John Watson visited Pennsbury and sketched the Bake-and-Brew House where the Crozier family lived. He also recorded an oral history from Pennsbury’s current owner, Robert Crozier, and from his mother, Rosamond Crozier, who had been living there since the 1780’s. They told Watson that many people took relics from the site. Like many other visitors, Watson took away some of the house as a souvenir of his visit:
“I got the carved capital or ornament…of the Pilastre [column] at the Front Door- a gift from R Crozier.”
(John Watson, 1826)
Robert Crozier bought the old manor house and 300 acres surrounding it.
An 18th Century Tourist
“Took a walk…by the riverside. Reviewed the ruins of that ancient pile; Some of the very thick walls still remaining, and the Lintel that was over the door lays near the ruins – dated 16 W.P. 83, scarcely legible. It is perhaps, the remains of the oldest building of any account, in Pennsylvania.”
(Elizabeth Drinker, Journal Entry, 1797)
Penn’s grandson Richard retained the tracts where Penn’s house once stood. But her never lived there. Through later accounts by John Watson indicate it may have been partially torn down with the purpose of rebuilding it. These plans may have been put asunder by the start of the American Revolution the following year.
The original Pennsbury estate was divided into 30 tracts to be sold off.
The collection of artifacts found during the archaeological excavation include a number of elegant pieces dating to the 1750’s. This tells us that someone of the upper class resided at Pennsbury during this time period.
Thomas Penn, Penn’s son, arrived at Pennsbury and sent reports of the sad condition of the estate. In 1736 he wrote: “I found the house at Pennsbury was very near falling, the Roof open as well as windows, and the woodwork almost rotten.” He began making repairs to stabilize the manor house and outbuildings.
After Hannah’s death, William Penn’s will was finally settled and Pennsbury was left to Gulielma’s surviving grandson John, son of William Penn Jr.
William Penn’s cousin Rebecca Blackfan and her husband Edward were sent to live and maintain the Pennsbury estate. They lived there at least four years before our records lose track of them and the estate.