Richard Burke

No Dates


Early purchaser of land in Tobago. Richard Burke bought Great River division (St Mary parish) Lots nos. 48 and 49 (100 and 200 acres respectively) 15/05/1771; he was Present Proprietor in 1773. Woodcock associated no estate name with the Lots. Possibly Richard Burke (1733-1794) the brother of Edmund Burke: although the ODNB entry [see below] makes no reference to land purchases in Tobago, these would have been consistent with his known activities elsewhere in the Ceded and Neutral islands. However, Peter Marshall, currently writing on the Burkes and the Caribbean, is sceptical that the Tobago purchaser was the same man as Edmund Burke's brother.

  1. Richard Burke, the brother of Edmund Burke, is known to have been in Grenada from 1759. He was appointed collector of Customs for Grenada in 1763, and given a leave of absence in 1765. He returned to Grenada in 1769, and purchased land in St Vincent from the Caribs in 1770, a purchase opposed by the government, outlawed in 1771 and finally rejected in November 1775. In September 1775 he was removed from his post of collector of Customs. He died in London in 1794.


'Tables showing the Lots in each Parish, numbered as originally granted - the original Grantee - the name of the Lot, or lots, if one has been acquired, and the present Possessor where there is one' and 'A Table, showing the Estates in cultivation in 1832, and their Owners, in 1832, copied from the list appended to Byres' map of that date, with those in cultivation in 1862', Henry Iles Woodcock, A History of Tobago (Ayr: Smith and Grant, 1867; new impression London: Frank Cass and Company Limited, 1971); John Fowler, A summary account of the present flourishing state of the respectable colony of Tobago in the British West Indies illustrated with a map of the island and a plan of its settlement, agreeably to the sales by his Majesty’s Commissioners (London: A Grant, 1774), pp. 44-45.

  1. ODNB online George C. McElroy and Elizabeth R. Lambert, 'Burke, Richard (1733-1794), political writer and lawyer.'

Further Information

Barrister, writer, colonial official
Oxford DNB Entry

Addresses (2)

Dublin, Co. Dublin, Ireland
New Square, Lincolns Inn, City of London, Middlesex, London, England
Notes →, UK, Poll Books and Electoral Registers, 1538-1893 [database online].