Graphical version

National Maritime Museum

Pole and Penn family papers


Reference code(s): GB 0064 WYN

Held at: National Maritime Museum

Title: Pole and Penn family papers

Date(s): [1621-1822]

Level of description: Collection


Name of creator(s): Penn | Sir | William | 1621-1670 | Knight | Admiral
Pole | Sir | Charles Morice | 1757-1830 | Knight | Admiral of the Fleet


Administrative/Biographical history:

See sub-fonds level descriptions for individual biographies.


Scope and content/abstract:

Sir William Penn's life after 1650 is well covered but for the earlier period there are only a few orders, instructions and isolated documents. The collection includes a log, 1650 to 1651, accounts of battles, 1652 to 1653, a log of the SWIFTSURE and sailing and fighting instructions, both to and from Penn, for the expedition to the West Indies. The 1665 campaign is covered by an incomplete log of the ROYAL CHARLES, a description of the battle of Lowestoft, several sailing and fighting instructions and orders of battle. There are also administrative papers and personal letters covering Penn's tenure of office at the Navy Board. The Pole papers consist of eight volumes of private letters from a wide variety of correspondents, 1769 to 1822. Two particularly large series are those from Admiral Sir William Young (1751-1821) and Pole's brother, Reginald Pole Carew, while Prince William Henry also wrote a considerable number of letters to Pole. The loose papers are mainly administrative and include accounts, prize papers, orders and memoranda. They also contain papers concerning Pole's representation of Plymouth from 1806 to 1818; printed papers and general letters on naval mutiny, 1795 to 1797, with particular reference to the mutinies of 1797; reports and surveys on the Sea Fencibles, 1804 to 1806, and other general reports on such matters as medical experiments, 1791, and experiments with gunpowder, 1796.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The papers were deposited on loan in 1948 by Penn's descendants, the Wynne family of Tempsford Hall, Bedfordshire. They were arranged by Granville Penn.



Archivist's note: Edited by Sarah Drewery, Sep 2011.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: 2011-04-19

Expeditions | Travel
Mutiny | Crime
Naval battles | Battles
Naval prizes | War seizures | War (concept) | International conflicts

Personal names
Carew | Reginald Pole | 1753-1835 | politician
Penn | Sir | William | 1621-1670 | Knight | Admiral
Pole | Sir | Charles Morice | 1757-1830 | Knight | Admiral of the Fleet
William Henry | 1743-1805 | Prince | Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
Young | Sir | William | 1751-1821 | Knight | Admiral

Corporate names
HMS Royal Charles
HMS Swiftsure
Navy Board
Royal Navy

Plymouth | Devon | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe