The New International Encyclopædia/Penn, Thomas
PENN, Thomas (1702-75). A British colonial proprietor, son of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania. He was born in Kensington, and in 1718 succeeded to one-fourth of the proprietorship of Pennsylvania. In 1732 he went to Philadelphia. He held a power of attorney for his two brothers and assumed direction of the colony until the arrival of his elder brother, John, in 1734. He remained in the colony after his brother's return to England, presided at many of the council meetings up to 1739, and held a great conference with the Indians in 1740. In 1747, upon the death of his elder brother, he inherited the latter's half-interest, and went to England to take charge. During the French and Indian War he sent £5000 for the relief of the colony, having previously given money and land for the establishment of a public library in Philadelphia. When the dispute over taxation of the proprietary estates arose, he received Franklin, the agent of the colony, who brought the 'Heads of Complaint,' in 1757, and he vigorously opposed the petition of the colony, in 1764, that the Crown should assume charge. His interest was finally purchased by the State.