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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Newtown in Bucks County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

William Penn's New Town

Newtown Heritage Walk No. 14

 
 
William Penn's New Town Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., January 28, 2010
1. William Penn's New Town Marker
Inscription.
On March 4, 1681, Charles II granted William Penn a vast tract of land in the New World as payment for the debt the King owed Penn's father. The tract awarded to Penn included all of the land west of New Jersey, north of Maryland and south of New York. On July 15, 1682, Penn purchased the same land from the Native Americans. William Penn's Surveyor General, Thomas Holme, arrived in 1682, surveyed the land and produced one of the first maps of Pennsylvania and Newtown in 1687.

On the earliest maps, the 5,000 acres that originally comprised Newtown were originally called “New Township,” which essentially evolved into “Newtown.” Legend says that William Penn called this area his New Township. The origin of the name Newtown cannot be proved, but Penn was at least aware of the name because it appears on a warrant he signed in 1684.

William Penn was very interested in the development of land in his new Colony. Penn's township plan was supposed to be a model for townships in Pennsylvania including Wrightstown and Falls Township, but Newtown may be the only township that actually was developed using the plan. Penn's plan included 16 farm plots that went out from the center in a fan shape with a common in the middle of 30-40 acres. Each farm lot was connected to the common by a townstead lot that was
William Penn's New Town Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., January 28, 2010
2. William Penn's New Town Marker
Looking north along Sycamore Street.
equal in size to ten percent or less of the farm lot. William Penn hoped to attract more settlers by giving them townstead land and farm land.

One of the original patent holders was Shadrach Walley. He received his patent for land in Newtown on March 22, 1681 only 18 days after Penn was granted the land by King Charles. Walley was the only one of the original patent holders to build his home on townstead land, and by 1703 he owned over 1500 acres in Newtown making him one of the largest landowners in the area.

Compiled from the research of Edward Barnsley, Norman Swayne and Thomas Mayer, three dedicated Newtown historians.
 
Erected 2007 by The Newtown Historical Association and Newtown Rotary Club.
 
Location. 40° 13.944′ N, 74° 56.273′ W. Marker is in Newtown, Pennsylvania, in Bucks County. Marker is on Sycamore Street, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is about 80 feet south of the intersection of Sycamore and Jefferson Streets. Marker is in this post office area: Newtown PA 18940, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Randall Double House (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Presbyterian Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Elinor Slack Campbell
William Penn's New Town Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., January 28, 2010
3. William Penn's New Town Marker
Newtown Creek in background right.
(within shouting distance of this marker); Brooks House (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Boyd-Yardley House (about 600 feet away); Newtown Common & Creek (approx. 0.2 miles away); Goodnoe Farm & Dairy Bar (approx. 0.2 miles away); Newtown Borough Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Newtown.
 
Also see . . .
1. Newtown Heritage Walk. (Submitted on April 16, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Brief History of Newtown. (Submitted on April 16, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Colonial EraExplorationNative AmericansNotable PersonsSettlements & Settlers
 
Penn's Treaty Painting on Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., January 28, 2010
4. Penn's Treaty Painting on Marker
1703 Map of Newtown on Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., January 28, 2010
5. 1703 Map of Newtown on Marker
Heritage Walk Marker Locations image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., January 28, 2010
6. Heritage Walk Marker Locations
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,152 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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