Shoreham College’s headmaster has been corresponding with the governor of Pennsylvania over shared historic connections.
Richard Taylor-West wrote to Tom Wolf to highlight the college’s link to William Penn, who planned and developed the city of Philadelphia, having founded a colony there.
Mr Taylor-West explained Penn had owned the Tudor house in the college grounds, off St Julian’s Lane, in 1672, and was delighted to receive a lengthy letter in reply.
He said: “It was lovely to feel that connection, a small part of our special relationship as two countries, and it was wonderful that Mr Wolf took the time out of his schedule to reply.”
Inspired by Penn, the Mr Taylor-West had outlined the importance of teaching fundamental British values in school, individual liberty, the rule of law, mutual tolerance and democracy.
In reply, Mr Wolf said: “I am delighted that there is a clear connection between Shoreham College and William Penn. As you suggest, Penn left quite a noble legacy for all of us to live up to. His portrait hangs in a prominent place in my office in our capitol building, and thus I am constantly reminded of my responsibility for keeping his spirit of tolerance, respect and civility alive.”
He went on to say: “Thanks for doing all you are doing to promote these values at Shoreham College. To the extent you succeed in this effort, you are doing a real service for your students, as well as for the people whose lives they all touch in the years ahead.”
The letter is to be framed and hung in the college for posterity.