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|Birthday/Birthplace||(1644-10-14)14 October 1644
|Deceased||30 July 1718(1718-07-30)
Ruscombe, Berkshire, England, Great Britain
Christ Church, Oxford
|Profession(s)||Real estate entrepreneur|
|Wife/Husband||Gulielma Maria Springett
Hannah Margaret Callowhill
|Kid(s)||8, including William Jr., John, Thomas, and Richard|
|Parent(s)||Admiral Sir William Penn
William Penn (October 14, 1644-30 July 1718) was a prominent Quaker, English philosopher and real estate entrepreneur. Penn founded the Province of Pennsylvania, an American English colony and future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. There he initiated a social project known as the “Holy Experiment”, in which social equality, individual rights and pacifism were promoted. The colony subsequently became the states of Pennsylvania and Delaware; and its democratic principles served as an important source in the inspiration of the American constitution and the American tradition.
Being a man of deep religious convictions, Penn exhorted the believers to return to the principles of primitive Christianity. Because of his faith, he was imprisoned several times in the Tower of London where he wrote his work No Cross, No Crown (No Cross No Crown), which was published in 1669 and has come to be considered a classic of Christianity.
William Penn’s Biography
The son of a British admiral, Penn was born into a very influential Anglican family. At an early age, Penn became ill with smallpox and lost all his hair so he had to wear a wig the following years.
Later, he entered the schools of Christ Church, Oxford. His father was in the service of the crown and had been recognized in his post, but in the reign of Oliver Cromwell the family was exiled to Ireland after a failed mission in the Caribbean. At age fifteen, Penn met the Quaker missionary Thomas Loe, and was invited to a meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, where he had a religious experience.
After Cromwell’s death, Penn’s father lined up with the royalists and participates in bringing back King Charles II of England, whereby he would be well positioned in England and knighted later.
In 1660, William entered the University of Oxford as a fellow. It was at this stage when he began to define more his philosophy of life, in disgust with the growing rationalism and martial lifestyle of his father, was becoming more sympathetic to the quakerism and theology of John Owen. Later, however, the new administration of the university forced the students to attend to the Anglican services, and Penn, by refusing, was expelled.
At eighteen, Penn’s father sends his son to Paris, where the young man feels disgusted with French opulence and Catholic ritualism in the country. However, there he meets the theologian Hugenote Moise Amyraut, with whom he studies one year.
After two years in France, Penn returned to England, where his father expects him to become an aristocratic lawmaker. In short, however, the war with Holland breaks out and the Englishman follows his father to the navy, where he works as his father’s emissary and is afraid to see him die. Later, England won the war, but in 1665 an epidemic broke out in London, in 1666 the Great Fire of London occurred, and the gout of his father became worse, the young Penn was sent to Ireland as a soldier.
Shortly thereafter, King Charles imposed laws prohibiting any religion other than Anglicanism, and William himself witnessed the arrest of Quakers; a religious group that was particularly persecuted and criminalized, enduring penalties such as imprisonment or deportation.
More Facts about William Penn
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