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By Rebecca Cain
... this powerful and thought proving musical tells the little-known story of Quaker William Penn’s remarkable quest to overcome tyranny injustice and persecution in a turbulent England of the 17th century and build the perfect community thousands of miles away in America - to create a new life of freedom and brotherly love for everyone: Philadelphia.
With book, words and lyrics by Martin Coslett and book by Ross Clark, The Perfect City is the true story of one man’s dream and his relentless struggle against the evils of corruption, slavery and a society eager to see him fail and brought to his knees. William Penn was born in London on October 14, 1644. The son of an admiral and landowner, he was educated in theology and the law.
In his 20s he converted to the Quaker religion and was jailed several times for his resistance to the Church of England.
In 1681, he received a royal charter to form a new colony in America, to be named Pennsylvania; he envisioned this territory as a peaceful refuge for members of all religious beliefs. He died in England on July 30, 1718.
He had a long association with Buckinghamshire spending many months writing and preaching there. He later lived for several years in Rickmansworth after marrying his first wife, Gulielma Springett at Chorleywood in 1672.
During his time in Rickmansworth, Penn continued preaching, and his home was used to accommodate many other famous preachers on their travels, notably George Fox, the founder of the Society of Friends. In the mid-1670s persecution of all non-conformists began again, and many Friends thought of emigrating to America to find security.
Penn is buried at the Friends Meeting House at Jordans.