William Penn Summary

Topics: Religious Society of Friends, William Penn, Pennsylvania Pages: 6 (2572 words) Published: January 23, 2011
William Penn Summary and Legacy
John A. Morettam author of William Penn and the Quaker Legacy, presents William Penn's life in a very informational and positively biased story through his years. He looks majorily on the side that William Penn's decisions were right and that his childhood and young adulthood, founding of Pennsylvania, and in his later years his selling of Pennsylvania were all done well. William Penn accomplished a lot and was an esteemed gentleman, and the author really portays him as such while describing everything William did, as well as his relationships. And so the novel starts off with William Penn's father's influence on William Penn Jr. in many different ways. In the beginning of the story it was neglect. He was always gone and never had time for William Penn Jr. William Penn Jr. became very close to his mother as a result. Not having his fathers companionship created a lacking of a male role model, as well as his teachers lacking male role model potential. When William Penn Sr. moved his family to Ireland he was able to bond more with William Penn Jr. and this helped him and many different ways. His introduction to Quakerism was realized in Ireland when a preacher did a sermon at their house and William Penn Jr. was very moved by it. This proved vital with the combination of religious influence from his mentor and professors to young William's devotion to being holy later in his life. When the commonwealth and Cromwell died off the family exited exile and this allowed charles II to regain his throne. Sir William Penn was knighted for his devotion to the Stuart monarchy. This helps shape William Penn Jr.'s interests in the family reputation and makes him feel like he is a part of it, as his father wanted.

Upon arriving at Oxford he was unlike all the other attendants which worried his father. Then he became aquainted with dissenters of the universty and immediatly knew these were the people he fit in with. This was one example of Penn's early conversion to Quakerism without knowing yet. Then his father retired causing him to settle down and become more in touch with his son again. He sent young William Penn off to law school to learn law in the hopes he would gain friends in high places for the future while finishing his education. William Penn Jr. was soon then placed into local politics by his father and held a commisoner job for helping out "down on their luck" people, a sort of welfare. This job reinforced his likeing of the Quaker faith as they helped people without reason while being persecuted, which William Penn Jr. wittnessed during his less than a year work. William Penn Sr. then sent his son to Ireland to settle legalities of his new land that was a result of Irish Royalists taking back their old estate. He inadvertantly was finally "convinced" to be a Quaker during a visit to Cork. Even after his personal persecution by Quakerism, he stood stalwart to his new faith.

William Penn Jr. became a Quaker when it was at the worse time to become one. With the laws set forth to conform everyone to Anglicanism, Quakers went like lambs to the slaughter because of their clear defiance of the law. Fortunatly for William Penn Jr. his incarcerations were brief because of his political standing and being the son of Admiral Penn. But William Penn Jr. was steadfast in his beliefs of Quakerism and this cost him later in his religious affairs. Upon William Penn Jr. release he was well known spokesperson and writer of the Quaker movement. Many praised him for his zealous, nonconformist visage. He then went on to write a pamphlet (or apology), that was to prove Quaker beliefs and motives, and their reasonings behind them. Even with William Penn Jr.'s fantastic writing skills and logic, the pamphlet was discredited and condemned by the masses, and young Penn was incarcerated in The Tower. His stay lasted shy of 9 months and during this time he wrote another pamphlet which was his ultimate piece upon...
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