The Wrestling Baronet of Bunny

Photo:Thomas Parkyn's Monument in St Mary's Church, Bunny.

Thomas Parkyn's Monument in St Mary's Church, Bunny. NTGM011971

Photo:Bunny Hall in 1791

Bunny Hall in 1791 NTGM018018

Photo:Old Bunny School, Loughborough Road, as built by Thomas Parkyns

Old Bunny School, Loughborough Road, as built by Thomas Parkyns NTGM018019

Photo:The Rancliffe Arms, Bunny

The Rancliffe Arms, Bunny NTGM018022

Sir Thomas Parkyns

In the reign of Queen Elizabeth I the manor of Bunny came into the possession of the Parkyns family, of which the most remarkable member was Sir Thomas, the second Baronet (1663-1741).

It was he who "practically rebuilt the village”, erecting the school, restoring the hall, and enclosing the park by a wall built upon arches.

He also purchased the manors of Ruddington, Great Leake, Costock, Wysall, Thorpe, Willoughby, and parts of Keyworth, Barrow-upon-Soar and Gotham.

“This remarkable man”, says Everard Guilford (1), “is best known for his passion for wrestling, which he encouraged by the institution of annual wrestling matches held on a piece of ground, now in the gardens of the ‘Rancliffe Arms’.

“He published a book called Inn Play, or Cornish Hugg Wrestler (1727), made a collection of stone coffins, and was buried in one of them, while over him is erected a monument, which he had made during his lifetime, representing him as a wrestler overcome by death.”

This monument is located in the village church of St.Mary on the north side of the altar.

In 1795 Colonel T.B. Parkyns was raised to the Irish peerage with the title Lord Rancliffe, which peerage became extinct with the second Lord Rancliffe in 1850.

(1). GUILFORD, Everard L Nottinghamshire (London: Methuen, 1910)


This page was added by John Farjeon on 12/01/2013.
Comments about this page

Wasn't there a Sir Thomas Parkyns who invented a steam-powered tricycle(!) in the 1880s? Is he related to the Parkyns of Bunny?

By Tim Warner
On 15/01/2013

Referring to Comment above: There was a Parkyns-Bateman steam tricycle of 1881 which used a petrol-fired boiler to power a 2-cylinder engine. (Its sometimes claimed as the first petrol-driven vehicle!). I think the Science Museum has one in London, but don't know whether the Parkyns concerned was connected with the Notts family

By Martin Steel
On 26/02/2014

This gentleman was my direct ancestor. His portrait is on my page.

By Eugene Leguen De Lacroix
On 16/11/2018

The Parkyn family tree shows that there was a John Nott Parkyn and also a Rev. John Nott Parkyn.

We have records going back to around 16thC.

By Kay Parkyn
On 11/12/2023

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