The Pennyman family were big players in seventeenth century
. In 1625,
they raised the fine pile that is Marske Hall and, in 1632, a certain Sir James
Pennyman became Lord of the Manor. Cleveland
As family tradition dictated, James was a staunch Royalist, so successfully chose the wrong side in the English Civil War. Keen to do his bit, though, at a time in the dispute when the outcome was in the balance, he created a little private army of his own made up of tenants from his estate. And, in 1643, this band of brothers was called into action in the little-known ‘Battle of Marske Beach’. It seems that Cromwell, keen to gain a foothold in this part of the world, tried to land a party of men on the seafront near to the village … and was successfully repelled by Sir James and his army.
When he eventually ‘surrendered’, he was punished for his delinquency and fined £1,200 in 1646. It is thought that it was this financial ‘hit’ which forced him to sell his estate to the Lowthers in 1650. Sir James made his comeback, though: he was elevated to the Baronetage after the Restoration and died – vindicated, presumably – in 1679.