James S. Mills Jr. - March 2015

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  • ID: I4941
  • Name: Peter Morley Perkins (Pierre de Morlaix) (Comte de Leon)
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 1303 in Bretagne, Morlaix, Normandie, France
  • Death: 1384 in Oxfordshire, England
  • _UID: 0EABF4BAD2C32B459FA2B8308B399F4A4208
  • Note:
    Because of all confusion about Peter Morley Perkins, the line will end here. The lines of Pierre de Morlaix are still here, just disconnected.

    Pierre was born in Morlaix, Bretagne, France. He died in Shropshire, Englnad. Perkins is thought to be an ancient patronym of Peter. A patronym is a name that means son of. So the son of Peter would be Peterkin, shortened in England to Perkins. The Peter Morely Perkins, is by tradition, the first of Norman immigrant to England. "Traditionally this man is said to have been Pierre de Morlaix, steward of the estates of Hugh DeSpencer....,the younger son of the Morlaix family of Bretagne, Frnace. He became embroiled in poltical troubles and fled to England in the train of the Spencers."

    So, Pierre of Morlaix became in England as Peter of Morely, or the Morely Peter. Since his father in France was also Peter, he became the Morely Peterkin, shortened to Perkins, or Morley Perkins. The source cited above gives his name as Morely, alias Perkins. Before the Norman conquest in 1066, there were many freeholders of land in England who owned land much as we do today, free of any restraint or other people's control. But because of the incessant wars, freeholders had to seek the protection of war lords and exchange freedom for security. So even before William the Conqueror, the essentially military organization of feudalism had taken hold. William seized almost all the great land holdings of the Anglo-Saxons. He parcelled them out to his barons, so that the meanest Norman could become rich, but always with a string attached to him. To enjoy their lands, they had to provide William soldiers and various services, buildings, castles, etc. These Barons then sub-divided the land and required the same homage from their sub feifs. So you had a pyramid of money and services peaking in the King. But to prevent barons from becoming kings in their own rights, William required all individuals in the entire kingdom to swear allegiance to him personally. He also kept control of the courts (called 'hundreds' and 'shires'. He further levied direct taxes on the manors and sent commissioners out to gather information on which to make the levies. These commissioners were the source of the famous Domesday Book.

    As everyone was attached to a liege lord, Peter Morley Perkins was attached to Hugh DeSpencer in the 1300's. This DeSpencer was descended from the DeSpencer who had been one of William's barons. The fact that Perkins continued in the service of the DeSpencers is shown by John Perkins 75 years later serving Thomas DeSpencer as his Seneschal or sheriff. This DeSpencer was the Earl of Gloucester who was a member of the group that tried to have Richard the 2nd restored to the throne after Henry the 4th had compelled his abdication in 1399. For this treason, Thomas DeSpencer was beheaded by Henry the 4th in 1400.

    This DeSpencer's grandfather had gotten himself into similar trouble back in 1326 when he fought for the King against the power of the barons. In 1327, the barons confiscated DeSpencer's estates and killed him without trial. In 1398, before Edward the 2nd abdicated, Thomas DeSpencer, Earl of Gloucester, had gotten Parliament to reverse the banishment and confiscation of his grandfather's estates. This petition revealed the huge extent of the DeSpencer's feudal holdings.

    The English law of promogeniture provides that the eldest son inherit all his ancestor's property, to the exclusion of all other children. This law did not survive in America for long. Note what happened in the case of Henry Perkins, who died in 1547. His older brother John inherited the Ufton Court Estate (land of about 1500 acres and a manor house that was built in 1470 and was still standing in 1970). So Henry moved to Hillmorton in Warwickshire. His English descednants, through his son Thomas, were little known, but his grandson Edward was the father of our immigrant Edward. In most cases, it younger, restless, dispossessed, sons who looked for adventure and fortune in America.

    His name indicates that although originally from Morlaix, Normandy, France, Pierre was part of the Celtic/Welsh group previously mentioned who migrated to England. During this time period surnames were not in common use. Everybody was known by some personal characteristic such as what they did, who there father was or where they came from, hence Pierre de Morlaix was from Morlaix, France. Attaining a high position within English society, Pierre became the High Steward of the Hugo de Spencer Estate of Oxfordshire, England (later known as the House of Spencer, of whom Princes Diana was a daughter).

    Pierre changed his name to the English translated version "Peter Morley" when Charles V, the Black Prince of France renewed the Hundred Years War with England. This war was disrupting English shipping, compromising trade with Spain and the Netherlands and persecuting English subjects on the mainland in many ways. Because of the French victory at the Battle of Hastings, Frenchmen became persona-non-grata in England. So to conceal his French origins, Pierre changed his name to the English translation, Peter Morley.

    Unwilling to end the heritage of the deMorlaix name, when Peter (Pierre de Morlaix) Morley married Agnes Taylor, daughter of John Taylor of Madresield, Worcestershire, England, they had a son. He was to be named Henry Pierrekin (meaning "first son of Pierre"). The "kin" suffix indicates the eldest son in a family and any subsequent sons are simply called with the suffix "son", as in "Pierreson". Hence, the first son is Pierrekin and the second son of Peter (Pierre) Morley would be "Pierreson".

    From Steven C. Perkins (SPerkins@interaccess.com):

    Peter Morley alias Perkins

    This page gives the Descendants of Peter Morley (sometimes Pierre de Morlaix alias Perkins from the Visitation of Berkshire 1665-66, in Harleian Society Visitation Series volume 56, pages 118-119, 258-259.

    Page 118, Perkyns of Ufton [MS. Ashmole 853, p.301]
    Shows a Coat of Arms, 1. Perkins, 2. Mychell?, 3. More, 4. Atmore, Impaling Eyston.

    Page 119, By Chitting and Philipott for Camden
    Supstes 4 R.2.
    [1] Petrus Morley alias Perkins de Co: Salopiae Servus [sic] Dni Hugonis de Spenser Dni de Shipton in Com: Oxon = Alice Taylor uxor eius. [and had]

    [2] Henricus Perkins filius Petri = [blank] and had

    [3] Johes Perking [sic] ar. filius Henrici vizit j. H. 4 (Senescallus Tho: Comitis Gloucestr: 21 R. 2.) = [blank] and had

    [4] Willus Perkins Ar: filius Johannis (Supstes 7 H. 5. at 5 H. 6) = [blank] and had

    [5] Tho: Perkins ar: fil. Willi ob: ante 18 E. 4. (38 H. 6. 1460) = [blank] and had

    [6] Johes Perkens filius Thomae. = [blank] and had

    [7] Thomas Perkins fil: Johis = Uxor eius filia & haeres . . . . More, and had

    Ricus Perkins prime filius obijt sine exitu [uvor] eius filia Mompesson

    [8] Willus Perkins = Uxor eius . . . . Wells de Com: Southt.
    and had

    [9] Franciscus Perkins de Ufton in Com: Berke ar: {{d. 19Sept. 1661, aet 79 (Neve's Mon. 85: Musgrave's Obituary, p. 20)}} = Anna filia . . . . Plowden and had

    Edouardus Perkins 2 filius

    [10] Franciscus Perkins filius & haeres modo supstes 1623 = Margareia filia Jo: Eston de Catmore in Com: Berke Ar: {Esquire}
    and had

    [11] Franciscus unicus filius aet: unius anni 1623, {ob:anno 1660 = Frances youngest dau to Hen: Winchcombe of Burghlebury in Com: Berks. and had

    [12] Francis Perkins of Ufton aet: 11: anno 25 Martij 1665.{{d. 10 April 1736, (G.M. 232; H.R.C. 31; L.M. 220; Musgrave's Obituary p.20)}} }{{ = Arabella Fermor}}
    Maria {wife to John Hide of Hide end in Com: Berks.};
    Francisca {wife to Edward Codrington in Com: Wilts};
    Elizabetha {wife to Wm Blunt of Felhouse in Com: Berks};
    Margareta {1st wife to [John] St George of . . . . in Com: Hants & 2nd wife to [Edward] Butler of . . .}.
    {Winifred wife to Arthur Maynwaring of Beech hill Esq:.}

    I George Underwood of Ufton did set downe this name Francis Perkins, & I testifye this latter Pedigree to be true

    Materials in {} from vol 56, p.259: "Certified by Francis Hildesley on the behalfe of Francis Perkins now in minority." Order of the daughters is uncertain.

    Items in {{}} from Musgrave's Obituary, vol 48, Harleian Society Visitation Series.

    From Jeanie Robert's web blog 'The Family Connection' -

    Sunday, November 11, 2012

    Pierre de Morlaix

    This blog article was originally going to be written about my ancestor John Perkins who left Hillmorton, England for Ipswich, Massachusetts. While surfing the net looking for clues about his ancestry I kept finding this incredible lineage which included someone called Pierre de Morlaix. Most Perkins genealogies start with the words, "I can trace my family back to Pierre de Morlaix". So who was Pierre and what do we know about him? (If you have read any of my other blog posts, ya know where this one is going)

    Pierre de Morlaix

    Pierre was born in Morlaix, on the Breton coast in the year 1312. This area was part of the Duchy of Brittany in the year 1300 and was under the control of John II Duke of Brittany and Earl of Richmond. He was from the House of Dreux, b. 1239 d. 1305, he was married to Beatrice of England, daughter of Henry III. Pierre left Brittany and first settled in Salop, or Shropshire, England.

    Moving far ahead in history, there came a time when the descendants of great men became gentlemen, yeoman, tradesman, and of course just farmers or tenants. Their ancestor, a Knight, had a "coat of arms" which he wore on a surcoat to identify him in battle. This coat of arms, which should have been passed down through the eldest son, was not deemed important or even necessary and was oftentimes forgotten. In other instances the coat of arms might be used by men not entitled to it for their own benefit or vanity.

    Coats of Arms, otherwise known as Heraldry falls under the jurisdiction of the College of Arms, aka the Herald's College. The College is responsible for the correct use and maintenance of Coats of Arms. (note I am not using the term "family crest" as there is no such thing) In 1530 King Henry VIII authorized the "Heraldic Visitation". The Heralds visited all the counties of England and sought out misuse of coats of arms and found those who were entitled to arms but did not know it. There were four visitations to the county of Berkshire, including one which took place in the year 1623. This visitation was recorded in a manuscript called MSS Ashmole 852.

    The heralds recorded genealogical data on the prominent families and institution in the county of Berkshire including the Perkyns family of Ufton. The herald was able to trace the Perkins family back to an ancestor called Peter who they say was alive in the year 1381.

    In the book called "The Four Visitations of Berkshire..." edited by Harry Rylands 1907, the findings of the Herald, recorded in the manuscript, are copied as follows:

    Petrus Morley alias Perkins = Alice Taylor
    de co. Salopiae Servius ( sic) Uxor Eius
    dni Hugonia de Spenser
    dni de Shipton in Com:
    Supstes 4 R 2

    Obviously this was written in Latin. It translates as:

    Peter Morley alias Perkins = Alice Taylor
    of Shropshire servant his wife
    Lord Hugh de Spenser
    lord of Shipton in
    Alive in the 4th year of the reign of King Richard II (1381)

    So what does Peter Morley alias Perkins have to do with Pierre de Morlaix, ah but you already know the answer to that or you wouldn't be reading this. Well once again we have to skip ahead in time to the late 1800's and early 1900's, a time when many Americans were researching their ancestors including those in Europe. In January of 1884 George Augustus Perkins published a book "The Family of John Perkins of Ipswich, MA. He seems to be the first person to put down in writing "my family history begins with Pierre de Morlaix". He states that Pierre was a Norman born in the town of Morlaix in France who became the High Steward of the estates of Hugo Despenser. Pierre married Agnes Taylor and they had a son named Henry, who on his fathers death became known as Henry Pierrekins.

    In 1890 Augustus Thorndike Perkins published a volume entitled "A private proof printed in order to preserve certain matters connected with the Boston branch of the Perkins family". In this book, this Mr. Perkins confirms the suggestion that Peter Morley is none other than Pierre de Morlaix. Where the two Perkins authors got their information on Pierre is unkown.

    A. T. Perkins states in his book that Pierre is probably a Norman of good education and that he was born either in England or Morlaix in France. Pierre, he says, is the high steward of Hugo Despenser, one of the most powerful men in all of England, and he goes on to say that there is some reason to believe that Pierre is also bailiff of Malvern Chase, once site of Hanley Castle, birthplace of Anne Beauchamp, one of the medieval worlds greatest heiress'. He neglects to give the reasons why we should believe his information. Mr. Perkins does not give the reader any clue as to the birth date of Pierre, nor does he mention the county of Shropshire, remember Petrus Morley is of Shropshire. He does however seem to interpret the Latin word Servius, which means servant or slave, to hold a different meaning, that of high steward.

    In January of 1892 Miss Mary Sharp published a book entitled "The History of Ufton Court", which includes genealogical information about the Perkins family. She too, traces the family to Petrus Morley alias Perkins, but does not mention the name Pierre de Morlaix. She interpreted the Latin word Servius to mean bailiff and says that Peter was the bailiff or manager of the estate of Shipton which belonged to Hugh Despenser III. She, unlike Mr. Perkins, notes that in the manor rolls of Madresfield, Worcestershire, in the year 1388, is found the name Agnes Taylor, daughter of John Taylor. Agnes Taylor was the wife of Petrus Morley.

    Miss Sharp's book was reviewed in a 1893 in a magazine entitled "The Antiquary: A Magazine Devoted to the Study of the Past" vol. 27 edited by Mr. John Charles Cox. While mostly showing appreciation for her book about Ufton Manor, the author chides Miss Sharp on her interpretation of the Latin words used by the Heralds in their visitation. He says:

    "We are amused to read that Ms. Sharp's interpretation of servus "bailiff or manager" of the estates belonging to Lord Despenser at Shipton. This is an euphemistic reading of the term which is not correct. When will pedigree-makers presumably Christians, learn that there is nothing derogatory in having an ancestor who was a slave or servant".

    (the story so far: Peter/Pierre Morley/Morlaix Perkins from France/Shropshire on the welsh border is employed by Hugh Despenser in Shipton and is married to Alice from Madresfield. FYI the distance between Shipton and Madresfield is 47.5 miles, the distance from Madresfield to the Welsh border is 42 miles, Shropshire is just to the Northwest of Madresfield, probably about 40 miles to the county border)

    In January of 1916 another book is published on the Perkins family, the author this time is Mansfield Parkyns, the book is entitled "The Perkins family in ye olden times". This book is really a series of letter that Mr. Parkyns exchanged with other Perkins researchers including Adolphous Thorndyke Perkins and Miss Mary Sharp. Although he too includes the ancestry based on the visitation of 1623 he cautions in his introduction that "the last two or three generations (within the knowledge of the persons who attested to the pedigree) may generally be trusted, beyond that they are useful.

    Some few pages later Mr. Parkyns goes on to say,

    "In the time of Henry VIII the heralds were getting so poor from general disregard of such matters that they started these "visitations" and traveled about like modern "bagmen" trying to get people to believe in the ennobling virtue of coats of arms etc. for the sake of their fees and did more mischief to history, genealogies etc. with their blundering pedigrees and coats of arms that can be imagined."

    On page 35 of his book he says that he has found evidence of the name Perkins in Madresfield in the year 1318, a Juliana Perkins is named in the Subsidy Rolls for Worcestershire He says that he frequently found the names Perkins and Mor or More, which is a Shropshire name, but never the name Morley. He also has his own interpretation of the word Servius. He believed that this meant Sergeant, as in Sergeant at Arms, a step below Knight. He did not believe that Peter was a steward, and certainly not a "high steward". He also make a very important statement, that the only knowledge that we have of either Peter Morley Perkins or his son Henry is from the Visitation. Those names cannot be found on any other document, period.

    Now to his opinion of Pierre de Morlaix. In Chapter 15 called Mistakes Corrected Mr. Parkyns prints a letter from A. T. Perkins who admitted that his book was full of errors concerning Pierre de Morlaix. Mr. Parkyns goes on to say there are no records which contain the name Pierre de Morlaix and that if he existed at all he was not Peter Morley Perkins of Shropshire.

    So this brings us to the more modern writing of the Perkins history by Mr. James Fulton Perkins. His essay on the Perkins family is one of the silliest pieces of writings I have ever seen. The biggest problem with his essay though, is that people are coping it and quoting it and perpetuating his errors. A big chunk of his essay ended up on Wikipedia, which made me rethink using that site as a source. I don't mean to sound harsh, but if you put yourself out there on the internet then you open yourself up to criticism.

    The first thing I noticed when I read the essay was the incorrect history. Here are some of the lines that jump out at me:

    By 1066 King Harold had come to throne of England and was enjoying peace and prosperity. However, the invasion from France and their victory found many Englishmen moving. Okay, did I mention I have a problem with his grammar as well. I think he means that England was enjoying peace, not the King, but anyway, Harold was crowned on Jan 8th, he was dead by Oct. 14th, fighting in the battle of Hastings. Doesn't sound like a peaceful year to me. I have no idea what he means about Englishmen moving and where did these Englishmen move to?

    Pierre changed his name to the English translated version of "Peter Morley" when Charles V, the black prince of France renewed the Hundred Years War with England.
    Charles V was the King of France, he reignited the Hundred Years War in May of 1369. The Black Prince was Edward, son of King Edward III and heir to the English Throne.

    Because of the French victory at the Battle of Hastings, Frenchmen became "persona non grata" in England so to conceal his French origins Pierre changed his name to the English translation. Hum, not sure what is going on here, the Battle of Hastings was back in 1066.

    Unwilling to end the heritage of the deMorlaix name when Peter (Pierre de Morlaix) Morley married Agnes Taylor, daughter of John Taylor of Madresield (sic) Worcestershire England, they had a son. He was to be named Henry Pierrekin, meaning "first son of Pierre" born 1340 in Shropshire and died in Hillmorton, Warwickshire, England. So I have multiple issues with these two sentences, the first of which does not even make sense. If Pierre didn't want the de Morlaix name to end, why wasn't his son name de Morlaix? Also, remember that the names of Peter and his Henry are only found in the Heralds genealogy and their surname was spelled Perkins. Henry was never called Pierrekins, which means "little Pierre" not "first son". No one knows when Henry was born, where he was born or where he died. The Perkins did not live in Hillmorton until more recent times.

    I could go on and on about the lack of facts or even logic in this essay, but I will stop here. Here is what I believe based on my research: there was no Pierre de Morlaix. There may have been a Peter Morlay Perkins and a son Henry, but there is no proof other than what was written by the Heralds. The Perkins name was found in Worcestershire by 1318 so it did not originate with Peter Morlay. If Peter did work for Hugh Despenser, it was in a minor role on the Manor of Shipton in Oxfordshire, Hugh III was dead by 1346, his estates were inherited by his nephew. There definitely was a John Perkyns, and his name is recorded and can be found in contemporary records. More about him later.

    see part 2 of my Pierre blog

    Comments welcome, even if you disagree. One caveat you must show your sources!

    My sources -
    Harold Rylands, The Four Visitations of Berkshire, 1907
    George Agustus Perkins, The Family of John Perkins of Ipswich, MA, 1884
    Agustus Thorndike Perkins, A Private Proof to Preserve Certain Matters Connected with the Boston Branch of the Perkins Family, 1890
    Mary Sharp, The History of Ufton Court, 1892
    John Charles Cox, The Antiquarian, Vol. 27, 1893
    Mansfield Parkyns, The Perkins Family in Ye Olden Times, 1916
    James Fulton Perkins, Essay on the Perkins Family
    Jules Frusher, MA Lady Despensers Scribery (blog) knowledgeable about all things Hugh de Spenser the younger
    Wikipedia (not that I recommend it)
    Excerpta e Scrinio Manerial de Madresfield (Manorial Rolls of Madresfield)

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    More Questions about Pierre de Morlaix

    In James Fulton Perkins' essay on the Perkins family, he writes about the origins of the Perkins name in England. This essay is widely copied and quoted. In a previous post I gave my reasons why I do not believe that Pierre de Morlaix existed. This is a continuation of that post. When I first read the essay I was mystified by some of his statements, his lack of proof, documentation, or even logical conclusions. But what is more mind boggling is that other readers just accept it without question and add it to their family history. I know this is a fairly long post, but I hope you'll read through it and come to the same conclusions as me.

    Since his essay seems to be the basis of so much of what you read about the Perkins family genealogy I think that it warrants a closer look. So lets pick this apart and see what comes of it.

    Perkins is one of the most notable surnames from the European genealogical research of Anglo/Saxon surnames, and its historical trail has emerged from the mists of time as an influential surname of the middle ages.

    What does he mean by the European genealogical research of Anglo/Saxon surnames? Is he speaking in general terms or to a specific study of names. What does he mean by "influential" surname? Who were those influential Perkins?

    This essay is intended to document the facts ...The writer's purpose was to clear up some of the errors, omissions, folklore and stories, which were uncovered during a search for family history.

    Excellent what we need are facts.

    It should be noted at the beginning that the original spelling of the name was not Perkins. Confusing to most, the name was originally deMorlaix as the manuscripts of this time period were, most always, written in Latin or French. The later translators Anglicized the name from deMorlaix to Morley.

    In this bit the author is saying that the name Perkins was originally deMorlaix. Is he saying that deMorlaix = Perkins, or de Morlaix = Morley. The later translators, (who were they) changed the name to Morley. The only time the name of this ancestor appears in writing is in the visitation of Berkshire in 1623 and it is written in latin. His name is written Petrus Morley alias Perkins. So why would his first name be in Latin but his surname is not. More importantly, how do you know his name was de Morlaix? I thought "de Morlaix" meant he was from Morlaix, France, as in Peter of Morlaix.

    Research of ancient manuscripts, which include the Doomsday Book by Duke William of Normandy in 1086 A.D., the Ragman Rolls of 1291-1296 authorized by King Edward 1st of England, the Curia Regis Rolls, The Pipe Rolls and The Hearth Rolls of England, found the first record of the name Perkins in Leicestershire, England

    Okay, so here he says that the name Perkins was first found in Leicestershire. Peter de Morley was from Shropshire and then Oxfordshire, he never lived in Leicestershire, that I know of.

    The name Perkins, in one form or another (i.e.: deMorlaix/Morley), first appears on the census rolls taken by the Kings of England beginning about 400 A.D.

    The very first census was taken in 1086 by King William. What is he referring to when he states that the name was first found in 400 AD? Again he seems to be saying that de Morlaix and Perkins are the same thing. In the prior statement he said the first time the name is found is in records relating to Leicestershire, is this a different Perkins family. Your right James, I am confused. If any one knows which of these ancient documents contains the name Perkins please pass it on.

    The family name Perkins is one of the most distinguished of the ancient world during a time of Kingdoms, Kings and Knights.

    Examples please, who were these distinguished men and what did they do? Sir Perkins, King Perkins, the Kingdom of Perkins...what is he talking about?

    If we are to believe Bede, the Chronicler of the Saxons, this founding race of England was led by the Saxon General/Commanders Hengist and Horsa and settled in Kent during this time and was a Anglo/Saxon race.

    Gobbly gook. This does not make any sense.

    However, there is evidence to support the claim that the name is of Celtic/Welsh origin.

    Bring it on.

    Based on British history we know that after the last Roman Legions left the continent in the early part of the 5th century the Saxons, Angles and other Low German tribes settled in Southeastern England around Kent.

    One glaring error, the Romans left the Island of England in about 410 AD. They did not leave the continent (of Europe). Angles, Saxon and Jutes came in waves and settle most of southeastern England.

    However, the Ancient Britons (Celtics) were the true natives of the area and it is an amalgamation of the Angles, Saxons and Celtic Britons who became what we refer to today as the Anglo/Saxons. The truth is that the Angles and Saxons may have "moved in", but the Britons were there in far greater numbers, thus accounting for the claim that the blood line is far more Celtic than any other.

    Therefore it should be concluded that the origins of the Perkins "Clan" are Celtic/Welsh.

    Okay, the Celtic Britons were there first. They probably did outnumber the Anglo Saxons, but what does this have to do with the Perkins name. How can you possibly say that the Perkins clan is Welsh. I conclude that you (James) have no idea what your talking about. And, I thought you said that Peter was from France. So what is all this about Celtic Briton?

    By the 13th century the family name Perkins emerged as a notable English family in the county of Leicester, where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity seated as Lords of the manor and estates in that shire.

    So far the author has told us that the Perkins name was originally de Morlaix, now he tells us that the name was found in Leicester in the century before Peter's birth, and by the 1200's were already a family of great antiquity. So were there Perkins in Leicester for hundreds of years before Peter? Who were these Lords of the manor, names please and what do they have to do with our Peter who came from France.

    They had branched to Ufton Court in Berkshire and Sutton Coldfield in Warwickshire, later branching to Nuneaton, Marston and Hillmorton, Warwickshire. The main stem of the family continued at Orton Hall in Leicestershire, where it remains to this day.

    You're right, the Perkins name can/could be found in all those places but Orton Hall is now a Best Western Hotel, if the "main stem" of the family lives there it must be pretty crowded.

    Notable amongst the family at this time was Perkins of Leicester. For the next two or three centuries bearers of the surname Perkins flourished and played a significant role in the political development of England.

    Enough with these notable significant people, who in heck are they! What part did they play in the political development?

    It is at this point where we pick up the story of the present day Perkins. The last generation to use the original spelling of Morlaix in or around 1331 was the family of one Pierre de Morlaix of Shropshire, England.

    The last generation? The only person who used the name was Pierre. Unless there were lots of de Morlaix's running around Morlaix in France.

    He appears to have been born 1312 in Bretagne, Morliax, Normandy, France and died about 1384 in Shropshire, England.

    I think this should read, based on a wild guess he was born in 1312 and what his date of death is based on, since, remember now, the only time his name is ever written was in the Visitation manuscript, there is no way to know when he died. The manuscript only says that he was alive in 1381.

    His name indicates that although originally from Morlaix, Normandy, France he was part of the Celtic/Welsh group previously mentioned who migrated to England.
    What part of this makes sense to anyone? Why does the fact that he was from Morlaix in France and named for the town of Morlaix lead you to believe that he was Celtic/Welsh. Am I the only one who doesn't get this?

    During this time period surnames were not in common use. Everybody was known by some personal characteristic such as what they did, who there father was or where they came from, hence Pierre de Morlaix was from Morlaix, France.

    Exactly, he was called de Morlaix because he was from Morlaix, France.

    Attaining a high position within English society, Pierre became the High Steward of the Hugo de Spencer Estate of Oxfordshire, England (later known as the House of Spencer, of whom Princes Diana was a daughter).

    Now this is a bit of wishful thinking. James says that Pierre was born in 1312. Hugh Despenser Sr. and Hugh Despenser the Younger were both executed for treason with a few weeks of each other in the year 1326. Pierre would only be about 14 years old, so it is implausible that he would work for either of them.

    Immediately after their deaths their lands and possessions were confiscated by the King. Hugh the Younger had a son, Hugh III, born in 1308. Hugh III was imprisoned after his fathers death. He did not receive his freedom and his pardon until Feb. 1332, at which time he made a pilgrimage to Santiago in Spain. In 1332 Pierre would have been 20 years old. The King eventually Knighted him and gave him land. Hugh continued to try to rehabilitate the name Despenser and eventually won favor with King Edward III, but he never came close to achieving all that his Father and Grandfather had. Hugh died in Feb. 1349, possibly of the Black Death. In 1349 Pierre would have been 37. If he worked for Hugh Despenser it would have to have been between the ages of 20 and 37. He was most likely the Steward or Bailiff of the Manor at Shipton. He was not a "high Steward" of all the Despenser lands.

    Hugh had no living children so his property was inherited by his nephew Edward, son of his brother Edward. Edward was killed in battle in, are you ready for this, Morlaix, France! Now where have I heard that name before.

    Pierre changed his name to the English translated version "Peter Morley" when Charles V, the Black Prince of France renewed the Hundred Years War with England. This war was disrupting English shipping, compromising trade with Spain and the Netherlands and persecuting English subjects on the mainland in many ways.
    So, I covered this part in my previous post, but it's too good to pass up. Charles V, the King of France, did renew the Hundred Years War in 1369. He fought against English forces led by Edward, The Black Prince, son of Edward III.

    Because of the French victory at the Battle of Hastings, Frenchmen became persona-non-grata in England so to conceal his French origins Pierre changed his name to the English translation, Peter Morley. (1312-1384)

    What!!!! The Battle of Hastings was in 1066, 300 years in the past. Why would he have to conceal his origins? This is nonsense. Did he speak with a funny voice to disguise his French accent?

    Unwilling to end the heritage of the deMorlaix name, when Peter (Pierre de Morlaix) Morley married Agnes Taylor, daughter of John Taylor of Madresield, Worcestershire, England, they had a son.

    Okay, he didn't want the de Morlaix name to end, so he and Agnes had a son. Like they were able to plan that or something. I don't want my heritage to end, so I'm having a son!

    He was to be named Henry Pierrekin (meaning "first son of Pierre", born 1340 in Shropshire, England and died in Hillmorton, Warwickshire, England).

    He was to be or he was. Actually, all we know is that his name was Henry Perkins, thats it, nothing else, nada. We don't know when he was born, where he was born or when he died. (but it probably wasn't Hillmorton).

    The "kin" suffix indicates the eldest son in a family and any subsequent sons are simply called with the suffix "son", as in "Pierreson". Hence, the first son is Pierrekin and the second son of Peter (Pierre) Morley would be "Pierreson".

    As above, Henry was Henry Perkins! And "kin" is a diminutive. It it means "little Peter".

    Henry Pierrekin altered the name further, again to disguise the French origin, becoming the very English Henry Pierkyn.

    Nope, all we know is that he was Henry Perkins. This is his entry in the genealogy:

    Henricus Perkins filius Petri = [blank] and had

    When Henry married his eldest son was to be called John Perkyns (born 1360 in Madresfield, Worcestershire, England and died 05 Jan 1400 in the same place); again the suffix to indicate the eldest but changed from "kin" to "kyns". John became quite well educated and began often signing his name as John Perkins. Now as the prosperous John Perkins, Esquire he attained the position of Lord of the manor of Madrasfield as well as High Steward of the deSpencers at the passing of his father Henry. Thus began the spelling carried by all subsequent generations.

    Not true the name continued to have various spellings, including the Parkyns of Upton in 1623. And John was not Perkins but Parkyns. There is just a few more lines to the essay, but it's just more of the same stuff.
  • Change Date: 11 MAY 2013 at 21:03:36

    Marriage 1 Agnes Taylor b: 1303 in Rutland, Rutlandshire, England
    • Married: in England
    1. Has Children Henry Pierrekin b: 1329 in Shropshire, England
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