TOP

The important family of Paisnel, Painel or Paganell, as it is variously written in French or English documents (latinised Paganellus), were Lords of Moustiers Hubert, in the arrondissement of Lisieux.

" Des Moustiers-Hubert Painals"
is named by Wace in his Roman de Rou (l. 13,630), in company with Avenel de Biarz and Robert Bertram the Crooked, as killing many of the English.

Le Prévost remarks that there are two ways of reading the above line "Hubert Paisnel of Moustiers," or "Paisnel of Moustiers-Hubert," and adopts the latter as the more correct, the Paisnels being the ancient proprietors of the district so called, a William Paisnel, who founded the Abbey of Hambie in 1145, making sundry donations to it derivable from his forest and castle of Moustiers-Hubert. He therefore suggests that the Painel of Wace was an earlier William, who is mentioned by Orderic as dying about the same time as the Conqueror.

In the Roll printed by Leland of the noble Normans who came into England with William the Conqueror, absurdly represented as specially the followers of William de Mohun, the name occurs of Hubert Paignel; but that is evidently only the copyist's interpretation of the language of Wace, and little doubt can exist that it was the William Paisnel mentioned by Orderic who was in the army at Hastings, and who subscribed a charter to the Cathedral of Bayeux in 1073. He is said by Orderic to have died "about the same period" as King William. It must have been a year or so before him, as Ralph Painel is the tenant in Domesday, holding forty-five lordships in 1085, and no mention is made of William, to whom he had succeeded either as son or brother. This Ralph founded, in 1089 (second William Rufus), the Priory of the Holy Trinity at York for nuns, on the site of a house for canons which had been destroyed by that devoted son of the Church, the Conqueror.

Either Ralph, or his son Fulk Painel, married Beatrice, daughter and sole heir of William Fitz Ansculph, a probable companion of the Conqueror, and the possessor of vast domains in England at the time of the survey, the greater portion, if not all, of which she brought into the family of Painel, particularly her father's principal seat, Dudley Castle, in the county of Stafford, which was demolished in the reign of Henry II, in consequence of Gervase Painel, the then possessor, being in rebellion.

Added to this site through the courtesy of Michael Linton, who provided scanned text.