Burke is the surname of a pure-blood[1] wizarding family, and one of the Sacred Twenty-Eight.

They are related to the Black, Flint[2] and possibly the Malfoy families and they may be the co-owners of the Knockturn Alley shop Borgin and Burkes, which specialises in Dark artefacts.

Family Members


Burke is the Anglo-Norman pronunciation of burgh, which was "a topographical surname​ for someone who lived in a fortified place."[3] In Middle English, it meant a "fort or fortified town,"[4] though in Old English, it meant "to murder by suffocation, or so as to produce few marks of violence, for the purpose of obtaining a body to be sold for dissection" or "to smother; to conceal, hush up, suppress." It can also be a variant of the British slang term berk, meaning "idiot".[5] Burke is also a real surname common in Britain and Ireland. It comes from the Norman de Burgo which was Anglicised in Irish as de Búrca.

In the real world, Edmund Burke, generally known only by his surname, was an Anglo-Irish political philosopher who argued in favour of traditional monarchism. Thus perhaps the Burke family having many members as pure blood supremacists is meant as an allusion to this historical figure.

Notes and references

  1. Given that Herbert Burke married Belvina Black and that she was not disowned or removed from the Black tapestry for the marriage, it can be assumed that Herbert was pure-blood.
  2. Black family tree
  3. Wiktionary Definition: Burke
  4. Behind The Name Definition: Burke
  5. Wiktionary Definition: burke
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