Pewter Charger from William Penn at Pennsbury Manor

Sharing the Common Wealth showcases objects, artifacts, documents, structures and buildings from the collections of PHMC.

Before they returned to England after a stay of nearly two years in Pennsylvania, William Penn (1644–1718) and his second wife, Hannah Margaret Callowhill Penn (1671–1726), gave a handsome pewter charger to John Sotcher (circa 1674–1729) and Mary Lofty Sotcher (1677–1728) upon their marriage on August 16, 1701. The reverse of the circa 1676 charger bears the initials of the proprietor and his first wife, Gulielma Maria Springett Penn (1644–1694), and two makers’ marks, one of which identifies Moses West of London. John Sotcher worked as steward, or plantation manager, for Penn at Pennsbury Manor, his country estate in Bucks County, from 1700 to 1712; his wife served as the manor’s head housekeeper. The charger descended in the Sotcher family for 283 years, until Henrietta J. Moon, widow of descendant William Hutchins Moon (1911–1978) gave it to Pennsbury Manor in 1984. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, which administers Pennsbury Manor, is observing “William Penn’s Legacy: Religious and Spiritual Diversity” as its annual theme for 2011.