This rare surname is of English origin and is a dialectal variant of the locational name Penketh, from a place so called in Lancashire, which is first recorded as "Penket" in the Fees of Lancashire in 1242. The derivation is from the British (pre Roman) "pen(n)", the Welsh and Cornish "pen", meaning top summit or end, and the British "cet", Old Welsh "coit" and the Welsh development "coed", a wood, thus in this instance, the end of the wood. Thomas Penkek, the famous Scottish doctor, was a monk of the Warrington monastery in 1487, and is mentioned by Shakespeare "Go, Lovel, with all speed to Doctor Shaw; Go thou (to Catesby) to Friar Penker; bid them both meet mr within this hour at Baynard's Castle", (Richard 111). Recorded in St. Nicholas', Liverpool on November 2nd 1795 is the marriage of Thomas Penquet and Elizabeth Jarvis. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jordan de Penket, which was dated 1363, Baines, Lancashire, during the reign of King Edward 111, "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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