Born: Dorothy Wake was born in 1699. Her parents were William Wake, Rector of St. James’ Westminster and Ethelreda Hovell of Hillington Hall, Norfolk. In 1716 William Wake became archbishop of Canterbury. The Wakes had 6 daughters.

Educated: It is likely that Dorothy received an education as befitted the daughter of a prosperous clergyman.

Married: In 1722 Dorothy Wake married James Pennyman of Ormesby Hall.

Family: Dorothy and James Pennyman had no children.

Home: Dorothy probably spent her early years in London. Upon her marriage in 1722 she and her husband lived in Normanby Hall. Work began on Ormesby Hall in c.1737 and Dorothy spent the last years of her life at the hall.

Known for: In 1737 Dorothy Pennyman inherited around £15,000, representing one sixth of her father’s estate. This enabled Dorothy and her husband to build a new home next to the old Ormesby Hall. The new Ormesby Hall was built in the Palladian style possibly by the architect Colonel James Moyser but James Pennyman died in 1743, long before the work was completed. It is thought that Dorothy Pennyman took over the role of giving directions to the architect, so in that sense she may be regarded as the person who built Ormesby Hall.

Died: Dorothy Pennyman died on 2nd December 1754 and was buried in Croydon church, where her parents were buried.

Further Information:  “Ormesby Hall, Cleveland” Lynn F.Pearson in the Yorkshire Archaeological Journal vol. 61 (1989)