Pilkinton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The Anglo-Saxon name Pilkinton comes from the family having resided in Pilkington, a manor in the parish of Prestwick, Lancashire. There seems to be two early distinct entries of the various derivations of the name: William Pylk who was listed in the Assize Rolls of 1303; Peter Pylke who was listed in the Sussex Rolls of 1332 and from these an early Old English entry of Pileca which while being unrecorded was nevertheless found in Pilkington Lancashire. The other distinct origin included Alexander de Pilkington de Pilkington in 1205; and John Pylkyngton in 1470. Both origins point to the aforementioned town in Lancashire. [1]

Early Origins of the Pilkinton family

The surname Pilkinton was first found in Lancashire at Pilkington, a township in the parish of Prestwich-cum-Oldham, hundred of Salford. This distinguished Saxon family held a family seat in Lancashire since before the Norman invasion, traditionally escaping after the Battle of Hastings by posing as a thresher and hiding in a barn under hay and the flail hit first on one side and then the other, hence their motto 'Now thus, now thus' and the Family Crest of a mower." [2]

However, Shirley presumes that "the more probable scene of this event, where four knights of the family were in arms on the part of Richard III [at the Battle of Bosworth.]" Shirley continues, "A right ancient family, gentlemen of repute in the county before the Conquest." [3]

Another source phrases the early family history similarly: "A branch of the Pilkington family early became the principal proprietors, and few families in the county are more closely interwoven with its history than the members of this knightly house. The battle of Bosworth-Field proved almost as fatal to the fortunes of the parent stock of the Pilkingtons, as to the power of the royal tyrant Richard: and in the grant made by Henry VII. under the great seal, to Thomas, Earl of Derby, of divers manors and lands in Lancashire, forfeited by Sir Thomas Pilkington, was this manor. " [4]

The ecclesiastical district of Stand in Lancashire was home to another ancient branch of the family. "An old Hall of the Pilkington family, generally known as Stand Hall, whence the place derived its name, existed so recently as 1845, when it was taken down: on the foundation stone was the date 1518. This structure was erected by the Earl of Derby, to whom the manor of Pilkington had been granted by Henry VII. after the battle of BosworthField; and the building is traditionally reported to have been five stories high, but reduced many years ago to its late elevation of three stories, the highest of the three being elaborately ornamented by the crests of the earls of Derby, the eagle and child, and the legs of Man." [4]

Gilbert Pilkington ( fl. 1350) was the reputed author of 'The Tournament of Tottenham,' a burlesque in verse. He is thought to have also written 'The Feest' the perhaps 'The Story of Robin Hood and Little John.' [5]

Important Dates for the Pilkinton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pilkinton research. Another 192 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1520, 1576, 1561, 1576, 1527, 1599, 1561, 1562, 1561, 1564, 1565, 1638, 1691, 1568, 1631 and 1691 are included under the topic Early Pilkinton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pilkinton Spelling Variations

Pilkinton has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Spelling variants included: Pilkington, Pilkinton and others.

Early Notables of the Pilkinton family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include James Pilkington (1520-1576), Bishop of Durham from 1561 until 1576; Leonard Pilkington (1527-1599) was an English academic and clergyman, Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge (1561-1562), Master of St John's College, Cambridge (1561-1564); Francis Pilkington (c.1565-1638), an English composer, lutenist and singer...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pilkinton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Pilkinton family to Ireland

Some of the Pilkinton family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pilkinton migration to the United States

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Pilkintons to arrive on North American shores:

Pilkinton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Pilkinton, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [6]

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  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
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