FROM YSGEIFIOG TO PENNSYLVANIA: THE RISE OF THOMAS WYNNE, QUAKER BARBER-SURGEON* By GERAINT H. JENKINS, Ph.D. 'Oh my dear freind & freinds with thee see how good the lord is yt hath brought many out of Bondage yea outwardly as well as inwardly for we are come into a good & health full land, a land yt is cappable of any thing that England hath in it. Both as to food & rayment it is far beyond wt was sd of it & room enough for thousands & liberty of conscience to all yt have tendernes towards god'.1 This fulsome tribute to Pennsylvania was written in Philadelphia by a former barber-surgeon of Caerwys, Thomas Wynne, in a letter to Elizabeth Edwards of Rhual on 3 December 1683. More than a year earlier, Wynne, in his fifty-fifth year, had sailed with William Penn on the Welcome to a land where, Quakers fervently believed, freedom of worship and conscience would prevail. Little, alas, is known about Welsh Quaker leaders in the seventeenth century. That most resilient first publisher of truth in Wales, John ap John, remains a shadowy figure, and were it not for the perceptive autobiography of Richard Davies,2 we would have virtually no flesh at all on the bones of prominent Welsh Friends in this period. Even so, enough material exists to show that Thomas Wynne was an important figure in Quaker circles in north-east Wales, and the object of this paper is to consider how he moulded the Quaker movement in Flintshire, why he chose to cross the Atlantic, and whether Penn's New Jerusalem fulfilled his expectations. According to Thomas A. Glenn, one of Flintshire's most illustrious and diligent genealogists, Thomas Wynne was the fourth of five sons born to Thomas ap John Wynne, a freeholder who farmed the estate of Bron Fadog in the upland parish of Ysgeifiog in Flintshire 3 He was born on 27 July 1627, baptised a member of the established church, and brought up in the Protestant faith. When he was fifteen, civil war broke out, and the ensuing upheaval left him bereft of instruction, for, as he wrote later, his spiritual overseers had fled and left him 'to the mercy A shorter version of this paper was delivered to the Historical Society at the County Record Office, Hawarden, on 29 January 1977. 1 National Library of Wales (hereinafter referred to as N.L.W.), Rhual MS. 106. 3 Richard Davies, An Account of the Convincement, Exercises, Services and Travels of Richard Davies (1710). Thomas A. Glenn, Welsh Founders of Pennsylvania, I (2 vols., 1911-13), 97-8.