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William Paynel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William Paynel
Diedaround 1145 to 1147
OccupationBaron of Hooton Pagnell
Spouse(s)(1) daughter of William fitzWimund
(2) Avice
  • Hugh
  • Fulk
  • Thomas
  • John
  • Alice
  • possibly Gertrude
Parent(s)Ralph Paynel

William Paynel (sometimes William Paganel;[1] died around 1146) was an Anglo-Norman nobleman and baron.

Early life

Paynel was the son of Ralph Paynel, who was a tenant-in-chief listed in Domesday Book with lands in Yorkshire.[2] Ralph also held Middle Rasen in Lincolnshire[3] as well as lands in Normandy – Les Moutiers-Hubert in the Calvados region and Hambye in the Manche region.[4] Besides William, Ralph was the father of Jordan and Alexander. Jordan died before their father and without heirs. Ralph died by 1124, at which time William Paynel, the eldest surviving son,[3] inherited his father's lands including those at Drax in Yorkshire.[1] Other lands held by Ralph and William were Hooton Pagnell also in Yorkshire. The lands at Drax, combined with those at Hooton Pagnell, are considered a barony under the name of Hooton Pagnell, and passed to William from his father.[5]

Service to Matilda

In September 1136, Paynel's castle at Les Moutiers-Hubert was attacked by Count Geoffrey of Anjou, husband of Empress Matilda.[3] Matilda was the only surviving legitimate child of King Henry I of England, but at Henry's death in 1135, her cousin Stephen of Blois had seized the throne of England and secured Normandy as well. In 1136 Matilda and her husband contested Stephen's seizure of both England and Normandy,[6] starting a civil war usually known as The Anarchy that lasted most of Stephen's reign from 1135 to 1154.[7] By 1140, Paynel was a supporter of the Empress Matilda's efforts to gain the throne of England.[8] In late 1140 he was named Matilda's castellan for Nottingham Castle, which had just been captured by Matilda's half-brother Robert of Gloucester.[8] At the end of Lent in 1142 William Peverel seized the castle for the king's forces while Paynel was absent visiting the Empress.[9] After Paynel's death, his sons were also supporters of the Empress, and lost control of Drax for this support,[10] but by 1154 Hugh and Fulk split some of the English and Norman lands between themselves.[3]

Religious foundations

Paynel founded two religious houses – the priory at Drax in the 1130s and an abbey at Hambye in Normandy around 1145.[1] Drax was a house of Augustinian canons.[11] Besides his foundations, Paynel also gave gifts to Selby Abbey, Holy Trinity Priory in York, and the Abbey of St Etienne in Caen.[3] Paynel died around 1145 to 1147.[1]

Children and legacy

Paynel married twice. His first wife was a daughter of William fitzWimund. His second wife was Avice, the widow of William de Courcy and daughter of William Meschin. By his first wife, Paynel had four sons – Hugh, Fulk, Thomas and John. A daughter named Gertrude may possibly also be from this first marriage. The second marriage produced a daughter, Alice, who was Paynel's principal heiress. Hugh and Fulk received small portions of lands in England and also Paynel's lands in Normandy. Hambye in the Cotenin went to Fulk and Les Moutiers-Hubert went to Hugh. Alice received the lands at Drax and Hooton Pagnell, and married twice, first to Richard de Courcy and second to Robert de Gant.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Keats-Rohan Domesday Descendants pp. 1057–1058
  2. ^ Keats-Rohan Domesday People p. 342
  3. ^ a b c d e Dalton "Paynel family" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  4. ^ Loyd Origins of Some Anglo-Norman Families p. 77
  5. ^ Sanders English Baronies p. 55
  6. ^ Clanchy England and its Rulers pp. 97–99
  7. ^ Huscroft Ruling England pp. 73–76
  8. ^ a b King King Stephen p. 179
  9. ^ Crouch Reign of King Stephen p. 200
  10. ^ Crouch Reign of King Stephen p. 287
  11. ^ Knowles, et al. Heads of Religious Houses p. 162


  • Clanchy, M. T. (2006). England and its Rulers: 1066–1307. Blackwell Classic Histories of England (Third ed.). Oxford, UK: Blackwell. ISBN 1-4051-0650-6.
  • Crouch, David (2000). The Reign of King Stephen: 1135–1154. New York: Longman. ISBN 0-582-22657-0.
  • Dalton, Paul (2004). "Paynel family (per. c.1086–1244)" ((subscription or UK public library membership required)). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online edition January 2008 ed.). Oxford University Press. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  • Huscroft, Richard (2005). Ruling England 1042–1217. London: Pearson/Longman. ISBN 0-582-84882-2.
  • Keats-Rohan, K. S. B. (1999). Domesday Descendants: A Prosopography of Persons Occurring in English Documents, 1066–1166: Pipe Rolls to Cartae Baronum. Ipswich, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN 0-85115-863-3.
  • Keats-Rohan, K. S. B. (1999). Domesday People: A Prosopography of Persons Occurring in English Documents, 1066–1166: Domesday Book. Ipswich, UK: Boydell Press. ISBN 0-85115-722-X.
  • King, Edmund (2010). King Stephen. The English Monarchs Series. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-11223-8.
  • Knowles, David; London, Vera C. M.; Brooke, Christopher (2001). The Heads of Religious Houses, England and Wales, 940–1216 (Second ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-80452-3.
  • Loyd, Lewis Christopher (1975). The Origins of Some Anglo-Norman Families (Reprint of 1951 ed.). Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Company. ISBN 0-8063-0649-1.
  • Sanders, I. J. (1960). English Baronies: A Study of Their Origin and Descent 1086–1327. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press. OCLC 931660.
This page was last edited on 28 January 2020, at 19:54
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