About John Penn
John Penn (aka "John Penn, Jr." [sic], "John Penn of Stoke") (22 February 1760, London, England – 21 June 1834, Stoke Poges, England) was an Anglo-American writer, a part proprietor of the Province of Pennsylvania (now the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a state of the United States), and a governor of the Isle of Portland.
John Penn was the son of Thomas Penn and his wife Juliana (the daughter of Thomas Fermor, first earl of Pomfret), elder brother to Granville Penn, and a grandson of William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania. He was sent to school at Eton College. On the death of his father in 1775, John Penn succeeded to his father's interests, but, with his cousin, also named John Penn ("John Penn the Governor"), lost the proprietorship by the American Revolution. In 1776 he entered Clare College, Cambridge as a fellow commoner. He made an extended visit to Pennsylvania (1783–88), renting a Philadelphia city house, and designing and building a country house which survives on the grounds of the Philadelphia Zoo. He returned to England in 1789 with 130,000 pounds compensation for the loss of the family's 21 million acres (85,000 km2) in Pennsylvania. With the money he rebuilt the mansion in the family estate of Stoke Park.
in 1798 he was appointed High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire. He was a Member of Parliament (MP) for Helston from 1802 to 1805. In 1805 he became governor of the Isle of Portland, where he built Pennsylvania Castle. He published a tragedy (The Battle of Eddington, or British Liberty), some pamphlets, a volume of poems, and Observations in Illustration of Virgil's Celebrated Fourth Eclogue in 1810. This last title is a discussion of Virgil's Fourth Eclogue in which Penn reasons that Virgil's eclogue is not a prophecy of the birth of Jesus Christ but a Genethliacon, a birthday-poem in honour of Octavius who became Augustus Caesar. He received the degree of LL.D. from Cambridge in 1811.
In 1818, still a bachelor at age 58, he founded the "Martimonial Society", soon renamed the "Outinian Society," whose purpose was to encourage young men and women to marry.
He died, unmarried, at Stoke Park in Stoke Poges on 21 June 1834 and was succeeded by his brother Granville Penn.