Richard Pennant, 1st Baron Penrhyn

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Richard Pennant, 1st Baron Penrhyn (1737 – 21 January 1808) was the owner of Penrhyn estate, on the outskirts of Bangor, North Wales, six sugar plantations in Jamaica and hundreds of enslaved African workers. He was a staunch anti-abolitionist Member of Parliament (MP) and peer.[1]

Biography[edit]

Richard Pennant was educated at Newcome's academy in Hackney and Trinity College, Cambridge.[2]

He was MP for Petersfield from 1761 to 1767, then becoming one of Liverpool's members from 1767 to 1780, and again from 1784 until 1790 when he offered his seat to Sir Banastre Tarleton who continued his anti-abolitionist activities. As owner of Penrhyn slate quarry, he was prominent in the development of the Welsh slate industry.[3] He was created 1st Baron Penrhyn of Penrhyn in the county of Lough, Ireland in 1783, even though he was not Irish. Holding an Irish peerage did not disqualify him from standing for elections to the Westminster House of Commons as, both before and after the Union, Irish peerages were used to create peers who could not sit in the English House of Lords but who could do so in the House of Commons.

Pennant owned vast properties in Caernarfonshire and six sugar plantations in Jamaica, where he owned over six hundred enslaved workers. He inherited half of his Welsh estate from his wife, Ann Susannah Pennant nee Warburton; the daughter of General Hugh Warburton, the other half from his father, John Pennant (Warburton's business partner). On his death, Richard's entire estate was inherited by his second cousin, George Hay Dawkins (1763–1840), who subsequently adopted the surname of Dawkins-Pennant. Dawkins' daughter Juliana and her husband were named as co-heirs of the estate on the condition that they also took the surname Pennant (which they duly accepted). Dawkins' son-in-law, Edward Gordon Douglas, was later created 1st Baron Penrhyn of Llandygai.[4]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Penrhyn Castle. London: National Trust. 1997. pp. 11–18. ISBN 0 7078 0115 X. 
  2. ^ "Pennant, Richard (PNNT754R)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  3. ^ Penrhyn Castle. London: National Trust. 1997. p. 12. ISBN 0 7078 0115 X. 
  4. ^ Penrhyn Castle. London: National Trust. 1997. p. 31. ISBN 0 7078 0115 X. 
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir John Philipps, Bt
William Gerard Hamilton
Member of Parliament for Petersfield
1761–1767
With: John Jolliffe
Succeeded by
John Jolliffe
Richard Croftes
Preceded by
Ellis Cunliffe
William Meredith
Member of Parliament for Liverpool
1767–1780
With: Bamber Gascoyne
Succeeded by
Bamber Gascoyne
Henry Rawlinson
Preceded by
Bamber Gascoyne
Henry Rawlinson
Member of Parliament for Liverpool
1784–1790
With: Bamber Gascoyne
Succeeded by
Bamber Gascoyne
Sir Banastre Tarleton
Peerage of Ireland
New creation Baron Penrhyn
1783–1808
Extinct