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William Penn

William Penn.png

Born

14 October 1644
London, England

Died

30 July 1718
Ruscombe, Berkshire, England, Great Britain

Alma mater

Chigwell SchoolChrist Church, Oxford

Occupation

Nobleman, writer, colonial proprietor of Pennsylvania

Spouse

Gulielma Maria Springett Hannah Margaret Callowhill

Children

8, including William Jr., John, Thomas, and Richard

Parent

Admiral Sir William Penn Margaret Jasper

Signature

William Penn signature.svg

William Penn was the son of Sir William Penn, and was an English nobleman, writer, early Quaker, and founder of the English North American colony the Province of Pennsylvania. He was an early advocate of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful treaties with the Lenape Native Americans. Under his direction, the city of Philadelphia was planned and developed.

In 1681, King Charles II handed over a large piece of his American land holdings to Penn to pay the debts the king owed to Penn's father. This land included present-day Pennsylvania and Delaware. Penn immediately set sail and took his first step on American soil in New Castle in 1682 after his trans-Atlantic journey. On this occasion, the colonists pledged allegiance to Penn as their new proprietor, and the first general assembly was held in the colony. Afterward, Penn journeyed up the Delaware River and founded Philadelphia. However, Penn's Quaker government was not viewed favorably by the Dutch, Swedish, and English settlers in what is now Delaware. They had no "historical" allegiance to Pennsylvania, so they almost immediately began petitioning for their own assembly. In 1704 they achieved their goal when the three southernmost counties of Pennsylvania were permitted to split off and become the new semi-autonomous colony of Lower Delaware. As the most prominent, prosperous and influential "city" in the new colony, New Castle became the capital.

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Discover William Penn Quotes and Sayings

In marriage do thou be wise: prefer the person before money, virtue before beauty, the mind before the body then thou hast a wife, a friend, a companion, a second self. - William Penn

In marriage do thou be wise: prefer the person before money, virtue before beauty, the mind before the body then thou hast a wife, a friend, a companion, a second self.

William Penn

money marriage beauty
For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. - William Penn

For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity.

William Penn

time death
Patience and diligence, like faith, remove mountains. - William Penn

Patience and diligence, like faith, remove mountains.

William Penn

patience faith
A true friend freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably. - William Penn

A true friend freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably.

William Penn

friendship
Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants. - William Penn

Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants.

William Penn

men god
Let the people think they govern and they will be governed. - William Penn

Let the people think they govern and they will be governed.

William Penn

government
True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment. - William Penn

True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.

William Penn

health
The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves. - William Penn

The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves.

William Penn

jealousy
Humility and knowledge in poor clothes excel pride and ignorance in costly attire. - William Penn

Humility and knowledge in poor clothes excel pride and ignorance in costly attire.

William Penn

knowledge
Knowledge is the treasure of a wise man. - William Penn

Knowledge is the treasure of a wise man.

William Penn

knowledge
Some are so very studious of learning what was done by the ancients that they know not how to live with the moderns. - William Penn

Some are so very studious of learning what was done by the ancients that they know not how to live with the moderns.

William Penn

learning
The tallest Trees are most in the Power of the Winds, and Ambitious Men of the Blasts of Fortune. - William Penn

The tallest Trees are most in the Power of the Winds, and Ambitious Men of the Blasts of Fortune.

William Penn

power
Time is what we want most, but what we use worst. - William Penn

Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.

William Penn

time
Only trust thyself, and another shall not betray thee. - William Penn

Only trust thyself, and another shall not betray thee.

William Penn

trust
Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders than the arguments of its opposers. - William Penn

Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders than the arguments of its opposers.

William Penn

truth
Nothing does reason more right, than the coolness of those that offer it: For Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders, than from the arguments of its opposers. - William Penn

Nothing does reason more right, than the coolness of those that offer it: For Truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders, than from the arguments of its opposers.

William Penn

truth