THE FIRE KINDLERS '
THE STORY OF THE PURKIS FAMILY
In researching the
''Purkis'' family history we came across a book entitled 'The Fire Kindlers - The Story Of
The Purkis Family'. The author is Leslie S. Purkis who was resident in Canada at the time
of writing the book in the late 1930s
Here are a few of the
notable comments taken from the book that relate to our subject of Purkis the Charcoal
The author suggests that the
origin of the name Purkis comes from the Greek, Purkaeus, meaning The Fire Kindler.
So how did a Greek Fire
Kindler end up in Britain? The author believes that a Greek settlement was founded in
Winchester for the purpose of trading their rich woven cloths for hides and that the trade
was so successful that the buyers settled permanently. Clearly the Greeks brought their
fire kindler with them.
In an early chapter is
included this little poem and the hint of a ghostly tale:
" Eight hundred years
As I have heard men say
A King rode in the forest
His royal stag to slay;
Through brier and brake
the huntsman's horn
Rang with a cheerful
But instead of a royal
stag that day
The King of England fell.
Was this the first recorded
case of an anti-hunt demo?
And the hint of a ghost
' It is said that about
midnight on August the second every year a ghostly procession may be seen anywhere along
what is known as the King's Lane.'
The King's Lane referred to
is the route that the charcoal burner Purkis was supposed to have taken to get to
Winchester as he carried his gruesome burden on his cart.
The book chronicles the
arrival and departures of members of the Purkis family throughout the ages and their more
notable achievements, but as our intention is to focus on the charcoal burner we will not
detail this history here. One thing is of note, that ' Purkis ' remains a common name in
Hampshire and Purkis family was associated with charcoal burning at Castle Malwood ( near
Stoney Cross in the New Forest ) right up to the end of the nineteenth century.
The explanation as
to why we have decided to reproduce the work of Leslie Purkis for the internet lies in
the words, taken from ' The Foreword ' of the book:
' I have a dual
purpose in telling the story; first to give to the present and future all the interesting
information I have been able to gather concerning our family in the past; second, and more
important, to uplift and make clear to all, to our own family and no less to the whole
human family, the spiritual light that shines from the lives of our forefathers-a light
which came from on high and leads to heaven; a light by no means peculiar to our family,
but one which shines everywhere, though men perceive it not; yet which is coloured with a
singularly beautiful inspiration in the story of our fathers. '
WOULD LIKE TO THANK THOSE OF THE PURKIS FAMILY WHO HAVE CONTACTED US
AND OFFERED THEIR SUPPORT AND APPROVAL OF OUR DECISION TO PUBLISH 'THE
FIRE KINDLERS' ON THE WEB. THIS THANKS GOES ESPECIALLY TO THOSE WITH
A CLOSER FAMILY RELATIONSHIP TO THE AUTHOR LESLIE PURKIS.
TO READ THE FULL CHAPTERS
CLICK ON ' THE FIRE KINDLERS FOREWORD ' OR ' CHAPTER I ' OR ' CHAPTER 2 ' ETC IN THE
COLUMN OF LINKS ON THE RIGHT.