Admiral Sir William Penn's purse is a national treasure both in America and England. He is the man Pennsylvania
was named after and, in England his achievements as a naval officer are legendary. He managed to be a loyal naval
officer to King Charles I and II and to Cromwell in between. So it's not surprising that his ship was sent to
the Netherlands to bring King Charles II back to England in 1660. Possibly this purse was included in the "great
deal of needlework finery" ordered in May of 1660 by Admiral William Penn in preparation for occasion. "King
Charles II stated Admiral Penn was resplendent in all his finery".
The interior of the purse features Penn's coat-of-arms, a leopard which implies "the protector", and various flowering motifs.
Silk and metallic thread on linen with red silk lining; 8 ½" x 6".
A brief history of Sir Admiral William Penn
Sir Admiral William Penn was born in 1621 and started his life-long seafaring career as a young boy on merchant ships. In 1642/3, he married Margaret Jasper Van der Schuren (d. 1682). They had three children: William (1644-1718), Margaret (Peg) (1645-1718) and Richard (1648-1673).
Penn joined the Royal Navy, and rose to the rank of rear admiral by 1645. Admiral Penn was a career navy man and was promoted several times over the next two decades. He served as vice admiral of Ireland, admiral of the Streights, vice admiral of England, and in 1653 was made a general during the first war with the Dutch. He served as captain commander under the King in 1664, and was made admiral of the navy by Charles II during the second war with the Dutch. Admiral Penn's efforts were well regarded by both Oliver Cromwell and King Charles II.
Cromwell rewarded his work in 1654 with significant land in Ireland, and he was knighted by Charles II in 1660.
Admiral Penn retired in 1669 and died a year later in Essex in 1670. At that time, King Charles II owed to Sir Admiral William Penn roughly £16,000. Also, Admiral Penn's oldest son William had embraced Quaker beliefs and was becoming a nuisance to King Charles II.
In 1681 William Penn's son, the Quaker, asked King Charles II to settle the debt to his father. The King, pleased to get rid of the trouble maker, granted him the colony known as Sylvania as repayment, but the King renamed it stating "I'm naming it Pennsylvania after that jolly fellow, your father"
STEPHEN & CAROL HUBER