Definitions for "William Penn"
Englishman and Quaker who founded the colony of Pennsylvania (1644-1718)
Born in 1644, he was a prominent English Quaker and reformer and the founder of the colony of Pennsylvania.
William Penn was born in 1644 in England. He joined the Quakers after being sent to Ireland in 1666 and was soon at the receiving end of persecution for his beliefs. Having written a number of books relating to the Quaker religion, Penn was imprisoned several times. In 1681 he obtained the rights to a vast amount of land in America from Charles II, in return for cancelling the debt the King had with Penn's father. It was to become Pennsylvania, named in memory of his father who had died several years earlier. Late in 1682, William Penn sailed for America.