Compiled by Victor Melder
Note: The term Burgher was defined by Chief Justice of Ceylon, Sir Richard Ottley, in an authoritative pronouncement, when he gave evidence before the Commission which was appointed in connection with the establishment of a Legislative Council in Ceylon in 1883. He stated that.
"The name Burgher belongs to the descendants of the Dutch, Portuguese and other Europeans born in Ceylon, and the right to distinction must not be decided by the Country from which their father or paternal ancestor came. So whatever the number of generations through which the family has passed in this Island, if the male ancestors were Dutch, Portuguese and or other Europeans, whoever may have been the female parents, if the parents were married, the offspring would be Burgher. If the parents were not married, the country of the mother would decide the question. If the right to be denominated Burgher be once lost by the legitimate father being a Cingalese or other Indian, it cannot be recovered."