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1846 Francis Wyley

Francis Wyley (1810-1888), was a well known business man in Coventry, an alderman and in 1860 mayor of the city, founder together with his brother of the manufacturing chemists Messrs Wyleys & Co. The family lived in the medieval Coventry Charterhouse, south of the city centre.  

Following years of complaints about fairs and street markets in Coventry, in 1855 a council committee approved the founding of a company to build a covered exchange. A site in Hertford Street was found and the elaborate Italianate Corn Exchange opened in 1857. The building included a hall seating up to 2000 people and a series of popular concerts was started, including in its inaugural year Charles Dickens mounting the stage to read from his Christmas Carol.  

 In celebration of his great influence in building the Corn Exchange,  On January 19th  1857 he was presented with a silver centerpiece. 

The inscription read: Presented to Francis Wyley Esqr. of this City, as a mark of respect from the shareholders of the Coventry Corn Exchange and as a Testimony of his zeal and activity in performing the duties of Honorary Secretary to the said company.


Francis Wyley was a justice of the peace; trustee of the Church Charities, of Bayley's School , of Holy Trinity Schools, of the Coventry Union Banking Co., of the Coventry Union Land & Building Society and of Edward's Charity, he was on the building-committees for St. Michael's Parish Schools and for St. Mark's and All Saints' churches, giving £50 towards the latter project. Wyley donated £25 towards the School of Art's 1859 rebuilding,


Francis Wyley became Lord Mayor of Coventry in 1860.

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