GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2010-04 > 1271140467
From: melanie chesnel <>
Subject: Re: Palliser
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2010 23:47:10 -0700 (PDT)
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On Apr 13, 2:13 am, Renia <> wrote:
> Matt Tompkins wrote:
> > On Apr 12, 5:00 pm, Renia <> wrote:
> >> There are more Pallisers in Spain than there are in England, of that
> >> spelling. Pelissier abounds in France, but during the medieval period,
> >> assorted spellings were around. I have not found one Palliser in England
> >> prior to 1315, nor even a remote variant of it. Besides, the family in
> >> the Languedoc shares the coat of arms of the Pallisers of Yorkshire.
> > On Apr 12, 5:18 pm, Renia <> wrote:
> >> It's long been held to have been an occupational surname, but I think
> >> that is an error. In England, the origins are within a 30-mile radius,
> >> and the same was true even early in the 20th century, notwithstanding
> >> those who drifted in and out of London. This suggests a common origin
> >> for English Pallisers, rather than one actually springing from a "maker
> >> of palings and fences". The occupational word was still used in the 16th
> >> century, and the earliest "palisers" I have found, already had other
> >> surnames.
> > That the surname has not been found before 1315 does not mean that it
> > must have arrived from overseas.
> Indeed. It is only a theory, and one of a few I am working on.
> > Many English surnames were not
> > adopted until the fourteenth century, or in the north of England until
> > even later, and it is not at all uncommon for surnames of undoubted
> > English origin not to be recorded before the early fourteenth
> > century. Especially peasant surnames (my own name, Tompkins, is an
> > example).
> I have the full run of the published Wakefield Court Rolls and the court
> rolls for the village in the parish where the armigerous Pallisers
> lived. There are many surnames in them, from the earliest times. Some
> people are even identifiable by different "surnames". Maybe the
> Pallisers some of them.
> > Nor does an apparent origin in just one area of England mean that it
> > cannot have been an English occupational surname.
> I don't say it CANNOT be an occupational surname. I just suspect the
> occupational name of Paliser was adopted by the family, rather than the
> other way around.
> > To quote the late
> > great Richard McKinley, ‘There are some occupational surnames which
> > were originally found only within limited areas, and these include
> > some names which have been and still are quite numerous. In some
> > instances several different terms were in use to describe a single
> > occupation, with each term being current within one geographical area
> > and not generally found somewhere else.’ (History of British Surnames,
> > 143.) And of course, an occupational surname might arise in more than
> > one place but later die out in all but one.
> > In fact Reaney mentions another fourteenth-century occurrence of
> > Palliser, in Staffordshire – one Richard Palicer, labourer, who paid
> > the poll tax in Brewood in 1381. In the fifty years since Reaney
> > found his two fourteenth-century examples, in the Wakefield court
> > rolls and the Staffordshire poll tax, many more early records of these
> > types have been published and I suspect one or two other similarly
> > early examples could now be found.
> In the late 14th century, yes, but not before 1315.
> Thank you for the Staffordshire reference. That is a new one.
> > The Staffordshire Richard Palicer was a labourer, and from the nature
> > of the references to them in the Wakefield court rolls and the 1379
> > poll tax (in which they paid only 4d, placing them in the lowest
> > possible tax band) the fourteenth-century Yorkshire Pallisers also
> > look to have been fairly typical English peasants.
> We see labourers today as the lowest class of workmen, people without a
> trade, skill or profession. But in the 14th century and beyond, a
> labourer was not such a person, but someone who worked, probably on the
> land, perhaps as opposed to owning it. I can't remember the detail now,
> but I've seen someone (not a Palliser) referred to as a "labourer" when
> they were actually much further up the social scale and financially
> comfortable. In other words, labourers were not necessarily peasants and
> peasants were not necessarily labourers. The Black Death changed the
> employment nature of the country, and farm workers (or husbandmen) were
> able to charge a fee for their labour.
> > It seems unlikely
> > that such people would have been recent immigrants from Languedoc.
> The armigerous Pallisers of Yorkshire were up the social scale from
> peasants. They were free tenants with manorial duties. If a Palliser
> came from Spain or the Languedoc, it was possibly as someone's retainer
> or servant.
> > It must also be unlikely that such people were armigerous, so even if
> > they were immigrants, any arms used by their seventeenth-century
> > descendants are likely to have been a recent assumption and not
> > inherited from a Languedoc ancestor.
> In his will, one 15th century one had a silver belt and a helmet, so I
> imagine he was a soldier, and not a poor one. On the accession of King
> James VI, another was fined for refusing a knighthood.
> > By the way, the surname may have had a slightly wider meaning than
> > just ‘maker of palings and fences’. The Anglo-Norman Dictionary has
> > the following entry for 'paliser':
> > s. maker of fences: touz les forestiers, parkers, guarrenners,
> > palisers,
> > bondgardes de nostre forest GAUNT1 ii 330.
> > Although the meaning is stated to be ‘maker of fences’, the example
> > given rather points to a slightly different meaning - that a paliser
> > was
> > a forest official, presumably someone responsible for maintaining or
> > policing a boundary fence or pale.
> A comparatively recent French dictionary gave the meaning of "pallisser"
> as "one who attaches vines to a wall". From this, I take a "paliser" to
> be one who built wooden fence-like structures. But it would seem that
> the English "paliser" could have wider responsibilities, such as
> maintaining parks, such as Bearpark in County Durham.
according to Hachette the entymologie of all the french words to do
with "palisser" is "palis" - petit pieu pointu que l'on assemble à
d'autre pour former une clôture - clôture ainsis formée - this is
from the word "pal" -pieu dont l'extremité est aiguisée - from the
latin "palus" meaning stake. The english word pale -pointed piece of
wod for stake, fence etc also derives from "palus" via middle english
from old french "pal". This would suggest that if it were an english
occupational surname it must have been taken up at least at the time
middle english was spoken if not before from anglo french.