Sir William Penn


NationalityBritish 
RolesNaval Sailor 
First Known Service1644CSORN
FatherGiles Penn
Last Known Service1665CSORN
Date of Death8.1670

Event History


Date fromDate toEventSource
31.12.1644 Rear-Admiralref:1066
31.12.16441645Fellowship (28), Captain and Commanding Officerref:1066
1645 Fellowship (28), and Commanding OfficerBWAS-1603
3.1644/45 Happy Entrance (34), Captain and Commanding OfficerBWAS-1603
8.10.16461649Assurance (40), Captain and Commanding OfficerW015
1647 CaptainCSORN
18.4.16491650Lion (42), Captain and Commanding Officerref:1066
22.5.164910.1649Blockade of Kinsale 
26.8.1650 Vice-Admiralref:1066
26.8.1650 Fairfax (52), Captain and Commanding Officerref:1066
25.11.1650 Centurion (34), Captain and Commanding OfficerBWAS-1603
165118.3.1651/52Fairfax (52), Captain and Commanding OfficerBWAS-1603
16521660Appointed Vice-Admiral of EnglandEWIKI
5.5.16526.1652Triumph (60), as Flag Officer, CaptainB117
19.5.1652 Battle of Dover 
17.6.16527.1653James (48), Vice-Admiral and Commanding Officerref:1066
28.9.1652 Battle of Kentish Knock 
1.16533.1652/53Speaker (50), Admiral of the Blue and Commanding OfficerB142
18.2.1652/5320.2.1652/53Battle of Portland 
2.6.16533.6.1653Commanded the The White Squadron - Main Division at the Battle of the Gabbard 
7.16531654James (48), Vice-Admiral of the White and Commanding OfficerBWAS-1603
31.7.1653 Battle of Scheveningen 
8.16531654Swiftsure (56), Captain and Commanding OfficerBWAS-1603
25.12.165431.8.1655Commander of the Fleet for the West Indies  
1655 Appointed Commander-in-Chief — JamaicaHJ-DB
1655 Swiftsure (64), as Flag Officer, General at SeaBWAS-1603
9.6.1660 Appointed Knight BachelorB051
8.11.166421.11.1664Royal James (70), Captain and Commanding OfficerBWAS-1603
11.11.1664 Appointed Commander-in-Chief in the DownsB051
1665 Admiral of the WhiteCSORN
1665 Royal Charles (80), as Flag Officer, General at SeaTRN2
3.6.1665 Battle of Lowestoft 
16.1.1665/66 Appointed Comptroller of the victualling accountsB051

Notes on Officer


Articles of Impeachment against Sir William PennW015
"1. First, Whereas, in or about the Month of September, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Six Hundred Sixty-five, The Golden Phænix and The Slothony, Two Ships belonging to the Subjects of The United Provinces of the Netherlands, were taken at Sea as Prize, during the late War, by His Majesty's Fleet then under the Command of Edward Earl of Sandwich, in which said Fleet the said Sir William Pen was the Vice Admiral, and Commander in Chief under the said Earl, in the actual Pay and Service of His Majesty; he the said Sir William Pen did, contrary to his Allegiance, Duty, Commission, and the Articles of War established by an Act of this present Parliament made in the Thirteenth Year of His Majesty's Reign that now is, intituled, "An Act for the establishing Articles and Orders for the regulating and better Government of His Majesty's Navies, Ships of War, and Forces by Sea, and other good Laws of the Land," for his singular Lucre, and with Intent to share the same, conspire and advise with several Persons, to open the Holds of the said Ships, divers and sundry Times, before Judgement thereof first passed the Admiralty Court, and from thence to take out and embezzle great Quantities of rich Goods, whereby His Majesty was defrauded to the Value of One Hundred and Fifteen Thousand Pounds, or thereabouts, besides great Quantities of Jewels and other rich Commodities, of which no certain Estimate can be made.

"2. Secondly, That the said Sir William Pen, in Pursuance of the said Conspiracy, did, on or about the Fourteenth Day of the said Month of September, repair on board the said Prize Ship The Slothony, in the Company of Sir William Berkley, then Commander of His Majesty's Ship The Swiftshure, and Vice Admiral to the White Squadron commanded by the said Sir William Pen, and did then and there give Order and Command unto Captain Robert Worden, unto whose Charge the said Ship The Slothony was then committed, to follow such Directions as he should receive from the said Sir William Berkley; who immediately thereupon caused the Hatchways of the said Ship to be broke open, and took out of the said Ship several Bales of Silk, Mace, and other Goods to a great Value, and carried them away; and afterwards, at several other Times, caused the Hatchways of the said Ship to be broken open, after they were closed and sealed up; at every of which Times he took and carried away great Quantities of rich Goods, he the said Sir William Pen having sent several Men on board the said Ship The Slothony, to assist the said Sir William Berkley therein.

"3. Thirdly, He the said Sir William Pen got a considerable Part of the said Goods into his Possession, and converted them to his own Use; and, on or about the latter End of the said Month of September, or the Beginning of October then following, did sell divers Parcels of the said Goods, and further warranted the Sale thereof.

"4. Fourthly, The better to colour the said Fraud and Embezzlement, Orders were obtained from the said Earl of Sandwich, bearing Date the Fifteenth and One and Twentieth of September, One Thousand Six Hundred Sixty-five, for the taking and distributing of some Part of the said Goods among several Officers, whereof the said Sir William Pen was One, and had a great Proportion thereof allotted to him, submitted, as was pretended, to His Majesty's further Pleasure; although he the said Sir William Pen very well knew that the said Orders of him the said Earl of Sandwich were void, and contrary to the Commission of the said Earl, the Articles of War, and the Law of this Land; and afterwards a Warrant, dated the Seventeenth of October, One Thousand Six Hundred Sixty-five, was unduly procured from His Majesty for distributing the said Goods, whereas in Truth he the said Sir William Pen had before the said Warrant of His Majesty, possessed himself of divers of the said Goods, and sold and warranted the same, as in the Third Article is expressed; and further did take, sell, and dispose of, a far greater Quantity of Goods than was contained either in the Orders of the said Earl of Sandwich or His Majesty's said Warrant, to the Value of Two Thousand Eighty-five Pounds, or thereabouts.

"All and every which Proceedings are contrary to the Articles of War abovementioned, and to the Laws of the Land, and of dangerous Consequence and Example if unredressed.

"And the said Commons, by Protestation, saving to themselves the Liberty of exhibiting, at any Time hereafter, any other Accusation or Impeachment against the said Sir William Pen, and also of replying to the Answer of the said Articles, or any of them; or of offering Proofs of the Premises, or any other Impeachment or Accusation that shall be exhibited by them, as the Case (according to the Course of Parliaments) shall require; do pray, That the said Sir William Pen may be called to answer the said several Crimes and Misdemeanors, and receive such condign Punishment as the same shall deserve; and that such further Proceedings may be upon every one of them had and used against him as is agreeable to Law and Justice."

Upon this, the Lords made this following Order:
Sir Wm. Penn to attend at the Bar.

"Whereas, at a Conference desired by the House of Commons, and had this Day in the Painted Chamber, between Committees of both Houses, Articles of Impeachment, by the Commons of England assembled in Parliament, in the Name of themselves, and of all the Commons of England, against Sir William Pen Knight, One of the now Commissioners of His Majesty's Navy, for several High Crimes and Misdemeanors committed by him, were transmitted from the House of Commons to this House: It is ORDERED, by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal in Parliament assembled, That the said Sir William Pen be, and is hereby, required to appear at the Bar of this House, on Monday the 27th Day of this Instant April, at Ten of the Clock in the Forenoon, to hear the said Articles of Impeachment against him read, and that he the said Sir William Pen may be heard what he shall say for himself thereupon."


Sources


IDDescriptionAuthorType
CSORNCommissioned Sea Officers of the Royal NavyDavid Bonner SmithWeb Site
ref:1066The manuscripts of His Grace the Duke of Portland, preserved at Welbeck abbey Digital Book
BWAS-1603British Warships in the Age of Sail 1603 - 1714Rif WinfieldBook
W015English Parliamentary JournalsVariousWeb Site
EWIKIWikipediaVariousWeb Site
B117NRS Vol 013 - Papers relating to the First Dutch War 1652-54 Vol IUnknownBook
B142NRS Vol 037 - The First Dutch War - Vol IVAndersonBook
HJ-DBHistoric JamaicaFrank CundallBook
B051Biographia Navalis - Volume IJohn CharnockDigital Book
TRN2The Royal Navy : a history from the earliest times to the present Vol IIWilliam Laid ClowesDigital Book

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