William Penn

By Isaac Smith


Were you ever curious about what William Penn did other than found Pennsylvania? First, William Penn was a part of a group known as The Society of Friends, more commonly known as Quakers. Next, William Penn's most commonly known trait is founding the Pennsylvania Colony. Finally, Penn was faced with jailtime many times. You can learn all about William Penn's life by reading this article.

Penn Becoming A Quaker

First, Penn became a member of the Society of Friends, otherwise known as Quakers, many years after his first encounter as a teenager. Young William was just 13 years old when a Quaker named Thomas Loe was invited to the Penn estate during his stay in Ireland. This was the first encounter with Quakerism Penn had, but did not persuade him to change his beliefs at this time. At the age of 23, Penn met Thomas Loe again, but this time he went through a religious awakening. He attended Quaker meetings and events. At the age of 24, Penn became a Quaker minister. In a short period of time, Penn became an involved Quaker.

Founding Pennsylvania

Next, William Penn`s most well known, and possibly greatest achievement, is founding the Pennsylvania colony. Penn had been bestowed a royal debt after his father died. Penn told the king that he would like a tract of land instead of money as payment. The king agreed. The piece of land was named "Penn`s Woods". Many people think Penn named his land after himself. In fact, it was named after his father. In the year 1692, the Crown withdrew Penn`s ownership of his colony. William Penn founded one of the 11 states that were named after people.


Finally, even though William Penn did almost no wrong in his life, he still had lots of troubles with the law. The first time this happened was when Penn first started attending Quaker meetings. At this time Quakerism was illegal in England. He was briefly arrested, but soon after his release he started forming his own Quaker meetings. This time he was imprisoned in the Tower of England. He was kept for 2 years. During his stay he wrote many pieces of writing about Quaker beliefs, most famously " No Cross No Crown" in 1669. Penn was put in jail, but even then managed to do good.


Now you know all about William Penn. You know about how he became a Quaker as a young man. You also know about how he created Pennsylvania. Finally, you know about William Penn being in jail. Hopefully after everything you now know about William Penn you can use this information. Go! Use it!


Quaker: a member of the Society of Friends, a group who rejects rituals and formal ministry.
tract: an expanse or area of land, water , etc.
Crown: royal government
bestowed: to present as a gift


Colonial America Biographies Vol. 2
By Peggy Saari, 2000

Horle, Craig W. "Penn, William" World Book Student 2015. Web. 20 Mar. 2015.
"Penn, William" Compton's by Britannica. 01 Aug. 2011: n.p. SIRS Discoverer. Web. 20 Mar. 2015