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William, Admiral PENN
Margaret JASPAR
(1610-Abt 1682)
William PENN


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Gulielma Maria SPRINGETT

William PENN

  • Born: 1644, Tower Hill, London, England
  • Marriage: Gulielma Maria SPRINGETT 1672, In Friend's Meeting England
  • Died: 1718 at age 74

bullet  General Notes:

William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, was the son of Sir Wi
lliam Penn, a distinguished English Admiral. He was born in 1644
. His boyhood was markedby a combination of pietism with a str
ong interest in athletics, and he was expelled from Oxford for n
onconformity. After leaving the University he traveled on the Co
ntinent, served in the navy, and studied law. In 1667 he becam
e a Quaker, and in the next year he was committed to the Tower f
or an attackon the orthodoxy of
the day. During his imprisonment he wrote his well-knowntreatis
e on self-sacrifice, "No Cross, No Crown"; and after his releas
e hesuffered from time to time renewed imprisonments, until h
e finally turned his attention to America as a possible refuge f
or the persecuted Friends. In 1682 he obtained a charter creatin
g him proprietor and governor of East New Jersey and Pennsylvani
a and, after drawing up a constitution for the colony on the bas
is of religious toleration, he sailed for his new province. Afte
r twoyears, during which the population of the colony grew rapi
dly through emigration from Germany, Holland, and Scandinavia, a
s well as Great Britain, he returned to England; where his consu
ltations with James II, whom he believed to be sincere in his pr
ofessions of toleration, led to much misunderstanding of his mot
ives and character. At the Revolution of
1688 he was treated as a Jacobite, but finally obtained the good
will of William III, and resumed his preaching and writing. In 1
699 he again came to America, this time with the intention of re
maining; but two years later he went home to oppose the proposa
lto convert his province into a crown colony. Queen Anne receiv
ed him favorably, and he remained in England till his death in 1
England's King Charles II had borrowed money from William Penn'
father. When Sir William Penn died before the loan was repaid, t
King owed the debt to the younger Penn. Instead of the money, Pe
preferred a tract of land in North America. The King agreed, an
d on
March 4, 1681, gave him about 50,000 square miles of land. The n
Sylvania (the woods) was changed to Pennsylvania (Penn's woods
) as the
King insisted to honor Penn's father.
In 1682 he arrived aboard the ship "Welcome," and chose a site f
or his
settlement, Philadelphia. The meaning, City of Brotherly Love,
represents the religious tolerance for allfaiths that the colon
stood for. Other groups came to America to seek religious freedo
m and
then discriminated against other religions. Penn insisted that a
religions were welcome in Pennsylvania. Now Penn could practic
e his
"holy experiment" - not a sanctuary for Quakers, but a place whe
re any
religion was accepted.
Not only religious groups, but the Natives were treated fairly
. Though
Penn was given the land by his English king, he then bought it f
the natives who lived there. Penn made agreements with several t
(most notably the Delaware, or Leni Lenape) whom he always treat
with respect, and no treaty was broken during his lifetime.
Though William Penn spent very little time in his colony, the
leadership he provided was extremely important. His insistence o
religious tolerance and respect for the native peoples were ahea
d of
his time, and set the tone for the leadership Pennsylvania woul


bullet  Events in his life were:

Occupation: Founder of Pennsylvania.

Religion: English Quaker.


William married Gulielma Maria SPRINGETT, daughter of William S. SPRINGETT and Mary Proude PENNINGTON, 1672 in Friend's Meeting England. (Gulielma Maria SPRINGETT was born about 1650.)


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