“William Penn Day” at Delaware’s New Castle Court House Museum on Oct. 26, 2019
(DOVER, Del.—Sept. 23, 2019)—On Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, the New Castle Court House Museum, located at 211 Delaware St. in New Castle, Del., will present “William Penn Day,” a day-long series of activities commemorating the 337th anniversary of Penn’s Oct. 27, 1682 disembarkment at New Castle, his first landing in the New World. Admission for all programs is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-323-4453.
William Penn Day 2019 schedule of activities
— Livery of Seisin ceremony. Historical interpreters Bob Vander Decker, David Price, and New Castle resident Jim Whisman as William Penn, 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. 10:15 a.m.
— “The 1670 Tryal of William Penn.” Historical play about the trial of William Penn (portrayed by Jim Whisman) 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 3:30 p.m.
— “Meet Mrs. Penn.” Living-history performance by New Castle resident Jean Norvell as Hannah Penn. 12:30 p.m.
— The Delaware Music School’s Suzuki Violins. Performance by young violinists. 2 p.m.
— “Penn of Pennsylvania.” Screening of the 1942 film, starring Clifford Evans and Deborah Kerr, which explores Penn’s fight for religious freedom and the founding of Pennsylvania. 4 p.m.
— Baroque music concert. 6 p.m.
— Tours of the New Castle Court House Museum. Between performances from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Constructed in 1732, the New Castle Court House is one of the oldest active court buildings in the United States and was Delaware’s first state capitol. Here, the Colonial Assembly passed the 1776 Separation Resolution creating the Delaware State. During its nearly 300 years of history, this National Historic Landmark has played pivotal roles in the political, social and commercial life of both New Castle and Delaware. The museum is a partner site in the First State National Historical Park.
The New Castle Court House Museum is administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, an agency of the State of Delaware. The division enhances Delaware’s quality of life by preserving the state’s unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history. The division’s diverse array of services includes operation of five museums which are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, administration of the State Historic Preservation Office, conservation of the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections, operation of a conference center and management of historic properties across the state. Primary funding for division programs and services is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, a federal agency. However, the contents and opinions expressed in the division’s programs and services do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Department of the Interior.