The Pinks of East Meon
In 2011 Richard Pink made contact through the village website, enquiring of the History Group about his family, who had lived in East Meon for several generations (although there is no remaining Pink in the village). Richard had already done a great deal of research, but the Group, and in particular David Hopkins, was able to help him add to his knowledge. We met him when he came to the Flower Festival in June 2012 and visited the House Histories exhibition; since when he has written a full report on his researches.For the source materials, including this account, on the online archive, click here
The Sunderland connection
Richard was born and still lives in Middlesbrough, now thought of as an industrial town but with a history which reaches back a long way. Richard discovered, through Reverend Terry Louden’s history of the early church in East Meon (click here), that Christianity may have been brought to this village by St Wilfrid, Bishop of Northumberland in the 7th century. Wilfrid’s monastery, St Peter’s, was founded in Monkwearmouth in Sunderland where, by chance, a James Pink was married in 1836. Bear in mind that families tended to repeat the same Christian names time and again ….
This James Pink’s occupation was variously given as a mariner, shipwright and carpenter. In the 19th century, Sunderland was one of the biggest shipbuilding centres in Britain and it attracted workers from far and wide – including, it would appear, from Hampshire. Of his eight children, the eldest son, Edward Pink, was born in 1838 and was a shoemaker; he appears in the census of 1881, with his wife and 3 of his children, plying his trade in Alton, Hampshire. Also on the 1881 census, Edward’s eldest son, James William Pink is recorded as a Royal Marine, who was in the Royal Naval Hospital, Haslar, Alverstoke, Hampshire. So this branch of the Pink family had a Hampshire connection.
It was the fourth child of James and Margaret, Samuel George Pink, who moved from Monkwearmouth to Middlesbrough, around 1878, with his wife and 5 children, where they had a further 7 children. Samuel George Pink was Richard’s great great grandfather. His occupation was carpenter and shipwright.
However, Richard has tracked down another James Pink, who was married in Hinton Ampner in Hampshire in June 1817 to Elizabeth Brier, who subsequently had several children. However, there is still further confusion surrounding the name James Pink. From the Parish Registers of All Saints, East Meon, Richard discovered another James Pink, this one baptised in East Meon in 1816. The reason he had not found this James Pink previously was because he was illegitimate and was listed in the database under his mother’s name, Elizabeth Tull. The baptism entry reads:
25th August 1816 James Pink son of illegitimate Elizabeth Tull of East Meon, pauper, F Dunderdale officiating minister.
It was not until the following year that his parents were married:
21st January 1817 James Pink and Elizabeth Tull married by Banns by Dunderdale Curate in presence of Robert Smith and Sarah Chace.
This couple also had children: Jane, born around 1820, Samuel, born around 1826, Henry, born around 1828, Mary, born around 1832, and Eliza, born around 1835. A baptism entry reads:
6th March 1825 William son of James & Elizabeth Pink, East Meon, Maltster. Spencer Rodney Drummond officiating Minister.
Why two of the children were baptised at All Saints Church and the others were not, may have something to do with the religion of their parents. A James Pink of East Meon applied for a dissenter’s meeting house certificate on 16th February 1828 (also Robert Pink of East Meon applied for his house to be used as a dissenting meeting house in 1844). An illegitimate girl was baptised at the East Meon Church in this year:
16th September 1828 Ellen dr of James Pink East Meon Maltster and Ann Abburrow Hambledon.
Therefore, there were two James and Elizabeth Pink families in Hampshire at this time. Both couples were married in 1817 and both had sons named James and William. In order to verify his findings, it was necessary for Richard to examine both families and try to trace both family histories.
William Pink, surgeon
The James Pink who married Elizabeth Tull was the son of William and Sarah Pink, the father’s occupation being surgeon. (The confusion does not end there; there was another William and Sarah Pink who lived in East Meon in the latter part of the eighteenth century. This William Pink was a farmer and his marriage produced at least ten children, the last one, also a James Pink, died only a few months old in 1784.) Our William Pink, the surgeon, had his second child, Sarah, baptised in East Meon on 26th September 1785.
There is a reference in the Hampshire Directory of 1784, to a William Pink in Alresford recorded as a “Surgeon and Man-midwife”. From the East Meon Memorial transcriptions online:
To the memory of William Pink who departed this life 15 Sept 1819 age 59, also Sarah his Wife who departed this life 23 Oct 1830 age 74, also 3 of their children, Sarah, eldest daughter, Jane 2nd daughter & William their infant son.
It seems likely that William Pink practised as a surgeon in Alresford and had his first child there, before moving to East Meon. There is a possible reference to William in the late eighteenth century from the Star, from Wednesday 24th October 1798:
Finchdean Volunteers. William Pink, Gent. to be surgeon.
William Pink died in 1819 and his wife Sarah died in 1830, aged about 70. William Pink’s death was reported in the Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle on 20th September 1819:
Died, on Wednesday, suddenly, Mr Pink, Surgeon, of East Meon.
The family in trouble
After his death, the Pink family appear to have suffered financial difficulties, land was sold and surrendered, as the following newspaper extracts show:
James Pink’s partner in these transactions is probably one of the Barnard family that was linked to the Barnards Cottages on East Meon High Street.
William Pink owned Duncomb Farm, but after his death, this, too, had to be sold. Perhaps James Pink was unsuccessful as a maltster and this meant that he had to sell off the land he had inherited. At around this time, James and his family moved from East Meon to Ramsdean, and James’ occupation changed to agricultural labourer.
William Pink’s will from 11th May 1813 names three executors, including a James Andrews Minchin of Petersfield. The History Group helped Richard establish that William Pink had married Sarah Minchin in Portsea on 24th April 1781, and that the witnesses to the will were cousins of Sarah’s, Thomas Andrews Minchin, an Attorney and Banker, and Thomas Minchin, who had a successful career in the Navy. James Andrews Minchin was a notable figure in the area. The Minchins had returned from Ireland, where they had acquired land as a result of service in Cromwell’s Army.
Unlike his brother James, William Pink’s second surviving son George (1794-1886) appears to have prospered. He was a surgeon in East Meon from at least 1841 until the 1870s. (It took about seven years to qualify as a surgeon and it must have cost William a lot of money to pay for George’s apprenticeship.)
White’s History, Gazetteer and Directory of Hampshire 1878 includes a reference to George Pink who was still active as the “surgeon and medical officer” for East Meon. He was recorded on the 1881 census as a retired surgeon. The census records also show that he was a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, a licensed apothecary and a GP.
The tithe apportionments for 1852/53, supplied by the History Group, show that George Pink owned land and property in East Meon and Frogmore, including the substantial house in which he lived, now known as “Brooklyn”, next to Glenthorne House on the High Street.
George Pink had married Ann Guy at All Saints, East Meon on 4th August 1832. The Guys were a prominent and well-to-do East Meon family. George and Ann had six children, three of whom died in infancy. Ann died young, at the age of 38, and her passing was recorded in the Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle on 23rd February 1850:
DIED. Pink – On Tuesday last, Ann, wife of George Pink, Esq., Surgeon, of Eastmeon, much regretted by her family and a large circle of friends.
George Pink’s brother-in-law, George Guy, was also a surgeon at East Meon, but he died in 1846 at the age of 29. Since George Pink had only one son who died in infancy, it may be that George Guy was apprenticed to him.
That George Pink continued to own land in East Meon is confirmed by a list of property owners in the Petersfield area from the Hampshire Telegraph of 1876. This lists all the landowners in East Meon, including a Richard Pink.
The tithe apportionments further show that George Pink let a cottage in Frogmore to William Weeks Jr, who was an executor of William Pink’s will in 1813, and that he let Bridge House in Frogmore to William Kille. The tithe apportionments also list Samuel Kille as letting a cottage to “Henry Pink and others”.
George Pink appears to have had a close association with the Kille family of East Meon. From the census records, Allan G Kille was his groom in 1861 and Walter Kille (aged 5) is recorded as a visitor on the 1871 census. Towards the end of his life, in the 1881 census, George Pink is recorded as lodging with the Kille family:
Village Caleb Kille 42 Carpenter East Meon
Hephzibah Kille 39 East Meon
Walter Kille 15 Carpenter East Meon
Nun Kille 11 Scholar East Meon
Ernest Kille 9 Scholar East Meon
Clement Kille 7 Scholar East Meon
George Kille 5 Scholar East Meon
Arthur Kille 13 Carpenter East Meon
George Pink 86 Retired Surgeon East Meon
There were other Pinks of East Meon, such as Richard Pink the miller, Robert Pink from the Isle of Wight, or Henry Pink and his family in Frogmore – and there have been Pinks living in East Meon for several hundred years. For instance, Nicholas Pynke, “yeoman of Oxenbourne”, died in 1570. Glenthorne House, one of the largest in the village was owned in 1729 by Robert Pink,, in 1757, by his son Thomas Pink, then in 1779, by his son Thomas Pink, who surrendered it that year to John Hawkins …”
Hampshire Record Office holds an enormous amount of information on property ownership and transactions relating to the Pink family going back to the mid-seventeenth century. It is possible that the family had been engaged in the Malt trade previously. A 1728 gift by the Pink family of “le Malthouse” for the use of the poor is documented:
Tourn of Hock, 1 Geo II. Admission of Robert Pincke, Stephen Steele Stephen Woodman, William Baker, Robert Stale, John Silvester, Joseph Terrell and Stephen Tulett to a close containing an acre now or late an orchard called Backclose with a cottage built thereon lying on the east of Duncombe Lane and also a house called le Malthouse, for the use of the poor of the parish of East Meon in the tithing of Meon Manor/ except and reserved to Thomas Pinke his heirs and assigns a tenement lying on the west of le Malthouse now in the occupation of John Long, and the use of a well pertaining to a cottage and house called le Malthouse by surrender of Thomas Pinke.
The book of court rolls extracts shows that the Bottle Ale House in East Meon was in the possession of Richard Pink in 1764. Since this house was owned by George Pink in 1852, it may show a connection between Richard’s branch of the Pink family and the Pinks of East Meon that dates to before William Pink the surgeon.
Work in progress
It would appear that the only way to sort out the confusion of surrounding the various Pink families with any certainty is to map all the Pinks who were either born in East Meon or lived there. Richard is only in the early stages of this task, starting with the nineteenth century. One interesting fact that has already emerged is that Sir William Pink of Shrover Hall, Cosham, who was Mayor of Portsmouth five times between 1875 and 1891, had a connection to East Meon. He was born on 15th December 1829 at Durley, near Botley, in Hampshire, the son of a farmer, Thomas Pink. Thomas Pink was born in East Meon in 1785 and, although he lived at Durley from about 1812 to 1841, producing thirteen children with his wife Sarah, the 1851 census shows that he lived at Oakshott, Froxfield, farming 120 acres and employing two men. One of his other sons, Richard Pink, was a miller at East Meon, appearing on the census records at Upper (or South) Mill in 1881 and 1891. In the biography of Sir William Pink on the History in Portsmouth website, it is noted that: “The Pinks were a notable Hampshire family having their family seat, for over 300 years, at Kempshott Park near Basingstoke.” (Pictured, below – Jane Austen was a visitor to this house.)
As for the James and Elizabeth Pink who married at Hinton Ampner in 1817, they eventually moved to Froxfield, where they appear on the 1841 and 1851 census. By 1861, Elizabeth, now widowed, was still living at Froxfield, with her grandson John Pink. Two of their sons, James and William, appear to have married sisters, Naomi and Mary Jane Hunt respectively. William and Mary Jane married in Portsea in 1856 and James and Naomi were married there in 1860. On the 1871 census, the two couples and their families were living a few doors away from each other on Sinah Lane, South Hayling. The occupation of the two brothers is given as agricultural labourer.