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heated by previous animosities, met and proceeded in much harmony.


In 1711, Gookin renewed the incessant request for military aid or money. The Assembly regretted to refuse, but consented to raise a tax of two thousand pounds for a present to the Queen. There was far from being entire harmony, for matters of controversy continually presented themselves.

And now the blessing of health, which, next to his faith and a good conscience, William Penn valued most, and had longest enjoyed, began to fail him. Cares and reverses may have worn upon his good constitution; and when his good constitution began to yield to human infirmities, before the period of old age, mind and body shared equally in the decline. In 1710, he fixed his residence, for the remainder of his life, at Rushcombe. He was stant in his attendance at religious meetings; he continued his large correspondence, made occasional visits to London, and, in 1711, dictated a preface to the works of John Banks.


In 1712, Penn resolved to sell his proprietary rights to the crown, and asked therefor twenty thousand pounds. Queen Anne referred him to the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations. His purpose to sell seems to have been suggested by the crown's

James Logan

previous intention to purchase. began to correspond with him upon the subject as early as 1701, and Penn seems then to have entertained the idea, though reluctantly, and to have comforted himself with the thought, that though he disposed of his proprietary rights, he should still leave to his children, for inheritance, a domain and a burialplace in Pennsylvania. In 1712, he had completed arrangements for the transfer, for which he was to be paid twelve thousand pounds, and had already received a partial payment, when a stroke of apoplexy, from which he never wholly recovered, caused a failure of his mental faculties; and the business was never completed, though afterwards attempted by him. His wife was informed, in 1713, that her husband "might have long since finished it, had he not insisted too much on gaining privileges for the people." It was with deep sorrow that the honored and faithful man thus sought a refuge from his perplexities in a measure, which wrecked at least one darling hope of his life.

He wrote to some Friends in Pennsylvania, on the 24th of July, 1712, that he was about concluding his transfer to government. He says, "But I have taken effectual care, that all the laws and privileges I have granted to

you shall be observed by the Queen's Governors, &c., and that we, who are Friends, shall be in a more particular manner regarded and treated by the Queen. And you will find all the charters and proprietary governments annexed to the crown by act of Parliament next winter. I purpose to see you if God. give me life this fall; but I grow old and infirm, yet would gladly see you once more before I die, and my young sons and daughter also settled upon good tracts of land," &c.*

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Three successive apoplectic attacks undermined the strong constitution of William Penn. His powers of motion, and his memory and mind, failed him. Amid the comforts of his home at Rushcombe, with the assiduous care of his wife, and cheered by occasional visits of public friends, he passed the remainder of his days. His last love showed itself in his attendance at religious meetings; and when he could no longer speak the names of those with whom he had shared such pleasures, he could remember their countenances, and feel the comfort which they spoke. Intervals of partial restoration, during six years, relieved him. Up to the year 1715, he attended meetings at Reading, and in 1717 could walk about his

Memoirs of Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Vol. I. pp. 210, 211.

grounds in pleasant weather. But, steadily approaching the hour of his relief, enjoying unbroken serenity of mind in every moment of consciousness, he expired on the 30th of July, 1718, in the seventy-fourth year of his age.

A great concourse attended his funeral, and a noble and affecting testimony was borne to his honored life. He was interred at Jordan's in Buckinghamshire, where his former wife and several of his family were buried, on the 5th of August, 1718.


Respect borne to the Character of William Penn. The Aspersions cast upon him after his Death by various Writers considered. - Burnet. The State Papers of Nairne. Lord Littleton. Franklin. Grahame. General Estimate of Penn's Character. - His Virtues and Services. His private Life and Habits. Prosperity of the Colony. - The Descendants of Penn.

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THE protracted seclusion and decline, which preceded the decease of William Penn, were cheered by the many earnest inquiries and

respectful sympathies of a multitude of friends. The large concourse at his funeral bore the testimony of some of all sects to his singular liberality as a Christian, and his perfect consistency as a Friend. His wife attended to many of his business concerns, and, after his death, held frequent correspondence with the functionaries in Pennsylvania. Indeed, as will appear, she administered and governed the province for her children during their minority.

But detraction did not leave the last years of Penn unassailed, nor has it wholly spared his memory. A disowned Quaker minister circulated a report, that he died of madness like to that of Nebuchadnezzar; but the idle tale was promptly refuted. As to the imputations which have been cast upon his public career, including the calumnies of enemies and the misapprehensions and prejudices of those who undesignedly misjudged him, but a few words of reply will be thought necessary. The absurd charge of his being a Jesuit or a Papist has been already noticed.

The phenomena of Penn's public career are so remarkable, that it would have been a miracle had he escaped calumny and censure. That he should have been a Quaker, was a marvel, which almost stupefied those who otherwise would have been his intimate friends.

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