William Berry (genealogist)

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William Berry (1774–1851) was an English genealogist.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.


Berry, well known from his various works on family history, was in the earlier part of his life, 1793–1809, employed as a writing clerk to the registrar of the College of Arms. On his retirement from that post, he for some time resided in Guernsey, where he published a very able work called The History of the Island of Guernsey, compiled from the collections of Henry Budd, 1815, 4to. Previously to this, in 1810, he had brought out a work entitled Introduction to Heraldry.

College of Arms British royal corporation consisting of professional officers of arms, with jurisdiction over England, Wales, Northern Ireland and some Commonwealth countries

The College of Arms, also known as the College of Heralds, is a royal corporation consisting of professional officers of arms, with jurisdiction over England, Wales, Northern Ireland and some Commonwealth realms. The heralds are appointed by the British Sovereign and are delegated authority to act on behalf of the Crown in all matters of heraldry, the granting of new coats of arms, genealogical research and the recording of pedigrees. The College is also the official body responsible for matters relating to the flying of flags on land, and it maintains the official registers of flags and other national symbols. Though a part of the Royal Household of the United Kingdom the College is self-financed, unsupported by any public funds.

Guernsey island in the bailiwick of Guernsey

Guernsey is an island in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy. It lies roughly north of Saint-Malo and to the west of Jersey and the Cotentin Peninsula. With several smaller nearby islands, it forms a jurisdiction within the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a British Crown dependency. The jurisdiction is made up of ten parishes on the island of Guernsey, three other inhabited islands, and many small islets and rocks.

Returning to England, he resided at Doddington Place, Kennington, Surrey, and in 1832 commenced A Genealogical Peerage of England, Scotland, and Ireland. It was a carefully compiled family history, with very beautifully engraved coats of arms, but it did not receive much support, and after the issue of the fourth number, which terminated with an account of the dukes of Rutland, no further parts were printed. His Genealogia Antiqua, or Mythological and Classical Tables, published in 1816, met with more success, and a second and improved edition appeared in 1840. This work was dedicated to Lord Grenville.

Duke of Rutland title in the Peerage of England

Duke of Rutland is a title in the Peerage of England, derived from Rutland, a county in the East Midlands of England. Earldoms named after Rutland have been created twice in history, and the ninth earl of the second creation was made a duke in 1703.

His next undertaking was entitled Encyclopedia Heraldica, or Complete Dictionary of Heraldry. It was brought out in numbers between 1828 and 1840, and forms four quarto volumes. This is a valuable heraldic work, as it embraces the greater part of the contents of Edmondson and other writers, with much original matter.

Quarto paper format

Quarto is a book or pamphlet produced from full "blanksheets", each of which is printed with eight pages of text, four to a side, then folded twice to produce four leaves. The leaves are then trimmed along the folds to produce eight book pages. Each printed page presents as one-fourth size of the full blanksheet.

Perhaps, however, the writings by which Berry is best known are his county genealogies published in small folio volumes, at five or six guineas per volume. These were Kent, 1830; Sussex, 1830; Hampshire, 1833; Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Surrey, 1837; Essex, 1839; and Hertfordshire, 1842. The three latter volumes were printed by means of lithography from the handwriting of the author. The first portion of The County Genealogies, Kent, being severely reviewed in The Gentleman's Magazine, and objections taken to Berry calling himself on the title-page of that work registering clerk in the College of Arms, he brought an action for libel against Messrs. J. B. Nichols & Son, the publishers of the magazine.

Kent County of England

Kent is a county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Greater London to the north-west, Surrey to the west and East Sussex to the south-west. The county also shares borders with Essex along the estuary of the River Thames, and with the French department of Pas-de-Calais through the Channel Tunnel. The county town is Maidstone.

Sussex historic county in South East England

Sussex, from the Old English Sūþsēaxe, is a historic county in South East England corresponding roughly in area to the ancient Kingdom of Sussex. It is bounded to the west by Hampshire, north by Surrey, northeast by Kent, south by the English Channel, and divided for many purposes into the ceremonial counties of West Sussex and East Sussex. Brighton and Hove, though part of East Sussex, was made a unitary authority in 1997, and as such, is administered independently of the rest of East Sussex. Brighton and Hove was granted City status in 2000. Until then, Chichester was Sussex's only city.

Hampshire County of England

Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England. The county town is the city of Winchester. Its two largest cities, Southampton and Portsmouth, are administered separately as unitary authorities; the rest of the county is governed by Hampshire County Council.

The trial took place in the Court of King's Bench before Lord Tenterden on 1 November 1830, when, although the plaintiff was represented by Henry Brougham, afterwards the Lord Chancellor, the jury, without hearing any rebutting evidence, almost immediately gave a verdict in favour of the defendants.

The Queen's Bench is the superior court in a number of jurisdictions within some of the Commonwealth realms. The original King's Bench, founded in 1215 in England, was one of the ancient courts of the land and is now a division of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales.

A plaintiff is the party who initiates a lawsuit before a court. By doing so, the plaintiff seeks a legal remedy; if this search is successful, the court will issue judgment in favor of the plaintiff and make the appropriate court order. "Plaintiff" is the term used in civil cases in most English-speaking jurisdictions, the notable exception being England and Wales, where a plaintiff has, since the introduction of the Civil Procedure Rules in 1999, been known as a "claimant", but that term also has other meanings. In criminal cases, the prosecutor brings the case against the defendant, but the key complaining party is often called the "complainant".

Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux English barrister, politician, and Lord Chancellor of Great Britain

Henry Peter Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux, was a British statesman who became Lord Chancellor of Great Britain.

Berry died at his son's residence, Spencer Place, Brixton, 2 July 1851, aged 77, having survived his wife two months.

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