At the end of the 13th century Wielun was the administrative center of the region, and achieved town status. During the two following centuries the town enjoyed great economic development; it became the commercial center on the border between Greater Poland and Silesia. Its commercial importance increased in the 15th and 16th centuries with the additional exports of grain and wool from Poland to Silesia. Jews also took part in these export deals; they also dealt in woven cloth. This upswing in the economy prepared the ground for the establishment of a Jewish community in Wielun, the presence of which was recorded as far back as 1537. In 1566, however, the king granted the town 'privilege prohibiting the residence of Jews' in the town. In spite of this, some Jews continued living there, though pressure from the town dwellers brought about the expulsion of these, too, and in the 1720's this first Jewish community ceased to exist. Jewish merchants still frequented the town, though remained just a few days. Because of the ravages of war - the devastation inflicted on Wielun by the wars of the mid-17th century and beginning of 18th century ---- Jewish merchants gradually discontinued visiting during that period. In the second part of the 18th century, there came about a revival of commercial dealings between Poland and Silesia that continued right up to the mid-19th century. Jewish merchants participated in the trading but did not settle in Wielun because of the 'privilege' forbidding this. In the nearby town of Byczyna, neighboring Silesia, Jewish contribution to local commerce was so outstanding, that the Prussian king issued an order in 1799 forbidding the setting up of a fair on Jewish religious festival days. In spite of the prohibition and objection of the town dwellers to Jews living in Wielun, a Polish landlord, owner of an estate on the outskirts of the town, allowed one Jewish family who had rented an inn and a brewery, to reside there
. In the 1770's, a Jew, Joachim Herszlik, was living in Wielun. In 1791, a second Jewish innkeeper and his family took up residence there. During the Prussian conquest the authorities gave permission for Jews to settle in Wielun, and the first group, numbering 10 families, arrived in 1798. Previously they'd lived in a nearby village, Bugaj, and now took advantage of the opportunity offered to move to Wielun. Among them were merchants who engaged in commerce between Poland and Silesia, and craftsmen.Among them were merchants who engaged in commerce between Poland and Silesia, and craftsmen. In the first half of the 19th century, among Jewish craftsmen were specialists in tailoring and metal (sheet metal workers). A number of Jews set up a tanning factory. In the 1820's a textile plant was established in Wielun and efforts made to industrialize the town; these ended in failure. At that time the Jews supplied the plant with raw materials. In those days Jews were not allowed to acquire real estate, consequently, up to the 1840's, only two Jews owned houses. During the years 1823-1862 another restriction was imposed on Jews residing in Wielun - the Wielun border strip. Jewish settlement was therefore much curtailed, and between 1823-1828 just 8 families came to Wielun, among them 3 'melamdim' (scholars). In 1840, the local Wielun authorities and town dwellers came to accept in principle the fact of Jews residing in Wielun, though desired to expel those Jews who'd settled there during the period of the 'privilege' of 1823. From the 1820's and nearly up to the cancellation of all residential restrictions on Jews throughout the kingdom of Poland in 1862, attempts were made to set up a Jewish quarter in Wielun. This failed, mainly because Wielun residents lobbied against it with the central authorities in Warszawa.