Carpenter Family of Pennsylvania
The persecution of Friends in England commenced about the year
1648, and reached its height during the reign of Charles II, when the prisons
were filled with victims, without regard to sea, age or condition, and shiploads
were banished from the Kingdom. The large accession of an industrious and
thrifty population to the Island of Barbadoes, through this cause, speedily
developed its natural resources, and induced others voluntarily to repair
thither. Among them, it is believed, was Samuel Carpenter.
The time of his arrival can only be conjectured. He was born in 1650, fifteen
years prior to the general banishment of 1664-5. According to Besse, in 1673, he
suffered (in Barbados) considerably in distraints for refusing to bear arms.
He had then reached his twenty-third year; and it is quite probable that this
difficulty with the authorities occurred soon after his arrival. The opinion
that he voluntarily repaired to Barbados is fortified by the circumstance of his
possessing ample wealth; for had he been proscribed (as in the case of Charles
Lloyd and others) his property, most likely, would have been placed under
|Praemunire: Introducing or acknowledging a higher power in the land,
and creating imperium in imperio, by paying that obedience to Papal
authority which belonged to the Ring. It was charged that Friends
acknowledged allegiance to spiritual convictions, rather than kingly
authority. The penalty placed the offender out of the King's protection,
his possessions were forfeited to the King, and his body remained in
prison at the King's pleasure, or during life.
It is a matter of history that many Friends accumulated great
wealth, with which came influence and social position. They became, not
infrequently, the associates and rivals of nobles and statesmen; they found
themselves in great assemblies, sitting at the side of dignitaries of the
Church, who had seats in the House of Lords, and participated in national
Their property was in real estate, or such personal effects as attracted the eye
of the tax-gatherers, and easily subjected to distraint. The Friends by their
principles were bound to resist the payment of tithes and the performance of
military duty, and did so to the damage of their worldly estates, and too often
personal liberty. Samuel Carpenter joined William Penn, in Philadelphia, 1682,
where, in addition to many responsible official duties, he engaged largely in
foreign commerce. He died at his original mansion, (This house was subsequently
occupied by his son Samuel) in King (now Water) Street, April 10, 1714, in the
64th year of his age. Samuel Carpenter is referred to in terms of regard by
William Penn, in a letter addressed, in 1684, to Thomas Lloyd, President of
Council of State. He was one of the Trustees of Public Schools, established by
Friends in Philadelphia, in 1689, and also a Member of the Provincial Assembly.
In 1701 Penn appointed him Member of the Council of State. He appears to have
been constantly employed with public affairs, either as member of the General
Assembly, Council of State, or Treasurer of the Province. The following notice
of his death is taken from " PROUD'S HISTORY OF PENNSYLVANIA."
" In the year 1714, died Samuel Carpenter, the Treasurer of the Province, who
was succeeded in office by Samuel Preston. Samuel Carpenter arrived early in the
Province, and was one of the most considerable traders and settlers of
Pennsylvania, where he held for many years some of the greatest offices in the
government, and throughout great variety of business preserved the love and
esteem of a large and extensive acquaintance. His great abilities, activity and
benevolent disposition of mind in divers capacities, but more particularly among
the `Friends, ' are said to have rendered him a very useful and valuable member,
not only of that religious society, but also of the community in general."
There is no way of ascertaining the extent of his possessions, but the following
items are incidentally alluded to in Watson's Annals.
1. A large property now covered by the town. of Bristol, Pa.,
with extensive saw and grist mills.
2. The " Slate Roof House " on Second Street, Philadelphia. Governor Penn
resided in this house in 1700, and it was afterwards owned by William Trent,
the founder of Trenton. John, the eldest son of William Penn, was born here.
In 1696 the Assembly of the Province met in this house. It was subsequently
occupied by the officers of the 42d Highlanders, and also by those of the
Royal Irish. Baron de Kalb, who fell at the battle of Camden, S.C., during the
Revolution, was an inmate. Governor Forbes, the associate of General Braddock,
died here. In 1868 the old mansion was demolished, and its site occupied by
the Commercial Exchange.
3. Certain lots on the north side of Market Street, Philadelphia, and reaching
half way to Arch Street, bounded at extremities by the Delaware River and Wood
4. He was joint proprietor, with William Penn, of a grist mill on the site of
Chester-the third mill in the province.
5. A lot extending from the river to Second Street, and from Norris Alley to
6. A crane, bakery. and mansion house on the wharf. Also a store-house and
grocery, and a tavern called the " Globe."
7. Half of a mill at Darby, and a saw-mill, with a pond covering 300 acres.
8. Five thousand acres in Poquassing Creek, fifteen miles from Philadelphia.
9. The island in Delaware River, opposite Bristol-350 acres.
10. An estate of 380 acres, called " Sepviser Plantation, " a part of Fairhill,
at the north end of Philadelphia.
11. One thousand acres of land in Pilesgrove, Salem County, N. J., part of
which he sold in 1700 to John Wood.
12. Fifty acres in New Jersey, opposite Philadelphia.
19. Six hundred acres in New Jersey, on the river, bounded in part by south
branch of Timber Creek.
14. Eleven hundred acres in Elsinborough, Salem County, N. J., situated near
the Swede's Fort. The farm now owned by Clement Hall is part of this tract.
The original purchase was made in 1696.
15. Three-sixteenths of five thousand acres of land, and a mine, called
16. A coffee house (at or near Walnut and Front Streets, Philadelphia, ) and
He was actively engaged in foreign commerce, and owner in full
or part of numerous vessels trading to the West Indies, and various parts of the
On the 12th October, 1684, Samuel Carpenter, Sen., married Hannah Hardiman, a
native of Haverford, West South Wales, Great Britain. She was born in 1646, and
having joined the Society of Friends, emigrated to Pennsylvania, where she
became a minister of that persuasion. She died May 24, 1728, aged 82 years. A
memoir of her character and services, published in Bevan's Collection of
Memoirs, Speaks of her as a most exemplary woman.
"Hannah Carpenter was born in Haverford-West, South Wales, where she was
convinced of the principles of Friends, and where, it is said, she became very
serviceable to those who were in bonds for Christ's sake. After her settlement
in Pennsylvania, she was united in marriage to Samuel Carpenter, of
Philadelphia, a Friend of considerable influence in the Province. Her Gospel
ministry was attended with much Divine sweetness, and was truly acceptable and
she was a tender, nursing mother in the Church, and a bright example of
Christian meekness. Her decease took place in 1728, at the advanced age of
eighty-two years."-BOWDENS HISTORY OF FRIENDS IN AMERICA
The following extract from an article in Philadelphia Commercial List, published
a few years since, speaks more particularly of Samuel Carpenter as a merchant:
The curious view of Philadelphia, by Peter Cooper, which hangs in the
Philadelphia Library, and is supposed to have been painted about the year 1714,
contains, as a conspicuous object, the storehouse of Samuel Carpenter, situate
upon the wharf, below Chestnut Street.
"Carpenter's Stairs, " nearly opposite, was a passage from Front Street to what
was then called King Street, but which, since the Revolutionary war, has been
called Water Street. Carpenter's Wharf was a well-known landmark among the
drab-coated men who came over with Penn, and Samuel Carpenter has literally the
distinction of having been one of our first merchants. It is impossible at this
time to give much information in relation to the state of our commerce during
the period between the settlement of the city, in 1682, and the death of Samuel
Carpenter, in 1714; but ail accounts agree that Carpenter was the most
successful merchant of his time. Commerce was then most confined to coasting
trade, with greater voyages occasionally to the English West India Islands.
Barbadoes and Jamaica were the principal points of intercourse, and from these
islands came many of the settlers, whose blood still courses through our
Our exports were mostly agricultural products, in which grain, flour and tobacco
held a large proportion.
Skins and furs were important articles of trade also. Ships were then more
plentiful than they are now; but these ships were small craft of from one
hundred to two hundred tons burthen. There was much danger from pirates, even in
the short voyages which those vessels made, and the names of Kidd and Blackbeard
are yet remembered
Joshua, brother of Samuel Carpenter, built Gimme Hall, where, in 1856, stood the
He was one of Penn's commissioners for the sale of property, and in 1708
represented the city of Philadelphia in the Provincial Assembly. He was also one
of the first Aldermen appointed under - the charter of 1701. His burial place
was the centre of what is now known as Washington Square. Joshua was an
Episcopalian. He is said to have removed to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Some
of his descendants settled in Western Pennsylvania, and others in Kent County,
CHILDREN OF SAMUEL AND HANNAH CARPENTER.
I-Hannah Carpenter, born 1686, married William Tishbourne,
1701, and died 1742. Her husband was mayor of Philadelphia, 1719-1720.
II-Samuel Carpenter (2d),
born in Philadelphia, February 9, 1688; married Hannah, daughter of Samuel
Preston (and granddaughter of Thomas Lloyd), 1711. She was born 1693 and died
III-Joshua Carpenter; died in infancy.
IV.-John Carpenter; born 1690; married Ann Hoskins, 1711, and died 1724. His
wife died 1719. Anne was daughter of Richard and Esther Hoskins, 11 mo. 11,
Richard Hoskins was " an eminent physician and minister of the
Gospel". He died in England on a visit, about 1700. His wife died in
Philadelphia, in 1698. He left several daughters.
Martha Carpenter, daughter of John and Anne, married in
Philadelphia, Reese Meredith, March 23, 1738. Reese was the son of Reese, of
Radnorshire, Wales. He produced a certificate dated 2d mo., 1730, from the
monthly meeting in Leominster, Hereford County, Great Britain, of his right
of membership among Friends. Died in Philadelphia, November 17, 1778, aged
about 70. His wife died 8 mo. 26, 1769. He was a shipping merchant largely
in trade. Their children were: Samuel, married Margaret Cadwallader. Anne,
married Henry Hill, merchant. Flizabeth, married George Clymer.
George Clymer was born in Philadelphia, June 10, 1739.
V.-Rebecca Carpenter, born 1692, died 1713.
VI.-Abraham Carpenter, died 1702.