1902 Encyclopedia > William Penn

William Penn
English Quaker and founder of Pennsylvania

WILLIAM PENN, (1644-1718), the Quaker, was the son of Admiral William Penn and Margaret Jasper, a Dutch lady, and was born at Tower Hill, London, on 14th October 1644. During his father's absence at sea he lived at Wanstead in Essex, and went to school at Chigwell close by, in which places he was brought under strong Puritan influences. Like many children of sensitive temperament, he had times of spiritual excitement; when about twelve he was "suddenly surprised with an inward comfort, and, as he thought, an external glory in the room, which gave rise to religious emotions, during which he had the strongest conviction of the being of a God, and that the soul of man was capable of enjoying communication with Him. He believed also that the seal of divinity had been put upon him at this moment, or that he had been awakened or called upon to a holy life." It would indeed have been unnatural if a mind so disposed had not, when the time came, seized with avidity upon the distinctive doctrine of the Friends, that of the "inward light." was, according to Dr M'Cormick (Voyages of Discovery, i. p. 259), obtained by the " Terror " in January 1842.

Upon the death of Cromwell, Penn's father, who, like Monk, was purely an adventurer, and had served the Protector because there was no other career open, and who, according to Clarendon, had previously offered to bring over the fleet to Charles, remained with his family on the Irish estates which Cromwell had given him, of the value of £300 a year. On the deposition of Richard Cromwell he at once declared for the king and went to the court at Holland, where he was received into favour and knighted; and at the elections for the Convention Parliament he was returned for Weymouth. During these events young Penn studied under a private tutor on Tower Hill until, in October 1660, he was entered as a gentleman commoner at Christ Church. He appears in the same year to have contributed to the Threnodia, a collection of elegies on the death of the young duke of Gloucester.

The rigour with which the Anglican statutes were revived, and the Puritan heads of colleges supplanted, roused the spirit of resistance at Oxford to the uttermost. With this spirit Penn, who was on familiar terms with John Owen, and who had already fallen under the influence of Thomas Loe the Quaker, then at Oxford, actively sympathized. He and others refused to attend chapel and church service, and were fined in consequence. So far did the young enthusiasts proceed in the expression of their hatred to the Anglican regulations that it is said they fell upon the students who were clothed in surplices and violently tore the hated vestments from them. How far his leaving the university resulted from this cannot be clearly ascertained. Anthony Wood has nothing regarding the cause of his leaving, but says that he stayed at Oxford for two years, and that he was noted for proficiency in manly sports. There is no doubt that in January 1662 his father was anxious to remove him to Cambridge, and consulted Pepys on the subject; and in later years he speaks of being "banished" the college, and of being whipped, beaten, and turned out of doors on his return to his father, in the anger of the latter at his avowed Quakerism. A reconciliation, however, was effected; and Penn was sent to France to forget this folly. The plan was for a time successful. Penn appears to have entered more or less into the gaieties of the court of Louis XIV., and while there to have become acquainted with Robert Spencer, afterwards earl of Sunderland, and with Dorothy, sister to Algernon Sidney. What, however, is more certain is that he somewhat later placed himself under the tuition of Moses Amyraut, the celebrated president of the Protestant college of Saumur, and at that time the exponent of liberal Calvinism, from whom he gained the patristic knowledge ! which is so prominent in his controversial writings, and whose example, doubtless, stimulated the tolerant views he already entertained. He afterwards travelled in Italy, returning to England in August 1664, with " a great deal, if not too much, of the vanity of the French garb and affected manner of speech and gait."

Until the outbreak of the plague Penn was a student of Lincoln's Inn. For a few days also he served on the staff of his father—now great captain commander—and was by him sent back in April 1665 to Charles with despatches. It will be observed that his letters to his father even at this time are couched in quaintly devout phraseology. Return-ing after the naval victory off Lowestoft in June, Admiral Penn found that, probably from the effect upon his mind of the awful visitation of the plague, his son had again become settled in seriousness and Quakerism. To bring him once more to views of life not inconsistent Avith court preferment, the admiral sent him in February 1666 with introductions to Ormonde's pure but brilliant court in Ireland, and to manage his estate in Cork round Shannan-garry Castle, his title to which was disputed. Penn appears also later in the year to have been " clerk of the cheque " at Kinsale, of the castle and fort of which his father had the command. When the mutiny broke out in Carrick-fergus Penn volunteered for service, and acted under Arran so as to gain considerable reputation. The result was that in May 1666 Ormonde offered him his father's company of foot, but, for some unexplained reason, the admiral demurred to this arrangement. It was at this time that the well-known portrait was painted of the great Quaker in a suit of armour; and, strangely enough, it was at this time, too, that the conversion, begun when he was a boy, accord-ing to Penn's own account, by Thomas Loe in Ireland, was completed at the same place by the same agency.

On 3d September 1667 Penn attended a meeting of Quakers in Cork, at which he assisted to expel a soldier who had disturbed the meeting. He was in consequence, with others present, sent to prison by the magistrates. From prison he wrote to Lord Orrery, the president of Munster, a letter, in which he first publicly makes a claim for perfect freedom of conscience. He was immediately released, and at once returned to his father in London, with the distinctive marks of Quakerism strong upon him —the use of the " thee " and " thou," and the refusal to remove his hat. So staunch on the hat question was he that he could not accept even the compromise suggested by his father, viz., that he should uncover before the king, the duke of York, and himself.

Penn now became a minister of the denomination, and at once entered upon controversy and authorship. His first book, Truth Exalted, in which' he summons to trial princes, priests, and people, was "a short but sure testi-mony against all those religions, faiths, and worships that have been formed and followed in the darkness of apo-stacy," and declared Quakerism to be " the alone good way of life and salvation." Its tone and language were violent and aggressive in the extreme. The same offensive per-sonality is shown in The Guide Mistaken, a tract written in answer to John Clapham's Guide to the True Religion, It was at this time, too, that he appealed, not unsuccess-fully, to Buckingham, who on Clarendon's fall was posing as the protector of the Dissenters, to use his efforts to procure parliamentary toleration.

Penn's first public discussion was with Thomas Vincent, a London Presbyterian minister, who had reflected on the " damnable " doctrines of the Quakers. In this he appears to have acted as second to George Whitehead. The dis-cussion, which had turned chiefly upon the doctrine of the Trinity, ended uselessly, and Penn at once published The Sandy Foundation Shaken, a tract of ability sufficient to excite Pepys's astonishment, in which orthodox views on the Trinity, plenary satisfaction, imputed righteousness, and other doctrinal points were so offensively attacked that, at the instance of the bishop of London, Penn was placed in the Tower, where he remained for nearly nine months. The imputations upon his opinions and good citizenship, made as well by Dissenters as by the church, he repelled in Innocency with her Open Face, in which he asserts his full belief in the divinity of Christ, the atonement, and justification through faith, though insisting on the necessity of good works. It was now, too, that he published the most important of his books, No Cross, no Crown, which, besides the lessons of constancy and resignation indicated by the title, contained an able defence of the Quaker doctrines and practices, and a scathing attack on the evils of the age, especially the loose and unchristian lives of the clergy.

While completely refusing to recant or to yield to the persuasions of Stillingfleet, who, it is stated on doubtful authority, was sent to argue with him, Penn addressed a letter to Arlington in July 1669, in which, on grounds of religious freedom, he asked him to interfere. It is note-worthy, as showing the views then predominant, that he was almost at once set at liberty.

An informal reconciliation now took place with his father, who had been impeached through the jealousy of Rupert and Monk (in April 1668), and whose conduct in the operations of 1665 he had publicly vindicated; and Penn was again sent on family business to Ireland. There is good reason for thinking that the extent of the differences between him and his father have been much exaggerated. While there he regularly attended Quaker meetings, and was active in intercession for imprisoned Friends. At the desire of his father, whose health was fast failing, Penn returned to London in 1670, and was immediately involved in fresh trouble. Having found the usual place of meeting in Gracechurch Street closed by soldiers, Penn, as a protest, preached to the people in the open street. With William Mead he was at once arrested and indicted at the Old Bailey on 1st September for preaching to an unlawful, seditious, and riotous assembly, which had met together with force and arms. The Conventicle Act not touch-ing their case, the trial which followed, and which may be read at length in Penn's People's Ancient and Just Liberties Asserted, was a notable one in the history of trial by jury. The prisoners and the jury were alike brow-beaten and threatened by the bench, and particularly by the recorder. With extreme courage and skill Penn ex-posed the illegality of the prosecution, while the jury, for the first time, asserted the right of juries to decide in opposition to the ruling of the court. They brought in a verdict declaring Penn and Mead " guilty of speaking in Gracechurch Street," but refused to add "to an unlawful assembly"; then, as the pressure upon them increased, and as they were sent back time after time without food, light, fire, or tobacco, they first acquitted Mead, while returning their original verdict upon Penn, and then, when that verdict was not admitted, returned their final answer " not guilty " for both. The court fined the jurymen 40 marks each for their contumacy, and, in default of payment, imprisoned them, whereupon they vindicated and estab-lished for ever the right they had claimed in an action before the Court of Common Pleas, when all twelve judges unanimously declared their imprisonment illegal.

Penn himself had been fined for not removing his hat in court, had been imprisoned on his refusal to pay, and had earnestly requested his family not to pay for him. The fine, however, was settled anonymously, and he was released in time to be present at his father's death on 16th September 1670, at the early age of forty-nine. Penn now found himself in possession of a fortune of £1500 a year, and a claim on the crown for £15,000, lent to Charles II. by his father. The admiral appears, from a later statement of Penn, to have asked the king and James to become his son's protectors, and James accepted and acted up to the engagement in a special manner. Upon his release Penn at once plunged into controversy, challenging a Baptist minister named Ives, at High Wycombe, to a public dispute and, according to the Quaker account, easily defeating him. No account is forthcoming from the other side. Hearing at Oxford that students who attended Friends' meetings were rigorously used, he wrote a vehement and abusive remonstrance to the vice-chancellor in defence of religious freedom. This found still more remarkable expression in the Seasonable Caveat against Popery (January 1671), in which, while refuting the arguments of Roman Catholics, he urges, far in advance of his age and of all other sects, entire and unlimited toleration of faith and worship,—not, be it observed, on the grounds of expediency or of Scripture, but upon the distinctively Quaker doctrine of the " inward light."
In the beginning of 1671 Penn was again arrested for preaching in Wheeler Street meeting-house by Sir J. Robinson, the lieutenant of the Tower, formerly lord mayor, and known as a brutal and bigoted churchmaa Legal proof being wanting of any breach of the Conventicle Act, and the Oxford or Five Mile Act also proving inapplicable, Robinson, who had some special cause of enmity against Penn, urged upon him the oath of allegiance. This, of course, the Quaker would not take, and consequently was imprisoned for six months. A saying is recorded of Penn on this occasion worthy of remembrance. Robinson had ordered a corporal and some soldiers to take him to prison. " No, no," said Penn, " send thy lacquey. I know the way to Newgate." During this imprisonment Penn wrote several works, the most important being The Great Case of Liberty of Conscience (February 1671), a noble defence of complete toleration. Upon his release he started upon a missionary journey through Holland and Germany; at Emden he founded a Quaker Society, and established an intimate friendship with the princess palatine Elizabeth. In his letters written during this journey will be found a full exposition of the doctrine of the " inward light."

Upon his return home in the spring of 1672 Penn married Gulielma Springett, daughter of Mary Pennington by her first husband, Sir William Springett; she appears to have been equally remarkable for beauty, devotion to her husband, and firmness to the religious principles which she had adopted when little more than a child. He now settled at Eickmansworth in Hertfordshire, a. d gave himself up to controversial writing. To this year, 1672, belong the Treatise on Oaths and England's Present Lnterest Considered, in the latter of which, written immediately after the with-drawal of the Declaration of Indulgence, is contained an able statement of the arguments against comprehension and for toleration. It should not be omitted by any one who desires to understand the state of feeling on the sub-ject. In the year 1673 Penn was still more active. He secured the release of George Fox, addressed the Quakers in Holland and Germany, carried on public controversies with Hicks, a Baptist, and Faldo, an Independent, and published his treatise on the Christian Quaker and his Divine Testimony Vindicated, the Discourse of the General Rule of Faith and Practice, Reasons against Railing (in answer to Hicks), Counterfeit Christianity Detected, and a Just Rebuke to One-and-twenty Learned Divines (an answer to Faldo and to Quakerism on Christianity). His last public controversy was in 1675 with Richard Baxter, in which, of course, each party claimed the victory. During this year his active sympathies were enlisted on behalf of imprisoned Quakers at Aberdeen. At this point Penn's connexion with America begins.

3 The deed by which Fenwick and Byllinge conveyed New West Jersey to Penn, Gawry, and Nicholas is dated 10th February 1674/75.

The province of New Jersey, comprising the country between the Hudson and Delaware rivers on the east and west, had been granted in March 1663-64 by Charles II. to his brother; James in turn had in June of the same year leased it to Lord Berkeley and Sir G. Carteret in equal shares. By a deed, dated 18th March 1673/74, John Fenwick, a Quaker, bought one of the shares, that of Lord Berkeley (Stoughton erroneously says Carteret's) in trust for Edward By Hinge, also a Friend, for ¿61000. This sale was confirmed by James, after the second Dutch war, on 6th August 1680. Disputes having arisen between Fenwick and Byllinge, Penn acted as arbitrator ; and then, Byllinge being in money difficulties, and being compelled to sell his interest in order to satisfy his creditors, Penn was added, at their request, to two of themselves, as trustee. The disputes were settled by Fenwick receiving ten out of the hundred parts into which the province was divided, with a considerable sum of money, the remaining ninety parts being afterwards put up for sale. Fenwick sold his ten parts to two other Friends, Eldridge and Warner, who thus, with Penn and the other two, became masters of West Jersey, West New Jersey, or New West Jersey, as it was indifferently called. The five proprietors appointed three commissioners, with instructions dated from London 6th August 1676, to settle disputes with Fenwick (who had bought fresh land from the Indians, upon which Salem was built, Penn being himself one of the settlers there) and to purchase new territories, to survey and divide them, and to build a town,—New Beverley, or Burlington, being the result. For the new colony Penn drew up a constitution, under the title of " Concessions," which he himself thus describes: " There we lay a foundation for after ages to understand their liberty as men and Chris-tians, that they may not be brought in bondage but by their own consent; for we put the power in the people." The greatest care is taken to make this constitution " as near as may be conveniently to the primitive, ancient, and fundamental laws of the nation of England." But a democratic element is introduced, and the new principle of perfect religious freedom—" that no men, nor numbers of men upon earth, hath power or authority to rule over men's consciences in religious matters "—stands in the first place (chap. xvi.). With regard to the liberty of the subject, no one might be condemned in life, liberty, or estate, except by a jury of twelve, and the right of challenging was granted to the uttermost (chap. xvii.). Imprisonment for debt was not abolished (as Dixon states), but was reduced to a minimum (chap, xviii.), while theft was punished by twofold restitution either in value or in labour to that amount (chap, xxviii.). The provisions of chap, xix., taking their rise doubtless in Penn's own trial at the Old Bailey in 1670, deserve special notice. All causes were to go before three justices, with a jury. " They, the said justices, shall pronounce such judgment as they shall receive from, and be directed by the said twelve men, in whom only the judgment resides, and not otherwise. And in case of their neglect and refusal, that then one of the twelve, by consent of the rest, pronounce their own judgment as the justices should have done." The justices and constables, moreover, were elected by the people, the former for two years only (chap. xli.). Suitors might plead in person, and the courts were public (chap. xxii.). Questions between Indians and settlers were to be arranged by a mixed jury (chap. xxv.).

An assembly was to meet yearly, consisting of a hundred persons, chosen by the inhabitants, freeholders, and pro-prietors, one for each division of the province. The election was to be by ballot, and each member was to receive a shilling a day from his division, " that thereby he may be known to be the servant of the people." The executive power was to be in the hands of ten commissioners chosen by the assembly. Such a constitution, which is in marked contrast with Locke's aristocratic one for Carolina, settled eight years previously, soon attracted large numbers of Quakers to West Jersey.It was shortly before these occurrences that Penn in-herited through his wife the estate of Worminghurst in Sussex, whither he removed from Eickmansworth. He now (25th July 1677) undertook a second missionary journey to the Continent along with George Fox, Eobert Barclay, and George Keith. Of this journey a full account, published seventeen years later, will be found in his selected works. He visited particularly Eotterdam and all the Holland towns, renewed his intimacy with the princess Elizabeth at Herwerden, and, under considerable privations, travelled through Hanover, Germany, the lower Ehine, and the electorate of Brandenburg, returning by Bremen and the Hague. It is worthy of recollection that the American settlers from Kirchheim, one of the places which responded in an especial degree to Penn's teaching, are noted as the first who declared it unlawful for Christians to hold slaves. Penn reached England again on 24th October.

His attention was at once taken up both with the disputes which had arisen within the Quaker body itself on questions of discipline, and still more with an endeavour to secure some decent measure of toleration for the Friends. He tried to gain the insertion in the Bill for the relief of Protestant Dissenters of a clause enabling Friends to affirm instead of taking the oath, and twice addressed the House of Commons' committee with considerable eloquence and effect. The Bill, however, fell to the ground at the sudden prorogation.

In 1678 the Popish Terror came to a head, and to calm and guide Friends in the prevailing excitement Penn wrote his Epistle to the Children of Light in this Generation. A far more important publication was An Address to Pro-testants of all Persuasions, by William Penn, Protestant, in 1679. In the first part of this work he inveighs against the five crying evils of the time so far as they are "under the correction of the civil magistrates," with an address to the magistrates for redress of those evils; the second part deals similarly with " the five capital evils that relate to the ecclesiastical state of these kingdoms" ; the whole work is a powerful exposition of the doctrine of pure toler-ance and a protest against the enforcement of opinions as articles of faith. This was succeeded, at the general election which followed the dissolution of the pensionary parliament, by an important political manifesto, England's Great Jnterest in the Choice of this New Parliament, in which he insisted on the following points :—the discovery and punishment of the plot, the impeachment of corrupt ministers and councillors, the punishment of "pensioners," the enactment of frequent parliaments, security from Popery and slavery, and ease for Protestant Dissenters. Next came One Project for the Good of England, perhaps the most pungent of all his political writings. A single sentence will show the homely style of illustration which Penn usually adopted. " But since the industry, rents, and taxes of the Dissenters are as current as their neighbours', who loses by such narrowness more than England, than the Government, and the magistracy ? . . . Till it be the interest of the former to destroy his flock, to starve the horse ho rides and the cow that gives him milk, it cannot be the interest of England to let a great part of her sober and useful inhabitants be destroyed for things that concern another world." But he was not merely active with his pen. He was at this time in close intimacy with Algernon Sidney, who stood successively for Guildford and Bamber. In each case, owing in a great degree to Penn's eager advocacy, Sidney was elected, only to have his elections annulled by court influence. Toleration for Dissenters seemed as far off as ever. The future of English politics must have appeared to Penn well-nigh h&pcless. Encouraged by his success in the New Jersey provinces, he again turned his thoughts to America. In repayment of the debt men-tioned above Penn now asked from the crown, at a council held on 24th June 1680, for "a tract of land in America north of Maryland, bounded on the east by the Delaware, on the west limited as Maryland [i.e., by New Jersey], north-ward as far as plantable " ; this latter limit Penn explained to be "three degrees northwards." This formed a tract 300 miles by 160, of extreme fertility, mineral wealth, and richness of all kinds. Disputes with James, and with Lord Baltimore, who had rights over Maryland, delayed the matter until 24th March 1681, when the grant received the royal signature, and Penn was made master of the province of Pennsylvania. His own account of the name is that he suggested " Sylvania," that the king added the " Penn" in honour of his father, and that, although he strenuously objected and even tried to bribe the secretaries, he could not get the name altered. It should be added that early in 1682 Carteret, grandson of the original proprietor, transferred his rights in East Jersey to Penn and eleven associates, who soon afterwards conveyed one-half of their interest to the earl of Perth and eleven others. It is uncertain to what extent Penn retained his interest in West and East Jersey, and when it ceased. The two provinces were united under one government in 1699, and Penn was a proprietor in 1700. In 1702 the government of New Jersey was surrendered to the crown.

By the charter for Pennsylvania Penn was made proprie-tary of the province. He was supreme governor; he had the power of making laws with the advice, assent, and appro-bation of the freemen, of appointing officers, and of grant-ing pardons. The laws were to contain nothing contrary to English law with a saving to the crown and the English council in the case of appeals. Parliament was to be supreme in all questions of trade and commerce; the right to levy taxes and customs was reserved to England; an agent to represent Penn was to reside in London; neglect on the part of Penn was to lead to the passing of the government to the crown (which event actually took place in 1692); no correspondence might be carried on with countries at war with Great Britain. A clause added at the last moment illustrates curiously both the strength and the jealousy of the Anglican Church at the time. The importunity of the bishop of London extorted the right to appoint Anglican ministers, should twenty members of the colony desire it, thus securing the very thing which Penn was anxious to avoid,—the recognition of the principle of an establishment.

Having appointed Colonel Markham, his cousin, as deputy, and having in October sent out three commis-sioners to manage affairs until his arrival, Penn proceeded to draw up proposals to adventurers, with an account of the resources of the colony. He negotiated, too, with James and Lord Baltimore with the view, ultimately successful, of freeing the mouth of the Delaware, wrote to the Indians in conciliatory terms, and encouraged the formation of companies to work the infant colony both in England and Germany, especially the "Free Society of Traders in Pennsylvania," to whom he sold 20,000 acres, absolutely refusing, however, to grant any monopolies. In July he drew up a body of " conditions and con-cessions." This constitution, savouring strongly of Har-rington's Oceana, was framed in consultation with Sidney, though to what extent is doubtful. The inferences drawn by Hepworth Dixon from a single letter of Penn to Sidney, given at length by Stoughton, are quite unjustifiable. This sketch of a constitution was democratical in the purest sense. Until the council of seventy-two (chosen by universal suffrage every three years, twenty-four retiring each year) and the assembly (chosen annually) were duly elected, a body of provisional laws was added.

It was in the midst of this extreme activity that Penn was made a Fellow of the Royal Society. Leaving his family behind him, Penn sailed with a hundred comrades from Deal in the "Welcome" on 1st September 1682. His Last Farewell. to England and his letter to his wife and children contain a beautiful expression of his pious and manly nature. He landed at Newcastle on the Dela-ware on 27th October, his company having lost one-third of their number by smallpox during the voyage. After receiving formal possession, and having visited New York, Penn ascended the Delaware to the Swedish settlement of Upland, to which he gave the name of Chester. The assembly at once met, and on the 7th December passed the " Great Law of Pennsylvania." The idea which informs this law is that Pennsylvania was to be a Christian state on a Quaker model. Only one condition is made necessary for office or citizenship, viz., Christianity. The constitu-tion is purely democratic; all offices, for example, are elective. In many other provisions Penn showed himself far in advance of his time, but in none so much as where the penalty of death was abolished for all offences except murder. Lawsuits were to be superseded by arbi-tration, always a favourite idea with Penn. Philadelphia was now founded, and within two years contained 300 houses and a population of 2500. At the same time an Act was passed, uniting under the same government the territories which had been granted by feoffment by James in 1682. Realistic and entirely imaginative accounts (cf. Dixon, p. 270), inspired chiefly by Benjamin West's picture, have been given of the treaty which there seems no doubt Penn actually made in November 1682 with the Indians. His connexion with them was one of the most successful parts of his management, and he gained at once and retained through life their intense affection. At his death they sent to his widow a message of sorrow for the loss of their "brother Onas," with some choke skins to form a cloak which might protect her " while passing through the thorny wilderness without her guide."

Penn now wrote an account of Pennsylvania from his own observation for the "Free Society of Traders," in which he shows considerable power of artistic description.

Tales of violent persecution of the Quakers, and the necessity of settling disputes which had arisen with Lord Baltimore, his neighbour in Maryland, brought Penn back to England (2d October 1684) after an absence of two years. In the spring of 1683 he had modified the original charter at the desire of the assembly, but without at all altering its democratic character. He was, in reference to this alteration, charged with selfish and deceitful dealing by the assembly. Within five months after his arrival in England Charles II. died, and Penn found himself at once in a position of great influence. His close connexion with James, dating from the death of his father, was rendered doubly strong by the fact that, from different causes, each was sincerely anxious to establish complete liberty of conscience. Even before his coronation James had told Penn that " he desired not that peaceable men should be disturbed for their religion." Penn now took up his abode at Kensington in Holland House, so as to be near the court. His influence there was great enough to secure the pardon of John Locke, who had been dismissed from Oxford by Charles, and of 1200 Quakers who were in prison. At this time, too, he was busy with his pen once more, writing a further account of Pennsylvania, a pamphlet in defence of Buckingham's essay in favour of tolera-tion, in which he is supposed to have had some share, and his Persuasive to Moderation to Dissenting Christians, very similar in tone to the One Project for the Good of England. When Monmouth's rebellion was suppressed he appears to have done his best to mitigate the horrors of the western commission, opposing Jeffreys to the uttermost; and he stood by Cornish and Elizabeth Gaunt at their executions. He says himself in a letter dated 2d October 1685, "About 300 hanged in divers towns in the West, about 1000 to be transported. I begged twenty of the king."

Macaulay, the grotesqueness of whose blunders on this matter is equalled only by the animus that inspired them, and by the disingenuousness with which he defended them, has accused Penn of being concerned in some of the worst actions of the court at this time. His complete refutation by Forster, Paget, Dixon, and others renders it unneces-sary to do more than allude to the cases of the Maids of Taunton, Alderman Kiffin, and Magdalen College (Oxford).

In 1686, when making a third missionary journey to Holland and Germany, Penn was charged by James with an informal mission to the prince of Orange to endeavour to gain his assent to the removal of religious tests. Here he met Burnet, from whom, as from the prince, he gained no satisfaction, and who greatly disliked him. On his return he went on a preaching mission through England. His position with James was undoubtedly a compromising one, and it is not strange that, wishing to tolerate Papists, he should, in the prevailing temper of England, be once more accused of being a Jesuit, while he was in con-stant antagonism to their body. Even Tillotson took up this view strongly, though he at once accepted Penn's vehement disavowal. It was in reference to this that Penn wrote one of his pithy sentences : " I abhor two principles in religion, and pity them that own them; the first is obe-dience upon authority without conviction; and the other, destroying them that differ from me for God's sake. Such a religion is without judgment, though not without teeth."

In 1687 James published the Declaration of Indulgence, and Penn probably drew up the address of thanks on the part of the Quakers. It fully reflects his views, which are further ably put in the pamphlet Good Advice to the Church of England, Roman Catholics, and Protestant Dis-senters, in which he showed the wisdom and duty of repealing the Test Acts and Penal Laws.

At the Revolution he behaved with courage. He was one of the few friends of the king who remained in London, and, when twice summoned before the council, spoke boldly in his behalf. He admitted that James had asked him to come to him in France; but at the same time he asserted his perfect loyalty. During the absence of William in 1690 he was proclaimed by Mary as a dan-gerous person, but no evidence of treason was forthcom-ing. It was now that he lost by death two of his dearest friends, Robert Barclay and George Fox. It was at the funeral of the latter that, upon the information of the notorious informer Fuller, an attempt was made to arrest him, but he had just left the ground; the fact that no further steps were then taken shows how little the Govern-ment believed in his guilt. He now lived in retirement in London, though his address was perfectly well known to his friends in the council. In 1691, again on Fuller's evidence, a proclamation was issued for the arrest of Penn and two others as being concerned in Preston's plot. He might, on the intercession of Locke, have obtained a pardon, but refused to do so. He appears to have especially felt the suspicions that fell upon him from the members of his own body. In 1692 he began to write again, both on questions, of Quaker discipline and in defence of the sect. Just Measures in an Epistle of Peace and Love, The New Athenians (in reply to the attacks of the Athenian Mercury), and A Key opening the Way to every Capacity are the principal publi-cations of this year.

Meantime matters had been going badly in Pennsyl-vania. Penn had, in 1687, been obliged to make changes in the composition of the executive body, though in 1689 it reverted to the original constitution; the legislative bodies had quarrelled; and Penn could not gain his rents. He was closely concerned also in this year with a dispute between East and West Jersey regarding the dividing line, in which he espoused the cause of the former (and richer) province. The chief difficulty, however, in Penn-sylvania was the dispute between the province—i.e., the country given to Penn by the charter—and the "territories," or the lands granted to him by the duke of York by feoffment in August 1682, which were under the same Govern-ment but had differing interests. No sooner had Penn by a skilful compromise settled this matter than the colony was torn by the religious schism caused by George Keith. The difficulties which Quaker principles placed in the way of arming the colony—a matter of grave importance in the existing European complications—fought most hardly against Penn's power. On 21st October 1692 an order of council was issued depriving Penn of the governorship of Pennsylvania, and giving it to Colonel Fletcher, the governor of New York. To this blow were added the illness of his wife and a fresh accusation of treasonable correspondence with James. In his enforced retirement he wrote the most devotional and the most charming of his works,—the collection of maxims of conduct and reli-gion entitled The Fruits of Solitude. In December, thanks to the efforts of his friends at court, among whom were Buckingham, Somers, Rochester, and Henry Sidney, he received an intimation that no further steps would be taken against him. The accusation, however, had been public, and he insisted on the withdrawal being as public. He was therefore heard in full council before the king, and honourably acquitted of all charge of treason. It was now that he wrote an Essay towards the Present and Future Peace of Europe, in which he puts forth the idea of a great court of arbitration, a principle which he had already carried out in Pennsylvania.

In 1694 (23d February) his wife Gulielma died, leaving two sons, Springett and William, and a daughter Letitia, afterwards married to William Aubrey. Two other daughters, Mary and Hannah, died in infancy. He con-soled himself by writing his Account of the Rise and Progress of the People called Quakers. The coldness and suspicion with which he had been regarded by his own denomination had now ceased, and he was once more regarded by the Quaker body as their leader. About the same time (20th August) he was restored to the governor-ship of Pennsylvania; and he promised to supply money and men for the defence of the frontiers. In 1695 he went on another preaching mission in the west, and sent a peti-tion to parliament praying that affirmations might be sub-stituted for oaths. This year and the next were busily occupied with preaching and writing, one of his auditors being no less a person than Peter the Great. In March 1696 he formed a second marriage, with Hannah Callow-hill, his son Springett dying five weeks later. In this year he wrote his work On Primitive Christianity, in which he argues that the faith and practice of the Friends were those of the early church. In 1697 Penn removed to Bristol, and during the greater part of 1698 was preaching with great success against oppression in Ireland, whither he had gone to look after the property at Shannangarry.

In 1699 he was back in Pennsylvania, landing near Chester on 30th November, where the success of Colonel Quary, judge of the admiralty in Pennsylvania, who was in the interests of those who wished to make the province an imperial colony, and the high-handed action of the deputy Markham in opposition to the crown, were causing great difficulties. Penn carried with him particular instructions to put down piracy, which the objections of the Quakers to the use of force had rendered audacious, and concern-ing which Quary had made strong representations to the home Government, while Markham and the inhabitants ap-parently encouraged it. Penn and Quary, however, came at once to a satisfactory understanding on this matter, and the illegal traffic was vigorously and successfully attacked. The next question he took up was slavery, and his attitude towards it is curious. In 1696 the Phila-delphian yearly meeting had passed a resolution declaring it contrary to the first principles of the gospel. Penn, how-ever, did not venture upon emancipation ; but he insisted on the instruction of negroes, permission for them to marry, repression of polygamy and adultery, and proposed regula-tions for their trial and punishment. The assembly, how-ever, a very mixed body of all nations, now refused to accept any of these proposals except the last-named.

His great success was with the Indians ; by their treaty with him in 1700 they promised not to help any enemy of England, to traffic only with those approved by the governor, and to sell furs or skins to none but inhabitants of the province. At the same time he showed his capacity for legislation by the share he took with Lord Bellomont at New York in the consolidation of the laws in use in the various parts of America.

Affairs now again demanded his presence in England. The king had in 1701 written to urge upon the Pennsylvania Government a union with other private colonies for defence, and had asked for money for fortifications. The difficulty felt by the crown in this matter was a natural one. A Bill was brought into the Lords to convert private into crown colonies. Penn's son appeared before the committee of the House and managed to delay the matter until his father's return. On 15th September Penn called the assembly together, in which the differences between the province and the territories again broke out. He succeeded, however, in calming them, appointed a council of ten to manage the province in his absence, and gave municipal institutions to Philadelphia. In May 1700, experience having shown that alterations in the charter were advisable, the assembly had, almost unanimously, requested Penn to revise it. On 28th October 1701 he handed it back to them in the form in which it afterwards remained. An assembly was to be chosen yearly, of four persons from each county, with all the self-governing privileges of the English House of Commons. Two-thirds were to form a quorum. The nomination of sheriffs, coroners, and magistrates for each county was given to the governor, who was to select from names handed in by the freemen. Moreover, the council was no longer elected by the people, but nominated by the governor, who was thus practically left single in the execu-tive. The assembly, however, who, by the first charter, had not the right to propound laws, but might only amend or reject them, now acquired that privilege. In other respects the original charter remained, and the inviolability of con-science was again emphatically asserted. Penn reached Eng-land in December 1701. The accession of Anne appears to have put an end to the Bill in the Lords, and to his troubles on this score. He once more assumed the position of leader of the Dissenters and himself read the address of thanks for the promise from the throne to maintain the Act of Toleration. He now too took up his abode again at Kensing-ton, and published while here his More Fruits of Solitude.

In 1703 he went to Knightsbridge, where he remained until 1706, when he removed to Brentford, his final resi-dence being taken up in 1710 at Field Ruscombe, near Twyford. In 1704 he wrote his Life of Bulstrode White-locke. He had now much trouble from America. The terri-torialists were openly rejecting his authority, and doing their best to obstruct all business in the assembly; and matters were further embarrassed by the injudicious conduct of Go-vernor Evans in 1706. Moreover, pecuniary troubles came heavily upon him, while the conduct of his son William, who became the ringleader of all the dissolute characters in Philadelphia, was another and still more severe trial. This son was married, and had a son and daughter, but appears to have been left entirely out of account in the settlement of Penn's proprietary rights on his death.

Whatever were Penn's great qualities, he was deficient in judgment of character. This was especially shown in the choice of his steward Ford, from whom he had borrowed money, and who, by dexterous swindling, had managed, at the time of his death, to establish a claim for £14,000 against Penn. Penn, however, refused to pay, and spent
nine months in the Fleet rather than give way. He was released at length by his friends, who paid £7500 in composition of all claims. Difficulties with his government of Pennsylvania continued to harass him. Fresh disputes took place with Lord Baltimore, the owner of
Maryland, and Penn also felt deeply what seemed to him the ungrateful treatment which he met with at the hands of the assembly. He therefore _____ wrote, in earnest and affectionate language, an address to his " old friends," setting forth his wrongs. So great was the effect which this produced that the assembly which met in October of that year was entirely in his interests; revenues were properly paid; the disaffected were silenced and complaints were hushed ; while an advance in moral sense was shown by the fact that a Bill was passed prohibiting the importation of negroes. This, however, when submitted to the British parliament, was cancelled. Penn now, in February 1712, being in failing health, proposed to surrender his powers to the crown. He appears, from Dixon's work (p. 413), to have offered previously, just before he was arrested by the Fords, to give up his government for £20,000, but with stipulations which rendered the crown unwilling to take it. On the present occasion the commission of plantations recommended that Penn should receive £12,000 in four years from the time of surrender, Penn stipulating only that the queen should take the Quakers under her protection ; and £1000 was given him in part payment. Before, however, the matter could go further he was seized with apoplectic fits, which shattered his understanding and memory. A second attack occurred in 1713, and from that time until his death his powers gradually failed, although at times his intellect was clear and vigorous. He died on 30th May 1718, leaving three sons by his second wife, John, Thomas, and Richard, and was buried along with his first and second wives at Jourdan's meeting-house, near Chalfont St Giles in Buckinghamshire. It has finally to be mentioned that in 1790 the proprietary rights of Penn's descendants were bought up for a pension of £4000 a year to the eldest male descendant by his second wife, and that this pension was commuted in 1884 for the sum of £67,000. (o. A.)


Pepys, 30th August 1664.
Webb, The Penns and Penningtons, 1867, p. 174.

Sewel's Hist, of Friends, p. 172.
Granville's Memorials of Sir W. Penn, vol. ii. p. 571.

For a very charming account of her, and the whole Pennington connexion, see Maria Webb's The Penns and Penningtons.
See on this Stoughton's Penn, p. 113.
Penn's letter of 26th August 1676 says twelve, and Clarkson has followed this ; but the Concessions, which were not assented to by the inhabitants until 3d March 1676/77, say ten.
The line of partition was " from the east side of Little Egg Harbour,

"~ 1 Dixon, p. 276.
Burnet, iii. 66 ; Dalrymple, i. 282.

Colonel Fletcher's commission recites "that by reason of great neglect and miscarriage in the government of Pennsylvania Her Majesty found it necessary to take the government into her hands and under her immediate protection." The attorney-general and the solicitor-general were of opinion (on 12th July 1694) that, when the aforesaid reasons failed or ceased, the right of government belonged to the petitioner.

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