Son of Richard and grandson of William Penn.
Spent childhood in England. Studied in Geneva (1747-51). Lived in Pennsylvania from 1752-55, during which time he served on the Provincial council and attended the Albany Congress.
Returned to England, where he evidently remained until he became Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania; held that office from 1763 to 1776 (excepting 1771 to 1773, when he was in England). He remained in Pennsylvania until his death.
Married c. 1747 to — Cox; in 1766 to Ann Allen; no known issue.