George Hay Dawkins Pennant

20th Feb 1764 - 17th Dec 1840

Claimant or beneficiary


Née Dawkins, son of Henry Dawkins II (q.v.) of Overlynch and Standover (1728-1814) and grandson of Henry Dawkins I and Elizabeth Pennant, daughter of Edward Pennant.

  1. Inherited estates in both North Wales and Jamaica from his father's cousin Richard Pennant (c. 1737-1808), first Baron Penrhyn who was the son of Elizabeth Pennant's brother John (d. 1782, in turn the son of Edward Pennant and grandson of Gifford Pennant d. 1676). Richard Pennant, 1st Baron Penrhyn, MP for Liverpool, 1767-1780, 1784-1790. [See entry in Oxford DNB for him.] The family were also heavily involved in North Wales slate quarrying and the building of associated infrastructure, including Port Penrhyn and local tramways connecting the quarry and port. It is likely that capital generated from the slave economy was used to expand the quarrying operation.

  2. Assumed name and arms of Pennant 1808.  (1) Married Hon. Sophia Maria Maude daughter of 1st Viscount Howarden 25/07/1807 and after the death of Hon Sophia in 1812 (2) Elizabeth, daughter of Hon. William Henry Bouverie in 1814. Died 1840, succeeded by eldest daughter and co-heiress Juliana Isabella Mary Dawkins-Pennant [under the will of Richard Pennant], who married Colonel Edward Gordon Douglas August 1833, who in 1841 also assumed the name and arms of Pennant and was created 1st Baron Penrhyn of Llandygai, died 31/03/1886. Succeeded by eldest son George Sholto Gordon Douglas-Pennant 2nd Baron Penrhyn. MP for Newark 1814-1818 and New Romney 1820-1830: see Political legacies.

  3. Appears to have been active on the committee of the West India Association, being a member of the Committee of 25 April 1823 to press for ameliorative measures to prevent emancipation.

  4. His daughter Emma (d. 1888) married in 1831 Thomas Charles Hanbury-Tracy, 2nd Baron Sudeley, who died in 1863 leaving £140,000.


  1. Chris Evans, Slave Wales: the Welsh and Atlantic Slavery 1660-1850 (Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 2010), pp. 65-66, 69-72; William D. Rubinstein, Who were the rich? A biographical dictionary of British wealth-holders Volume Two 1840-1859 (MS) reference 1841/14; Penryhn B.R.A. papers, Archives Wales:; The Penryhn Dynasty,

  2. Penrhyn Castle Papers [accessed 19/11/2010]; Rubinstein op.cit. reference 1841/14 [which carries the detail of the second marriage.]

  3. Alexandra Franklin, Enterprise and advantage: The West India interest in Britain, 1774-1840 (University of Pennsylvania, Unpub. PhD, 1992), p. 214.

  4. William D. Rubinstein, Who were the rich? 1860- (Volumes 3 and 4, manuscripts in preparation), reference 1863/63.

The image opposite is by Charles J. Basebe, a minature portrait from 1864, taken from Penrhyn Castle, London (The National Trust, 2004) p. 20, see [accessed 03/04/2018].

We are grateful to John Beales and Roberta Osborne for their help compiling this entry.

Further Information

Name in compensation records
George A Dawkins Pennant
(1) Sophia Maria Maude (1807-1812) (2) Elizabeth Bouverie (1814- )
With (1) Juliana Isabella Mary Dawkins (1808-1842), Emma Elizabeth Isabella Dawkins (1810-1888)
Wealth at death

Associated Claims (4)

£4,509 7s 3d
£3,904 17s 8d
£3,204 3s 1d
£3,065 9s 2d

Associated Estates (4)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1808 [SY] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1817 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1808 [SY] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1815 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner

Legacies Summary

Cultural (4)

V & A: Prints, Drawings & Paintings
William Radclyffe senior, after David Cox jr., Penrhyn Castle. British, c.1840s. Topographical... 
notes →
V & A: Prints, Drawings & Paintings
Penrhyn Castle. Letter-heading from a set of 407 of English and Welsh topography, English, mid-19th... 
notes →
Full details at: Victoria & Albert Museum Collection: Prints, Drawings & Paintings. Thanks to Allyson Take...
V & A: Prints, Drawings & Paintings
Penrhyn Castle. Print C19th, Rouse Collection; Anon.... 
notes →
Full details at: Victoria & Albert Museum Collection: Prints, Drawings & Paintings. Thanks to Allyson Take for...
V & A: Prints, Drawings & Paintings
Penrhyn Castle (East Front). Print C19th, Rouse Collection; Anon.... 
notes →
Full details at: Victoria & Albert Museum Collection: Prints, Drawings & Paintings. Thanks to Allyson Take for...

Physical (1)

Penrhyn Castle [Built] 
description →
Major physical legacy of slave-ownership, a neo-Norman castle built by Thomas Hopper for George Hay Dawkins Pennant 1820-1833, now held by the National...

Political (1)

Tory / West India interest 
election →
Newark Nottinghamshire
1814 - 1818
election →
New Romney Kent
1820 - 1830

Relationships (6)

Son → Father
Nephew → Uncle
Other relatives
Notes →
First cousin once...

Addresses (2)

56 Portland Place, London, Middlesex, London, England
Penrhyn Castle, Bangor, Caernarfonshire, North Wales, Wales