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Thomas Wynne - Founder of Philadelphia

Life is strange, isn't it? In 1682, Thomas Wynne, a Quaker and barber-surgeon from Ysceifiog and Caerwys arrived on the banks of the River Delaware. Ambitious and weary of the religious persecutions of his homeland, he set up a practice in the dockland area of the new city of Philadelphia, throwing himself into the advancement of his new home. He became the colony's first Speaker of the Provincial Assembly.


He popped back to Britain in 1684 after discovering that his daughter, Tabitha, the only one of his several children to remain in Britain, and her rather suspect husband had tried to purloin his remaining properties in Ysceifiog by declaring her father dead. The little land grab was largely prevented by a friend of Wynne's, one Piers Pennant, an ancestor of the antiquarian, and something of a hero of mine, Thomas Pennant. He managed to land himself in Newgate Prison in London for six months, before returning to Philadelphia in 1686.




Thomas Wynne died in 1692, as a founding father of the new colony of Pennsylvania, William Penn's personal physician and a damn good fixer of broken bones. In 2021, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, a Philadelphia native, take over ownership of Wrexham AFC, 20 miles south of Ysceifiog, the town in which Wynne's first wife was born and the original home of Welsh Quakerism. Small world...

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