RADNORSHIRE SETTLERS IN THE FOUNDATION OF PENNSYLVANIA By F. NOBLE, B.A. Probably the most important feature of the history of the county of Radnorshire in the past three hundred years has been the amount of emigration from it. There is a sad lack of information about this move- ment, and even the subject of this present paper the first recorded participation of Radnorshire people in the great overseas expansion of the West European peoples has had but slight mention in the lit- erature of the county. Yet the part that emigrants played in William Penn's Holy Experiment' should be a source of pride here, for this was probably one of the most significant of all the colonial foundations in its effect on the development of western civilisation, where religious tolerance, honest dealings with native tribes, and democracy itself, were shown to be practicable politics. The majority of the early settlers from Radnorshire were Quakers, and it was religious faith rather than worldly ambition that prompted them to leave their farms and homes and neighbours in Radnorshire to face the two months' voyage across the Atlantic in small, crowded ships, and to hack out new homes and farms in the woodlands of North America, which had previously been only the hunting grounds of the Indian tribes. The Quaker movement had come to Radnorshire in the Common- wealth period, at the time when Oliver Cromwell had set his face against the high hopes of the 'Independents' and 'Millenarians', and had aroused the unquenchable animosity of Vavasour Powell.(1) But while Vavasour organised petitions and (according to his enemies) secret armies and violent plots, and thundered against the ungodliness of Oliver Cromwell, many of his former followers abandoned any belief that the Kingdom of God could be brought about by political and military action, and listened to the travelling 'publishers of the truth' of the Society of Friends.(2) So also did many members of the isolated group of Arminian Baptists, mainly confined to the area between the Ithon and the Wye, who owed their origin to the ministry of Hugh Evans of Llanyre, after his return to his native county in 1646.(1) In 1654 the Quaker, Thomas Holme, reported 'a great convince- ment' in Radnorshire. He was followed by other Friends, and in 1657 by George Fox himself, who held one of the greatest meetings that he had in that tour of Wales somewhere in the county, and probably on Penybont Common, possibly near the site where the Pales Meeting House was later erected.O) Among the people who joined them were Morgan Watkins, who was bold enough to challenge Vavasour Powell in public dispute at Knighton in 1658,(4) and Peter Price of Glascwm, then a Justice of the Peace for the county.