Our collections richer than most people would imagine and cover a wide variety of subjects and historical periods. To give you an idea of what’s there, University Archivist Guy Baxter will be introducing his ‘Top Ten Treasures’ over the coming weeks, picking highlights from the archive collections here at Reading. Enjoy!
Treasure Number 2: Letter from William Penn
Guy writes, ‘William Penn (1644–1718) built a very different empire from that of Henry II. An early Quaker persecuted for his religious beliefs, Penn went on to found the colony (now a US State) which still bears his name, Pennsylvania. Amazingly, this letter from 1701 survived in the papers of Britain’s first female MP Nancy Astor, herself an American with an interest in her country’s history. Penn himself died just a few miles from Reading, in Ruscombe near Twyford.’