The Liverpool merchant and banker Thomas Leyland was one of the wealthiest people in the town, his fortune at the time of his death in 1827 was more than £736,000.
Thomas Leyland was born in Knowsley in 1752. Nothing is known about Leyland's early life, but by 1768 he was living in Liverpool where he worked for an Irish merchant, Gerald Dillon, with whom he went into partnership. In 1776, they won £20,000 in the state lottery and, by 1782, Leyland was in business on his own. and went on to become Mayor of Liverpool in 1798, 1814 and 1820. Young Thomas was a partner in the provisions trade in Water Street, importing Spanish and Portuguese goods.