William Penn

By: Holly Shreve


Did you know that the founder of Pennslvania also has gone to jail several times? Since William Penn was young he has been rebellious about religion. At age 22 William Penn's father tries to disown William for only one reason, becoming a Quaker. When William Penn bought Pennsylvania he only needed one thing, peace with the Indians. William Penn lead a hard life, from losing family, moving and going to jail.

Williams Childhood

Since William Penn was young he has been very rebellious about religion. William Penn was born on October 14 1644 in London. His father was a Navel Officer who later became admiral Sir William Penn. William Penn's mother was a very religious women, and many people thought it was her that made William interested in religion. When Penn got older his religion curiosity began to grow. When Penn was 12 he was alone in his room he felt God's presence. When he got older he felt that God was always with him. A few years later, he went to school in Essex, and later entered a Christ Church, Oxford university in 1660. But he opposed the rule that everyone must attend the Church of England. He later got expelled. When his father heard of this he whipped and beat his son while Mrs. Penn pleaded for leniency. A few years later, Penn's father got him to study law in England. But while he was there, he heard a Quaker speaker, Thomas Loe and was immediately impressed. He later became friends with another Quaker speaker. Since he was young, William Penn had a crazy childhood.

William becomes a Quaker

At age 22 William Penn's father tried to disown him for only one reason, because William became a Quaker. After a long childhood of religious refusal, at age 22, William decided to become a Quaker. When William's father heard the news his heart was broken. William's father tried to disown him, but couldn't bring himself to do it. Two years later, William wrote and published a book called "Sandy Fountain Shaken" That ended up getting William into jail. This book he wrote he stated his beliefs. He got locked up in the London tower for eight months. The guard told him he had to give up his beliefs or he will die a prisoner. Penn refused. His father begged his friend, James the Duke of York to let Penn go. While Penn was in the tower, he wrote another book called "No Cross No Crime" which he again, stated his beliefs. After long eight months, William was finally let out of the tower.William still went to jail several times after that for writing and preaching about Quakerisam. Around 1670, he was accused for planning a riot and got arrested. William had a lot of hardship for becoming a Quaker.

Founding Pennslvania

When William Penn bought Pennsylvania, he only needed one thing, peace with the Indians. After many arrests, William Penn decided there was no hope for them in England. So he figured that he had to go to America. William Penn carefully planned Pennsylvania. William Penn called it his " Holy Experiment." But Penn wasn't allowed to go to Pennsylvania until 1682. Penn brought many Quakers to Pennsylvania. But on the voyage, many people started getting smallpox. Luckily, Penn was immune to smallpox, he could help nurse the sick. On the boat William Penn made the decision to have peace with the Indians. He wrote a treaty with the Native Americans that helped his state flourish the colonial era. Many colonists did not like the Indians, but Penn insisted that they were equals. Penn made such good deals with the Indians that they never attacked the colony. Penn was a very good man even if he went to jail


In conclusion, William Penn became a Quaker at a early age. William Penn had a very crazy childhood from getting into trouble, to going to jail. William Penn and a lot of hardship after he had become a Quaker. William Penn was a very nice person, but many people didn't understand him so they threw him in jail. If William Penn never disobeyed his father,gone to jail several times,and had gotten expelled, we would never had Pennsylvania like it is today.


Leniency- The fact or quality of being more merciful or talerent than expected

Navel Officer- A highly educated specially trained military leaders

Quakers- A member of the religious society of friends, a Christian movement founded by Geogre Fox in 1650


Books: Ingram, Scott "Pennsylvania" Milwaukee World Almanac Library 2002

Fraden Dennis B. "The Pennsylvania Colony" Chicago Children Press

Online: Horle, Craig W "Penn William" "World Almanac Library" 2016 World Book Web 26 Feb 2016