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Thus was William Penn employed during a part of the present year. Thus, by becoming a trustee for Byllinge, he was unexpectedly thrown into a situation which brought before him the great question of Settlements in the then newly discovered world, which enabled him to gain considerable knowledge with respect to the formation of these, and which therefore by degrees qualified him for that station which he filled afterwards as the founder of Pennsylvania, with so much credit to himself, with so much honour to his country, and to the admiration of succeeding ages.
A. 1677-continues his mana gement of West New Jer... sey-appoints Commissioners to go there--sells a portion of the land-sends off three vessels---undertakes a religious visit to Holland and Germany--writes to the King of Poland from Amsterdam--his kind recepe tion and employment at the Court at Herwerden, occurrences at Krisheim-Dilysburg-Mulheim-Hurlingen-Wonderwick-and other places-writes at Frankfort “ A Letter to the Churches of Jesus through-... out ihe World”-and at Rotterdam “A Call or Summons to Christendom," and other tracts—disputes with Galenus Avrums--returns to England-holds a dispute with William Rogers at Bristol.
In the early part of 1677 William Penn continued to be employed on behalf of Byllinge. It appears that he had then left his house at Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire, and that he had established himself at Worminghurst in Sussex. Here then, in the calm retreat of the country, he took thought for his new colony. The more he considered his situation as a principal manager of it, the more he became interested in it. It was his duty to take care of the individual for whom he acted; but it was a more pleasing consideration that, in attending to his interests, he
had an opportunity of becoming useful on a larger scale. While at Worminghurst applications came to him, in consequence of the public letter which had been circulated, for shares in the new adventure, by which it appeared that there was a probability of disposing of a considerable portion of West New Jersey. He consulted therefore with his colleagues; and the result was, that they determined to appoint and send over Commissioners, who should be empowered to purchase lands of the Indians, to examine the rights of such as: might claim property in the new territory, to give directions for laying out the allotments there, and to administer, for the first year, the government according to the spirit of the Concessions before mentioned. They resolved next to open proposals for the immediate sale of the lands. These offers were no sooner made, such was the high character of William Penn, than they were accepted. Among the purchasers were two companies, both consisting of Quakers, the one of persons from London, the other from Yorkshire. These contracted for large shares, and
and had patents for them. The members of the Yorkshire company were principal creditors of Byllinge, and they received a tenth part of the whole land in consideration of their debts.
As no persons could more properly act as Commissioners than they who had a stake or interest in the new territory, it was judged advisable that some of the most respectable of the purchasers should be appointed to this office, and that the purchasers in general should nominate the rest. Accordingly Thomas Olive and Daniel Wills were chosen from among the London, and Joseph Helmsly and Robert Stacey from among the Yorkshire proprietors. To these were added Richard Guy, who was then in America with Fenwick, and John Kinsey, Benjamin Scott, and others.
Matters having been thus prepared, the Commissioners, with several of the proprietors and their families and servants, to the number of two hundred and thirty, embarked in the ship Kent, Gregory Marlow master. As they were lying in the Thames ready to sail, it happened that King Charles the Second was passing by in his pleasure
barge. barge. Seeing a number of persons on board, he went alongside, and inquired whither they were bound. On receiving information, he asked if they were all Quakers. And being answered in the affirmative, he gave them his blessing, and departed. Soon after this the ship weighed anchor and proceeded to sea. It may be proper to observe, that two other vessels, one from London and the other from Hull, followed the ship Kent, the one carrying seventy and the other one hundred and fourteen passengers to the same parts.
We hear nothing more of William Penn till the month of June, when he left Worminghurst to attend the yearly meeting of the Quakers. This meeting, which lasted several days, was held in London, and persons belonging to the society flocked to it from all parts. Among those who came to it were George Fox and John Burnyeat, the latter of whom was an eminent minister at that time. These two on the breaking up of the meeting returned with William Penn to Worminghurst, where they wrote their great work called “A New England Firebrand quenched,” in answer to a publication which