Burke, Edmund (1730–97), politician and philosopher, was born 12 January 1730 (per the Gregorian calendar) in Dublin, second son among four surviving children of Richard Burke (d. 1761), an attorney of the court of exchequer, and his wife Mary (c.1702–1770), fourth child and eldest daughter of Garret Nagle of Ballyduff, Co. Cork. Edmund's siblings were Garret (c.1725–65), Juliana (1728–90), and Richard (1733–94). At least five and possibly nine other children died in infancy. Richard Burke was a protestant and is possibly the Richard Burke who conformed to the established church in Dublin in 1722. Mary Burke was a catholic, as was Edmund's sister Juliana.
Education and early literary career Burke spent his childhood with his mother's family in Co. Cork and in the family home on Arran Quay, Dublin. He was first taught Latin by a Cork schoolmaster called O'Halloran, and attended Abraham Shackleton's (qv) school at Ballitore, Co. Kildare (1741–44). Entering TCD in 1744 at the comparatively young age of fourteen, he became a scholar in 1746 and graduated in 1748. Burke performed moderately well at Trinity but excelled in college societies devoted to rhetoric and the debate of historical and political topics. He wrote a substantial quantity of poetry at this period and also contributed to a periodical, The Reformer (January–April 1748), mainly on literature and politics. He also wrote for the Censor Extraordinary (1749), a journal critical of Charles Lucas (qv).
Burke left Dublin for London in 1750 to study law, enrolling at the Middle Temple where he met his lifelong friend William (‘Will’) Burke (d. 1798), a distant cousin. Burke's father supported him quite generously while he was at the Middle Temple, but Burke had little enthusiasm for a legal career, spending long periods away from London and from the law. Inclined to intellectual speculation, by 1753 he seems to have completed much of his Philosophical enquiry into the origins of our ideas of the sublime and beautiful (1757). In 1754 Burke unsuccessfully applied for a post in the colonies and in 1755, against his father's wishes, he finally abandoned the law to pursue a career as a writer. The next five years saw Burke engaged in a period of intense literary activity. In May 1756 he published the Vindication of natural society, a Swiftian satire on Bolingbroke's deism and on enlightenment theories of politics founded on abstract reason. Burke's literary reputation was established by the publication in 1757 of his Philosophical enquiry, which was an original contribution to aesthetics. The main theme of the book is a distinction between the aesthetic of the sublime (exciting ideas of pain, danger, and terror) and the beautiful (evoking social passions, love, sympathy, imitation, and ambition). Burke's definition of the sublime was contested by reviewers at the time, but the work was generally well received, going through seven English editions between 1757 and 1773, and was translated into French (1765) and German (1773). Despite the success of the book, Burke did not pursue a philosophical career. The Account of the European settlements in America, jointly written with Will Burke in 1756 and published on 1 April 1757, displayed a prescient understanding of the Seven Years War and revealed what was to be a more enduring interest in history, politics, and the problems of empire.
On 12 March 1757 Burke married Jane Nugent (1734–1812), a catholic, daughter of the Irish physician Christopher Nugent (qv). Their sons, Richard (1758–94) and Christopher (1758–62), were born on 9 February and 14 December 1758. In February 1757 Burke signed a contract with Robert Dodsley to write a history of England spanning the period from the arrival of Julius Caesar to the death of Queen Anne. Burke abandoned this work in 1760, but the incomplete manuscript, extending to 1216, was published posthumously in 1812. In April 1758 Burke contracted with Dodsley to edit the Annual Register, a review of contemporary politics and literature, which he largely wrote himself until 1764. Burke's main connections in the late 1750s were chiefly literary, including Samuel Johnson, David Garrick, and Oliver Goldsmith (qv).
Entry into politics The first step in his political career was his introduction in 1759 to William Gerard Hamilton (qv), who employed Burke as his private secretary at a salary of £300 a year. In April 1761 Hamilton was appointed chief secretary for Ireland by the new lord lieutenant, the earl of Halifax (qv). In August Burke moved to Ireland, where he remained until c.April 1762. His subordinate position precluded much independent political action, but he may have inspired Hamilton's unsuccessful bill to permit recruitment of Irish catholics for the Portuguese army. Burke was alarmed by the anti-catholic fervour inspired by the Whiteboy disturbances in Munster in the early 1760s, especially as the disturbances affected parts of Ireland familiar to him from his childhood. He developed a hostility to the Irish governing system which persisted throughout his career. On his return to London in 1762, Burke wrote an unfinished treatise on the Irish penal laws, which was a powerful condemnation of the system. At this point he also sketched a proposal for a history of Ireland, which was never realised. Hamilton remained chief secretary in 1763, despite a change of ministry, and Burke was offered a pension of £300 a year on the Irish establishment, which he accepted with some reluctance. Burke returned to Ireland for the 1763–4 session of parliament, during which time he was very much in Hamilton's shadow. He did, however, draw up a petition for the Irish catholics for presentation to the new lord lieutenant, the earl of Northumberland (qv), though this was not in fact presented until 1778. Hamilton's dismissal in 1764 brought an end to Burke's stay in Ireland. Relations between the two deteriorated as Burke found himself a prisoner of his arrangement with Hamilton. An acrimonious breach, which was never healed, ensued in 1765, whereupon Burke resigned his Irish pension.
Rockingham whig, 1765–74 Burke's first experience of politics had been difficult, but he gained valuable experience and made important connections, leading to his employment as private secretary to the marquess of Rockingham when he became prime minister in July 1765. This was the beginning of the most important political connection in Burke's life, which lasted until Rockingham's death in 1782. In December 1765 Burke entered parliament as MP for Wendover, a borough controlled by Ralph, Earl Verney, who was closely involved in speculation with Burke's kinsmen. Burke quickly made his mark as a parliamentary orator. Much of his energy was devoted to supporting the government's American reforms, including the repeal of the stamp act, but he was also attentive to Irish interests. In March 1766 he successfully opposed an attempt to extend restrictions on Irish woollen exports and unsuccessfully supported efforts to remove restrictions on the sugar and soap trade. In the 1767–8 session of parliament Burke spoke against the government's scheme to augment the Irish army establishment, the original source of the conflict between Viscount Townshend (qv) and the Irish undertakers, and he privately denounced the Irish octennial act of 1768. When Rockingham was dismissed in July 1766 Burke followed him into opposition.
In the autumn of 1766 Burke spent several weeks in Ireland, where he received the freedom of Galway. The visit was also prompted by Burke's inheritance of most of the property of his brother Garret, including an estate at Clogher, Co. Cork, which was estimated in 1783 as worth £500 a year. Irish affairs receded into the background as Burke moved into a leading role as spokesman for the Rockingham whigs. The main problems facing the Rockingham group at this point stemmed from the fragmentation of the whig factions and George III's antipathy to Rockingham. Burke still had some hopes for office after Rockingham ceased to be prime minister, but by 1767 he was committed to a long period in opposition. His position was complicated by his meagre financial resources. His brother Richard and Will Burke were involved in speculation in East India Company stocks which failed disastrously in 1769, leaving Burke, who shared finances with them, in financial difficulties. In April 1768 he had purchased an estate at Beaconsfield for £20,000, all of it borrowed. This was to leave him in debt for the rest of his life, but it also provided him with an essential retreat from the London scene and allowed him to develop his talents as an enterprising and scientific landowner.
Burke was again returned for Wendover at the 1768 general election and was active on the two issues that rallied whig opinion against the government – the petitioning movement against the exclusion of John Wilkes from the house of commons, and criticism of the government's plan to impose duties on the trade of the American colonies. Burke's major contribution at this point was his exposition of the opposition's case in two brilliant pamphlets, Observations on a late state of the nation (1769) and Thoughts on the cause of the present discontents (1770). In Observations, Burke marshalled a variety of constitutional and economic arguments against the government's policy on the taxation of the empire. The second pamphlet was a denunciation of the growth of royal influence and an appeal for a revitalised whig party united on common principles. Here Burke steered a middle course between what he saw as a system of secret royal influence, subversive of the constitution, and the dangers of parliamentary reform. In the face of royal hostility and the persistence of factionalism, the Rockingham party was helpless to prevent the formation of a new ministry headed by Lord North in 1770. Burke devoted less attention to Irish affairs during the early 1770s than at any other time in his career. He spoke against Viscount Townshend's Irish policy in the house of commons in 1770, but he was unwilling to be drawn into a public role in Irish affairs. His main activity was a series of speeches and motions critical of the government's American policy. In December 1770 Burke was elected London agent of the New York assembly.
The early years of North's ministry were frustrating for Burke and his party. North commanded strong majorities for his American policy and the opposition was hopelessly divided. A frustrated Rockingham proposed a secession from parliament in 1772 but was dissuaded by Burke. In Indian affairs, Burke supported the independence of the East India Company from government control, as he had in 1767, opposing North's India regulation act of 1773. Though he was conscious of the company's shortcomings, Burke was wary of placing such a lucrative source of patronage under the control of the ministry. At the same time he organised a successful opposition to the Irish government's proposal to tax the estates of absentee landlords, on the grounds that such a move would undermine the unity of the empire. When American affairs became more critical in the aftermath of the ‘Boston tea party’, Burke delivered the first of his great speeches on American affairs in April 1774. The Speech on American taxation was a powerful denunciation of North's policy of coercion. Burke's high standing in public opinion was reflected in his election as MP for Bristol in the 1774 general election.
The American crisis, 1774–82 Despite the popularity of the government's firm stance against the colonies and the anti-American sentiments of many of his Bristol constituents, Burke continued to argue for concessions, notably in the Speech on conciliation with the colonies delivered on 22 March 1775 and the Letter to the sheriffs of Bristol (May 1777). In the face of huge government majorities on American policy, the Rockingham whigs briefly seceded from parliament in 1777, but the slow turn in the tide of the American war, beginning with Burgoyne's defeat at Saratoga in November 1777, reinvigorated the opposition. The opposition was also strengthened by the adherence of Charles James Fox to the Rockingham whigs, which saw the beginning of one of Burke's most important political friendships.
Burke's impatience with and distance from Irish affairs diminished with the onset of war in America. In 1775–6 he vainly hoped that Ireland might act as a mediator in the imperial quarrel. When the government, in response to Irish pressure, brought proposals to remove some restrictions on Irish trade before parliament in April 1778, Burke spoke in support. The concessions were minimal, but they provoked a strong reaction in Bristol, where Burke already faced considerable opposition. He replied to his critics in Two letters on the trade of Ireland (May 1778) defending the concessions as posing no threat to British prosperity and as essential for the survival of the Anglo–Irish connection. The failure of the concessions to appease Irish public opinion led to the introduction by the government of a more sweeping set of commercial reforms in December 1779. Burke took little part in the debates on this occasion. Accused of silence by Irish critics, he defended himself in a lengthy apologia, A letter to Thomas Burgh (1780). Burke was even more closely involved in the passage of the Irish catholic relief act of 1778. Although the bill was sponsored by the government, its survival was threatened when the Irish parliamentary opposition succeeded in attaching a clause repealing the test act against Irish dissenters. At a critical juncture, Burke persuaded North to suppress the clause and push the measure through the Irish parliament.
From 1778, Burke and his party openly supported American independence. During 1779 Burke, taking advantage of the opposition's growing strength, developed his ‘economical reform’ programme to attack the sources of royal patronage. His economical reform bills received substantial support in parliament but were defeated by North's shrewd tactics. For Burke and the Rockingham whigs, economical reform was the alternative to the radical parliamentary reform proposals emanating from Wyvill and the reform associations. The Gordon riots in London in June 1780 confirmed Burke's suspicion of popular politics. Under increasing pressure, North called a general election in 1780 at which Burke lost his seat for Bristol. In his Guildhall speech at Bristol on 6 September Burke defended his political independence in a classic statement of his theory of virtual representation. Typically, he refused to sacrifice his political independence, even at the risk of political extinction. He was belatedly returned to the new parliament for Rockingham's borough of Malton in December and continued to sit for Malton until his retirement.
Economical reform, India, and Ireland, 1782–8 Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown in December 1781 finally spelled the end of North's ministry, yet the triumph of the Rockinghamites proved short-lived. Rockingham formed the new ministry in March 1782 without the king's support. Burke was not offered a seat in cabinet but was appointed paymaster of the forces and was admitted to the privy council. During the brief Rockingham ministry, Burke succeeded in implementing his economical reform programme, already obsolete. It also fell to Rockingham's government to address the Irish constitutional crisis. Burke was eloquent in support of the decision to concede legislative independence in May 1782, but he was angry that the lord lieutenant, the duke of Portland (qv), kept him uninformed about Irish affairs, and this may also have concealed real misgivings on Burke's part about the implications of the concession for Anglo–Irish relations. Burke also closely followed the moves to extend Irish catholic relief during 1782. In his Letter to Lord Kenmare of 21 February, Burke was critical of the relief proposals, especially some of the measures affecting the catholic clergy which were dropped from the bills passed in the Irish parliament in May and July.
The death of Rockingham on 1 July 1782 saw Burke follow Fox into opposition, but the new ministry under Lord Shelburne (qv) could not control the house of commons, and in April 1783 the king was forced to accept the extraordinary coalition of Fox and North. Burke resumed the post of paymaster. The new ministry completed the peace negotiations with America, but Indian affairs were dominant. Burke, who had been a member of the house of commons select committee on Indian affairs since 1781, was largely responsible for the coalition's Indian policy during the summer of 1783, resulting in the India bills restricting the powers of the governor of Bengal and giving control of the East India Company to commissioners appointed by parliament. Burke, who had been a consistent defender of the rights of the company in the 1770s, was now its harshest critic. The king used the ensuing controversy to defeat the government in the house of lords, and in December 1783 he dismissed the coalition and invited William Pitt to form a government. Burke was never to hold office again.
Pitt's triumph in the general election of 1784 left Burke in the wilderness, often unable to command a hearing in the house of commons. India dominated his concerns in the six years after 1784, though he was also active in Irish affairs. Burke was relieved by the failure of the Irish parliamentary reform movement in 1784, but the following year he supported British resistance to Pitt's commercial propositions for Anglo–Irish trade, in which the opposition sought to embarrass Pitt on protectionist and mercantilist grounds. Burke's public stance here was clearly at variance with positions he had adopted on Anglo–Irish trade in 1779–80, but there is some evidence that he privately approved of much of the scheme as necessary for ensuring a harmonious Anglo–Irish relationship within the empire. Always sceptical about Irish independence, Burke was far more convinced of the need for an internal reform of the Irish governing system. In this respect, his views on America, Ireland, and India are united by the idea that justice and unity are interdependent elements of empire. In October 1786 he paid his last visit to Ireland, where he was well received, and was elected an honorary member of the RIA.
India was Burke's great cause in the 1780s – he later said it was the greatest service of his life. The coalition's India bill of 1783 encapsulated his idea of economical reform by subjecting an important source of patronage and influence to the control of parliament. But Burke's attitude to India was also guided by his belief that the East India Company and particularly the governor of Bengal, Warren Hastings, were corrupt and tyrannical – conduct incompatible with Burke's ideal of empire. Burke had dominated the select committee on India since its inception, and in February 1784 he persuaded parliament to appoint a commons committee of inquiry into Hastings's conduct. His Speech on the nabob of Arcot's debts (February 1785) was a powerful statement of his case. In 1786 Burke detailed twenty-one charges against Hastings and succeeded in mobilising the opposition behind the cause of impeachment. Early the following year he succeeded in winning Pitt's guarded support for this course of action, and in December 1787 Burke was appointed chairman of the committee of managers appointed by the house of commons to conduct the prosecution of Hastings before the house of lords. The trial proper opened on 13 February 1788 and was to consume 148 sittings over the next seven years. The impeachment and trial of Hastings absorbed enormous amounts of Burke's energies right up to his retirement. His closing speeches in the trial, lasting nine days between 28 May and 16 June 1794, reflected the combination of bitter and often personal invective and high-minded appeals to justice and morality which characterised his position throughout. Though Hastings was acquitted of all charges in April 1795, the affair was a turning point in British attitudes to the government of India.
Response to the French revolution, 1789–93 While India was absorbing so much of his energies, Burke's experience of opposition was otherwise dismal in the late 1780s. The regency crisis provoked by George III's insanity in November 1788 galvanised the whigs in Britain and Ireland, but ended in farce with the king's recovery in February 1789. The arrival of the Irish delegates in London in March to offer the Irish regency to the prince of Wales compounded the embarrassment. By July 1789 Burke was gloomy about his career, not only because he was the object of extraordinary vilification, which reached a crescendo at this stage. Both whigs and radicals took some comfort from the revolutionary events in France in the summer of 1789, but Burke was slow to react. During October and November he was increasingly alarmed by the course of events in France and by the arguments of English supporters of the revolution, such as the sermon preached to the Revolution Society in November 1789 by the dissenting minister Richard Price. In late December Burke began work on what became the Reflections on the revolution in France, his most famous work. Reflections was advertised in the press in February 1790 but was not published until 1 November.
In the meantime tensions were apparent between Burke and those of his party who favoured the French revolution. He openly disagreed with Sheridan (qv) on the subject in parliament in February. In March, when Fox moved the repeal of the test and corporation acts against dissenters, Burke opposed repeal. In Reflections, Burke explicitly rejected any comparison of the principles of the ‘glorious revolution’ of 1688 and the French revolution. He prophesied disaster for France from the repudiation of organic, historic institutions in favour of abstract political principles. The book was phenomenally successful and was widely praised, especially by his old opponents; George III admired it and Burke was awarded an honorary LLD by Dublin University in December 1791. Reflections dominated public debate. Presbyterian reformers in Britain, moderate members of the French national assembly, and members of Burke's own party took exception to his sweeping rhetorical assault on the principles of the revolution. Thomas Paine's Rights of man (March 1791) was the most widely read response to Burke's support of monarchy and corporate privilege. Burke's stance provoked a growing rift in the whig party between the aristocratic whigs led by Portland and the group led by Fox and Sheridan. In May Burke went further and in A letter to a member of the national assembly (1791) he argued that the revolution could only be defeated by a war from outside France to restore the old regime.
In May 1791 Burke and Fox publicly ended their political friendship in an emotional scene in the house of commons. At this point Burke was isolated, for although Portland and Fitzwilliam (qv) shared many of his misgivings, they were unwilling to split the party. At this point Burke made a characteristic assault on the party's first principles. In August he published An appeal from the new to the old whigs (1791), attacking the philosophical radicalism of the French revolutionaries and appealing to the gradualism and respect for historical continuity of whig ideology. He forged close links with the French émigrés, sending his son Richard on a mission to the émigré headquarters at Coblenz, but he failed to persuade Pitt to adopt a more openly hostile policy towards France. Burke also argued that concerted action with the continental powers against France should be accompanied by firm measures against the radicals at home. In 1792 he opposed motions for further toleration for unitarians, and in May he crossed the floor of the house while Fox was speaking in favour of parliamentary reform.
Throughout 1792 Burke continued to work for an alliance between the Portland whigs and the government, but Fox was an insuperable obstacle and Portland was paralysed by indecision. At the same time, Burke's harsh views were increasingly supported by events in France such as the September massacres, the abolition of the monarchy on 21 September, and the French conquest of the Netherlands in November. When parliament reopened in December 1792 Burke sat on the government side, and on 10 February 1793 he and twenty other whigs pledged support for the government in opposing French principles while continuing to acknowledge Portland as leader. The French declaration of war on 1 February 1793 strengthened the case for a coalition and deepened whig divisions.
Catholic relief In Ireland, the period 1789–90 saw a revival of the Catholic Committee. The leadership of the newly elected committee approached Burke in 1790 with a request that his son Richard act as agent for the Irish catholics in their campaign for a repeal of the penal laws. Predictably, Burke was highly sympathetic and in September 1791 Richard began a series of meetings with ministers, urging Burke's view that conciliation of the catholics was essential if they were to be prevented from forming an alliance with Irish radicals and dissenters. Burke developed this argument, along with a repudiation of the doctrine of protestant ascendancy in Ireland, in a Letter to Sir Hercules Langrishe, published in March 1792. The relief act of 1792 was too limited to satisfy catholic demands, and Richard's high-handed manner alienated both ministers and the catholic leadership, who were eager to have their cause boosted by his father's prestige. Richard's mission ended in failure. When he returned to England in April, Dundas refused to discuss catholic affairs with him; and when he again went to Ireland in September, he was kept at arm's length both by the catholic leadership and the Irish government. Burke was blind to his son's limitations, but his own efforts to urge a conciliatory policy on the government played an important part in Pitt's decision to force a more extensive relief measure on the Irish administration in 1793. He was confirmed in his belief that the Irish governing system, based on protestant ascendancy, was the real enemy of Ireland and of harmonious Anglo–Irish relations within the empire.
Coalition with Pitt, 1794–7 During 1793 Burke pursued his twin tactics of urging Portland to form a war coalition with Pitt and urging Pitt to commit himself to a counter-revolutionary crusade. His Remarks on the policy of the allies (October 1793) expounded his idea of a European order which was threatened everywhere by the revolution. In January 1794 the Portland whigs finally decided to support Pitt, and in May Portland agreed to a coalition. This was a moral victory for Burke, if nothing else. He was not involved in the negotiations which he had done so much to achieve, but it was agreed, as part of the coalition agreement, that he would be given a peerage and a substantial pension. The king, however, refused to consent to a peerage for Burke, though the pension was somehow cobbled together.
With the Hastings impeachment drawing to a close, Burke began to make arrangements for his retirement from the house of commons. He resigned his seat on 25 June 1794. Burke prevailed on Fitzwilliam to let his son Richard sit for Malton, but within two weeks of his election Richard died on 2 August. Richard's death was a devastating blow for Burke, but neither this nor his resignation from parliament diminished his involvement in public affairs, which continued to be dominated by Ireland and the war against France. The coalition arrangements had given Portland the home office and the promise that Fitzwilliam would be appointed lord lieutenant of Ireland. Burke urged that Fitzwilliam should undertake a vigorous reform of the Irish governing system. On his arrival in Ireland in January 1795 Fitzwilliam dismissed leading Irish officeholders and agreed to support catholic emancipation, provoking a political crisis leading to his recall in February. Burke was the architect of Fitwilliam's Irish policy – if only in outline. He saw Pitt's repudiation of Fitzwilliam as a tragedy that would encourage revolutionary sentiment in Ireland by alienating moderate catholics. Despite this crushing disappointment, only partly mitigated by the success of his advocacy of the establishment of a catholic college at Maynooth, Burke continued to support Pitt. However annoyed by Pitt's Irish policy, Burke was even more concerned about preserving the coalition and its commitment to war against France. In October 1795 Lord Auckland sent Burke a copy of his pamphlet suggesting peace with France. This galvanised Burke into writing the series of Letters on a regicide peace (1796–7), arguing that peace with revolutionary France was unthinkable so long as she remained the enemy of European civilisation. Rather than consent to this, Britain ought to be prepared to commit herself to a long war in which her superior economic strength would guarantee eventual victory. Burke's continuing intellectual vigour was apparent in his Thoughts and details on scarcity (November 1795), which revealed a mixture of paternalism and liberalism in economic thought, obviously connected to his grand design of repudiating revolution at home and abroad. But the bulk of his correspondence in this period was devoted to Irish affairs, where Burke repeated his condemnation of the government's support for the Dublin Castle elite and protestant ascendancy. His last published work, Letter on the affairs of Ireland, written in May 1797, expressed his frustration at the deteriorating political situation in Ireland and repeated his arguments for reform of the governing system and conciliation of the catholics. Before his death, Burke returned to an earlier idea of European civilisation and Trinitarian Christianity which he increasingly, perhaps eccentrically, identified with the case of the Irish catholics. He died at Beaconsfield on 9 July 1797.
Assessment Burke's role in the development of British and Irish politics in the second half of the eighteenth century was enormous. He made perhaps the greatest intellectual contribution to the transformation of party ideology in the reign of George III as spokesman for the Rockingham whigs. By redefining party politics in terms of principle he laid the foundations for the party system of later decades. Victorian liberals saw him as instrumental in creating the high-minded political culture of nineteenth-century Britain. Burke's opposition to the French revolution also earned him a place in the pantheon of modern conservative thought. His tireless campaigning on behalf of the rights of America, India, and Ireland earned him an important place in the transformation of the British empire in the later eighteenth century. The breadth of his thought and activities accounts for this wide range of influence. Central to all of his concerns was a political theory founded on a combination of pragmatic justice – utilitarian in the tradition of natural law – and a belief in the historical evolution of human society. Burke's involvement in Irish affairs formed a central part of his career both as a politician and as a political theorist. His intimate connection with Ireland provided a basis for a critique of British and imperial politics which was fundamental to his thought. Burke's vision of Ireland enjoying a harmonious relationship with the empire was not achieved in his lifetime, yet his subtle and acute analysis of the Anglo–Irish relationship was a template for his ideal of the empire and, perhaps, of the European order he sought to defend.
The two principal collections of Burke's papers are in the Wentworth Woodhouse Muniments, Sheffield City Library, and the Fitzwilliam (Burke) MSS at Northamptonshire Record Office.