Pennell, Edmund Burke
b. 1840-01-14
d. 1895-04-16
Edmund Burke Pennell was born on 14 January 1840 in Portsea Island, Hampshire, England. Pennell was the son of William Pennell and Catherine Croker, and the husband of Edith Mary Brooking with whom he had eight children.1 In his career, Pennell was a civil servant working for the Colonial Office as a Chief Clerk -- primarily, and for most of his official life, in the North American Department.2 In April 1859, Pennell began his official career, when after a competitive examination he was appointed Clerk to the Office of the Secretary of State for the colonies.3
By April 1863, Pennell was promoted to third class and became the private secretary to Mr. Forster until 1866 -- other officials he would serve as private secretary include: Sir C. Adderley and Lord Blachford.4 Due to his primary involvement in the North American Department as early as 1862, he was either the first or second person in the office to read the despatches coming directly from the colonies that make up what is now known as Canada.5 In 1879, Pennell was promoted to Principal Clerk, and during this time he became an expert in the French Treaty question in Newfoundland, he would visit Newfoundland multiple times in the 1880s.6 Pennell stayed in his position as Principal Clerk and continued to work for the Colonial Office until his death on 16 March 1895 in East Molesey, Surrey, England.7
  • 1. Edmund Burke Pennell,
  • 2. David Farr, The Colonial Office and Canada 1867-1887, (University of Toronto, 1995).
  • 3. Great Britiain, Colonial Office The Colonial Office List, 398.
  • 4. Ibid.
  • 5. Farr, The Colonial Office.
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. Ibid.
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Adderley, Charles Bowyer

Forster, William Edward

Rogers, Frederic

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