Punchardoun or Pontcardon.

From Pontcardon, near Neauffla, in Normandy. Robert de Pontchardon is on the Dives Roll. "Robert de Pontcardon held lands in Devon 1083 (Exon. Domesd.). William de Punchardon in 1165 held six fees in Somerset and Devon: Roger de Punchardon in Lincoln, and Matthew in Northumberland or York (Lib. Nig.). William de Punchardon of Heanton-Punchardon, Devon, was living 1242 (Pole), and in 1261 Oliver de Punchardoun had a writ of military summons for the war in Wales."—The Norman People. Thickley-Punchardon, co. Durham, received its name from this family. "Sir Anthon Bek, Busshop of Dureme in the tyme of King Eduarde, the son of King Henry, was the maist prowd and masterfull Busshop in all England, and it was com'only said that he was the prowdest Lord in Christienty. It chaunced that among other lewd persons, this Sir Anthon entertained at his court one Hugh de Tountchardon, that for his evill deeds and manifold robberies had been driven out of the Inglische Courte, and had come from the South to seek a little bread, and to live by stalinge. And to this Hughe, whom also he imployed to good purpose in the Warr of Scotland, the Busshop gave the lands of Thikley, since of him caullid Thikley-Puntchardon, and also made him his chiefe huntsman. And after, this blake Hugh dyed afore the Busshop: and efter that the Busshop chasid the wild hart in Galtres forest, and sodainly there met with him Hugh de Pontchardon that was afore deid, on a wythe horse; and the said Hugh looked earnestly on the Busshopp, and the Busshop said unto him, 'Hughe, what makethe thee here?' and he spake never worde, but lifte up his cloke, and then he shewed Sir Anton his ribbes set with bones, and nothing more: and none other of the varlets saw him but the Busshop only: and ye said Hughe went his way, and Sir Anton took courage, and cheered the dogges; and shortly after he was made Patriarque of Hierusalem, and he saw nothing no moe. And this Hughe is him that the silly people in Galtres doe call Le Gros Veneur, and he was seen twice after that by simple folk, afore yat the forest was felled in the tyme of Henry, father of King Henry that now ys."

"Still, when Autumn shakes the forest sear
Black Hugo's voice upon the blast is borne.
Woe to the wight who shall his ire provoke
When the stern huntsman stalks his nightly round,
By blasted ash, or lightning-shivered oak,
And cheers with surly voice his spectre hound."
                                                                                     —Surtees' Durham.

It is clear, however, that Thickley cannot have been granted to this Wild Huntsman by Anthony Beke, who only became Bishop of Durham in 1283, for "Evayne de Punchardon demorants a Thikley" appears in the list of the knights of the "Franchise de Duresme demy Tyne et Teys" who fought at the battle of Lewes in 1264 (Hutchinson's Durham); and the family were seated in the county a hundred years before that. Richard de Punchardon witnesses a deed of Roger de Coigners during the shrievalty of Ralph Haget (1159-1181).

The name is found in several other counties. Lydiard-Puncherton, or Punchardon, a hamlet and manor in Somersetshire, took its name from Hugh de Punchardon, who held it temp. Hen. II., by knight's service, of the castle of Dunster. William his son was living there in the reign of Henry III., and left several daughters heirs to his estates. The Punchardons were of great account in Devonshire. "Heanton is surnamed Punchardon; the parish reserveth charily the old lord's name of long antiquity, and therewithall copious in some ages; for you shall peruse few ancient evidences in those parts whereunto the Punchardons have not been witnesses; yea, sometimes two or three of them. I will not avouch a remainder of them yet in being (but it is very probable): if there be, they have lost their don, and are now ycleped only by the name of Punchard."—Westcote's Devon. This was in 1630. They were first seated at Heanton Punchardon in the time of Henry II. The last of the name there was Sir John Punchardon, who lived in the reign of Edward I., and left only three daughters. We also meet with them in Hampshire. "The Ellingham family of Pont Chardon were of some note in the county so early as the thirteenth century. We find Roger, Robert, and Oliver de Punchardon holding lands under King John and Henry III. They were benefactors to Beaulieu Abbey. In the list of Hampshire gentry made out in 1433 by Cardinal Beaufort, we find Richard Punchardon, who died 1466.—Woodward's Hants.

-- Cleveland

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