Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2008-03 > 1205592025

From: Derek Howard <>
Subject: Re: Sir Paunettus, kinsman to Edward the Black Prince: Clue to ancestry of Paonet de Ruet?
Date: Sat, 15 Mar 2008 07:40:25 -0700 (PDT)
References: <><><Cq5Bj.24092$><> <> <j_NBj.24793$><><1xOCj.26094$><> <ncQCj.26131$>

On Mar 15, 2:30 pm, "Peter Stewart" <> wrote:
> <> wrote in message
> news:...
> > If Paon "almost certainly" meant peacock then we might expect
> > people in those days to know that and accordingly Latinize it as
> > Pavo. We might likewise expect Italians to use a form like Pavone
> > (unless Paon could be some dialect variant - any Italian experts
> > here?).
> > I don't think we can say anything (pea)cocksure about this name
> > at all.
> Very true, Tish.
> Peacocks are creatures of habit, who repeat behaviours day after day until
> eventually they die from the effort of the one change they can't avoid, the
> need to grow a new tail each year. Historians tend to similar ways,
> repeating each other's notions that take their fancy until the toil of
> processing new ideas in the end is overwhelming.
> No Italian would have written "Paonus" for a name that meant peacock - and
> we have seen two examples of Paonus to date, that turned up without a
> systematic search. Clearly this was a proper name, as "dominus Paonus" on
> diplomatic business for Ravenna was hardly likely to be called by a
> nickname, much less one from the bestiary.
> Peter Stewart

No one is cock sure of anything. I prefaced my note with a comment
about not pointing to conclusions. People should read. However, I have
not come across a stream of people in the Belgian provinces using
"paon" or anything like as a first or nickname. On the other hand I
have seen references in chronicles to the bird and I pointed to a
concentration of peacock heraldic displays in Hainault. The only other
well known bearer of a panache of peacocks' feathers was the Duke of
Austria. While there are a few other individuals throughout Europe
with peacock feathers at that date, I consider that the concentration
in this area is possibly worthy of note. Nothing more.

Again, on the other hand, you may have a point about Italy -
suprisingly. Hainault is a long way from Italy and I would not
normally consider a different country, different culture so readily
useable as evidence one way or another. However, on 6 Oct 1313 there
was a priviledge accorded by count Guillaaume (1st) of Hainault to
three Lombard merchants to install themselves in the town of Ath. They
included one Barthélemy Paon. [Inventaire analytique du chartier de la
Trésorie des comtes de Hainaut, ed Wymans, Bruxelles 1985, p 111]It is
indeed just possible there is a connection to that surname. It is not
though until a century or two later that we see the occasional
occurence of the surname Payen in the area and there are no other
obvious inspirations for the use of paon in Hainault.

Remember, we are not searching for someone called simply Paon but
using it or its diminutive as a secondary name with a number of other
clues as to possible indentity. The clues need reading together. I
doubt whether this question is soluble.

Derek Howard

This thread: