John Penn (writer)
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John Penn (or John Penn, Jr. or John Penn of Stoke) (22 February 1760 – 21 June 1834) was the chief proprietor of the
Province of Pennsylvania The Province of Pennsylvania, also known as the Pennsylvania Colony, was a British North American colony founded by William Penn William Penn (14 October 1644 – 30 July 1718) was an English writer and religious thinker belonging to the ...
as of 1775 (now the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Pennsylvania ( , elsewhere ; pdc, Pennsilfaani), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic basi ...
,
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
) and a politician and writer. He and his cousin, John Penn ("John Penn, the Governor") held unsold property, of , which the Pennsylvania legislature confiscated after the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colo ...
. Penn lived in Philadelphia for five years after the Revolution, from 1783 to 1788, building a country house just outside the city. He returned to Great Britain in 1789 after receiving his three-fourths portion of £130,000, the compensation for the proprietorship by the Pennsylvania government. He and his cousin, John Penn, who remained a resident in US, received compensation from Parliament for their losses in the former colony. In 1798, he was appointed as
High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire The High Sheriff A high sheriff is a ceremonial officer for each shrieval county of England and Wales England and Wales () is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom, parts of the United K ...
and served as a
Member of Parliament A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the people who live in their constituency An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) ...
(1802–1805). He was appointed in 1805, as governor of the
Isle of Portland The Isle of Portland is a tied island Tied islands, or land-tied islands as they are often known, are landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body A planet is a ...
. Also a writer, he published in a variety of genres.


Life

He was born in
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...

London
, England, the son of
Thomas Penn Thomas Penn (March 20, 1702 – March 21, 1775) was a hereditary proprietor of the Province of Pennsylvania The Province of Pennsylvania, also known as the Pennsylvania Colony, was a British North American colony founded by William Penn ...
and his wife Lady Juliana Fermor Penn (the daughter of
Thomas Fermor Thomas Fermor (by 1523–1580) was an English politician. He was born a younger son of merchant Richard Fermor and was the brother-in-law of John Mordaunt, 2nd Baron Mordaunt He became a merchant of the staple and a member of the Grocer's C ...
, first
earl of Pomfret Image:George Fermor, 3rd Earl of Pomfret (1768-1830).jpg, 200px, George Fermor, 3rd Earl of Pomfret. Earl of Pomfret (alias Pontefract) was a title in the Peerage of Great Britain created in 1721 for Thomas Fermor, 2nd Baron Leominster. It became e ...
), elder brother to
Granville Penn Granville Penn (9 December 1761 – 28 September 1844) was a great-grandson of William Penn (Royal Navy officer), Admiral Sir William Penn, a British author, and scriptural geologist. Biography He was born 9 December 1761 in Spring Gardens, Lond ...
, and a grandson of
William Penn William Penn (14 October 1644 – 30 July 1718) was an English writer A writer is a person who uses written words in different styles and techniques to communicate ideas. Writers produce different forms of literary art and creative wri ...

William Penn
, founder of
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania ( , elsewhere ; pdc, Pennsilfaani), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic basi ...

Pennsylvania
. He studied at
Eton College Eton College () is a public school (private sector) for boys in Eton, Berkshire Eton ( ) is a town in Berkshire, England, on the opposite bank of the River Thames to Windsor, connected to it by Windsor Bridge. The civil parish In ...

Eton College
. On the death of his father in 1775, he succeeded to his father's interests, and inherited three quarters of the proprietorship of Pennsylvania. The other quarter of the proprietorship belonged to his cousin, also named John Penn, the colonial governor of the province. The Penns later lost the proprietorship as a result of the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colo ...
. In 1776, he entered
Clare College, Cambridge Clare College is a constituent college A collegiate university is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education an ...
as a
fellow commoner A commoner is a student at certain universities in the British Isles The British Isles are a group of islands in the North Atlantic off the north-western coast of continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the co ...
. He made an extended visit to Pennsylvania after the Revolution, from 1783 to 1788. He rented a
Philadelphia Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is ...

Philadelphia
city house and designed and built a country house, The Solitude, which survives as part of the grounds of the
Philadelphia Zoo The Philadelphia Zoo, located in the Centennial District of Philadelphia Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community fo ...
. He returned to England in 1789 with his 65% share of the £130,000 compensation for the loss of the family's unsold property of the proprietorship in Pennsylvania, a total of , which he shared with his cousin, John Penn. He rebuilt the Penn mansion in the family estate of Stoke Park. He and his cousin also appealed to Parliament for compensation and they received a total of £4,000 annually in perpetuity. In 1798, Penn was appointed High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire. He was a Member of Parliament for
Helston Helston ( kw, Hellys) is a town and civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration Public admin ...
from 1802 to 1805. In 1805, he was appointed as governor of the
Isle of Portland The Isle of Portland is a tied island Tied islands, or land-tied islands as they are often known, are landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body A planet is a ...
, where he built Pennsylvania Castle and later the sea bathing stone bath known as
John Penn's Bath Pennsylvania Castle is a Gothic Revival architecture, Gothic Revival mansion on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, England. It is located in Wakeham and overlooks Church Ope Cove. The castle is Grade II Listed, as is the adjacent gatehouse and lodges, ...
, close to the gardens of the castle.Pennsylvania Castle
/ref> In 1818, still a bachelor at 58, Penn founded the Matrimonial Society, soon renamed the Outinian Society to encourage young men and women to marry. He died, unmarried, at Stoke Park in Stoke Poges. He was succeeded by his brother,
Granville Penn Granville Penn (9 December 1761 – 28 September 1844) was a great-grandson of William Penn (Royal Navy officer), Admiral Sir William Penn, a British author, and scriptural geologist. Biography He was born 9 December 1761 in Spring Gardens, Lond ...
.


Selected bibliography

*''The Battle of Eddington, or British Liberty'', a tragedy *Some pamphlets *A collected volume of poems *''Observations in Illustration of Virgil's Celebrated Fourth Eclogue'' (1810). This last title is a discussion of Virgil's "Fourth Eclogue," in which Penn reasons that Virgil's eclogue is not a prophecy of the birth of Jesus Christ, as others had argued, but a ''Genethliacon,'' a birthday-poem in honour of Augustus, Octavius, who became Augustus Caesar. He received the degree of LL.D. from Cambridge in 1811.


See also

* List of colonial governors of Pennsylvania


References


External links


Biographical note
* {{DEFAULTSORT:Penn, John 1760 births 1834 deaths Alumni of Clare College, Cambridge People of colonial Pennsylvania Members of the Parliament of the United Kingdom for constituencies in Cornwall People educated at Eton College UK MPs 1802–1806 Penn family, John English people of Welsh descent High Sheriffs of Buckinghamshire Writers from London