Collections on Burke's Peerage
Burke's Landed Gentry, 19th Edition, Scotland
To celebrate the great changes that have occurred in the past quarter of a century, culminating in the
re-establishment of a Parliament of Scotland, the first updated region of Burke's Landed Gentry
will focus entirely on key figures and families in Scottish society, whether titled
This, a history of Scotland in miniature, is a unique and fascinating compendium of Scottish society,
reflecting developments in the country from its beginnings to the present day.
As investigations into lines of descent confirm, this does not mean a concentration on a closely integrated
category of hereditary landowner or a narrowly defined class, but a chronicle of those people who, for myriad
reasons, have kept their ancestral histories intact.
This said, among the entries there are indeed many families that are descendants of gentry, and in several
instances of the nobility of the Middle Ages. Many still possess land held by their medieval ancestors.
The records in Burke's Landed Gentry are diverse in origin and subsequently emphasize
this variety adding to their interest and colour. The common thread running through this vast and complex
collection is the inclusion within each entry of one or more significant people who have played an important
role in making Scotland great, by helping to develop the country's industry and commerce, by administering
possessions overseas, by contributing to cultural life and thought, or by simply doing their duty as landowners.
As such, they all contribute to Scotland's unique history. This new web site also includes biographies of influential individuals
today, whether in politics, the military, the law, religion, academia, business, the professions or the arts.
In the Scotland of old, the clan system operated different protocols, a common surname not necessarily indicating
a blood relationship with a direct line of descent between peer and chieftain. With this in mind, Burke's Landed
Gentry Scotland provides supplementary information on Scottish clans and their tartans.
Within the database are the completely updated histories of 650+ Scottish families, some 20,000
living persons as well as 1,000 prominent individuals whose biographies are included, all of whom together depict
a wonderful and representative cross-section of Scottish life.
How the family records are chosen for inclusion.
Of the 655 Scottish families, 28 are new entries, 336 relate to Scottish Peerages and Baronetcies and the
remaining 291 were drawn from the three volumes of the 18th edition of Burke's Landed Gentry 1965-72. It is
always difficult to lay down established criteria for inclusion, but factors taken into consideration included:-
- Whether the family is Scottish, however defined.
- Whether there are any Scottish territorial designations relating to the titles of Peers or Baronets or
individuals (whether owners or representers).
- Whether there is any official recognition by the Lord Lyon King of Arms in the name and style and designation
of an individual.
- Whether and when and how often arms have been granted or matriculated at the Court of the Lord Lyon King of
- The overall status of the family, which is difficult to define, but factors such as education (schools and universities); membership of the professions; officers in the Armed Forces; Ministers of Religion; success in commerce, or industry, or civil administration, or academia, or medicine, or politics, or the arts; cross-references to other families in the series and landowners; all of which assist in determining inclusion.
- The size and legal status of Scottish landholdings - current or historical, whether a feudal barony or superiority and whether the 'caput' is still owned.