Illustrated London News (12/Sep/1863) - Obituary of Eminent Persons: William Willans, Esq.

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Obituary of Eminent Persons


This gentleman, whose sudden death has just occurred, was born at Leeds in 1795, but removed to Huddersfield in his youth, and established himself in business, first as a commission agent, and afterwards as a wool merchant. By mercantile talent, prudence, and high integrity he gained a character which raised his house to a first-rate position and yielded him a handsome fortune. His abilities as a commercial man were held in the highest respect, which was shown by his being chosen (after the death of Mr. Sutcliffe) to be president of the Huddersfield Chamber of Commerce — a position he filled with efficiency till his death. Mr. Willans became extensively known, not only in Yorkshire, but throughout England, as one of the principal wool merchants of the West Riding ; and also as a leading member of the Liberal party at Huddersfield, and a zealous supporter of education connected with religion. He took an active part in Sunday schools, in the British and Foreign School, in the affairs of the Congregational Church in Ramsden Street, in the London Missionary Society, the Bible Society, the Religious Tract Society, the Town Mission, and almost every public association for the promotion of objects of a similar nature. He was one of the founders and most active benefactors of the Huddersfield College, and for many years its president ; and he also gave his aid to the Huddersfield Mechanics' Institute.