Penn’s Pen: Even William Has a Romantic Side!

  • February 14, 2012
  • Posted By: Pennsbury Manor

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, we want to offer some touching words of love from William to his first and second wives. 

William and his first wife Gulielma show every sign of having a loving relationship, a true partnership.  Before sailing off to his new colony in August 1682, Penn wrote a letter to his wife and children.  In the 17th Century, a sea voyage was a dangerous and sometimes deadly adventure.  So this letter would have offered comforting words of love and advice should he not return…

My dear Wife and Children.

    My love, that sea nor land, nor death itself can extinguish or lessen toward you, most endearly visits you with eternal embraces, and will abide with you for ever: and may the god of my life watch over you, and bless you good in this world and for ever.  Some things are upon my spirit to leave with you, in your respective capacities; as I am to one a husband and to the rest a father, if I should never see you more in this world.

    My dear Wife, remember thou wast the love of my youth, and much the joy of my life the most belov’d as well as most worthy of all my earthly Comforts.  And the reason of that love was more thy inward, than thy outward excellencies (wch yet were many)……

    And now my dear Children, that are the gifts and mercies of the god of your tender father, hear my counsel, and lay it up in your hearts.  Love it more than treasure, and follow it, and you shall be bless’d here and happy in the hearafter……

Two years after his beloved Gulielma passed away, Penn began courting another young woman named Hannah Callowhill.  To see excerpts from their correspondence, visit this link posted to our official website: https://www.pennsburymanor.org/Love%20Letters%20from%20William%20Penn.pdf 

Have a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hannah Howard, Volunteer Coordinator & Project Assistant

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