Giles Penn
1573 - c. 1641



Giles Penn was a descendant of the Penns who lived in Minety, Wiltshire, England. Minety, derived from 'mint stream', is between Swindon and Malmesbury in Wiltshire (originally in Gloucestershire), England. His grandfather, William Penn of Minety (d.1591), must have been quite an important figure for when he died in 1591 it is believed that he was buried in front of the alter at Saint Leonards Church, Minety. A plaque commemorating his life was erected in the church. All evidence of this was destroyed during repairs and alterations at the turn of the 19/20th centuries.

1573, Giles was born. His father was William Penn, a law clerk at Malmesbury, Wiltshire and chief clerk to counsellor at law, Christopher George (whose sister he married). His mother was Margaret Penn (Rastall(e)) daughter of John Rastall, alderman of Gloucester and Ann George who was Christopher George's sister.

1600, November 5, Giles and Jeanne (Joane) were married at St Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol. Jeanne Gilbert was from Yorkshire but at this time lived in the West Country.

1618, Giles and his brother, William, were merchants in Bristol who become bankrupt. It may have been that Giles took up 'merchant adventuring' in order to extricate himself from the debts and losses of his business. He started a series of risky seagoing trips, and was involved in the, literally, cut-throat business of trading off the Barbary coast, (North Africa), with Moorish Merchants.

1601, son George Giles was born.

1607, daughter Rachael was born.

1612, daughter Eleanor died - date of birth unknown.

There is also at least one other daughter born to Giles and Jeanne Penn. Two of their daughters married men named Bradshaw and Markham (see Admiral Sir William Penn's Will). Their nephew William Markham, first cousin to William Penn (see 1681) became, for many years, Lieutenant-Governor of Pennsylvania.

1621, son William (Admiral Sir William Penn) was born.

1627 December 30th, Giles was appointed Council to the Barbary region (Sallee). He was authorised to 'execute that office by himself and his deputies in Morocco and Fez during the king's pleasure with such allowances as consults in other parts of Turkey have from the merchants, or otherwise as Penn and the merchants shall agree.' This had significant financial rewards for Giles Penn and enabled him to make business contacts which allowed him to engage in a steady accumulation of wealth. It is unlikely that he ever revisited England after his appointment.

1631, he obtained Tetuan hawks from Morocco for Charles I and he was given letters of Protection from the king, later he was charged with obtaining Barbary horses for the royal household as well as further numbers of hawks.
Giles was directly involved in consultations and planning arrangements for the sending of an armed English fleet to Sallee.

c1641, Giles Penn died around this time. He left no Will and there is no record of his death in England.

Richard J. Easton: Giles Penn was a brother of my Great Grandfather (10 generations back), George Penn. These generations are as follows:

Richard J. Easton (1938) -> Ray Robert Easton (1911) -> Eva Jane Barton -> (1879) -> John Hunter Barton (1858) -> William Barton (1821) -> Sally Penn (1800) -> Joseph Rosco Penn (1768) -> Phillip Penn (1738) -> George Penn (1709) -> John Penn (1650) -> William Penn (1609) -> George Penn (1571) -> William Penn (1548).

William Penn Jr. (1644) -> Admiral Sir William Penn (1621) -> Giles Penn (1573) -> William Penn (1548).

The genealogy has been traced back two more generations: William Penn (1548) -> William Penn (1525) -> John Penne (1500)


Minety Church in 1999


This page last updated on September 17, 2011 .