the destruction of 1,050 gallons of pot-ale, 43 gallons of singlings, 150 gallons, of whisky, 128 barrels of malt, and two still-heads and worms;
  • in November 1819, an inspection of the corps by Major-General O'Loughlin;
  • in the same month, an attack on a soldier of the 39th at Ballymurry, county Roscommon, who was en route to Castlebar;
  • again, in the same month, to clear the rubble after the roof had collapsed in the gaol at Castlebar;
  • in February and March 1820, the suppression of the insurgent Ribbonmen in the neighbourhood of Claremorris [see note 21]; and,
  • in May 1820, preservation of order at the fair of Donemona, though there were fatal consquences.

In August 1820, the regiment received marching orders for Dublin, and subsequently for Cork in March 1821. [22] In Cork, most of the regiment was detached to occupy the cantonments of the 10th Veteran Battalion, which had been ordered to be reduced. [23] A detachment was posted to Limerick, where, in November 1821, the regiment assisted with the suppression of disturbances in county Clare, and a search of the neighbourhood of Cratloe for some of the wounded men in that affray. [24]

Immediately afterwards, the 39th marched to Tralee in the county of Kerry. [25] For John Burke, this was his fourth station in three years. By this time, John was married to Mary McDonnell. [26] In the spring of 1823, a daughter was born to John and Mary at Tralee: Margaret Jane Burke. Margaret was baptised by the Rev. J. Quill in the chapel in Tralee. The sponsors were Patrick Brenan, a comrade tailor with the 39th, and Mary Galihir. [27]

As at other posts, the twenty-two months spent by the 39th regiment in the county of Kerry proved eventful:

  • in January 1822, the flight of three members of the regimental band by ship to Peru, taking their instruments with them;
  • in the same month, the capture of a man said to be Captain Rock, at Dingle, and of 20 stand of arms from the townland of Gorthaclea;
  • also in the same month, an attack on the mail-coach from Kerry en route for Macroom in county Cork, and a fatal clash with the assailants; concurrently, a desperate affray with insurgents in the Glen of Cooleagh, which left one of the 39th dead;
  • in October 1822, the apprehension of a noted offender at Abbeyfeale, a man who had attacked a house at Cragg; and,
  • in May 1823, the apprehension of fifteen men at Abbeyfeale, charged with an attack on a house.

In October 1823, the regiment marched from Tralee to Limerick [28], John's wife following, with babe in arms. Here, no less excitement was to be experienced:

  • in December 1823, picquets and patrols perceived lights on the mountains near the new barrack at Glanisheen—but the men disappeared into the night;
  • in April 1824, a party wearing white shirts attacked a house near Croom, beating the occupant—a patrol of the regiment apprehended John Daly, a noted offender, in the act of robbing the house;
  • in the same month, the destruction at Knockaney of two fields, containing five acres of pasture ground—Captain Dumas, accompanied by his Police and a party of the 39th, rounded up all the inhabitants, some 200 or more, and made them replace every sod before he quitted the field;
  • in August 1824, while on sentry duty at Bruree, a soldier was shot by a ruffian, unknown; and,
  • in September 1824, a desperate engagement at Abbeyfeale, between two noted factions, eventually suppressed by the regiment, but with a fatal injury to one of the insurgent parties—having been shot in the back by one of the 39th—which incident was subsequently investigated, and though recommended to mercy, the soldier, a private,was sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment, and to be burned in the hand.

During its stay in Limerick, the regiment received conflicting reports of the next assignment. First, it was Naas, in county Tipperary, but in October 1824, they received orders to march from Limerick to Buttevant, in the county Cork. [29] Here again, rumours flew that the 39th were going to New South Wales, and from thence, to India. Finally, the regiment marched for Cork in July 1825, to be embarked for Chatham, subsequently to be conveyed to New South Wales as guards over convicts. [30] The regiment shipped out, in detachments, between the months of August and November and, not before the last one of the 39th left, were called out in September, to search for the persons responsible for setting a large haggart of hay—the produce of forty acres of land—that had been set afire at Clogheen Milcoln, near Blarney. [31]

The first detachment embarked for Sydney on the Woodman convict ship in November, 1825. Several more detachments followed in early 1826, to assist in establishing a settlement at King George's Sound, and in the following year, in forming a settlement named Fort Wellington. Not until 1828 did the remainder of the 39th leave England for New South Wales—save the depôt company, consisting of two captains, two lieutenants, one ensign, five serjeants, six corporals, four drummers, and thirteen privates, to remain stationed at the barracks in Chatham, [32] — and John Burke, regimental tailor, was one of those thirteen privates.

chatham 1856a

Map of Rochester, Chatham, Brompton, and Gillingham, 1856. [33]
Click on map to open in new window.

What kind of life did John Burke and his family lead at Chatham, Kent? This again, is a question that I have attempted to resolve by reference to contemporary sources about the construct of the barracks and the regimental routines conducted therein.

In fact, there were seven barracks at Chatham, sufficient to house 169 officers and 5,476 men. Chatham was used extensively in the transfer of troops from the United Kingdom to overseas assignments. In peace time, on average, 279 officers and 8,000 men passed through the barracks annually. [34] Defended as it was, by extensive ramparts, palisades, and a broad ditch, Chatham was considered the most complete and regular fortress in Britain, second only to Portsmouth. [35]

For an interesting assessment of the conditions and military culture, we could do worse than consider the very interesting memoir written by John Mercier McMullen. McMullen was a new recruit who, attempting to emerge from straightened circumstances, attested at Dublin into the 13th Light Infantry, and trained at Chatham barracks in the early 1840s. In McMullen's view:

  • Enlistment in the army was "the last resource of the unfortunate and the profligate," and "the life of a soldier is not the most reputable one in the opinion of the world;"
  • The new recruits "had vice and ruffianism stamped indelibly on their faces, ... fleecing their simple companions, by means of cards, pitch and toss, &c., ... indulged without restraint in the use of the most foul and abominable language; ... though "strict and uniform discipline" would effect in them a surprising alteration in a little time;
  • Life amongst the recruits in barracks was a test of survival of the fittest;
  • The food was intolerable, breakfast consisting of insipid coffee and "tommy—the soldier's term generally for brown bread: that issued at Chatham was of the very worst description, and often so badly baked, that it would stick to a wall like paste;"
  • The most "disagreeable occurrence" involved the gruesome expression of military power and punishment, by flogging;
  • The high rates of desertion, at Chatham, were attributable to ill treatment by the non-commissioned officers—who cheated young soldiers out of their pay for clothing, and food, barrack damages, and similar abuses; and,
  • In such a milieu, on the eve of shipping out overseas, the men were in the habit of getting drunk and disorderly ... yet sufficiently fit the next morning, to march smartly out of the garrison to the tune of "Patrick's Day," in a nod to the preponderance of Irishmen in the ranks.

In a pointed statement, McMullen concluded that "the generality of the non-commissioned staff at Chatham are morally the lowest and most contemptible of their grade in the service." [36] His observations of the rare glimpses to be had of the beauty of the surrounding countryside seem inadequate to the task of redemption of the scurrilous state of affairs that was life in Chatham barracks.

Thus, for John Burke, survival at Chatham would appear to have required a concerted endeavour to keep one's head down and to dodge the interfering eyes of the more despicable non-commissioned officers. In fact, as a regimental tailor, his working conditions were stipulated by Standing Orders issued for the regiment. While those for the 39th are not ready to hand, those of other regiments describe a closely circumscribed existence though, when one considers the plight to which other soldiers were subject in barracks, these might have seemed eminently preferable. For example, the journeymen tailors, of which John Burke was one, reported to the Master Tailor (or in some instances, the Quarter Master) who, in turn, was responsible to the Commanding Officer. The tailors were not to be excused duty when not employed on regimental work. Yet, no one was to interfere with their work without the express permission of the Commanding Officer: in some regiments, this extended to a blanket release from attending daily parade, though not from field days. The day's work commenced at 6:00 a.m. in the summer season, but only during daylight hours in winter—unless candles were provided, in which case working hours commenced at the earlier of 6:00 a.m. and daylight, and terminated at 8:00 p.m. in the evening. Instead of the usual rates paid to privates in His Majesty's army, tailors earned their living according to a set pay schedule: so much per jacket or trousers, depending on the rank outfitted. [37] Yet, for their confined existence and abysmal working conditions, the tailors, and other soldiers assigned to the depôt, were often derided as "feather-bed soldiers,"—that is, those who had not seen hard service. [38]

More often than not, the tailors laboured in cramped, dank workshops that were poorly ventilated. This factor, combined with the diseases that soldiers brought home from tropical outposts in the East and West Indies, could create conditions that even the most determined individuals could not surmount.

And so, John Burke began to experience pain in his loins in 1834, spreading to his arms by 1836. He was invalided and sent to the General Hospital at Fort Pitt once for Ague and twice for pain in the pit of his stomach—on at least one of these occasions, putting off applying for medical treatment in order to discharge his duties as Tailor. At a regimental board convened on the 21st July 1838, to verify and record his service, conduct, character, and cause of discharge, John was adjudged unfit for Active duties of a Soldier in consequence of the Rheumatic affection and Impaired constitution. [39]

Having served 21 years 46 days, John was finally discharged the service on the 8th August 1838. The service record indicated his intention to continue his residence in the town of Chatham. [39] His ailments must have been debilitating for, on the 2nd May 1839, John Burke died in Holborn Lane, Chatham, of fever, aged forty-three years. [40]

Note: Link to contemporary news articles for Chatham barracks and the surrounding towns of Rochester, Chatham, and Gillingham.

Notes and sources:

  1. Source: British Army Service Records 1760-1915; John Burke, Claremorris, county Mayo (1795-1839); original records: National Archives, London, England, ref. WO97/551/9; digitized copies held online by findmypast.co.uk (accesssed 2012-03-25, by subscription). Note: Until 1898, there were two parishes of the name, Kilcolman, in the county of Mayo: one in the barony of Clanmorris, and the other in the barony of Costello. The Local Government Act (Ireland) of 1898 transferred several parishes from the counties of Mayo and Galway to the county of Roscommon, including the parish of Kilcolman (Costello).
  2. Irish Genealogy, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Ireland; Margaret Burk, date of baptism: 11 May 1823; father: John Burk, mother: Mary McDonnell, address: New Barracks, Tralee, county Kerry; baptised by the Rev. J. Quill, sponsors: Patrick Brenan, Mary Gallihir, Roman Catholic parish church at Tralee, county Kerry; book no. 3, page 10, entry no. 106, record identifier KY-RC-BA-457560; digital record; church register not yet “imaged”, online at www.irishgenealogy.ie (accessed 2012-03-25).
  3. England 1861 Census; John Huggins, Margaret Burke, and family; Waltham Holy Cross civil parish, Waltham Abbey, Essex; registration district: Edmonton, sub-registration district: Waltham Abbey; PRO ref. RG9/801, ED 1, folio 27, pg 48, household schedule no. 296, GSU no. 542703; data obtained from purchased CD (Archive CD Books UK).
  4. Irish Genealogy, op. cit.
  5. Suffice to say, for the moment, that it was through tracing Mary Burke née McDonnell, after the death of John in 1839, that their second son was found.
  6. The Penny Cyclopædia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. Vol. XV (May, 1839). London: Charles Knight & Co.; et al., 1839.
  7. Mullen, Michael. Mayo: The Waters and the Wild. Donaghadee, N. Ireland: Cottage Publications, 2004.
  8. Mullowney, Peter. The Expansion and Decline of the O'Donel Estate, Newport, County Mayo, 1785-1852. Master's degree thesis submitted to the Department of Modern History, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, county Kildare (July, 2002). Map cited as "after Almquist," i.e., Almquist, Eric L. Mayo and beyond: land domestic industry and rural transformation in the Irish west. Ph. D. thesis Boston University 1977. Online at http://village.hcc-nd.edu/hodonnell/peterMthesis.htm (accessed 2015-11-11).
  9. M'Parlan, James. Statistical Survey of the County of Mayo. Dublin: Graisberry and Campbell, 1802.
  10. Crabbe, George. Universal Historical Dictionary. Vol. I. London: Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, 1825.
  11. Josten, Stephen. Ballinasmale Carmelite Abbey, 1288–1870. Ballinasmale Abbey Conservation Committee, 16 July 1984.
  12. "Declaration of the Roman Catholics of Clanmorris." Dublin Evening Post, 10 January 1792. The British Newspaper Archive, online at www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk (BNA) (accessed 2015-05-09, by subscription)
  13. D'Alton, the Right Rev. Monsignor. The History of the Archdiocese of Tuam. Vol. I. Dublin: The Phœnix Publishing Company, 1928.
  14. "Denis Browne (politician)." Online at Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denis_Browne_%28politician%29 (accessed 2015-11-11).
  15. (a) "General Election. County Mayo," in the Dublin Evening Post, 22 April 1817. BNA, op. cit. (accessed 2015-05-09). (b) "Browne, Hon. Denis, (?1760-1828), of Claremorris, co. Mayo," and "Browne, James (1793-1854), of Claremont House, co. Mayo," in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons, 1820-1832, ed. by D.R. Fisher (Cambridge University Press, 2009); online at The History of Parliament, www.historyofparliamentonline.org (accessed 2015-05-08).
  16. (a) House of Commons, United Kingdom. First Report from His Majesty's Commissioners for inquiring into the Condition of the Poorer Classes in Ireland, with Appendix (A.) and Supplement. Vol. XLVII, Part I. Ordered, by the House of Commons, to be Printed, 8 July 1835. (b) House of Commons, United Kingdom. "Poor Inquiry (Ireland): Appendix (D.) containing Baronial Examinations relative to Earnings of Labourers, Cottier Tenants, Employment of Women and Children, Expenditure; and Supplement, containing Answers to Questions 1 to 12, circulated by the Commissioners." Reports from Commissioners: Fifteen Volumes. (10.) Poor Laws (Ireland): Appendix (D.) Session 4 February – 20 August 1836. Vol. XXXII. (c) House of Commons, United Kingdom. "Poor Inquiry (Ireland): Appendix (E.) containing Baronial Examinations relative to Food, Cottages and Cabins, Clothing and Furniture, Pawnbroking and Savings Banks, Drinking; and Supplement, containing Answers to Questions 13 to 22, circulated by the Commissioners." Reports from Commissioners: Fifteen Volumes. (11.) Poor Laws (Ireland): Appendix (E.) Session 4 February – 20 August 1836. Vol. XXXII. (d) Essays on Intemperance, addressed to the benevolent inhabitants of cities, and especially Dublin. Dublin: Hodges and Smith (1830), pg. 48.
  17. (a) Sadler, Michael Thomas. "Table LXXI. Demonstrating the Law of Population from the Census of Ireland, 1821." The Law of Population. Vol. II. London: John Murray, 1880. (b) House of Commons, United Kingdom. "Population Ireland. Census of the Population, 1831. Comparative Abstract of the Population in Ireland as taken in 1821 and 1831." Selection of Reports and Papers of the House of Commons. Vol. LVI. Population. Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 19 February 1833. (c) M'Parlan, James. Statistical Survey of the County of Mayo, op. cit. For 1802, M'Parlan estimated a population of 140,000.
  18. British Army service record for John Burke (1795-1839), op. cit.
  19. (a) Ibid. (b) Cannon, Richard. Historical Record of the Thirty-Ninth or the Dorsetshire Regiment of Foot. London: Parker, Furnivall and Parker, 1853 (pp. 65–7).
  20. See also the timeline for the 39th Foot in Ireland, 1819–1828.
  21. Words such as "rebels" and "insurgents" come from the articles published in the contemporary newspapers, many (most?) of which operated as organs of the vested land interests and Protestants. Seen from the other perspective, that is, of the Ribbonmen or the followers of "Captain Rock," these secret societies were fighting for better leases and more secure tenures in land holding, to name just two objectives.
  22. Cannon, op. cit.
  23. Ibid.
  24. Evening Mail, 7 November 1821; BNA, op. cit. (accessed 2015-10-23).
  25. (a) Cannon, op. cit. (b) Saunders's News-Letter, 30 November 1821. BNA, op. cit. (accessed 2015-10-23).
  26. The marriage of John Burke and Mary McDonnell was not recorded in the registers of the parish of Kilcolman, which date from 1806. A marriage has not been found in any other of the registers for the county of Mayo, many of which survive only from some date after 1820.
  27. Irish Genealogy, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Ireland; Margaret Burk, date of baptism: 11 May 1823, op. cit.
  28. Cannon, op. cit.
  29. (a) Enniskillen Chronicle, 15 July 1824; BNA, op. cit. (accessed 2015-10-23). (b) Morning Post, 6 October 1824; BNA, op. cit. (accessed 2015-10-23).
  30. Cannon, op. cit.
  31. Southern Reporter, 8 September 1825; BNA, op. cit. (accessed 2015-10-23).
  32. Cannon, op. cit.
  33. Ordnance Survey, First Series (1856), Sheet no. 6, scale 1:63360. Source: The British Library, www.bl.uk. Digital boundary and map material by the Great Britain Historic GIS Project, University of Portsmouth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. CC BY-SA licence released historical digital boundary and map data from the Great Britain Historic GIS Project, University of Portsmouth. This work is based on data provided through www.VisionofBritain.org.uk and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth. © 2004-2015 of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/. Digital copy online at Vision of Britain, www.visionofbritain.org.uk (accessed 2015-11-11). 
  34. House of Commons, United Kingdom. "Appendix No. 24 Statement showing the prospective Alterations and Reductions proposed to be made in the Barrack Establishment." Appendix to Second Report from Select Committee on Public Income and Expenditure, 1828. Selection of Reports and Papers of the House of Commons. Vol. XXV, Finance (1836).
  35. The London General Gazetteer. Vol. I. London: William Baynes and Son, 1825 (pg. 480).
  36. McMullen, John Mercier. Camp and Barrack-room; or, The British Army as it is, by a late Staff Sergeant of the 13th Light Infantry. London: Chapman and Hall, 1846.
  37. (a) Standing Orders for the First Regiment of Life Guards. London: William Clowes, 1827. (b) Standing Orders of the 1st 60th Rifle Corps. Limerick: Cornelius O'Brien, 1829.
  38. McMullen, op. cit.
  39. British Army service record for John Burke (1795-1839), op. cit.
  40. Certified Copy of Entry of Death. John Burke, male, age 41 years, Tailor; died 2 May 1839, Holborn Lane, Chatham, England; cause of death: fever; informant: Ann Harfleet, Holborn Lane, present at death; registration district: Medway, subdistrict: Rochester. Purchased from the General Register Office (2012-03-28), application no. 3949627-1, DYD 245150 (2012-04-13).

See also:

This page was first published on the 11th November 2015, and subsequently edited on the 12th, 13th, 18th, and 23rd November 2015, the 25th December 2015, and 11th February 2016.

If you have a family history connection to a Burke family from the parish of Kilcolman (Clanmorris), county Mayo—or if you have information to add to the biographical sketches presented here—please consider getting in touch via the contact page.

Return to Burke of Claremorris index page.
Return to Biographical sketches, outlines, and timelines index page.

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© Alison Kilpatrick, 2015. All rights reserved.
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"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."—Lesley Poles Hartley (1895–1972), The Go-Between (1953).

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