Petition of Thomas Penn and John Penn

Petition Presented

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Mr˙ Baker presented, a Petition of Thomas Penn, Esquire, on behalf of himself, and of John Penn, Esquire, true and absolute Proprietaries of the Province of Pennsylvania, and the three lower Counties of New Castle, Kent, and Sussex, on Delaware, in America, setting forth, that his late Majesty King Charles the Second, by letters patent under the great seal, bearing date the fourth day of March, in the three and thirtieth year of his reign, was graciously pleased to grant unto William Penn, Esq˙, (late father of the Petitioner, Thomas Penn, and grandfather of the Petitioner, John Penn,) in fee, the said Province of Pennsylvania; the extent and bounds whereof were expressed in the said letters patent; and taking notice of the Bill for making more effectual provision for the Government of the Province of Quebec, in North America; and alleging that, from the best observations which have been made, and the most correct maps which have been laid down of those parts, and from other evidence, it appears, that the river Ohio, intersects a very large tract of the Northwestern, Western, and Southwestern parts of the said Province, as granted by the said letters patent, the limits or boundaries whereof, in that part, have not, as yet, been allowed and confirmed by the Crown; and that, in order to have the limits and boundaries of the said Province ascertained, the Petitioners did, on the 27th day of March, 1773, present a petition to his Majesty, in Council, praying that his Majesty would be graciously pleased to appoint such disinterested persons in those parts, as his Majesty should think proper, to join with such persons as should be named by the Petitioners, to mark out and ascertain the Northern, Western, and Southwestern boundaries of the said Province; which petition has been referred, by his Majesty, to the consideration of the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, and is now under consideration of that Board; and that the Petitioners conceive that the said Bill will be injurious to them, if it should pass into a law, without containing some provision, that the same may not affect the Petitioners rights under the said letters patent: and therefore praying, that the description of the Territories, Islands, and Countries, to be annexed to the said Province of Quebec, may be so confined, as not to affect the Petitioners said Province; or that a provision may be made in the said Bill, that the same shall not affect the Petitioners Province, granted to them by the said letters patent: and that the Petitioners may be at liberty to be heard, by their Counsel, upon the matter of their Petition.

Order on the Petition

Upon the Petition being read, Lord North rose and said, that he should not think of opposing it, as it was never the intention of the Bill to affect the just rights of any proprietors, or of any of the Colonies.

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Ordered, That the said Petition do lie upon the table, until the Report be received from the Committee of the whole House, to whom the said Bill is committed; and that the Petitioners be then heard, by their Counsel, upon their petition, if they think fit.