10 Interesting Facts about William Penn

These following facts about William Penn should have broaden your knowledge about how great he was. William Penn was an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, early Quaker and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was also an early champion of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relation and successful treaties with the Lenape Indians. Under his direction, the city of Philadelphia was planned and developed. To get to know more about him, here are some other facts about William you may like to know.

Facts about William Penn 1: Birth

William Penn was born in Tower Hill, London, in 1644. He is the son of English Admiral Sir William Penn Sr., and Margaret Jasper, from a Dutch family, previously the widow of a Dutch captain, and the daughter of a rich merchant from Rotterdam.

Facts about William Penn 2: Education

Penn was educated first at Chigwell Schoo, by private tutors while in Ireland, and later at Christ Church, Oxford. At that time, there were no state schools and nearly all educational institutions were affiliated with the Anglican Church. Children from poor families had to have a wealthy sponsor to get an education, as did Sir Isaac Newton.

Facts about William Penn - William Penn

Facts about William Penn – William Penn

Facts about William Penn 3: In Ireland

In 1669 Penn travelled to Ireland to deal with many of his father’s estates. While there, he attended many meetings and stayed with leading Quaker families. He became a great friend of William Morris; a leading Quaker figure in Cork, and often stayed with Morris at Castle Salem near Rosscarbery.

Facts about William Penn 4: In Germany

Between 1671 and 1677 William Penn made trips to Germany on behalf of the Quaker faith, resulting in a German Settlement that was symbolic in two ways: it was a specifically German-speaking congregation, and it comprised religious dissenters.

Facts about William Penn - Gulielma Maria Springett

Facts about William Penn – Gulielma Maria Springett

Facts about William Penn 5: Back to England

In 1684, Penn returned to England to see his family and to try to resolve a territorial dispute with Lord Baltimore. Penn did not always pay attention to details, and had not taken the fairly simple step of determining where the 40th degree of latitude (the southern boundary of his land under the charter) actually was.

Facts about William Penn 6: Return to America

Penn felt his situation sufficiently improved to return to Pennsylvania with the intention of staying. Accompanied by his wife Hannah, daughter Letitia and secretary James Logan, Penn sailed from the Isle of Wight on the Canterbury, reaching Philadelphia in December 1699.

Facts about William Penn - William Penn at 22

Facts about William Penn – William Penn at 22

Facts about William Penn 7: Later Years

Penn returned to England and immediately became embroiled in financial and family troubles. His eldest son William, Jr. was leading a dissolute life, neglecting his wife and two children, and running up gambling debts. Penn had hoped to have William succeed him in America.

Facts about William Penn 8: First Marriage

Penn first married Gulielmas Marias Posthumas Springetts (1644–1696), daughter of William S. Springett (the Posthuma in her name indicates that her father had died prior to her birth) and Lady Mary Proude Penington. They had three sons and five daughters.

Facts about William Penn - Painting

Facts about William Penn – Painting

Facts about William Penn 9: Second Marriage

Two years after Gulielma’s death he married Hannah Margaret Callowhill (1671-1726), daughter of Thomas Callowhill and Anna (Hannah) Hollister. William Penn married Hannah when she was 25 and he was 52. They had eight children in twelve years. The first two children died in infancy.

Facts about William Penn 10: Honorary Citizen of the United States

On November 28, 1984, Ronald Reagan, upon an Act of Congress by Presidential Proclamation 5284 declared William Penn and his second wife, Hannah Callowhill Penn, each to be an Honorary Citizen of the United States.

Facts about William Penn - Statue

Facts about William Penn – Statue

Hope you would find those William Penn facts really interesting and useful.

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