Edward Heylyn was an 18thCentury merchant and entrepreneur who along with Thomas Frye established the Bow Porcelain Factory. Heylyn’s father was born in Wrexham, in North Wales (hence the name) about 1656 but made his fortune in London as a saddler supplying saddles for the Duke of Marlborough’s army. Although the East End factory was a success, Heylyn’s business dealings were mixed, and he was constantly facing bankruptcy. He died aged 70 on the Isle of Man, then a haven for people escaping creditors. There have been several suggestions as to where the name Wrexham, which was variously spelt Wryghtelsham, Wrechessham or Wristlesham, comes from. The first is that it is from a personal name and the Old English word hamm meaning a piece of land surrounded on three sides by water, or marsh. So Wryhtel’s river meadow or Wryhtel’s hamm. Alternatively, the name may have described a settlement of the Wreocensæte people, who were possibly a continuation of the Cornovii tribe of Roman Britain. Heylyn Square is also named after him.
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