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The Pryke's Page (That's spelt P-R-Y-K-E)

My surname, Pryke, is an unusual one, so I set out to track down some more information on it, and identify some "Prykes on the net". If you're any Pryke related info, or if you think some of this info is wrong, or you'd like to be added or removed from this page, then let me know at Andy(at)

What Does It Mean????

"To Ride"?

The Middle English Emar\xE9 i ( ) features the word "pryke", as meaning to ride -
                And ryght well kowthe pryke a stede
Interestingly, the introduction ( ) claims "dialect features in Emar\xE9 indicate a late fourteenth-century Northeast Midlands or East Anglian dialect" - and there seems to be a cluster of Prykes in Suffolk.

"Pryke" is also used in Henry Medwall's Fulgens and Lucres:
                Nay, we shall nede no horse ne mule,
                But let us just at farte pryke in cule.
( )

I didn't find an exact date, but it dates from early Tudor times (it's mentioned in "Drama in Early Tudor Britain, 1485-1558. Lincoln, NB: U of Nebraska P, 1995."

William Doyle (wwd(at) sent me the following snippet which seems to support the "Ride" theory:
                A gentle Knight was pricking on the plaine
                -  Spenser, Faerie Queene, I.i.1

Something else?

The word "pryke" is also used in the late 15th century play Robin Hood and the Sheriff. The stage directions and speakers are a modern reconstruction...

        [The Sheriff exits, and Robin Hood enters]
                      Robyn Hode, ffayre and fre,
                      Undre this lynde shote we.
                [Robin Hood]
                      With the shote Y wyll
                      Alle thy lustes to full-fyll.
                      Have at the pryke. 
                [Robin Hood]
                      And Y cleve the styke.
                [They shoot at the target, and Robin wins]
( )


The Sultan of Babylon a 15th century poem in an "East Midland dialect" uses "pryke" to mean "stir" - as in "awake"
        Hit bifelle bytwyxte March and Maye,
        Whan kynde corage begynneth to pryke,                  natural desire; stir
        Whan frith and felde wexen gaye,                                 wood; grow
        And every wight desirith his like,                                   person
45      Whan lovers slepen withe opyn yye                                       eye
        As nightyngalis on grene tre,                                    
        And sore desire that thai cowde flye,
        That thay myghte withe here lovere be:
( , )

It's a Dutch name?

I heard this theory when I was a child too.

Doreen M. Goodwins (nee Pryke) writes:

Uncle Ernest [Pryke] told me that he believed that the PRYKEs came from Holland, and landed in Fingringhoe Bay in Essex in 1773. And certainly, when we went to Holland we looked in the telephone directories, and saw many PRYKEs, although spelt PRIJKE and even PIJRKE.

"Arrow Head Maker" ?

David Pryke writes:

Pryke is an East Anglian name traceable back to Saxon times (Pryke = Prickie = arrow head maker).
My lot came from Stowmarket where there were two separate families (early 20th century). They all had large families and many walked to London to find work. Hence unsurprisingly most Prykes are in Norfolk, Suffolk and the South East.

"Tall, Thin, Man" ?

A couple of sources suggest "Tall, thin, man" as an alternative to "maker of pointed objects"

Historical Prykes

The Rev. Pryke was head of Lancaster Royal Grammar School for 21 years, starting in the 1870s. ( )

Frank Pryke wrote the "Journal of the Kismet Expedition up the Fly River under Sir Rupert Clarke" in 1914. The Fly River is in Papua New Guinea, and there has been a recent attempt to recreate the 1926-28 Northwest Papua Patrol , along the Fly. The book is mentioned in the bibliography. ( )

There was a Pryke and Palmer Foundry in 1860's London, you can see their very pretty coalplate %EXT%, and even buy a copy! Jason of has also written a little about the "Prykestar" %EXT%.

Honourable Mentions

Mark Pryke (mark(at) does a show on Amber Radio in Suffolk.( )

Susan Pryke has written a book called "Explore Muskoka Lakes". According to the blurb, she is "one of Muskoka's most enthusiastic historians." She's also a a politician in the District of Muskoka. ( )

Dr Janet A Pryke tells me that Who's Who mentions:
  • Sir David Dudley Pryke, 3rd Bt, of Maldon, Essex
  • Roy Thomas Pryke, Dir Educ Services, Kent County Council

Janet has also traced her own family tree (In Suffolk - near Ipswich) back to 1820!

Geoff Pryke is involved with restricted service licence (RSL) radio, particularly Radio Susy ( )

Julie M. Pryke recently had her first book, Domestic Violence and Social Work, published. ( )

Genealogical Interest

Prykes are mentioned in the following :

  • There are a number of Pryke's listed in these transcripts from the
St.Catherine's Marriage Index for Suffolk.

( )

How Many Prykes Make Five?

So, now to answer your burning question - just how many Prykes are there in the world, and how are the distributed?

Using a BT phone book CD, I estimate that there are about 500 Pryke's listed in the UK telephone directory. Birmingham has 4 people listed, of which one is me. Ipswich has 67 Pryke's listed! To me, this suggests a high concentration in Suffolk, as Birmingham's population (approx. 1 Million) is much greater than that of Ipswich (approx. 114,000). Unfortunately, I only had a small amount of time to use the CD, and so couldn't do a more thorough search. If anyone has any other figures, I'd be interested.

Graham Pryke (grp(at) tells me that his local phone book (St.Leonards-on-Sea, Essex) lists 4 Prykes, excluding his family.

J. Graham (John Graham Martin) Pryke (jgmpryke(at) writes: "I can tell you that there are very few in western canada. checking the calgary white pages (pop'n 875 000) there are none and in the vancouver white pages (pop'n 2 million) there are... [2 others excluding 2] ...relatives of my own."

Dr. Sam Pryke (prykes(at) writes: "Last time I checked there were only two Prykes listed in the Merseyside phone directory."

Pryke Distribution

These images are from the excellent Surname Profiler Website. They show the proportion of Prykes in UK counties at two points in time: 1881 and 1998. By visiting the site, you can see maps for any surname you enter. Thanks to both Kevin Pryke (my brother) and David Pryke for pointing out this site to me.

Alta Vista Search for other Pryke's on the web

Prykes in 1881

Prykes in 1998

Find a Pryke

Peter Pryke

Peter J. Lewis (Peter.Lewis(at)EC.GC.CA ) is trying to locate a Peter Pryke. "He would be around 63 years of age. He lived in the Fulham area of London in the 1950's. His father was the editor of a local paper. I also believe he had an aunt who was married to the trumpet player Eddie Calvert."

Relatives of Caroline Pryke / Leonard Pryke

Caroline Forgeron carolineforgeron (at) writes:
"I've just come across your Pryke website. I was born Caroline Pryke in 1969 in Maidstone. My father Leonard Alexander died when I was five but I know he had a son called Roger. I would like to contact him but don't really know where to start. Wondered whether you could post a message on your site and whether you had any contacts who may have my father on their family tree?"

Mahala Pryke

Eric Burnham (Viking196589778 (at) is trying to trace genealogical information on Mahala Pryke who married William Body around 1841. He thinks the family are mainly in Norfolk / Suffolk.

Please contact him if you know anything on this!

Netwise Prykes

Web pages and email addresses of Pryke's around the world. Please note that many of these addresses may be out of date, this section was last updated sometime in the late 1990's (Andy Pryke - 2002/11/14)

Adam Pryke solution_x(at)hotmail.comsniper0770(at)
Hey My Name Is Adam Pryke I Was Searching For My Name And Found Ur Site. I Am 16 And Live In The Cambridgeshire Area (2002/11/17)

Adam Pryke
Currently in Norwich, England.

"I live in Norwich, but my roots are from North London, although originally I believe the family was from Norfolk/Suffolk.

I concur that there are a number of Prykes in the Ipswich area - In fact a representative of a compnay called at the company where I work called Adam Pryke - I was amazed that there was someone else of about the same age out there with the same Name and Surname.

I have lived in Norfolk for 20 years having been brought up in Hertfordshire - Bishop Stortford.

There was a Julian Pryke at my School.

Scanning the entries - I believe I may be related to Dr Sam Pryke - That is if he has a father called Richard and a Mother called Julie - However I may be wrong."

Alan Pryke ALAN(at)

Andrew Pryke ??? andrew.pryke(at) ???
Durham, England.

Andy Neil Pryke Andy(at)
Currently in Birmingham, England.
Born: 20th July 1969 (The day Neil Armstrong landed on the moon), London, England.
Father Brian William Sydney, Mother Julie M. (JPryke1(at) Brothers Stephen and Kev Pryke (kpryke(at)
I edit this page.

Andy Pryke chp96ap(at)
Currently in Sheffield.
Born: 1st August 1969, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

Anna Pryke ALAN(at)

Anthony "A.T." Pryke ATANDBOOF(at)
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Antony Pryke ??? antony.pryke(at) ???
Currently in London, England.
Born 31st October 1970, London, England.
Father Ken William. Wife Rachel

Ben Pryke mikeroch_02(at)
My name is Ben Pryke, my dad Peter Pryke (of unicorn radio) is in the list, im from suffolk, and was suprised to read that there 67 groups of prykes in suffolk!! i'd be glad to let you add me to your list,

Clem Pryke pryke(at)
University of Chicago

Colin Pryke colin.pryke(at)

Colin Pryke colin.pryke(at)

Colin Gordon Martin Pryke cgpryke(at)
Student at the University of Victoria.
Born January 26, 1980, Richmond, B.C., Canada.

See entry for his brother, John Graham Martin Pryke (jgmpryke(at), for family details.

D. Pryke ??? d.pryke(at) ???
Plymouth, UK

David Pryke david.pryke(at)
Suffolk, UK

Doreen M. Goodwins (nee Pryke) C/o: Christopher(at) writes:

My maiden name was Doreen May PRYKE, born at Forest Gate, London, and I have been married for the past 43 years to The Reverend Christopher W.H.Goodwins, MA(Cantab), now retired, and living at Isleham, Cambridgeshire.

My father was Edmund James PRYKE, born at 660 Romford Road, Manor Park, London, E12.

He married Gladys Irene JEFFERYS, on 16 September 1934 at St. Michael and All Angels, Little Ilford, E12.

He had a sister Alice, an older brother Ernest, and their father was called Elijah Charles William PRYKE, a Clerk. I believe him to have been born in the Colchester area of Essex.

Sir William Pryke was Lord Mayor of London in 1925. His line of the PRYKE family still exists in the City of London, with a Baronetcy, Baronet PRYKE.

My Uncle Ernest PRYKE and his wife Florence had a son Geoffrey, and they all belonged to The Manchester Unity Order of Oddfellows. All of them I believe to have been Grand Nobles of their Lodges. I joined the Order when my aunt was Grand Noble of the St. Alban's Lodge.

I did know of the D (David?) PRYKE in Plymouth, because he used to buy Church Diaries from, us, when we lived at Tamerton Foliot.

Ethel Pryke SamDCane(at)
Born: Colchester, England, 1918.
Now in Fakenham, Norfolk.
"...One of 10 children, five brothers and as many sisters. they are Walter, Louise, Winifred, Kathleen, Arthur, myself, Faith (Ruby), Roy, Dennis, and, finally, John. My parents' names (Bethia [died 1970] and Walter [died 1936])."

F. Roger M. Pryke rpryke(at)
Born in Dawson Creek, B.C., Canada.
Currently at Delta B.C.
Practises law in Richmond.
See entry for his son, John Graham Martin Pryke (jgmpryke(at), for family details.

Fiona Pryke fpryke(at)
Armidale, NSW Australia E-mail (University of New England)

Gary Stanley Roy Pryke gary.pryke(at)

Geoff Pryke geoff(at)
Born Redhill, Surrey in 1957. Currently in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey. Son born Redhill, Surrey in 1987.

Graham Pryke grp(at) or gpryke(at)
Currently at St.Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, UK.
Born Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, UK, 15th July 1939. Has a number of relatives living in East Anglia (mainly Essex), 2 married sons living in East Sussex and one grandson.

Graham Pryke dataflow(at)
Ely, uk

Ian Pryke ian.pryke(at)

Ian Pryke ??? i.pryke(at) ???

Ian Pryke ??? i.pryke(at) ???

Janet A Pryke j.a.pryke(at)

Jenny Pryke jerseyjenny(at)
Liverpool, UK

Jenny Pryke jerseyjenny(at)
Liverpool, uk

Jerry Pryke jerrypryke(at remove this and replace with at sign)
I'm also a Pryke with family origins around Croydon, and further back around East Anglia. My mother used to send me up to her best friend in South Yardley every summer for a couple of weeks and it was there I became a Blues follower. I still follow their fortunes now and got to some of their matches at Southampton and Crystal Palace in previous seasons. Nothing interesting. Just making contact with a fellow Pryke!

J. Graham (John Graham Martin) Pryke jgmpryke(at)

Born in Richmond, British Columbia on 29th December 1975.
Currently finishing a BA in political science at the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Great-grandfather (Robert James Pryke) who moved to Saskatchewan from Suffolk, England in about 1908.

Grandfather Harold born in Saskatchewan, Canada and spent much of his life in Dawson Creek B.C. he now resides in Delta, B.C., a suburb of Vancouver.

Some of the family may have moved to New York.

Father, F. Roger M. Pryke (rpryke(at) Mother, Sylvia. Brother colin (cgpryke(at)

John T. M. Pryke jpryke(at)

Julie M. Pryke JPryke1(at)
Bradford, W.Yorkshire, England

Kev Pryke kpryke(at)
Currently in Bradford, W.Yorkshire, England.
Born London, England 6th July 1971.

K. Pryke P49(at)UWINDSOR.CA
Canadian Science and Technology Historical Association

Kelly Rodland (formerly Pryke) Kelly Rodland
Erie, PA USA

Just wanted to give you more info on Pryke's. My mum and dad came to America before I was born. We now live in Erie, PA USA My dad is Robin David Pryke My grandparents (who lived in London -- Tooting Broadway specifically) are Golden Leonard Pryke and Winifred Pryke I have a sister Nicole Pryke living in Pittsburgh, PA Whenever we go out of town we look in the phone book for Prykes -- i have yet to find one in New York City, Chicago, or Las Vegas.

Lisa pryke sunflower27(at)
Phoenix USA?

M Pryke-Davies m.pryke-davies(at)
Bangor, UK

Mark Pryke mark(at)
One of the Suffolk Prykes, now at Ceredigion, CYMRU

Mark Pryke mark(at)

Mitchell Lindsay Pryke (email was mitchell57(at)
Sydney, Australia.
His grandfather, Percy Pryke, emigrated from Hull in the 1920's. Brother of Stuart Pryke (s.and.b.pryke86(at)

??? Nicholas Pryke Productions ???
Oxford, UK

Nellie Pryke nmbpryke(at)

Peter Pryke ppryke(at)
Croydon, UK

Peter Pryke

Robin Pryke rpryke(at)
Rochester, Kent u.k.

Rosie Crosby (nee Pryke) rjc(at)
Originally from Suffolk, now on the Isle of Man.

Dr. Sam Pryke prykes(at)
Lecturer at Sociology Department, Liverpool Hope University College.
Grew up in Wallasey near Liverpool.
"Our branch of the Prykes is from North London but like many other families we came into the city at the end of the last century from East Anglia, the Ipswich area I think. I've heard my Dad say that it's the one part of the country where Pryke doesn't cause raised eyebrows."
"I am married to a Croatian woman from former Yugoslavia. If you know of any other Prykes with Balkan connections, no matter how tenuous, I'd be fascinated."

Sean Pryke pryke(at)

Simon Pryke simonpryke185(at)
Born in Ipswich 1975
Father Peter, Born 1947
Grandparents, William Stanley & Violet Elizabeth 'nee Warner'.
"I was born in Ipswich and my father was born here too. My grandparents had 13 children and they grew up around the old stoke area of Ipswich (near the docks). It seems there are more Pryke's than I thought out there!"

Steve Pryke steve(at)
London N1, Born Hendon, Middlesex

Stuart Pryke s.and.b.pryke86(at)
I have spent much time over the last 5 or so years researching my own particular branch of the Pryke family tree and would be most happy to hear from other Pryke's who have done the same.

Our branch originates in Norfolk, but I am beginning to get indications of the migration from Suffolk, currently I am back to 1774/75 in Great Cressingham, although they seem to have settled in Cockley Cley for a generation or two. Anyway, I'm happy to have my contact listed on your page and correspond with others on how to go about the research.

Susan Pryke suepryke(at)

Tim Pryke
Born 1961. Studied painting at Brighton Polytechnic. BA (Hons.) in Fine Arts 1985.

Tim Pryke tim.pryke(at) or tim.pryke(at)

Tom Pryke tjpst21(at)

Wayne Pryke wpryke(at)

Note: Email to addresses labeled "???" bounced last time I tried them.

Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
prykes_1881.gifgif prykes_1881.gif manage 11 K 21 Feb 2006 - 19:02 Unknown User Prykes in 1881
prykes_1998.gifgif prykes_1998.gif manage 12 K 21 Feb 2006 - 19:03 Unknown User Prykes in 1998
Topic revision: r12 - 02 Apr 2008, andyp
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