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BURKE, PETER (1811–1881), serjeant-at-law, was the eldest son of John Burke [q. v.] of Elm Hall, co. Tipperary, and brother of Sir John Bernard Burke, Ulster king of arms. He was born in London on 7 May 1811, and educated at the college of Caen in Normandy. Having been called to the bar at the Inner Temple in 1839, he joined the northern circuit and the Manchester and Lancashire sessions. He afterwards practised at the parliamentary bar, and appeared before the House of Lords in several important peerage cases. He was made a queen's counsel of the county palatine of Lancaster in 1858 and a serjeant-at-law in 1859. He was elected director or chief honorary officer of the Society of Antiquaries of Normandy for 1866-7. His death occurred at his residence in South Kensington on 26 March 1881. In addition to several legal works he published:-

  1. ‘The Wisdom and Genius of Edmund Burke illustrated in a series of extracts from his writing, with a summary of his life,’ 1845.
  2. ‘ Celebrated Trials connected with the Aristocracy, in the relations of private life,’ Lond. 1849, 1851, 8vo.
  3. ‘The Romance of the Forum, or Narratives, Scenes, and Anecdotes from Courts of Justice,’ 4 vols. Lond. 1852, 1861, 12mo.
  4. ‘The Public and Domestic Life of the Right Hon. Edmund Burke,’ Lond. 1853, 8vo.
  5. ‘Celebrated Naval and Military Trials,’ Lond. 1866, 8vo.

[Men of the Time (1879), 169; Illustrated London News, 2 April 1881, p. 334; Cat. of Printed Books in Brit. Mus]

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