Michael Linton's Bayeux Tapestry: 1066 - A Medieval Mosaic and Puzzles
BATTLE ABBEY ROLL.
ACCOUNT OF THE NORMAN LINEAGES.
IN THREE VOLUMES.—VOL. II
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET.
PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED,
STAMFORD STREET AND CHARING CROSS.
This electronic edition
was prepared by
Michael A. Linton, 2007
or Paganel, a great baronial family in Normandy. "The various accounts of it, either by Dugdale, or the county historians of places where they held lands, are so contradictory to each other, that to endeavour to reconcile them to any degree of correctness would require more consumption of time and expense in the investigation of public records, than would compensate any author for the undertaking."—Banks. I, for one, should be far from coveting such a task, even if I possessed the ability that it would require: and must therefore content myself with groping through the maze by the help of others:—quoting what appears to me the best authorities on this perplexing subject.
"The surname of this family, Painel or Paynell, in the Latin of the time "Paganellus," is a diminution of Pain or Paganus, and, as was the custom of the time, was no doubt first applied for distinction to a Pain Fitz Pain during his father's life-time, and happened, as in this case, to be perpetuated as a surname by his descendants."—A. S. Ellis.
"Paienal des Moustiers-Hubert" is mentioned in the Roman de Rou as fighting side by side with Avenal des Biarz and Robert Bertram at the battle of Hastings: "Many men," it is added, "fell before them." His fief was in Calvados, near Lisieux, where the site of the castle of Moustiers-Hubert may still be traced. Ordericus tells us that William Paganel was one of the great men who died about the same time as the Conqueror. It is, however, Ralph Paganel, presumed to be his younger brother, who appears in Domesday as one of the tenants in chief of the King: "and from this it seems likely that William, desiring to remain in Normandy, got as his reward those lands in the Cotentin which his descendants enjoyed: the Conqueror, moreover, it is known, gave his wife as dowry the fief of Briqueville-sur-Mer (Cart. Mont. S. Michel).
"What Ralph obtained was the entire estate of Merlesweyn, who had been Sheriff of Lincolnshire the year King Edward died, of which the bulk was in Lincolnshire, but some portions in the South, and ten manors were in Yorkshire. Drax he seems to have fixed upon as his residence in Yorkshire, as there was a castle here in King Stephen's time which he may have built."—Ibid. In 1088, "that critical year for Rufus, when the whole kingdom was in confusion," we find Ralph Paganel Sheriff of Yorkshire, a staunch adherent of the King's, and on very bad terms with his neighbour the Bishop of Durham. The Bishop complained that his lands were invaded, his messengers arrested, and their horses killed under them, free passage through the county denied him. and all loyal subjects incited to injure him; till at length "Earl Alan, Earl Odo, and Roger Le Poictevin made oath to conduct the Bishop to the King and back if justice were not done him. They arrived at the court, then at Old Sarum, and the Bishop was heard before the King in council, and entreated to be restored to his see. Archbishop Lanfranc told him he had never seen writ of the King's to dispossess him of it: but he replied, 'I have seen Roger (Ralph) Paganel, who is here present, and he, by the King's writ, dispossessed me of the whole of my Bishopric within the county of York.' During the angry dispute that ensued, Paganel said it were fitting the King held his Earls to their pledge made to the Bishop, but Rufus bade him 'Be silent,' and the prelate was banished."—Ibid.
Paganel was a benefactor of the Church, and one of his last acts, "inflamed (as he says in his charter) by the fire of divine love, desiring to treasure up in heaven what I can after this life receive hundredfold:" was to bestow the desecrated Priory of the Holy Trinity, York, on the monks of Marmoutier, with a princely gift in lands, tithes, and advowsons. Some part of it had been the property of his wife Matilda (believed to have been the daughter and coheiress of Richard de Surdeval) and she and his four sons, William, Jordan, Elias, and Alexander, gave their assent to the grant. The eldest, William, must have been the son of a former marriage, as it was Jordan who succeeded to Matilda's inheritance; and when he had died s. p., it passed to the youngest brother, Alexander (Elias having become a Benedictine monk.) "These brothers had married two sisters; the former Gertrude (widow of Robert Mainill), the latter Agnes, daughters of Robert Fossard: and from Jordan, younger son of Alexander, descended the Paynells of Boothby Pagnell, Notts, who continued there until the reign of Elizabeth, when Francis Paynell sold the estate to Lord Burghley."—Ibid.
William Paynell of Drax, the eldest of these four brothers, married Avicia, one of the co-heiresses of William de Meschines, and left an only daughter Alice, who successively brought the great Paynell fief to Richard de Courci and Robert de Gaunt. Her first marriage was childless; but by her second, husband she, again, had an only daughter, either Avice or Adeline, who married a son of the Gloucestershire magnate, Robert Fitz Harding, and was the mother of Maurice de Gaunt. He took his grandfather's name; and died s. p. in 1239.
The elder line of Alexander Paynell's descendants ended in a similar way with a grand-daughter named Trethesenta, the wife, first of Geoffrey de Luttrel, and then of Henry de Newmarch.
Contemporary with these four brothers was Fulk Paynell, whom Dugdale adds to their number as a fifth son of Ralph Paynell, but "was apparently a younger son of William Paynell of Moutiers-Hubert, Ralph's elder brother."—Ibid. He married one of the greatest heiresses in the kingdom, Beatrix, sole daughter of William Fitz Ansculph de Pinkeny, who held a vast barony of ninety-one manors in 1086, and had his seignorial castle at Dudley in Staffordshire. All—or nearly all—this broad domain passed to their son Ralph Paynell, a zealous adherent of the Empress Maud, by whom he was appointed Constable of Nottingham. Dugdale accuses him of instigating the Earl of Gloucester to enter the defenceless town of Nottingham, which was "miserably plundered and then burnt by the Soldiers." He was succeeded by his eldest son Gervase, who in 1138 held Dudley Castle for the Empress, and certified in 1165 to upwards of fifty-six knights' fees. He was "one of the principal barons of the court of Hen. II.;" but having joined the King's rebellious sons in 1173, his castle was demolished by Royal command. He had no son. By his wife Isabel de Beaumont, daughter of Robert Earl of Leicester, and widow of. Simon de St. Liz, Earl of Northampton, he left only one surviving child, Hawise, who carried Dudley Castle and his great possessions to her first husband, John de Someri, and re-married Roger de Berkeley. Gervase was the founder of Dudley Priory. A very early heraldic seat of his (date 1187) shows the two lions passant adopted from him by his descendants the De Someris.
William Paynell, whom Dugdale styles his brother, was the husband of another considerable heiress. "By marrying Juliana de Bahantune," Eyton tells us that he "acquired Bampton and other estates in Devon and Somerset, parcel of the Domesday Barony of Walter de Douai, sometimes called 'Walter de Bahantune.' Thus, in the reign of Stephen, there were two Baronies of Paynell, one seated at Drax, the other at Bampton." He adds that "when the elder male line of Paynell of Drax expired in the reign of Henry II.," the whole of the estates did not pass to the heiress, Alice, but "Drax itself, and many associated estates, went to other collaterals whose claim was in a male line, viz.: as descended from William Paynell of Bridgewater and Bampton, the husband of Juliana de Bahantune.
"The heirs of Paynell (of Drax, Bridgewater, &c.) adhered to Philip of France in the reign of John, and so lost their English estates, though one of the family was reclaiming a part of them as late as a.d. 1261."—Domesday Studies, Somerset. Dugdale tells us nothing of this. He says that William's son Fulk was forced to fly the country for "some great offence" in the reign of Henry II., and only recovered his barony on payment of one thousand marks at the accession of King John; but soon after was suspected of disloyalty, and had to give his son as a hostage. Further, that he was followed by three successive Williams, of whom the last left his sister Auda de Balun his heir in 1258. But three generations can scarcely be compressed into a span of about forty years; and I think it is obvious there can only have been the one William with whom the line ended.
Another William, his contemporary, the son of Fulk Paynell of Carleton in Yorkshire (it can scarcely by any possibility have been the same?) successfully claimed the escheated lands of his ancestors in 1261, and the next heir, John, paid the great sum of 1,312 marks for their redemption in 1272.
The deeper we plunge into the maze of this "very tangled story," the more hopelessly we find ourselves bewildered and involved. Drax had passed to Hugh Paynell (perhaps, as Dugdale suggests, another son of William and the Bahantune heiress), who in 1207 held six knights' fees there of the gift of King John, and was afterwards in arms against him. From him, no doubt, descended "Sir John Paynell, who had his principal seat at Drax in Yorkshire, and had summons to parliament from 28 Ed. I. to 12 Ed. II." But Banks has some doubt of his identity; for in these writs of summons he is never described as "of Drax"; hence "it may be questioned whether they refer to this John, or another John who seems to have been Lord of Otteley." The latter, mentioned in the parliament of 28 Ed. I., and again in that held at Lincoln, subscribed the famous letter thence addressed to the Pope as Johannes Paynel dominus de Otteley. May not the same John have been Lord both of Drax and Otteley?
Another baron of the name, Will' Paynel de Tracington, affixed his seal and signature to the same document, and from various statements (quoted by Banks) "may be reasonably inferred to have been John Paynell of Otteley's brother. John was, at all events, his heir, and on his death in 1316 succeeded to his Wiltshire manors of Littleton-Paynell and Knighton-Paynell, with other lands in Surrey and Sussex. When John himself died two years afterwards, they passed to his daughter Maud, who is said to have been the wife of Sir Nicholas de Upton.
Many other scions of this preponderant house are incidentally mentioned, of whom I am quite incompetent to furnish an account. There was Adam Paynell (assigned by Dugdale as an additional son to the prolific Bahantune heiress), living in the time of King John, and married to the widow of William Fitz William, a sister and coheir of Robert Bardolf, Lord of Hoo in Kent, and Castle Carleton in Lincolnshire, who left a son and successor named Ralph. There was Richard Paynell, "one of the richest and most potent Barons in Yorkshire (v. Thoresby) who had his aula at Hooton," named from him Hooton Paynell. There was Sir William Paynell, who carried off Margaret de Gatesden, the wife of Lord Camoys, and compounded with her husband for a sum of money, receiving in return "a formal grant in writing under his seal, quitting unto him all his right and title to her." Banks thinks this may have been the Sir William Paynell of Tracington, who was a baron by writ in 1299; but the widow of the latter was certainly Ela de St. John.
In one instance only does the name appear to have been of long continuance. The family of Boothby Paynell, near Grantham, descended from Alexander Paynell and Agnes Fossard, survived till the close of the sixteenth century. They had adopted the bend of the Fossards, and bore it till 1308, when they exchanged it for the coat of another heiress, who brought them their Nottinghamshire seat. "There was one Bouthby," says Leland, "of very auncient tyme, the Heire generate of whom was maryed to Paynelle, and thereby rose much the Paynelles." They then assumed the two chevrons of the Boothbys, and made of this manor house their favourite residence. When Leland wrote, a dark cloud of sin and shame rested on the brave old name that reached so far back in the centuries, and had held so proud a place in the days gone by. I give the story in his own words. "The chief House of the Paynells had over a 900. Markes of Land by the Yere; and it was welle conservid on tille about the tyme of Henry the 5. Then John Paynelle the Father and John his Sunne, both Knighttes and great Lechers, began to decline; for John the Father began to selle, and John the Sunne begat abhominably a Doughter of his owne Doughter, and John the Father apon this sold all the Landes, parte owte of hand and parte in reversion: and John the Sunne dyid afore the Father, and yong John's Doughter fled to other partes of Englande for shame, and at the last married one Dines, a Wever, by whom she had Children: and after a 3. Descentes the Lands of the Dines cam by an Heire generale to one Bosson a Knight; and his Landes he also now cum to V. Sisters heires generales, whereof one is Wife to Richard Paynelle, now Owaner of Boutheby. Bosson was a Man born in Nottinghamshire, and had part of his Landes lying not far from Newark-on-Trent, and part lying in Yorkshire. Old Sir John Paynelle had a secunde Sunne callid Geffrey; he was Servant to the Quene of England, and yn good Estimation. Wherapon thinkking his Brother's Doughter dede, he made so importune sute, that at the laste he found meanes by the King, that the Duk of Bedford was content that Geffrey should buy of hym al such Landes as Sir John Paynelle the Father had sold unto him, the which was the beste peace of the Lande.
"But about the Tyme that Geffrey had payid for the Landes, came Dyne's Wife, Doughter to Yong Sir John Paynelle, and by a color got possession of Baroby a Manor of a 80. Poundes by the Yere, a Mile from Grantham; and so made clayme to the residew: so that at the last composition was made, that she should have of the Landes that the Duke of Bedeford had the Lordship of Baroby and Dunnington; and the residew to remain to Geffrey Paynelle, the whiche was great Granntfather to Paynell now dwelling at Boutheby.
"Though the Paynelles were Lordes of the Castelle of Newport-Painel in Buckinghamshire, yet they had a great mynde to ly at Boutheby; wher they had a praty Stone House withyn a Mote."
With this scandal the family history virtually closes; for little remains to be told. Boothby Paynell was sold in the reign of Elizabeth; and according to one account, passed to the Harringtons: while another branch, seated at Fishtoft, near Boston, had become extinct in 1592. No wills or other records of the Paynells are forthcoming in the ensuing century.