There are a lot of great things to see at Pennsbury Manor. There is the Worker’s Cottage, the Kitchen House, and the animals at the stable. There is one attraction that is off the beaten path. To the left of the Manor House down by the river is a cemetery. There are several little tombstones with nothing but the initials of their first and last names and their year of birth and death carved onto them. Unfortunately, William Penn is not among those buried here at Pennsbury, he is buried in England. Two of the people buried here, James Harrison and his son in law Phineas Pemberton, where trusted friends of William Penn. They had very prominent roles in Penn’s life at Pennsbury Manor. James Harrison and Phineas Pemberton immigrated to North America together in 1682. Pemberton also brought over with him his wife Pheobe and their children Abigail and Joseph. William Penn relied very heavily on James Harrison. Penn granted Harrison five thousand acres of land before Harrison even left England. He used that later on to acquire land in Upper Makefield, Newtown, and Wrightstown. Penn appointed him to Proprietary’s Commissioner of Property and the agent to manage his personal affairs. In 1685, Harrison became one of the three provincial judges. Unfortunately, he did not hold these positions long as he died in 1687. Pemberton was also very important to William Penn. Phineas Pemberton was the first Clerk of the Bucks County Courts and he held that position until his death. William Penn thought very highly of Pemberton. So much so that after his death Penn wrote, “I will mourn for poor Phineas Pemberton, the ablest, as well as one of the best men in the province.” Phineas and Pheobe had nine children in all and several of them are also buried here at Pennsbury. Phineas would go on to outlive Pheobe, who died in 1696. Phineas lived for another six years dying in 1702. So next time you stop by for a visit to Pennsbury Manor, make sure you take a walk over to the cemetery!
Billy Lovering, Intern 2015