Birley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancestors of the name Birley date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from their residence in the fort by the wood having derived from the Old English burhleah.
Early Origins of the Birley family
The surname Birley was first found in Somerset where Burley Castle where a motte and bailey castle of the late 11th or early 12th century remains to this day. The village and civil parish Burley, or Burley-on-the-Hill, is located two miles north-east of Oakham in Rutland. Burleigh Castle is located near the village of Milnathort, in Perth and Kinross, Scotland and dates from the 15th and 16th centuries. It was held by the Balfours from 1446. Burleigh is also a village in Berkshire, England, within the civil parish of Warfield.
Some of the earliest records of the family include: John Burley (d. 1333), a Carmelite of Stamford; Walter Burley (or Burleigh), (c.1275-1344), a medieval English logician, Master of Arts at Oxford in 1301, and a fellow of Merton College, Oxford until 1305; and Sir Simon Burley (1336-1388), an early English warrior and favourite from a Herefordshire family. "His parentage is uncertain, but he appears to have been a younger brother rather than a son of the Sir John Burley who received the Garter at the accession of Richard II."  Because of He was accused and sentenced for abuse of power by the parliament 5 May 1388 and sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered, which was commuted by the king. He was summarily beheaded the same day. 
Early History of the Birley family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Birley research. Another 191 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1437, 1409, 1336, 1388, 1384, 1388, 1388, 1485 and 1510 are included under the topic Early Birley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Birley Spelling Variations
Birley has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Birley have been found, including Burley, Burleigh, Burlie, Burrley, Burrlie, Burrleigh, Burly, Bourley, Bourleigh, Bourly, Berly and many more.
Early Notables of the Birley family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include William Burley, Speaker of the House of Commons of England in March 1437; and John Burley, Sheriff of county Salop in 1409. Sir Simon de Burley (ca.1336-1388), was Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and Constable of...
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Birley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Birley family to Ireland
Some of the Birley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 46 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Birley migration to Australia +
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Birley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Charles Birley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Glen Huntley" in 1849 
Birley migration to New Zealand +
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
Birley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Mr. Birley, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Tyne" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 9th August 1841 
- Miss Charlotte Birley, (b. 1828), aged 34, British governess from Cumberland, travelling from London aboard the ship "Mersey" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 25th September 1862 
- John Birley, aged 33, a farm labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dorette" in 1874
- Elizabeth Birley, aged 29, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dorette" in 1874
- Elizabeth Birley, aged 1, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dorette" in 1874
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name Birley (post 1700) +
- Mathew Birley (b. 1986), English professional footballer
- Derek Birley (1926-2002), English educator and writer
- Sir Robert Birley (1903-1982), English educationist and scholar
- Anthony Richard Birley FSA (1937-2020), British ancient historian, archaeologist and academic, Professor of Ancient History at University of Manchester (1974-1990)
- Oswald Birley (1880-1952), British portrait painter
- Francis Birley (1850-1910), England international footballer
- Eric Birley (1906-1995), British historian and archaeologist
- Andrew Birley (b. 1974), British archaeologist
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