Mother: Anne Burke Father: Peter Burke (deceased), Siblings: Arthur Burke (twin brother), Catherine Flynn (sister), Molly Williams (sister, deceased), Murrin Burke (sister), Betsey Burke (sister), Other relations: Patrick Rourke (uncle), and a host of cousins, in-laws, and other varying relatives.
Burke is around 5'11" with brown hair and eyes. He smiles easily, and is quite friendly. His uniform is made up of a green Rifleman's jacket (of which he is very proud, and does his best to find green cloth when it needs patching), a pair of oft-patched brown trousers likely from a Portuguese uniform, worn boots, and his shako. He carries a Baker rifle, cartridge pouch, extra horn of powder, basic kit and bedroll. His face, neck and forearms are brown and freckled from the sun, and usually stained with dirt and gun powder.
He is very friendly and charismatic, which helps him make friends easily and even charm locals (despite his minimal Spanish, French and Portugese - he can mostly say 'hello'). This also occasionally helps in calming the disputes of others. -Is fairly slow to anger, but can hold a grudge terribly. He is intimidated by most women, which he claims comes from having so many sisters.
He is a brilliant shot with a rifle, and can read and write a little, though not much beyond what was needed for his trade. He has a tendency to nick things that other people leave lying about. Burke is notoriously bad at cards, and has a poor stomach for liquor.
Joining the Army
Burke is the fourth child of Anne and Peter Burke (the third being his twin brother, Arthur). He spent a brief period of his childhood on the farm of his mother's brother Patrick (where he learned to shoot to protect the animals), but mostly grew up in Dublin under the eyes of his two older sisters. He and his brother both became quite accomplished pickpockets around the city. When he was around 10 years old, he was apprenticed to a local printer, who taught him to read and write, as well as set type, work a press and all the other tricks of the trade. He did very well at this and worked hard. A couple of years later, his father was arrested and hanged for thieving, at which point Arthur took it on himself to take care of their mother and sisters. Burke contributed what little money he made and slept in the loft above the print shop. When the twins were nearing their 19th birthday, Arthur was involved in a fight in a pub and killed another man. He was given the option of the gallows or service in the King's army. Given that he was responsible not only for their family, but also for a pregnant wife, neither seemed like a good option, but he chose the army. Burke, to save his brother from having to abandon his responsibilities, helped his brother, unmarried sisters, mother and sister-in-law get to their uncle's farm, and took his brother's place in the army, where he quickly gained a reputation for marksmanship and a calm head in battle.