Percy Edward Pinkerton

Percy Edward Pinkerton was an author, poet, translator, linguist & traveller.  As a member of the late Victorian Lutetian Society, that was dedicated to the unexpurgated translations of novels by Émile Zola, Percy Pinkerton was the least known of the six-strong group.

Percy was born to a quite well-to-do family on 19 June 1855, at Manor Road, Stamford Hill, Stoke Newington, Middlesex, London; the second child of George Pinkerton (a metal broker) & Mary (née Easum). He had four known siblings; Eustace b.1852, Algernon Robert b.1853, Godfrey b.1858 and Mary Ramskill b.1860; there may have been others that did not survive beyond the next census and therefore there is no certainty of their existence; although this is unlikely as no other potential birth or Baptism records have been discovered.

Percy was seemingly somewhat reclusive during his life and tracing his life history has been made more difficult by his lack of being in the U.K. at the time of some of the census records. So without additional information we can only make assumptions as to his whereabouts based on the limited evidence we have available.

We know Percy lived at various addresses in London & West London and travelled in Europe settling for some time in Northern Italy where he became an English teacher. Later in life and after his marriage to Emily Woodgates, he and Emily first settled on the Norfolk coast before moving to Cambridge to be proximate to Emily's mother and aunt. 

Percy spent his last years at Porthleven where he was known to the local youth as "the old man with the stick".  Initially he lived at Yacht House in Breageside with Emily, but after her death, he spent his final seven/eight years at Ealing House where he passed away on August 31st 1946.     

Evidence confirms that Percy’s grandfather was the heretofore celebrated, and oft written about, Scottish missionary, the Rev. Dr. Robert Pinkerton, D.D. [Doctor of Divinity] (1780-1859) who was a Principal Agent of the British and Foreign Bible Society (BFBS). A respected missionary, linguist, translator and author of several books including; “The Present State of the Greek Church in Russia” (1816), and “RUSSIA or Miscellaneous Observations on the past and present state of that country and its inhabitants” (1833); Dr. Pinkerton travelled widely, especially in Russia, Europe and Greece encouraging the setting up of Bible Societies, writing copiously about his travels and translating other authors’ works from Russian, Greek and other languages.

Given that official registration of births, marriages & deaths (BMD) only began in the U.K. upon the Reign of Queen Victoria in 1837, and that Parish & Foreign records are few, and none of the writings of neither Dr Pinkerton nor his biographers refer to his family life; except for some entries in The Gentleman’s Magazine, we have no biographically documented evidence or official records (i.e. other than Parish) that confirm his birth, marriage or issue.

However, I have proven conclusively that Dr Pinkerton was Percy's grandfather and this proof is given in the genealogical research paper (see Genealogy).  Unfortunately, in some sections of my text I have had to redact those elements that, whilst known to me, are subject to copyright.  

Inevitably, whilst researching Percy, other facts about his close family do arise and where sensible I have included their genealogical records/information too.