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North, and the Earl of Halifax, were also on his side. These prudent friends advised him to be silent as to his Free Colony until his patent had been signed. The name of Freedom was offensive at Whitehall.
At first, the Duke of York was not in favour of the grant; and the Attorney-general, Sir Joseph Warden, was instructed to oppose it in his name. James thought the boundary line too loose, the rights of seigniory too large. But Sunderland kept the King's attention fixed on the alternative mode of paying off the score. A peerage and a sum of sixteen thousand pounds were due. If Penn were willing to accept a lordship on the Deleware in lieu of a barony on the Wey, a patch of waste woodland in lieu of sixteen thousand pounds in money, Sunderland thought the King would make a very good bargain for the crown. Sir Thomas Thynne was hankering after Weymouth; the royal treasury was empty; and the King could hardly make another man Viscount Weymouth while the Admiral's dues were still unpaid.
This argument in favour of the grant decided Charles. Had there been money in the coffers, Penn would not have gained his prayer, and Pennsylvania would have been reclaimed and planted by another race of men. Five months after Penn's petition was sent in, Sir Joseph wrote to inform Secretary Blathwayte that the Duke of York consented to Penn's request. What now remained, was the arrangement of details. But this task occupied a second five months. The chief questions which came up for discussion had reference to boundaries and constitutions. Agents of the Duke of York were heard by the Privy Council; Burke appeared for Lord Baltimore; and both parties laid down objections to the boundary-line as drawn by Penn. Penn's counsel made the best of their position; their client being anxious to obtain a well-marked line; but the parties could not come to terms. At length, the grant was made by the Council with no proper understanding of the question, in a vain hope that the proprietors would be able to arrange their differences among themselves. This omission led to much dispute in after-times. The terms of the charter then came on. Penn had forgotten some of our less liberal laws and usages; but the Attorney-general and the Lord Chief Justice remedied his defects by adding clauses to the charter. They reserved all royal privileges. They provided for the authority of Parliament in questions of trade and commerce. Acts of the colonial legislature were to be submitted to the King. Above all, they reserved to the mother country the right to levy rates. The Bishop of London got a clause inserted claiming security for the English Church.
All these preliminaries being arranged, the Lords of Trade and Plantations submitted the draft of a charter constituting Penn proprietor of his great estates. On Thursday, February 24, 1681, Charles set his signature to the document, too happy to cancel a very large and troublesome debt.
A council was called for Saturday, the 5th of March, at Whitehall, which Penn was summoned to attend. The name which Penn had fixed on for his province was New Wales; but Secretary Blathwayte, a Welshman, objected to have the Quaker country called after his native land. Penn proposed Sylvania, on account of the magnificent foresta Penn means great and high; and Charles, who loved a word of double meaning, added Penn to Sylvania; partly as a compliment to his old admiral, and partly as descriptive of the country. Penn, being fearful lest it would appear in him a piece of vanity to allow a principality to be called by his name, appealed to the King, and offered twenty guineas to the Secretary, to have it changed. Had he appealed to Blathwayte, and bribed the King, he might have had his wish. But Charles took upon himself the name; and the patent was then issued in the usual form.
The document itself is in the office of the Secretary of Pennsylvania; it is written on rolls of strong parchment, in the old English handwriting, each line underscored with red ink; the borders are emblazoned with devices, and the top of the first sheet exhibits a portrait of King Charles. It briefly sets forth the nature and reasons of the grant, and loosely describes the boundaries of the province. This document, not yet two centuries old, is regarded in America with veneration.
Four weeks after Charles had signed his patent, Penn sent out his cousin, Colonel William Markham, with his orders to take possession of the country, to inform the natives of his coming over, and assure them of his friendly feeling; to select a piece of land near Trenton Falls on which to build a house, and settle with Lord Baltimore the question of their frontier lines.
The grant of his petition was a great event for Penn. Penn knew the grandeur and the purity of his design. If Sydney felt that the cause of freedom was at issue, Penn believed that the experiment involved no less than the cause of human nature and of God. While waiting the turns of his negotiations he saw how one false step, one rash word, one imprudent concession, might put the whole of his great scheme in peril. When the charter was issued he exclaimed, 'God hath given it to me in the face of the world. . . . He will bless and make it the seed of a nation.'
In this spirit he commenced his labours as a legislator. Warned by the failure of the constitution drawn up by Locke and Shaftsbury for Carolina, which their friends had declared would last for ever, —Penn resolved, at Sydney's instance, to secure a democratic basis for his scheme, and then allow the details to fall in with time. He therefore drew a frame of government, the preamble of which— like the declaration of rights and principle prefixed to modern constitutions — contained his leading