By the end of the 17th century William Trent, a native of Inverness Scotland, had established himself as a prominent Philadelphia merchant trading in flour, tobacco, rum and molasses, slaves and indentured servants. His shipping interests extended throughout the Middle Atlantic colonies to the Caribbean and across the Atlantic to Britain, besides amassing substantial landholdings in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Trent was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly and appointed both to the Provincial Council and as a Justice of the Supreme Court.
In 1714, his Philadelphia fortunes and popularity apparently on the decline, Trent bought and eventually relocated to Mahlon Stacy's plantation at the Falls of the Delaware. He rebuilt and expanded Stacy's mill, erected a fine brick mansion called "Bloomsbury Court" (known today as the William Trent House) and laid out the streets for a new town, "Trent's Town," on the north bank of the Assunpink Creek. Almost three centuries later, these streets - Broad, Warren, Front and State - still provide the physical framework for Trenton's downtown.
William Trent was influential in both Hunterdon and Burlington County government representing Burlington in the New Jersey Assembly, serving as a judge in Hunterdon's Court of Common Pleas and as a Colonel in the Hunterdon Militia. In 1723, the year before his death, he was appointed Chief Justice of New Jersey. William's son James Trent retained ownership of Bloomsbury Court following his father's death but sold the estate in 1729 to William Morris, a wealthy English merchant from Barbados.
Links to learn more - William Trent House, Trenton; Pennsbury Manor, Bucks County