William Penn’s Royal Charter

Journalist, minister, missionary, and Quaker, English-born William Penn is best-known for his royal charter in 1681 to form a new colony in America—Pennsylvania—a refuge for religious freedom. While managing his father’s property in Ireland, Penn met Quaker preachers who inspired his conversion to the Society of Friends. In the years that followed, he was imprisoned for his writings in a life-long fight for persecuted religious groups. William Penn relied heavily on the Bible as a source for his prolific writings over the years. Shortly before his death on July 30, 1718, he said his goodbyes to friends with words paraphrased from Psalm 121:7–8 and Hebrews 13:20: “My love is with you; the Lord preserve you, and remember me in the Everlasting Covenant.”

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