Percy Edward Pinkerton

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Percy Edward Pinkerton (19 June 1855 – 31 August 1946) was an English translator and poet.


Percy Edward Pinkerton was born on 19 June 1855, at Manor Road, Stamford Hill, Stoke Newington, London, Middlesex.[1] He was the third child of George Pinkerton (1823–1899) [2] and Mary Easum (1823–1868).[3] His siblings were Eustace (b. 1852 Stoke Newington),[4] a member of the London Stock Exchange, Algernon Robert (b. 1853, Stoke Newington - d.1937 Rokeby, Tasmania, Australia),[5] the Architect Godfrey Pinkerton (b. 1858 Godstone, Surrey - d.1937 Kensington) and Mary (b. 1860 Godstone, Surrey) who married the solicitor Gilbert Mainwaring Robinson. Percy's paternal grandparents were Reverend Dr Robert Pinkerton D.D. (Doctor of Divinity)[6](b.1780 Foulshiels, nr. Selkirk - d.07 Apr 1859 Reigate, Surrey) & Dorothea, née possibly Theakston [7](b.circa 1786 Sarepta, Volgograd, Russia [British Subject] - d.1869 Kingston, Surrey). Percy had further Russian connections as all bar one of his father's seven siblings[8] were also born there. His maternal grandparents were Robert Hayes Easum (b.1796 Stepney, Middlesex - d.1866 Worthing, Sussex) & Elizabeth née Edlin (b.1799 Uxbridge, Middlesex - d.1878 Edmonton, Middlesex).[9]

In 1909 Percy married Emily Harriet Woodgates at Kensington, London.[10] and in 1911 they were living at Red Lodge, in Happisburgh, Norfolk.[11] Emily Woodgates was born at Putely, Herefordshire December Quarter 1868, the daughter of Rector, James Richard Woodgates (b. 1829 Honiton, Devon - d.1886 Thingoe, Suffolk) & Elizabeth, née Moor (b.circa 1845 Great Bealings, Suffolk) daughter of Canon E. J. Moor.

Emily died at St Michael's Hospital, Hayle, Cornwall on the 27 November 1938 and was buried at Porthleven Cemetery on November 30.[12]

Percy died 31 August 1946, aged 91, at Ealing House, Porthleven, Cornwall [13] and was buried at Porthleven Cemetery alongside Emily.[14]


Pinkerton published some volumes of his own poetry: Galeazzo, a Venetian Episode: with other Poems (Venice and London, 1886), which was praised by John Addington Symonds;[15] Adriatica (1894), At Hazebro' (1909) and Nerina, a lyrical drama in three acts (Cambridge, 1927). He also wrote for the Magazine of Art,[16] and in 1889 edited Christopher Marlowe's plays. However most of his literary work consisted of English translations of European songs and literature. He was a member of the late-Victorian Lutetian Society, a group dedicated to unexpurgated translations of the works of Émile Zola which also included Ernest Dowson, Havelock Ellis, Arthur Symons, Victor Plarr and Alexander Teixeira de Mattos.[17] He translated other works from German, Italian, French, and Russian.


German books

Italian books

  • Matteo Bandello, Novellieri Italiani. Twelve stories selected and done into English with a memoir of the author, 1892

French books

  • Memoirs of Constant, the Emperor Napoleon's head valet, 1896
  • Émile Zola, Restless House, 1924
  • Émile Zola, "Pot Bouille" 1894-95 (Lutetian House- London)

Russian books

Operas and cantatas



  1. ^ Baptism record 17 August 1855 at St Mary, Stoke Newington.
  2. ^ (b. 1823 Russia [British Subject] - d.1899 Kingston, Surrey)
  3. ^ (b. 1823 Stepney - d.1868 St. Pancras),
  4. ^ Baptism record 22 June 1852 at St Mary, Stoke Newington.
  5. ^ Baptism record 7 July 1853 at St Mary, Stoke Newington.
  6. ^ Father's occupation given on the marriage entry for son George & Mary Easum, 23 Apr 1851, St Dunstan and All Saints, Stepney
  7. ^ TBD - According to IGI records there were several marriages between the Russian resident Pinkerton and Theakston families.
  8. ^ Sophia Pinkerton (Percy's aunt) married Samuel Gurney Fry the penultimate child of Elizabeth Fry the Quaker prison reformer and philanthropist: IGI Record shows marriage in 1838 & further proven by 1851/61 census records.
  9. ^ Specifically 1861 Census Records for the Easum & Pinkerton families, BMD Entries & several IGI Records
  10. ^ FreeBMD index, Sep Quarter 1909 1a 408 & entry of marriage 23 Sept 1909 St James Norlands Parish Church, Kensington
  11. ^ 1911 census - Note: Percy's age has been incorrectly stated as 45 (he was 55) and Emily's birthplace is given as Putely, Middlesex that is probably an enumerator's mistake having read the entry as Putney.
  12. ^ Burial Records Kerrier District Council, Cornwall
  13. ^ The Times, 5 September 1946
  14. ^ Percy and Emily had no issue.
  15. ^ "It has individuality: the mark of a true poet, of a finely-gifted nature." See Kirk, A supplement to Allibone's critical dictionary, 1891
  16. ^ 'Cecil van Haanen', Magazine of Art 10 (1887), pp. 1-6; 'Ludwig Passini: A Painter of Modern Life', Magazine of Art 10 (1887), pp. 127-32
  17. ^ Denise Merkle, The Lutetian Society, TTR: traduction, terminologie, re'daction 16:2 (2003)
  18. ^ The Times, 29 January 1930
  19. ^ The Times, 1 April 1955
  20. ^ The Times, 15 November 1900

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