Makes an Incredibly Early Grant of Land
to His Infant Son in the
New Colony of Pennsylvania!
Signed by William Penn with an especially fine signature (on the lower fold) as Proprietor of Pennsylvania, and accomplished in a highly ornate Old English hand; On vellum, 50" by 20", Worminghurst, Sussex [England], October 22, 1681; with wax seal intact. A typed transcription is included.
By this document Penn, who received his charter from Charles II for the colony of Pennsylvania in March, 1681, "leases and releases" to his infant son, William Penn, Jr., for 100 pounds, 5,000 acres of Pennsylvania. In part: " THIS INDENDURE made the two and twentieth day of October in the Year of our Lord One thousand six hundred Eighty One And in the XXXIII Yeare of the Reigne of King Charles the Second over England BETWEENE William Penn of Worminghurst in the country of Sussex of the one part and William Penn Junr Sonne of the said William Penn by Gulielma Maria the now Wife of the other part WHEREAS King Charles the Second by his Letters under the greate Seale of England bearring date the fourth day of March in the Three and Thirtieth yeare of his Reigne for the Considerations therein mentioned HATH given the said William Penn his heires and Assignes All that Tract of part of Land in America with the islands therein conteyned and thereunto belonging as the same is bounded on the East by Delaware River from Twelve Miles Distance Northward of Newcastle Town to the Three and fortieth Degree of Northerne Latitude and Extendeth Westward five degrees in Longitude and is bounded on the South by a Circle drawn att Ten Miles distance from Newcastle aforesaid Northwards and Westwards to the beginning of the fortieth Degree of Northerne Latitude and then by a straite line Westward to the Limit of Longitude above menconed... In order to the establishing of a Colony and Plantation in the same... THIS INDENTURE WITNESSETH that the said William Penn as well for and in consideration of the summe of One hundred pounds Sterling moneyes to him in hand paid by the same William Penn Junr... Doth Covenant and agree to and with the said William Penn Junr. ... that hee the said William Penn.. shall and will... Cleare acquitt and Discharge...Five Thousand Acres ... from all manner of Titles and Claymes of any Indian Native of the said Tract or Province... that hee the said William Penn Junr.... may quietly and peaceable have and hold the said Five Thousand Acres..."
William Penn, Jr., was born at Worminghurst, his mother's estate in Sussex, on March 14, 1681 - ten days after the grant of Pennsylvania to his father. Appleton's says Junior came to the colony in 1704. Mercifully, he did not remain. While there, he quit with the Quakers; lived lavishly; had bar fights; exceeded his father's limit on expenses, kept a kennel of hounds, and engaged in affairs, it was said, with unmarried woman. He returned to England, unlamented, and sometime between his repatriation and his death in France in 1720, sold the manor at Williamstadt which had, as this early document establishes, been laid out for him at the founding of the colony. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection.