Lot of 2 18th Century Land Deeds, Incl. Thomas Penn Signed Example

Lot of 2. 

Penn, Thomas (1702-1775). Son of Pennsylvania founder, William Penn. Manuscript deed on vellum, 1p, 23.5 x 10.75 in., Philadelphia, PA. October 6, 1739. Document grants 211 acres in Plumstead Township to James Shaw of Bucks County. Penn's signature is featured at bottom, encircled by blue ribbon from which wax seal still hangs. Embossed paper seal featured on document verso.

Hughes, Matthew. Assembly member and Colonial Justice of Pennsylvania. Manuscript indenture on vellum, 1p, 25.5 x 13.75 in. January 29, 1748. Indenture grants James Shaw, Jr. the land granted to his father (James Shaw, Sr.) in the land deed also featured in this lot. Embossed paper and wax seals featured at bottom. 

Thomas Penn was born in Bristol, England, just after his father, William Penn, returned there from the American colonies in 1701. Thomas and his brothers, John and Richard (named atop the deed featured in this lot), inherited the position of Proprietor of the Colony of Pennsylvania from their father when he died in 1718. Thomas served in this capacity (and after 1746 as Chief Proprietor) until the fateful year of his death, and the subsequent start of the Revolutionary War, in 1775. Thomas differed from his father in governing Pennsylvania in a few ways that drew criticism and opposition from colonists. He made advantageous land deals with Indians and Europeans, tried to limit Quaker power and religious freedom in the colony, and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. Most notably, perhaps, Thomas planned, named, and, in 1748, established Reading, Pennsylvania, which would become the county seat for the newly created Berks County, Pennsylvania four years later in 1852.


Penn deed in rough condition, with heavy paper loss at creases and attempted repair with transparent tape to verso. Areas of loss render portions of deed unreadable.

Indenture in rough condition, with areas of loss at creases and edges. Areas of loss render portions of indenture unreadable. 

Estimate: $100 - $300
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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