Historic New Castle Day and the William Penn Trial

Saturday Bill and I went to Historic New Castle Day in Old New Castle, order Delaware. We have gone there a few times before, pharm so we didn’t take the house tour this time. We mainly wanted to see the trial of William Penn, here a play put on in the old courthouse.

I have to say the acting was pretty bad, but the costumes were good.  It was interesting to learn about how the courts were in those days in the late 17th century. Penn was educated at Chigwell School, Essex where he had his earliest religious experience. Young Penn’s religious views exiled him from English society — he was expelled from Christ Church, in Oxford, for being a Quaker, and was arrested several times. Among the most famous of these was the trial following his arrest for preaching before a Quaker gathering.

Penn pleaded for his right to see a copy of the charges laid against him and the laws he had supposedly broken, but the judge, the Lord Mayor of London, refused — even though this right was guaranteed by the law. Despite heavy pressure from the Lord Mayor to convict the men, the jury returned a verdict of “not guilty”.

The Lord Mayor then not only had Penn sent to jail again on a charge of contempt of court, but also the entire jury. The members of the jury, fighting their case from prison, managed to win the right for all English juries to be free from the control of judges. The persecution of Quakers became so fierce that Penn decided that it would be better to try to found a new Quaker settlement in North America.

So that was the history lesson I learned and I wanted to share it with those of you that enjoy American history. After the play we walked around town. It was a gorgeous day and I want to share  photos of some of the gorgeous historical homes with you. If you’re ever visiting Delaware, the first state, try to find the time to visit Old New Caste, you won’t be disappointed.

4 Responses to “Historic New Castle Day and the William Penn Trial”

  1. thepowderdwigs Says:


    Thank you so much for sharing this trip with us. I definitely learned a lot and will put Old New Castle on my list of places to visit. Great pictures!


  2. Bill and Judy Says:

    Dear Carole,
    We went to Old New Castle (after you had blogged about it some time ago) last year. We drove over when we went to the Brandywine Antique Show. We ate at an old tavern and then walked the brick streets late in the afternoon-early evening. It was absolutely magical! It is a step back in time. The homes and streets are REAL AND EARLY. It is not a contrived reproduced “colonial village”. With the antique show, Old New Castle, and Winterthur we had a wonderful time. We have gone to the show and Wintertur several times, but adding Old New Castle made it very special!
    Bill and Judy

  3. carole holt Says:

    Hi Donna. It’s so nice hearing from you today. I hope you can make it there some time, it’s worth going. Delaware is the “small wonder” but we sure have a lot to offer. Glad to know you there and that you read my blog.

  4. carole holt Says:

    Yes, Bill and Nancy, I do remember your going last year. You are right, it’s a real authentic early town and I am so lucky to live so close by, just 15 minutes away.
    Good hearing from you.

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