From Pinkeny, Pinkenay, or Pinquigny, now Picquigny, a town in Picardy, in the neighbourhood of Amiens, that in later times was erected into a Duchy for the honour of Chaulnes. A castle that had existed there as early as the eighth century became the head of a barony that gave its name to one of the greatest houses in the North of France, maternally derived from Charlemagne (Bouquet, Ord. Vit). Many of the nobles of Picardy followed the Conqueror, and among them were several of the De Picquignys. William Fitz Ansculph is one of the great landowners of Domesday, holding eleven baronies in different counties, comprising one hundred manors; many of them inherited from his father Ansculph, Viscount of Surrey, who had died before 1086: and from two other passages in the same record, it is ascertained that their name was "Pinchingi." Some say that William left no posterity; others, that he had one daughter named Beatrice, who married Fulk Paynell. The arms of this family are Or two lions passant in pale Azure. "Gilo frater Ansculfi," is also entered in Domesday as holding in capite in four counties; in Northamptonshire his barony of Wedon was called from him Wedon-Pinkney, and in the time of his grandson Gilbert was certified to consist of fourteen and a half knights' fees. He founded a cell to the French monastery of St. Lucien at his caput honoris of Wedon. His descendant Robert de Pinkeney incurred forfeiture by taking part in the rebellion against King John, who bestowed his barony on Waleran Tyes; but, like most of the other malcontents, was restored to favour and fortune on the accession of Henry III. Henry de Pinkeney and his son Robert were both engaged in the Welsh wars; the former had a writ of military summons to serve against Llewellyn in 1264; and the latter, "being in the King's service in Wales 10 Ed. I., had scutage of all his tenants by military service in the counties of Northampton, Bucks, Bedford, Essex, Herts, Warwick, Oxford, Berks, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Somerset:"—implying a wide range of possessions. He afterwards followed the King on his expedition to Gascony. We next come upon a blot on the family escutcheon. "Sir John de Pinkeney was hanged in 1292 for certain thefts and depredations, and his lands seized by the King, and delivered to Sir Robert de Pinkeney, against whom Hugh de Odingsells claimed them, together with half the manor of Long Itchingham in Warwickshire, by gift of Sir John. This Sir Robert has been generally considered the son of Sir John, but there is abundant evidence to prove that he was Sir Robert Pinkeney of Wedon, the Lord of the Fee."—Baker's Northamptonshire. He died about 1295, and was succeeded by another brother named Henry, who fought against the Scots, and had summons among the barons of the realm in 1296. Four years afterwards, we find his seal attached to the famous letter that was addressed to the Pope by the barons in the parliament of Lincoln, when he was designated "Henricus de Pynkeney Dominus de Wedon." But his barony expired with him. He was childless; and electing to make the Sovereign his heir, surrendered the whole of his lands in 1301 to Edward I: "Who, being an excellent Prince, many ill men made him their heir; whereas, according to Tacitus, a good father makes no Prince, but a bad one, his heir."—Camden. This would seem to include Lord Pinkeney in an ugly category. He certainly committed an act of injustice in the disposal of his property; for he passed over the claims of a younger branch of his house, that remained in Northamptonshire, and was then seated at Siresham. These De Pinkeneys derived from a second Ghilo, who held a fee and a half of the barony of Gilbert de Pinkeney in 1167. "In the Testa de Nevill, Simon de Pinkeney was found to hold two fees in Morton Pinkeney, and two fees in Sulgrave, Siresham, &c, of the barony of Henry de Pinkney; and in 1303, after the barony had been alienated to the King, Robert, son of William de Pinkeney, did homage and acknowledged to hold the manors of Morton and Siresham of that barony."—Baker. In 1337—probably on the extinction of the male line—they had passed to John de Elington.

Sherston-Pinkney preserves the name in Wiltshire. It is also found in Yorkshire. Dugdale, in his Visitation of the county, gives a pedigree of five generations of the Pinkneys of Silton-Paynell, commencing with Lancelot, and ending with Francis Pinkney, who in 1666 was thirty years of age. Their coat differed from that of the baronial line, for they bore Argent five fusils in pale within a bordure engrailed Sable.

-- Cleveland

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