ePub 版
[ocr errors]


Modern History: CONTINUATION | Universal History:



T HÉ family history of Mr. Penn, the founder of this Hipory of

great and Aourishing colony, is foreign to this work. Mr. Penn.

It is sufficient to say, that his father was Sir William Perin, the famous admiral who commanded the naval arma-, ment, as colonel Denables did the land forces, which Cromwell sent against Hispaniola, where, though they failed, they conquered Jamaicà. The particulars of that expedition are to this day misterious ; but it is agreed, on all hands, that the attempt upon Hispaniola did not fail through the cowardice of either commander ; and, it is certain, that the exiled family of the Stuarts, after the failure of the expedition, kept up a close correspondence with them both; and that l'enables was very deeply concerned in the unsuccessful insurrection at Chester in their favour. Penn was by principle an independent; but immediately after the restoration, he became a reigning favourite at court with the two royal brothers. In 1665, he was appointed to command the English feet under 1666 the duke of York ; and it was universally thought that the laurels which his royal highness acquired in figheing against the Dutch, were chiefly owing to the great abilities of Sir William Penn as a seaman.

Mod. Hist. Vol. XLI.



In the mean while, Sir William's fon, William, was adding the advantages of a fiberal education to the uncommon sagacity he possessed from nature; but, from being an enemy, next to enthusiasm against the established church of England, he at laft professed himself a quaker. While he was studying at Christ Church, Oxford, he and the lord Spencer, afterwards earl of Sunderland, so noted for the duplicity of his conduct, insulted the students and the clergy who appeared in surplices, and becoming thereby obnoxious, they were by their parents fent into foreign parts to enlarge their minds. Young Penn, when he was abroad, received an order from his father, on his being appointed admiral as aforesaid, to return home; and it is probable, that, by this time, both father and son had digested within themselves the plan of their future settlement, The juncture and disposition of the court was extremely favourable to their wilhes. The royal brothers wanted to send out of England as many sectaries as they could, and thought that the government of them could not be more properly entrusted than with the Penns. The latter, on the other hand, could not without great grief see the harrafsments which those of their own persuasion every day suffered in England ; and they had before their eyes the fourishing examples of New England and Virginia to encourage them in their intention of making like migrations of their own fect and their friends to

America, where there were ftill vast tracts of unappropriated land to settle, Sir William died in the west of England, and was buried in Bristol; but probably less the plan of his settlement, in which it is said he was greatly affifted by a relation residing in America, with his son.

The young gentleman, when his father died, was so much immersed in religious disputes that he had for some time 'no leisure to follicit the grant, which had actually been promised to his father by Charles II. But the persécution

against his fect raging every day more and more, he obtained 1640. it in the year 1679; but was not actually invested with it till 680.37, the 4th of March, 1680-81. The allegations of Mr. Penn's

petition were, a como endable desire to enlarge the English empire, and promote such useful commodities' as may be of beriefit thereto, as also to reduce the savage nations, by gentle and just manners, to the love of civil society, and the

Chriftian religion. The boundaries granted by the charter and his

to the said William Penn, and his heirs were, “ all that tract charter.

or part of land in America, with the islands therein contained, the as the same is bounded on the eart by Delaware river, from twelve miles distance northwards of Newcastle town, unto the three and fortieth degree of northern latitude, if the river doch


extend so far north ward: but, if the said river thall not ex-
tend so far northward, then by the said river, so far as it doch
extend; and, from the head of the said river, the eastern
bounds are to be determined by a meridian line, to be drawn
from the head of the said river unto the said forty-third de-
gree. The said land to extend westward five degrees in lon-
gitude, to be computed from the faid eastern bounds; and the
laid lands to be bounded on the north by the beginning of
the three and fortieth degree of northern latitude, and, on
the south, by a circle drawn at twelve miles distance from
Newcastle northward, and westward unto the beginning of
the forrieth degree of norchern latitude, and then, by a straio
line westwards to the limits of longitude abovementioned.”

Having thus described the bounds laid down by this
charter, it is absolutely necessary for the understanding the
history of Pensylvania, that we give a summary of the chief
articles of this famous charter, which is justly thought to be
a master-piece of provincial legislation, and was the basis of
many succeeding disputes between the proprietary and the

The third section secures the true and absolute property Contents of
of the said province to Mr. Penn, but with the saving of his the same.
allegiance and the sovereignty of the English crown. 'The
fourth section grants to him, his heirs, &c. full and absolute
power, for the good and happy government of the said coun-
try; to ordain, make, and enact, and under his or their seals,
to publish any laws whatsoever, for the raising of money for
public uses of the said province, or, for any other end apper-
taining either unto the public state, peace, or safety of the
laid county, or unto the private utility of particular persons,
according to their best discretion ; by and with the advice,
allent, and approbation of the freemen of the said country,
or the greater part of them, or of their delegates and depucies,
to be assembled in such fort and form, as to him and them
lhall seem best, and as often as need shall require. The
filth section gives Mr. Penn a power to erect courts of judi-
cature for the administration of the aforesaid laws, provided
they be consonant to reason, and not repugnant or contrary,
but (as near as conveniently may be) agreeable, to the laws and
Itatutes and rights of England; with a saving to the crown in
cale of appeals. The lixch impowers Mr. Penn to make ad.
ditional laws, or bye-laws, as occasion shall offer (A), but
Itill agreeable to the laws of England; so as the said ordi-

(A) Though we only mention Mr. Penn, yet his heirs, execu-
Tors, &c. are included.


nances be not extended in any sort to bind, change, or take away the right or interest of any person or persons for, or in, their life, members, freehold, goods, or chartels.

By the seventh section it is provided that a transcript or duplicate of all laws, so made and published as aforesaid, shall, within five years after the making thereof, be transmitted and delivered to the privy council for the time being; and, if declared by the king in council inconsistent with the lovereignty or lawful prerogative of the crown, or contrary to the faith and allegiance due to the legal government of this realm, shall be adjudged void. The eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, iwelfth, and thirteenth sections contain little, but what is in common to other proprietary governments. By the fourteenth section Mr. Penn is obliged to have an attorney or agent to be his resident-representative, at some known place in London, who is to be answerable to the crown for any misdeameanor committed, or wilful default, or neglect permitted by the said Penn against the laws of trade and navigațion ; and to defray the damages in his majesty's courts ascertained ; and, in case of failure, the government to be refumed and retained till payment has been made ; without any prejudice, however, in any respect to the landholders or inhabitants, who are not to be affected or molested thereby. The sections fourteenth, fifteenth, fixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth, contain nothing particular. By the twentieth section, his majesty covenants and grants to and with the said William Penn, for himself, his heirs, and successors, at no time thereafter to impose or levy any tax on the inhabitants in any shape, unless the same be with the confent of the proprietary, or chief governor, or assembly, or by act of parliament in England.

By the twenty-first section; his majesty, on pair of his highest displeasure, commands all his officers and minifters, that they do not presume at any time to attempt any thing to the contrary of the premises, or that they do in any fore withstand the fame : and, on the contrary, injoins them to be at all time, aiding and affifting, as was fitting; to the faid IVilliam Penn, and his heirs, and unto the inhabitants and merchants of the province aforesaid, their servants; ministers, factors, and assigns, in the full use and fruition of the benefit of the said charter. By the twenty-third and last section, a provifion is made, by the king's special will, ordinance, and command, that, in case any doubt or queftion should there. after perchance arise concerning the true sense or meaning of any word, clause, or sentence contained therein, such interpretation should be made thereof, and allowed in any of


« 上一頁繼續 »