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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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Edward Penington

PENINGTON, Edward, author, born in Amersham, Bucks County, England, 3 September, 1667; died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 11 November, 1711. He was the son of Isaac Penington (1617-'79), who was distinguished as a Quaker minister and an author, and a grandson of Sir Isaac Penington, who was lord mayor of London in 1643, member of parliament, lieutenant of the tower, and one of the commissioners of the high court of justice for the trial of Charles I. Edward received a liberal education, and in 1698 accompanied William Penn, his half-brother by marriage, to Pennsylvania, where he became in 1700 surveyor-general of the province. He published " The Discoverer Discovered "(1695). "Rabshakeh Rebuked" (1695)" and "Some Brief Observations upon George Keith's Earnest Expostulation" (1696).--His grandson, Edward, merchant, born in Philadelphia, 4 December, 1726; died there, 30 September, 1796, was the son of Isaac Penington, who was for several years sheriff of Bucks county, Pennsylvania The son was educated in the best Quaker schools, and afterward was a merchant in Philadelphia, in 1748 he became a member of the "Colony on the Schuylkill," in 1761, and for some years thereafter, he was one of the judges of the court of common pleas, and in 1762, under an act el the assembly, he became one of the trustees in whom was vested the State-House (now Independence Hall) and other public buildings, " for the use of the freemen of the province and their representatives." In 1768 he was elected to membership in the American philosophical society, and, through the action of the institution in 1770, a "Society for the cultivation of silk" was formed, of which he became treasurer. When Paul Revere brought to Philadelphia the news of the passage by parliament of the Boston port bill Penington was among those who, in May, 1774, assembled at the "Coffee-House" and formed a committee of correspondence, and in the month of July of that year he was a member of the Provincial convention. Notwithstanding these sentiments, when the war for independence began his Quaker principles led him to join the "non-resistants." and he came to be classed among the disaffected, and, on the approach of the British in 1777, he was arrested and sent to Virginia. He was a manager of Pennsylvania hospital in 1773-'9. In 1790 he was elected a city councilman, and the year before his death he was appointed by the legislature one of the commissioners to distribute money among the French refugees. As the attorney for Ann Penn. in 1767, he offered Pennsbury Manor for sale, and published a description of the same, setting forth her title to, and giving some historical incidents concerning it. He wrote a " Poetical Proclamation," a satire on the committee of inspection in Philadelphia.--The second Edward's son, John, physician, born in Philadelphia, , 29 September, 1768" died there, 20 September, 1791, was graduated as a physician in Philadelphia in 1790, afterward studied for two years at London, Edinburgh, and Paris, and began practice in Philadelphia in 1792. During the yellow-fever epidemic of the next year he remained at his post and soon fell a victim to the disease. He was a member of the American philosophical society, and the author of "Chemical and Economica, 1 Essays to Illustrate the Connection between Chemistry trod the Arts" (1790) and "Inaugural Dissertation on the Phenomena, Causes, and Effects of Fermentation " (1790).---The second Edward's grandson, John, author, born on his father's estate of Mulberry Hill, Monmouth County, New Jersey, 1 August, 1799" died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 18 March, 1867, entered Princeton, and afterward studied law with John Sergeant at Philadelphia, but never engaged in its practice. Subsequently he became a clerk in the Bank of the United States, where he was thus engaged at the time of the failure of this institution. He owned an extensive private library, with which, and with other books, he established in 1841 a book-store for the sale of rare English, French, and other foreign works, and he was for many years the most noted importer of foreign books in Philadelphia. He was a fine scholar and an accomplished linguist, for many years a member, and at one time an officer, of the Historical society of Pennsylvania, and from 1839 until his death a member of the American philosophical society. In 1845 the University of Pennsylvania gave him the degree of A.M. In addition to critical articles, he published "An Examination of Beauchamp Plantagenet's Description of the Province of New Albion "(Philadelphia, 1840); "Scraps, Osteologic and Archaeological" (1841) ; and he edited " Description of New York, by Daniel Danton, London, 1670 : Reprinted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania" (Philadelphia, 1845).--His daughter, Meta Roberts, born in Philadelphia, 4 December, 1837; died in New York city in December, 1885, married Dr. Horatio Paine. She translated "Women of the French Revolution," from the French of Michelet (Philadelphia, 1855).--The second John's brother, Henry, lawyer, born in Philadelphia, 19 September, 1807; died there, 11 November, 1858, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in Philadelphia in 1828. He edited and published, with numerous additions, Henry James Holthouse's " New Law Dictionary" (Philadelphia, 1847).

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