Select Palin Miscellany

Here are some Palin stories and accounts over the years:

Early Palins in Aldford, Cheshire

The village of Aldford, a few miles south of Chester, recorded the following Palins in the 17th century.

Thomas Palin
John Palin
Thomas Palin
John Palin
Edward Palin

Thomas, the first in this line, married three times and was said to have had six children.  John Palin appeared as a tanner in the 1711 Chester rolls.  A later Thomas Palin of this family, born in 1714, had his portrait painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds in the 1750’s.  It is still held by a descendant in Australia.

Edward Palin and Brita Gallagher

Edward Palin was the great grandfather of Michael Palin, the comedian of Monty Python fame.  Edward, born in 1826, studied at Oxford and by the 1860’s had become a don at St. John’s College.

In 1861 he was travelling in Switzerland and met by chance at a hotel a young Irish lady named Brita Gallagher some seventeen years his junior.  She had lost her parents during the potato famine, been sent to Canada on one of the infamous “coffin ships,” and was brought up there by a rich spinster who then sent her back to Europe to receive an education. 

Despite the age gap, Edward and Brita were attracted to each other, but nothing came of things.  Edward wistfully pondered in his diary “what might have been.”  However, they kept in touch and got married in Paris in 1867 when she attained the legal age of 21. 

Their problems were not over, though.  A strict celibacy rule applied to all senior fellows at St. John’sand Edward was forced to give up his position there.  But he did manage to secure a living as the vicar of Linton in Herefordshire.  The couple lived in some degree of comfort, bringing up their seven children with the help of a large domestic staff

William Mainwaring Palin

William Mainwaring Palin was the son of the engraver William Palin and was born in 1862 in Hanley, Staffordshire.  He served an apprenticeship at Wedgewoods and later was able to study abroad in Italy and France.  He began to exhibit at the Royal Academy in 1892 and continued to do so until 1915, establishing a reputation as a genre and mural painter.   He specialized in cupid subjects, fruit and flowers, fishes, birds and female heads. 

He painted McEwan Hall at the University of Edinburgh.  On the dome there are figures of the Arts and Sciences. Over the proscenium arch to the apse there is a huge allegorical scheme on the theme of Temple of fame with enthroned goddesses of Science, Art and Literature.  On the right of the arch is Minerva receiving the McEwan Hall and on the left Fame crowning Success. There are also figures of Perseverance, Intelligence, Imagination and Experience.

He was twice married.  There were two children of the second marriage, a son and a daughter.

The Palins in Pasquotank, North Carolina

The first of this line was Henry Palin Sr, a Quaker, who arrived in Virginia sometime in the 1650’s and in 1663 patented 450 acres of land along Newbegun Creek.  He was at that time one of the first settlers in the new Carolina colony.  His land later became part of Pasquotank county, North Carolina.  Henry died there in 1679. 

There were a number of Quaker settlements in the new colony and Quakers did not suffer discrimination there.  John Archdale, a Quaker, was its Governor in 1695 and John Palin, one of Henry’s sons, was appointed the Chief Justice of North Carolina in 1731, a post he was to hold until his death six years later. 

Henry had two other sons, Thomas and Henry.  Thomas, who married twice, lived onto 1733.  Henry died at a much younger age in 1699.  Known as Harry by his friends, Henry fell out of favor with the Quaker community in 1696 when he was accused of being a “procurer” in his sister Mary’s cohabitation. 

“Widow Mary Clark was the sweetheart of Henderson Walker and was living at Walker’s house in Chowan precinct.” 

Mary did marry again much later in 1709 to Joseph Glaister, this time with Quaker blessing.  Henry apparently married an Indian girl named Minnie-ha-Ha.

Palins in America by Country of Origin


Palin Granit in Finland

The story of the Finnish company Palin Granit began in 1921 when travelling stonemason Antti Palin built a base for his stoneworking.  At first the unhewn stone was transported to the small town of Loimaa in western Finland by rail and then driven by horse-drawn carriages to the stonework site.  The stones were loaded and unloaded by hand and Antti Palin crafted these stones into gravestones. 

The second generation initiated quarry operations and the business expanded greatly over the years while remaining family-owned.


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