William Penn was born on October 14, 1644 in London to wealthy parents. His father was a dedicated naval officer who spent a great deal of time at sea. At a young age, Penn caught smallpox, which caused the family to move to a country estate in Essex. Growing up in this agricultural environment had a lasting effect on his life. William was raised a Puritan, while being privately tutored, until he later attended the Anglican affiliated Christ Church College in Oxford, England. A rebellious William Penn later studied law, among other subjects, in Paris. He became a Quaker in 1666.