Memorial: M529

Wall tablet in St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol commemorating Admiral Sir William Penn d. 1670


Church of St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, England


'To ye Just Memory of Sir Will Penn Kt & sometimes Generall borne at Bristol An:1621 son of Captain Giles Penn seuerall years Consul for ye English in the Mediterranean of ye Penns of Penns-Lodge in the County of=Wilts & those Penns of Penn in ye C.of Bvcks & and by his Mother from ye Gilberts in ye County of Somerset Originally from Yorksheire: Addicted from his youth to Maritime affaires, he was made Captain at ye yeares of 21: Rear-Admirall of Ireland at 23 Vice Admirall of Ireland at 25, Admiral to ye Streights=at 29; Vice Admirall of England at 31 & Generall in ye first Dutch Warres at 32 Whence retiring in Anno 1655, He was Chozen a Parliament man for ye Towne of Weymouth 1660; made Commissioner of ye Admiralty, & Nauy Gouernor of ye Towne and forts of King-Sail Vice Admiral of Munster, & a Member of that Prouinciall Counseill, and in Anno 1664, Was Chozen Great Captain=Commander vnder his=Royal Highnesse; in ye signall & Most Eudently succesffull fight a gainst ye Dutch fleet: Thus He Took Leave of the Sea, his old Element, bvt Continued still his other Employs till 1669: at what Time throvgh bodely Infirmitys (Contracted By ye Care & Fatiqve of Pvbliqve Affaires) He Withdrew, Prepard & Made for his end; & With a Gentle & Even Gale In mvch Peace Arriud & Ancord In his Last and Best Port, at Wanstead In ye Covnty of Essex ye 16 Sept. 1670, being then bvt 49 & 4 Month old. To whofe Name & Merit, his suruiuing Lady hath Erected this Remembrance' [Ledger] 'Here lyeth the Body of Sir William Penn, who departed this life on the 16th Day of September in the year 1670. DUM CLAUUM TENEAM'


Description: Architectural surround, two cannon above.

Type: Wall tablet
Position: Near lectern


Battle of Lowestoft

Event Date


Event Category

1652 - 1654 First Anglo-Dutch War


Penn, William
Age: 49
Date of Death: 16/9/1670
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Admiral
Organisation: Royal Navy


Notes: Admiral Sir William Penn from whom Pennsylvania got its name and of which state his son William Penn was the founder. The 'succesffull fight' referred to in the transcript was the battle of Lowestoft, fought on 3rd June 1665, in which the Dutch, commanded by Jacob van Wassenaer, Lord of Obdam, were defeated by the English under HRH James, Duke of York, K.G. Penn, whose rank corresponded with what afterwards became 'Captain of the Fleet' served with the Duke on board the flagship, 'Royal Charles', 80, Captain John Harman.
Bibliography: J.W. Damer Powell 'Bristol Privateers and Ships of War' (Bristol, 1930).
Recorder: Reverend William Henry Donnan
Photographer: B. Tomlinson