Thomas Wynne

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Thomas Wynne
Born (1627-07-20)July 20, 1627
Caerwys, Wales
Died January 16, 1692(1692-01-16) (aged 64)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Occupation physician, politician

Dr. Thomas Wynne (July 20, 1627 – Jan 16, 1692) was personal physician of William Penn and one of the original settlers of Philadelphia in the Province of Pennsylvania. Born in Ysceifiog, Wales, where his family dated back seventeen generations to Owain Gwynedd[1] He accompanied Penn on his original journey to America on the ship Welcome.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

According to church records, Thomas Wynne was the fourth of five sons of Thomas Wynne Sr., Thomas Wynne lost his father at the age of 11.[3] While attracted to the study of medicine early on, heavy taxes levied on his family originally made the acquisition of proper learning materials difficult. His trade was that of cooper. He was later able to make the acquaintance of an established surgeon by the name of Richard Moore, and soon he was able to apprentice until he was deemed worthy of licensing. He was licensed in Shropshire by Drs. Hollins, Needham and Moore.[4] He in turn after the death of Dr. Richard Moore apprenticed his son Mordecai Moore.[5]

Emigration to Pennsylvania[edit]

Born into the Protestant faith, he in 1655 married Quaker Martha Buttall (1627–1676) and found himself profoundly converted. Henceforth a devout Quaker and author of several pamphlets on Quaker doctrine, Wynne faced persecution and even six years' imprisonment in England in the 1680s. After Martha died, he married Mrs. Elizabeth Rowden (b. 1637; d. after 1691) on July 20, 1676, and she accompanied him as he joined Penn on his trip to America, leaving on August 30 and landing on October 27, 1682.[6]


Wynne was notable for erecting the first brick house in the colony of Philadelphia, on his "Liberty Lot" at Front and Chestnut streets (known as Wynne Street until renamed by Penn in 1684). He built a home at 52nd Street and Woodbine Avenue in 1690 named "Wynnestay" (a reference to the famous Wynnstay estate in Wales owned by Sir John Wynn, 1st Baronet, a collateral cousin [7]), and several surrounding communities in the greater Philadelphia Area now bear his name. He returned to England with Penn in 1684. He served as speaker for the first two Pennsylvania Assemblies of the Province in Philadelphia in 1687 and 1688 and acted as Justice of Sussex county, now a county in Delaware, from 1687 to 1691.[8][9] He was appointed a justice of the peace in January 1690 and held the position of justice of the provincial court from September 1690 until his death.


His time in America lasted only nine years. His death is noted by the meeting of Radnor Friends Meetinghouse then at Duckett's Farm which in 1950 was located at the West Philadelphia train station not far from his home at Wynnestay.[10] Thomas Wynne burial is noted at in the Philadelphia Meeting records at Ducketts Farm Burial Ground.[11]


Among his descendents, through Mary Wynne and Dr. Edward Jones,: John Cadwalader, Lambert Cadwalader, John Dickinson, Sally Wister; through his daughter Rebecca: Charles Dickinson; through his daughter Hannah Joshua Humphreys and Charles Humphreys; through his step daughter Margery Maude Joshua Fisher; great-grandsons, Thomas, and Warner Wynne, through his son Jonathan, son Jonathan all served in the Pennsylvania "Flying Camp" and were taken prisoner by the British at the Battle of Fort Washington and Thomas was held on the prison ships in New York Harbor. His great-grandson Thomas through his son Jonathan, son Thomas died shortly after Washington's crossing of the Delaware from him Gustavus Wynne Cook. This Thomas is remembered on the Lower Merion Revolutionary War Memorial.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sir John Wynn. History of the Gwydir family and memoirs, 1878
  2. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Kelly, Howard A.; Burrage, Walter L., eds. (1920). "Wynne, Thomas". American Medical Biographies. Baltimore: The Norman, Remington Company. 
  3. ^ Thomas Allen Glenn Welsh Founders of Pennsylvania, 1970 reprint 1911 original
  4. ^ William Mac Lean Jr., 1901, The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, pg 104
  5. ^ Charles Browning, Welsh Settlement of Pennsylvania, 1912
  6. ^ Wynne is an approved ancestor for the Welcome Society.
  7. ^ Sir John Wynn. History of the Gwydir family and memoirs. 1878
  8. ^ Some Records of Sussex County Delaware, compiled by C.H.B. Turner 1909
  9. ^ Flintshire Historical Society Journal, 1977–1978, Volume 28, From Ysgeifiog to Pennsylvania : The rise of Thomas Wynne, Quaker Barber
  10. ^ Scharf, John Thomas; Westcott, Thompson (1884). History of Philadelphia, 1609-1884, Vol. 3. Philadelphia: L. H. Everts & Company. p. 2358. Retrieved 9 January 2018. 
  11. ^ Joseph Jackson (1918) Market Street, Philadelphia: The Most Historic Highway in America, Its Merchants and Its Story; page 197.
  12. ^ Walker, Gavin Morton. "Lower Merion Revolutionary War Memorial". Lower Merion Baptist Church. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 

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