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Capt. Giles PENN

Male Abt 1573 - Bef 1656  (~ 82 years)

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  • Name Giles PENN 
    Title Capt. 
    Born Abt 1573 
    Gender Male 
    AFN G85M-R4 
    Name Giles PENNE 
    Name Gyles PENN 
    Name Gyles PENNE 
    Name Gylles PENNE 
    Died Bef 1656 

    • (1) Roach, Hannah Benner, "The Family of William Penn - A Collated Record," Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 25, No. 2, 1967, pp. 74-76:

      GILES PENN, son of William Penn, the law clerk of MaImesbury, and his wife Margaret Rastall, was born perhaps about 1573. Brigadier Hogg suggests that he may have been named for Giles, Lord Chandos who, in 1573, became lord of the manor of Minety. He was apprenticed, as "Egidius Penne, filius Willi Penne nup. de Myntie . . . defunct," to the linen draper, John Horte of Bristol, and Juliane his wife, on 1 May 1593, a year after his grandfather's will was offered for probate. It was as "Gylles Penne, draper," that he was admitted to the "Liberties" of Bristol on 3 April 1600, "because he was Prentice of Mr. John Horte, Alderman, Deceased." The following 5 November 1600, he married at St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, JOAN GILBEART (Gilbert), of a family originally from Yorkshire.

      From draper Giles Penn progressed to merchant with his younger brother William, and by 1618 had been overtaken with financial losses. In 1630 records show that he was travelling between England and the Barbary Coast, importing and selling assorted goods. Styled Captain Penn in 1631, he was in London in 1636, and the following year, when he was appointed resident consul for Charles I at Sallee (Sal?? in Morocco), he was described as "a man well-experienced in the language and custom of the said country." He was deceased, probably overseas, by 1656, when a new consul was appointed at Sallee.

      Issue of . . . Giles Penn and his wife Joan Gilbeart:

      i. GEORGE PENN, bapt. at St. Mary Port, Bristol, 1 October 1602; d. in England, July-August 1664; m. in Antwerp a Spanish lady and settled at San Lucar, having followed his father's profession and prospered. In 1643, he was arrested by the officers of the Inquisition and imprisoned in Seville for three years until under torture he abjured the Protestant faith. His property had been siezed, his wife divorced from him (she was a Roman Catholic), and he was expelled from Spain. No known issue.

      ii. GILES PENN, bapt. at St. Nicholas, Bristol, 4 October 1603; probably died in infancy.

      iii. HENRY PENN, bapt. at Christ Church, Bristol, 26 January 1604; d. unmarried beyond the sea, with administration on his estate granted to his father George on 7 June 1632.

      iv. ELIZABETH PENN, said to have been a sister of the Admiral, b. perhaps ca. 1605; d. in Boston, Mass., 1640; m. before 1621; in London, WILLIAM HAMMOND, d. in London before 1634. With her son and daughters she came to Boston on the ship Griffin, arriving 16 September 1634, in company with the Rev. Mr. Lothrop. Issue: 1. BENJAMIN HAMMOND, b. in London 1621; d. in Rochester in 1703 ae. 52; m. in Sandwich in 1650, MARY VINCENT, b. in England in 1633. 2. ELIZABETH HAMMOND. 3. MARTHA HAMMOND. 4. RACHEL HAMMOND.

      v. RACHEL PENN, "daughter of Gyles Penn," bapt. at St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, 24 February 1607; m. by license 24 October 1630, at St. Gregory by St. Paul, London, RALPH BRADSHAW, b. ca. 1611, son of Lawrence Bradshaw and his wife Sarah Hinchman; his will was probated 31 January 1667/68. Issue: ROBERT BRADSHAW, d. without issue, 2, WILLIAM BRADSHAW, d. in infancy. 3. JAMES BRADSHAW, b. ca. 1646; d. 1691 in New Castle on the Delaware River; m. MARY, who survived him. 4. JOHN BRADSHAW, b. ca. 1611. 5. REBECCA BRADSHAW, d. ca. 1664-1665; m. at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, Middlesex, 26 September 1652, as his first wife, WILLIAM CRISPIN, bapt. 3 October 1627; d. beyond the sea en route to Pennsylvania 1681/2. Letters of administration on his estate were granted in Ireland 7 July 1682. His cousin William Penn, the Founder, had intended him to be Chief Justice in the new province. 6. SARAH BRADSHAW, d. in infancy. 7. MARY BRADSHAW, d. in infancy. 8. ANNE BRADSHAW. 9. FRANCES BRADSHAW, m. after 1664, WILLIAM ASSHETON, attorney-at-law, coroner of Lancashire, and a Deputy Herald of Arms. They were the progenitors of the Philadelphia Assheton (Ashton, etc.) family.

      vi. ELEANOR PENN, bapt. at St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, 26 May 1610; bur. there 24 November 1612.

      vii. A Daughter, name unknown, who possibly married WILLIAM MARKHAM of Ollerton, Notts. Issue, called nephews by Admiral Penn: 1. WILLIAM MARKHAM, b. perhaps ca. 1635; d. testate in Philadelphia 12 4m (June) 1704; m. 1st, according to the entry in Pepys' Diary of 5 August 1666, ANN (NAN) WRIGHT; m. 2nd, ca. January 1663/4, MRS. JOANNA JOBSON, widow of Capt. Eben Jobson; she was living in New York in 1726. William Markham preceded his cousin, the Founder, to Philadelphia, as Deputy Governor of Pennsylvania. 2. GEORGE MARKHAM.

      viii. ANN PENN, bapt. at St. Thomas, Bristol, 21 January 1616; bur. at St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, 23 February I651, apparently unmarried. . . .

      ix. WILLIAM PENN, the Admiral, bapt. at St. Thomas, Bristol, 23 April 1621; d. testate at Wanstead, Essex, 16 September 1670; bur. at St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, 3 October 1670. . . .

      (2) Jenkins, Howard M., The Family of William Penn, Founder of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA & London, England: H.M. Jenkins, Headley Bros., 1899, pp. 8-9:

      Of the six children of William [Penn], the law-clerk, we have little knowledge, except as to Giles, the second son. He was "a captain in the navy, and for many years a consul for the English trade in the Mediterranean," Granville Penn says, and the Admiral's mural tablet uses nearly the same words. The "Calendar of English State Papers," in 1635-39, shows a long correspondence between Giles Penn and the government, in which he desires a commission to lead an expedition against the Sallee corsairs of Morocco, a commission which might or might not have been finally given him, except for the pressure of the then impending civil war. The Admiral's tablet says his mother, the wife of Giles, was of "the Gilberts in the County of Somerset, originally from Yorkshire," and the records of St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, show the marriage of "Giles Penne and Joan Gilbeart," on the 5th of November, 1600. That this was our Captain Giles is fairly certain, and makes an alteration in the customary Penn pedigrees, which give the name of Giles's wife as Margaret. Granville Penn says, "Giles had two sons, between whose ages was a difference of twenty years." These two were George and William, the Admiral, and as the latter was born in 1621, it fixes George's birth as 1601, and corresponds appropriately with the date 1600 as that of the parents' marriage.

      As to Giles Penn's children other than George and William, the records of St. Mary Redcliffe show the baptism of "Rachell daughter to Gyles Penne," February 24, 1607, and the death of "Eleanor the daughter of Mr. Giles Penne," November 24, 1612. Two daughters of Giles Penn must have grown up and married and had issue, or one have married twice, for Admiral Penn, in his will, names his "nephews, James and John Bradshaw, and William and George Markham." He also names his "Cousin William Penn, son of George Penn late of the Forest of Braydon, Co. Wilts, Gentleman, deceased," which indicates that his uncle George, named executor in the will of the yeoman of Minety, dwelt in Wiltshire and closed his life there. The nephew William Markham is of course well known to us, the first cousin of the Founder, and many years Lieutenant-Governor of Pennsylvania.

      (3) Hogg, Oliver Frederick Gillilan, Further Light on the Ancestry of William Penn, London, England: Society of Genealogists, 1992, pp. 26-32:

      CAPTAIN GILES PENN . . . married Joan Gilbeart on 5th November 1600. . . .

      . . . Giles born about 1573 whose main characteristic appears to have been a love of adventure went to Bristol with his brother William where he became a merchant and afterwards followed the call of the sea. During the 17th century life in England was in a state of ferment. The Elizabethan era had passed but its spirit of adventure remained. The outpouring of a great literature, the birth of a new conception of freedom and her triumphs on land and sea had given the British people a wider horizon and their hands were stretching out across the oceans to grasp treasure, fame and fortune. Set-backs in his home port no doubt taught Giles Penn that business must be cultivated from abroad; the man who stayed at home could not replenish his warehouses by his inaction. After his early trouble over debts, thoughts such as these must have passed through his mind as he sat in his counting house and totted up his losses. The life of a sedentary merchant in Bristol was not going to prove easy. The road to fortune was not going to lie in the south-west of England. Being of a roving disposition, he realized that his ambitions could only be satisfied by the life of a merchant adventurer. Whether this urge was engendered by his difficulties and losses at Bristol or whether it had always lain dormant in the blood, the fact remains that he took to the sea to better his chances and sailed for the Barbary Coast.

      The Moorish ports at this time were offering a new and tempting form of trade. The Moors of Fez and Susa required much that Bristol could supply - tin, lead and above all, iron. Giles with an eye to business visited all the Barbary ports from Tetuan to Sallee. During these trips he closely observed the trend of trade and soon began to bring from Bristol goods which would sell in an expanding market. Such missions were highly dangerous to life and limb. The Spanish court had closed all the Barbary ports by paper blockade in a similar manner to those of America. The ports on the North African sea-board were by nature lawless. The inhabitants feared neither God nor man. They built and manned numerous fast craft in which they roamed the seas in search of plunder. They preyed on vessels sailing under every flag. In plain language, these ports were nothing less than pirate strongholds. From Tunis to Sallee the harbours of North Africa sent forth every spring hosts of rovers which swept the eastern and western coasts of Spain, the Genoese waters and even the German and Irish seas. These raids were a perpetual menace to European shipping. The larcenous sailors seized every ship they could. They not only appropriated the merchandise carried but sold the officers and crews into slavery. Muley Mohammed, Emperor of Morocco, tried his utmost to limit these marauding expeditions to the Spanish coast, but his seat of government being far from the coast and his seafaring subjects unruly at the best of times, the latter snapped their fingers at his edicts and refused to curtail their profitable activities to please a young and feeble monarch. Sallee, the chief of these pirates' nests, was in open revolt against the emperor's rule.

      One can imagine that during his numerous journeys in the Mediterranean, Giles Penn more than once must have encountered the galleys of the Knights of Malta who searched the blue waters of that sun-lit sea to root out and destroy these enemies of the true Cross. Giles Penn was shrewd, but trade under the conditions described was a tricky business. He had his ups and downs, his hopes and fears. Some of his ventures proved successful, others less so. Often his goods were seized and his factors cheated him. Debts still threatened him and at times he seemed to be involved in sharp practice. Yet on the whole he prospered.

      The name of Giles Penn often occurs in the State papers of Charles I and thus his activities can be traced in some detail. For instance, on 24th October 1630, Daniel Gorsuch, a merchant of London, petitioned the Council as follows "I shipped into Barbary in the Harry of London bound for Tetuan ten tons of iron. Giles Penn who carried letters from Charles I to the Governor of Tetuan agreed to sell the iron for me. However, it was sold by others and the money thereby made was brought back in the same ship to London. Richard Berrisford who had obtained a royal protection for Penn, pretending the money belonged to the latter, attached it to the factors. I pray that Richard Berrisford may be called before the Lords and ordered to withdraw his attachment". This petition was followed by an Order in Council dated 25th May 1631 to the effect that if Giles Penn, merchant of Bristol, did not give satisfaction to Daniel Gorsuch before the former's protection expired, the latter might take such course for the recovery of the debt as the law allowed.

      Being astute, Giles Penn not only realized that royal protection would benefit him in his dangerous undertakings and promote his business, but saw how favour at court could be gained. Charles I was passionately devoted to falconry and in 1631 Giles brought home in his ship a cast of Tetuan hawks. The king, delighted, immediately demanded more hawks, upon which the Bristol merchant-cum-sailor told his sovereign that the royal wish could be more easily satisfied if he could be given letters of protection to the Moorish Governor of Tetuan. Lord Conway drew up the letters in Penn's favour and armed with these Giles returned to Tetuan with the king's order to purchase Barbary horses as well as additional hawks.

      On his return to England, Giles Penn came to London and made the acquaintance of Sir Robert Mansel, Edward Nicholas, Endymion Porter and other influential men at court. Apparently during this year Penn was greatly in debt for on 22nd July 1631 Sir Robert Mansel wrote to Viscount Dorchester, Secretary of State, requesting him to procure a renewal of Captain Penn's protection for eight months, by which time he considered the latter's debts could be settled. Sir Robert added that he had a high opinion of Captain Penn.

      In his dealings with the Barbary Coast over the years Giles Penn became acquainted with the Moors, their customs and their language. While at Sallee he was shocked to learn that hundreds of English captives were held as slaves, some of these being women. The native court, however, was powerless to intervene as Sallee, being in revolt, the emperor's writ was ignored. On returning home, Penn reported this distressing news to Charles I with a full account of what he had seen and done, suggesting at the same time the measures which could be taken to free the captives. Penn's plans were laid before the Council and approved. State papers of 1636 outline the correspondence connected with this matter. A fleet was manned and victualled for the voyage. Admiral Rainsborough was appointed in command and there was even some talk of sending out Captain Penn as Rainsborough's deputy. Giles Penn came to London, lodged at the Black Boy in Ave Maria Lane and saw Lords Cottington and Portland who consulted him on every aspect of the expedition, the ships to be sent, the stores to be laid in, the crews to be impressed, the mode of approach and the general policy of the voyage, But, after being kept in the capital for six months, Penn was politely dismissed with a modicum of money and thanks. The expedition, however, proved successful. Sallee was taken, the prisoners were released; and the emperor on regaining his erstwhile port repaid the citizens who had bought these English captives from the Algerines the value of their liberated slaves.

      To prevent a similar traffic in future, the London merchants prayed the king to appoint a consul in Sallee offering to pay all the charges from the profits of their trade; and when the Council wrote to ask them who should be sent they answered as follows:

      ["]30th November 1637 Huett Leath, Oliver Clobery, Edward Guy, James Napper and twenty others to the king. Being Wormed that it is his Majesty's pleasure to have a fit man nominated and elected to be resident at Sallee in Barbary for consul to his Majesty's subjects residing at and frequenting the ports of the kingdom of Fez, the undersigned have made choice of Giles Penn, a man well-experienced in the language and customs of the said country, which they submit to his Majesty's judgement.["]

      Ten days before this petition was presented, Giles Penn had submitted to the Privy Council a full and comprehensive report on the States of Morocco, Tetuan and Fez, the original of which reposes in the Public Record Office. This no doubt accounted for the choice of the four and twenty merchants.

      The petition was followed on 30th December 1637 by a warrant appointing Giles Penn a consul at Sallee. The warrant authorizes Giles Penn to be his Majesty's consul at Sallee and to execute that office by himself and his deputies in Morocco and Fez during the king's pleasure with such allowances as consuls in other parts of Turkey have from the merchants, or otherwise as Penn and the merchants shall agree.

      This appointment at the age of sixty-four set the seal on Giles Penn's career. It was excellent for his business and good for his purse. It ensured a steady means of accumulating wealth. No longer would debtors knock on his door. His days of struggle and poverty were over. It is doubtful whether he ever re-visited England after receiving this diplomatic post for from then on his name disappears from local records at Bristol and from State papers. It is not certain how long he remained consul at Sallee for his Son's monument in St Mary Redcliffe at Bristol merely says "for several years". It is however, unlikely that at his age he survived for long in that sub-tropical climate and it may be assumed that he died overseas. No record of his death exists in this country nor did he leave a will. All that can be said with certainty is that on 25th February 1656 Nathaniel Luke, son of Sir Samuel Luke, a resident at, and a trader with, Tetuan was appointed "Providore" for the fleet in that part of the Mediterranean and shortly after consul at Sallee. Giles Penn therefore must have been dead by 1656 and probably passed away some fifteen years before that date.

      Bristol was Giles Penn's home port and there he met his future bride, Joan Gilbeart, a lady from Yorkshire who had recently settled in the west country. They were married on 5th November 1600. Giles purchased a house in Bristol for his wife and there in due course, though with an in-terval of twenty years between them, his two sons George and William, the future Admiral, were born in 1601 and 1621 respectively. He also had at least two daughters, Rachael baptized on 24th February 1607 and Eleanor who died as a young girl on 24th November 1612. When Giles's elder son George grew to man's estate he went into business, but William as a lad followed his father's salt water leanings and learned the profession of those who go down to the sea in ships under the stern eye of his parent who was thus able to give his son a thorough schooling in the art of seamanship.
    Person ID I18524  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 19 Nov 2020 

    Father William PENN,   d. Bef 1588, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Margaret RASTALL,   d. Aft 1 May 1590 
    Relationship natural 
    Married Bef 1570 
    Family ID F8276  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Joan GILBEART 
    Married 5 Nov 1600  St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Rachael PENN,   b. Bef 24 Feb 1607  [natural]
     2. George PENN,   b. 1601,   d. Aug 1664  (Age 63 years)  [natural]
     3. Admiral Sir William PENN,   b. Bef 23 Apr 1621, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Sep 1670, Wanstead, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 49 years)  [natural]
     4. Eleanor PENN,   d. 24 Nov 1612  [natural]
    Last Modified 19 Nov 2020 
    Family ID F8268  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart