Facts and Events
Hannah Callowhill Penn (11 February 1671 – 20 December 1726) was the second wife of Pennsylvania founder William Penn; she effectively administered the Province of Pennsylvania for six years after her husband suffered a series of strokes and then for another eight years after her husband's death. She served as acting proprietor from 1712 until her death in 1726.
Miss Callowhill was born in Bristol, England, the daughter of Thomas Callowhill, a merchant there. A Quaker, she married William Penn March 5, 1696, when she was 25 and he was 52. She was pregnant with their first of eight children when the couple embarked from England for their three-month voyage to America in 1699. She lived in great style, both in Philadelphia and at Pennsbury Manor, a beautiful estate located in Bucks County, on the Delaware River. When William Penn died at age 73 on July 30, 1718, his will gave Hannah Penn full control of the colony and his fortune. William Penn's oldest son by his first marriage, William Penn, Jr., sought to dismiss his father's will in order to obtain control of the colony. His suit was unsuccessful, and Hannah Penn remained in charge of the colony until she died from a stroke at age 55. Her deputy in Pennsylvania from 1718 till 1727 was Sir William Keith.