Isaac Penington (Lord Mayor)

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Isaac Penington[1] (c.1584 – 16 December 1661)[2] was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1640 to 1653. He was Lord Mayor of London in 1642 and a prominent member of Oliver Cromwell's government.


Penington was the son of Robert Penington and followed him in becoming a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers. He inherited several estates from his father and purchased one of his own. He made a fortune as a wine and cloth merchant. From 1626 he acted as financial agent to his second cousin, Admiral John Penington. He increased his commercial holdings in 1629 by becoming a partner in the brewery business of his second wife's family. His wife, Mary (née Wilkinson), and he were both staunch Puritans.

In 1638 Penington was elected Sheriff of London and became an alderman of the City of London for Bridge Without ward on 29 January 1639. He was Prime Warden of the Fishmongers Company in 1640.[3]

In April 1640 Penington was elected a Member of Parliament (MP) for the City of London in the Short Parliament.[4] He was re-elected MP for City of London for the Long Parliament in November 1640 and sat until 1653.[5] On 16 August 1642 Parliament appointed him Lord Mayor of London after removing the Royalist Sir Richard Gurney, 1st Baronet from the position. He became a Colonel of the White Regiment in 1642 and from 1642 to 1645 he was Lieutenant of the Tower of London.[3] In that capacity he was present during the execution of William Laud. He became Governor of the Levant Company in 1644, retaining the position to 1654.[3]

In January 1649, Penington was appointed a commissioner of the High Court of Justice at the trial of King Charles, but he was not one of the signatories of the King's death warrant. He served on the Rump's Council of State and on several government committees. He was made a knight in 1649. From 1650 he was the sole representative of the City of London in the Rump Parliament until it was forcibly ejected by Oliver Cromwell on 30 April 1653.[6]

After the Restoration, he was tried for high treason and imprisoned in the Tower of London, where he died on the night of 16 December 1661.[7]


Penington was married twice. Several of his children became members of the Religious Society of Friends, most notably his son Isaac Penington.

See also


  1. His name was spelt Isaac Pennington (House of Lords 1660, pp. 51–53)
  2. Lindley 2004.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Beaven 1908, pp. 47-75.
  4. Willis 1750, pp. 229,233.
  5. Willis 1750, pp. 240,246.
  6. Beaven 1908, pp. 261-297.
  7. House of Lords 1662, pp. 51-53.


Further reading

Parliament of England
Preceded by
Parliament suspended since 1629
Member of Parliament for City of London
With: Thomas Soame 1640-1648
Samuel Vassall 1640-1648
Matthew Cradock 1640-1641
John Venn 1641-1650
Succeeded by
Robert Tichborne
John Ireton
Samuel Moyer
John Langley
John Stone
Henry Barton
Praise-God Barebone
Civic offices
Preceded by
Sir Richard Gurney, 1st Baronet
Lord Mayor of London
Succeeded by
Sir John Wollaston