Samuel Carpenter was born in Horsham, Sussex, England. He was baptised in the Church of St. Mary's Horsham on 20 November 1649. He purchased 5,000 acres of land from William Penn, 4200 of which lie in what is now Horsham Township, PA which was established as a municipal entity by a vote of the people in 1717 and named after Carpenter's birthplace.
"Lately a statement was found, in the annals of the city (Philadelphia), to the effect that the township of Horsham, to the north of Philadelphia, was in the first place principally owned by Samuel Carpenter, and that when the settlers thereon went to Samuel Carpenter, and asked him what name he would like for the township, he (asked) to call it "Horsham." This story coming to light made some who were interested think that probably Samuel Carpenter had some connection with Horsham; and soon after, in September, 1900, while making some investigations in England, Mr. Thomas Allen Glenn discovered evidence, in the register of the Parish Church of St. Mary's at Horsham, to show that Samuel Carpenter, the first of his name in Philadelphia, was bom there, and probably lived there until after his father's death in 1671, when he left with his share of the patrimony to seek his fortunes in the Barbadoes. The register shows that Samuel Carpenter was bom November 4, 1649, and christened December 20, 1649, and that he was the son of John Carpenter by Sarah his wife."
Carpenter was the youngest son of John Carpenter, the Sheriff of Horsham, who was murdered while on duty in Horsham on 9 August 1671, and his second wife Sarah (maiden name unknown). Samuel was 21 and, perhaps due to the violent death of his father, became interested in the teachings of George Fox whose followers were known as The Society of Friends or Quakers. There was a persecution of the Quakers in Horsham as early as 1655, but the records do not show the name of Carpenter as in the list of those prosecuted.(104
While Quakers are today maybe best known for their pacifism, Fox also preached against the authority and excesses of established churches, and against the absolute rule of the monarchy which put him and his followers at odds with the Church of England and the Crown. The restoration of King Charles in 1660 had further tightened restrictions against all religious sects other than the Anglican Church, making the penalty for unauthorized worship imprisonment or deportation.
One of the more prominent Quakers was William Penn who,against the wishes of his father Admiral Sir William Penn, announced himself as a Quaker in 1666 at the age of 22. Penn was persecuted and jailed several times. He reconciled with the Admiral before the elder Penn's death and convinced the King to grant him what is now known as Pennsylvania (45,000 square miles) in payment of a £16,000 debt. In 1682 he he drew up a Frame of Government for the Pennsylvania colony which included the novel idea of freedom of worship.
The rest of Carpenter's family, including 2 half-brothers who later became successful in Phildelphia, remained faithful to the Church of England (Joshua was prominent as one of the founders of Christ Church, Philadelphia.
Carpenter, along with many other Quakers, emigrated to the new colony of Pennsylvania in 1683 to escape the persecution which had become common across the West Indies. Penn had been granted The Charter of Pennsylvania by Charles II to William on January' 5, 1681, so the Carpenters were very early members of the colony
"Of the three ships which sailed from London for Philadelphia in 1681, the first, the "John and Sarah," arrived at her destination in the Delaware in a little more than two months,' the second, the "Factor," made the voyage in four months, and the third, the "Amity," was blown to the West Indies and did not arrive until the following spring."
Samuel, Joshua, and Abraham Carpenter came to the Province of Pennsylvania with money. The brothers, especially Samuel and Joshua, were well-educated men, of excellent ability and judgment, and soon made their mark in the colony.
Francis Daniel Pastorius, a German traveler, described being chased by pirates and having little to eat on his 2 month journey in 1683, landing a month after Carpenter:
"Philadelphia then consisted of three or four little cottages, all the residue being only woods, underwood and timber, in which Pastorius says he several times lost himself in travelling from the water-side to the house of Cornelius Bom, the baker, which stood near the comer of Third and Chestnut Streets. All kinds of temporary expedients had to be resorted to. Pastorius and his companions were obliged to occupy caves in the river bank until the lands assigned to them could be surveyed and houses built for their accommodations."
Pastorius represented the Frankfort Land Company and acted as agent to conduct a colony of Dutch and German Mennonites and
Quakers to the new colony. The Company purchased 25,000 acres and Pastorius laid out the town of Germantown. He became a life-long friend of Samuel Carpenter.
"Holmes Portraiture of Philadelphia," done in 1683-4 as a kind of city platform, shows the localities chosen for building at that time. It shows about twenty small cottages upon the river bank. ...Samuel Carpenter's lot extends from Front to Second Street and is the second lot above Walnut Street, No. 16
Carpenter bought a lot extending from King Street (now Water Street) to Front Street and on to Second Street in 1683. This lot extends to Ton (now Tun) Alley. William Penn, in a letter written in 1683 describing some of the facts of chief interest in Philadelphia, says, "There is a fair key of about 300 feet square a little above Walnut Street built by Samuel Carpenter to which a ship of five hundred tons may lay her broad side." Gabriel Thomas, who came from England in the ship "John and Sarah" in 1681, in his account printed in 1698 says, "There is also a very convenient Wharf called Carpenter's Wharf which hath a fine necessary Crane belonging to it with suitable granaries and store houses."
Carpenter also sat on what was probably the first Grand Jury in Pennsylvania which found Margaret Mattson and Yestro Henderickson guilty of having the common fame of a Witch but not Guilty in manner and form as she stands indicted
Carpenter and his brother Joshua, in 1686, also established the Tun Tavern (also called the Globe Tavern) in Philadelphia. "Tun" is old english for barrel or keg of beer. The Tun Tavern is famous for holding the first recruitment drive during the Revolutionary War for what would become the USMC, and for being the "birthplace of Masonic teachings in America". Tun Tavern burned down in 1781, near the end of the American Revolution. The site is now under Interstate 95 which runs along the waterfront in Philadelphia.
Samuel Carpenter later built the historic "Slate Roof House," at No.16 Second Street north of Walnut overlooking the Delaware River in 1687. It was built of brick in the Jacobean style, and was notable for its large size and slate roof. William Penn, from 1699-1701, was only the 1st of many notables to call the house home. James Logan, the secretary of the Proprietary after Penn returned to England stayed here from 1701-1704 and John Adams, John Hancock, and others from the Continental Congress also lived here at various times. The Slate Roof House was razed in 1867. "Welcome Park" was built on its site in 1982.
He later purchased 5,000 acres including 4,200 acres in what is now Horsham Township, PA. Carpenter began to sell some of this land to other Quakers beginning in 1709.
Samuel Carpenter's purchase of five thousand and eighty-eight acres was made from Penn's commissioners of property May 26, 1706, and although a portion extended into Bucks County, yet it may have comprised over one-third of the area of the present township. It had a front on the Horsham road of four miles, or almost to Prospectville. Horshamville, Davis Grove, and
Graeme Park, are located on it. 16)
Samuel Carpenter also served the new colony as Deputy Governor from 1694-1698. William Penn, as Proprietor, was the governor, but often left management of the colony to the deputy governor. He also served as Treasurer (1704–1710, 1711-1713), Member of the Assembly 1693–1694, 1696 and Member of the Assembly in Bucks County (1705).
Carpenter was likely the wealthiest and most powerful person in the colony of Pennsylvania behind William Penn. He did suffer some setbacks from losses due to pirates, the war of 1703, and depreciation of his property, forcing him to sell some of his property.
James Logan, in a letter to William Penn on 2d Spet, 1703:
"I know not whether Samuel Carpenter writes to thee by this opportunity He has been much depressed of late in his Spirits about his circumstances ... The great damp on trade and the sale of land discourages him. Of the first he had very little this year. The under taking in Bucks (a mill in Bristol for which he was seeking partners) has oppressed him much."
later Logan writes to Penn:
"Samuel Carpenter finally recovered . . . has sold the house thou lividest in (the Slate House), to William Trent for £850 and the Coffee house to Captain Finney for £450, towards paying off his debts and so designs to continue to the last foot he has in the Province if nothing less will do. By these(??) he affirms he has lost about £500. "
Deputy Governor Charles Gookin, 1709, was asked to
"raise one hundred and fifty men to be paid for by the province and take part in the war then going on with the French in Canada. He saw trouble ahead with the Quakers in the Assembly, but asked them to vote £4,000, saying that they would not be asked to hire men as soldiers, that being left to him. The Assembly refused. They would not promise more than £500, and they must be satisfied that this would not be used for the war. In the end they voted £2,000 "for the queen's use," and as a token of their duty. The war ended in 1713, and it was long before such a question came up again."
Carpenter was Treasure for the Colony at the time and would have been responsible for raising the funds and transferring them to the governor. It may be that the funds were never raised or that Carpenter never transferred them, but it was only after his death that his estate was held liable. This led to the future Deputy Governor, Sir William Keith, acquiring 1200 acres of Carpenter's land in Horsham. This estate would become what we know today as
Samuel Carpenter died at the house of his son-in-law, William Fishbourn, at Sepviva plantation (380 acres are now part of "Fair Hill"), Philadelphia, on 10 April 1714 and is buried at at the Society of Friends (Quakers) Burial Ground at Fourth and Arch Streets in Philadelphia.
James Logan wrote to William Penn of Carpenter's death:
" We have now lost our dear friend Samuel Carpenter, he departed last night about II, at his daughter Fishboume's where he lodged when taken ill, for he had no dwelling in town, having removed last Fall to Bristol. He lay about twelve days ill of a violent rheumatism and fever in great pain, but just before his departure he took leave of all his friends about him and went quietly away....He was universally esteemed and beloved here. As I always loved him and his generous disposition, so do I find on his exit few more could have left a greater degree of concern on my thoughts. I need say nothing to thee on the loss of such a man, but the sense of it was seen on the faces of hundreds. I am satisfied that his humble and just soul is now at rest."
His daughter Hannah Fishbourne wrote:
"He was a pattern of humility and self-denial a man fearing God and hating covetousness, much given to hospitality and good works. He was a loving affectionate husband a loving father,a loving and faithful friend and brother. His house and heart were ever open and free to entertain the messengers of God, and he was ever willing to be servicable to truth and friends. He was very ready to help the poor, and such as were in distress, and I doubt not but that he has received a rich reward from the hand of the Lord. His memory is precious among the living and renowned among the just, and though he is dead yet he speaketh and his name shall be remembered among the faithful for generations to come. And although the loss of him be great to us who were nearly related to him, yet we feel the love and presence of him the mighty Lord who in his divine wisdom saw fit to take him to himself out of all sorrow and danger"
After his death, his estate was held liable for the funds that had been allocated in 1709 as a gift to Queen Anne to help finance an expedition against the French in Canada. The estate settled this issue with 1200 acres of land, much of what is now is Horsham, PA. This land was apparently sold to Andrew Hamilton who then conveyed it to Lt Governor Sir William Keith.
"When, in Queen Anne's time, the Assembly of the Quaker Province were induced to aid the expedition against Canada by voting two thousand pounds,professed to be not for the war, but "for the Queen's use,"it was provided that the Governor's receipt should be the voucher for the Treasurer. The expedition failing, nearly the whole amount remained a charge against Samuel Carpenter, then Treasurer, until his death. On November 12, 1717, Lieutenant-Governor Keith asked the opinion of the Council whether he should not call upon the executors of the late Treasurer for the money or an account, and the Council agreed that he should. Subsequently a large sum was paid to him, and, as the equivalent of five hundred pounds, there were conveyed to him by deed of March 5, 1718, from Andrew Hamilton, who had just taken title from the executors, twelve hundred acres of land in Philadelphia County, bounded on the northeast by the line of Bucks County."(89 p15)
HPHA has an Indenture which we transfers Carpenter's holdings in Horsham to his wife and children which is dated 3 Fen 1718 (15?). We have had this document restored but have not yet been able to fully transcribe it.