Pynne (Pynn, Pyne), William
|Culture: European - English|
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The Pynn family has been living in Conception Bay since the 17th century. The 1675 census of Newfoundland lists Henry Pynn living at Carbonear with his wife, two sons and four daughters. They had another child sometime over the next two years. We know this because when another census was taken in 1677, Henry and his wife are listed as having five daughters instead of four. William Pynn was probably one of Henry's sons.
The French attacked Carbonear in the winter of 1697 and burned the town. Many of the planters from Carbonear and the other nearby settlements escaped to Carbonear Island and defended it from French attacks. One of these planters was William Pynn.
The war between the English and French ended that year but fighting started up again in 1702. The people in Carbonear were afraid that the French would attack. William and some of the other settlers began to fortify Carbonear Island. In December 1702, they sent a request to the military Commander in St. John's asking for help in building the fort. Their request was turned down but William and the other planters continued the work anyway.
It was a good thing that they did because in March 1705, the French attacked Carbonear again. They burned the town but William and many of the other planters escaped to the fort on Carbonear Island. They defended the island from the French attacks. William was one of the leaders of the planters at this time. Four years later William was appointed the military Governor of Carbonear.
The Pynn family continued to play an important role in the history of Carbonear later in the 18th century. In 1732, William's son, who was also called William, was appointed a Justice of the Peace for Carbonear.