Bristol was one of the first places to be settled in Pennsylvania after William Penn received his charter for the province in 1681, and from its settlement until 1725 it was the seat of government of the county.
Robert Barclay (q.v.), a descendant of an ancient Scottish family, who had received a liberal education, principally in Paris, at the Scots College, of which his uncle was rector, joined the Quakers about 1666, and William Penn (q.v.) came to them about two years later.
Norristown was founded in 1785, and was named in honour of Isaac Norris (c. 1671-1735), a friend of William Penn and a member of the Pennsylvania legislature, who had owned the land on which the borough is built.
General Fairfax and General Lambert are mentioned as occupants after his death, and later the property was let, William Penn of Pennsylvania being among those who leased it.