Served in Pennsylvania Assembly (1761-62). Elected to but did not serve in the First Continental Congress (1774). Elected to the American Philosophical Society (1768).
During the American Revolution, he was arrested twice on suspicion of being a Tory.
Correspondence with Franklin largely concerned his role as a representative for his distant cousin, Springett Penn, in a Pennsylvania land transaction.
Born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Married in 1754 to Sarah Shoemaker.