Penn, William (16441718)

Penn, William, founder of Pennsylvania, the son of an admiral, born in London; was converted to Quakerism while a student at Oxford, and for a fanatical attack on certain fellow-students expelled the University; his father sent him to travel in France, and afterwards placed him in charge of his Irish estates; his religious views occasioned several disputes with his father, and ultimately brought him into conflict with the Government; he spent several periods of imprisonment writing books in defence of religious liberty, among them “The Great Cause of Liberty of Conscience” (1671); then travelled in Holland and Germany propagating his views; his father's death brought him a fortune and a claim upon the crown which he commuted for a grant of land in North America, where he founded (1682) the colony of Pennsylvania—the prefix Penn, by command of Charles II. in honour of the admiral; here he established a refuge for all persecuted religionists, and laying out Philadelphia as the capital, governed his colony wisely and generously for two years; he returned to England, where his friendship with James II. brought many advantages to the Quakers, but laid him under harassing and undeserved prosecutions for treason in the succeeding reign; a second visit to his colony (1699-1701) gave it much useful legislation; on his return his agent practically ruined him, and he was a prisoner in the Fleet in 1708; the closing years of his life were clouded by mental decay (16441718).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

Penitents, Order Of * Pennant, Thomas
[wait for the fun]
Peninsular State
Peninsular War
Penitential Psalms
Penitents, Order Of
Penn, William
Pennant, Thomas
Penny Wedding
Penseroso, II
Pensionary, the Grand