List of colonial governors of Pennsylvania

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Three generations of Penns acted as proprietors of the Province of Pennsylvania and the Lower Counties (Delaware) from the founding of the colony until the American Revolution removed them from power. William Penn was granted the new proprietary colony in 1681 by Charles II of England in payment for debts owed to Penn's father. After Penn became ill in 1712, his second wife Hannah Callowhill Penn served as acting proprietor.

After William's death in 1718, interest in the proprietorship passed to his three sons by Hannah: John Penn "the American", Thomas Penn, and Richard Penn, Sr., with John inheriting the largest share and becoming the chief proprietor. When John died without children, his brother Thomas inherited his share and became chief proprietor.

When Richard Penn, Sr. died, his share passed to his son Governor John Penn. When Thomas Penn died, his share (and the chief proprietorship) passed to his son John Penn "of Stoke".

# Chief proprietor Years Percentage interest Other proprietors
1 William Penn 1681–1718 100% Hannah Penn served as acting proprietor after 1712
2 John Penn ("the American") 1718–1746 50% 25%: Thomas Penn, 25%: Richard Penn, Sr.
3 Thomas Penn 1746–1775 75% 25%: Richard Penn, Sr. (1746-1771), Governor John Penn (1771-1775)
4 John Penn "of Stoke" 1775–1776 75% 25%: Governor John Penn


The government of Colonial Pennsylvania (and the Lower Counties) was conducted by a set of administrators in the name of the proprietors.

# Name Title Term Capital
1 William Markham Deputy Governor 1681-1682 Philadelphia
2 William Penn Proprietor 1682 Philadelphia
3 Thomas Lloyd President of Council 1684 Philadelphia
4 William Clayton Acting Governor 1684-1685 Philadelphia
5 John Blackwell Deputy Governor 1688 Philadelphia
6 Thomas Lloyd Deputy Governor 1690 Philadelphia
7 William Markham Deputy Governor 1691 Philadelphia
8 Benjamin Fletcher Governor 1693 New York
9 William Markham Deputy Governor 1693 Philadelphia
10 Samuel Carpenter Deputy Governor 1694-1698 Philadelphia
11 William Penn Proprietor 1699 Philadelphia
12 Andrew Hamilton Deputy Governor 1701-1703 Philadelphia
13 Edward Shippen President of Council 1703-1704 Philadelphia
14 John Evans Deputy Governor 1704-1709 Philadelphia
15 Charles Gookin Deputy Governor 1709-1717 Philadelphia
16 William Keith Deputy Governor 1717-1726 Philadelphia
17 Patrick Gordon Deputy Governor 1726-1736 Philadelphia
18 James Logan President of Council 1736 Philadelphia
19 George Thomas Deputy Governor 1738-1747 Philadelphia
20 Anthony Palmer President of Council 1747 Philadelphia
21 James Hamilton Deputy Governor 1748-1754 Philadelphia
22 Robert Hunter Morris Deputy Governor 1754-1756 Philadelphia
23 William Denny Deputy Governor 1756-1759 Philadelphia
24 James Hamilton Deputy Governor 1759-1763 Philadelphia
25 John Penn Lieutenant Governor 1763-1771 Philadelphia
26 Richard Penn Lieutenant Governor 1771-1773 Philadelphia
27 John Penn Lieutenant Governor 1773-1776 Philadelphia

See also


  • Miller, Randall M. and William Pencak, eds. Pennsylvania: A History of the Commonwealth. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002.
  • Treese, Lorett. The Storm Gathering: The Penn Family and the American Revolution. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992. ISBN 0-271-00858-X.