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“William Penn Day” at Delaware’s New Castle Court House Museum on Oct. 25, 2014

Date Posted: Monday, October 13th, 2014
Categories:  Historical and Cultural Affairs New Castle County News

(DOVER, Del.—Oct. 13, 2014)—On Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, history will be vividly brought to life in New Castle, Del., during “William Penn Day,” a day-long series of activities commemorating the 332nd anniversary of Penn’s Oct. 27, 1682 disembarkment at New Castle, his first landing in the New World. Unless otherwise indicated, all programs are free and will take place at the New Castle Court House Museum, located at 211 Delaware St. in New Castle, Del. For additional information, call 302-323-4453.

Cast of "The Trial of William Penn."

Cast of “The Trial of William Penn.”

“William Penn Day” will feature the following activities:

  • Livery of Seizen ceremony. Historical interpreters Bob Vander Decker, David Price and New Castle resident Jim Whisman re-enact the ceremony in which the town of New Castle, and a 12-mile circle of land surrounding it, were conveyed to William Penn by appointed representatives of the Duke of York. Penn will then present his plans for his new three “Lower Counties.” 10:15 a.m.
  • “The Trial of William Penn.” Historical play about the 1670 trial of William Penn who was accused of unlawful assembly and inciting a mob by preaching to a group of Quakers on a London street. Issues of religious freedom and the rights of a jury are explored in this 30-minute performance. Audience members may participate in the trial as witnesses and as members of the jury. 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
  • Performance by De Blokfluiters. Recorder/flute ensemble performing 18th-century music. 1 p.m.
  • “High Tea With Mrs. Penn.” Life with William Penn will be discussed by his wife as guests enjoy a traditional English high tea in the very house where Penn was reputed to have spent his first night in America in 1682. Penn’s Place, 206 Delaware St., New Castle. 3:30 p.m. Admission $10. Advance reservations required by calling 302-322-6334.
  • Concert of Baroque harpsichord music. Performed by Gary Harney of the Immanuel Bach Consort. 6:30 p.m.

One of the oldest and most historic courthouses in the United States, the New Castle Court House (main section built in 1732) served as Delaware’s first court and state capitol. Here in 1776, New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties declared their independence from Pennsylvania and England creating the Delaware State. The museum features tours and exhibits that illustrate Delaware’s unique boundaries, law and government and the Underground Railroad.

New Castle Court House Museum

New Castle Court House Museum

-End-

Contact:
Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone:  302-736-7413
E-mail:  Jim.Yurasek@state.de.us
Web:   http://history.delaware.gov

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