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LIFE OF WILLIAM PENN.
CHAPTER I. OLD AND NEW FORTUNES (1644). The Penns of Penn were an old family, living in Bucks during the wars of the Red and White Roses, three or four miles from the town of Beaconsfield, in the parish from which they seem to have got their name. These Penns of Penn have long since passed away.
In very old times a branch of this family removed to the north of Wiltshire, where they held a small estate in land, a hundred pounds a-year, on the skirts of Bradon forest, on the borders of the shire. Their seat was called Penn's Lodge, a ‘genteel ancient house,' and in the town of Minety, across the border, they had a second house. The last of these old Penns of Bradon forest was William Penn of Penn's Lodge and Minety, who survived his only son, also a William Penn, and dying in 1591 at a great age, was buried in Minety Church, near the altar. On the old man's death the property was sold to pay his debts, and this connexion of the Penn family with Penn's Lodge and Minety ceased.
This patriarch of failing fortune left two grandsons, William and Giles, to begin the world afresh. Giles went to Bristol, took to the sea, and entered into trade. He sailed into the North Sea; he crossed the Bay of Biscay; he visited the Spanish ports; he caught some glimpses of the pirate holds. The skipper had his ups and downs; for some of his ventures turned out ill; the rovers seized his goods, the factors cheated him; yet on the whole he made his way. In Bristol he found a lady to his mind; a Gilbert of Yorkshire, who had recently come into the west country; and marrying her, he took a house in that city for her home and there his sons, George and William (the future admiral), were in due time born, though at an interval of twenty years.
George, the elder born of these two Bristol boys, was early put to work under his father's eye. He learned the business of a merchant, and spent his youth in passing from Cadiz to Antwerp and Rotterdam, until he fell in love with a lady of Antwerp, a Catholic in creed and a subject of the Crown of Spain. This love was happy, and on being united to the woman of his heart George Penn set up his home at San Lucar, the port of Seville, then a busy, thriving town. George, bav. ing no offspring, brought his wife's sisters from Antwerp to live with her, and made for them a pleasant home in that Morisco port, near the English hospice of St. George.
William, the younger born of these two Bristol boys, was put to sea. Captain Giles Penn, his father, roved about the Spanish, Portuguese, and Flemish ports; and William worked his way, under that father's eye, from the lowest work on board his vessel to the highest office on the quarterdeck.
After George's settlement in San Lucar, Captain Giles Penn, the father, turned his keel towards the Moorish ports, then opening up a new and tempting branch of trade. The Moors of Fez and Susa were in want of many things that Bristol could supply-tin, lead, and iron most of all, and Giles, having paid a visit to the ports, from Tetuan to Sallee, observing the course of trade and picking up the native speech, began to fetch from Bristol such commodities as he found would sell. But this new trade was only to be carried on at daily risk of life. The Spanish court had closed the Barbary ports by paper blockade,-much as they had closed the American ports. Such ports were lawless in a certain sense, the natives having built and manned a swarm of boats in which they roved about the seas and preyed on vessels under every flag. In fact, these Barbary ports were pirate-ports. From Tunis to Sallee the African harbours sent out every spring a fleet of rovers; some of which swept the coasts of Spain on her eastern side, some on her western side; those pushing out as far as the Genoese waters, these coming up into the German and Irish seas. They chased all colours, and they seized all ships. They not only took the goods on board, but sold the officers and crews as slaves. Muley Mohammed, Emperor of Morocco, tried his best to limit this warfare of the sea to Spain; but his seat of government was far away from the coast, and his unruly subjects of the sea-ports would not stay their hands to please a young and feeble prince. Sallee, the busiest of these pirate nests, was in revolt against bis rule.
A quick and able man, this Captain Penn not only knew that court favour would be useful to him in his perilous trade, but saw how favour could be won at court by simple means. King Charles was fond of falconry, and Giles brought home with him a cast of Tetuan hawks. Charles quickly let him know that he would like more hawks, on which the Bristol skipper told him he could get these birds if the King would give him