Thomas Willesby

From Book Owners Online

Thomas WILLESBY 1618-1683

Biographical Note

Born at Spalding, Lincolnshire, son of William Willesby. BA Emmanuel College, Cambridge 1639, MA 1642. Rector of Bigby with Somerby, Lincolnshire, 1646, vicar of Wombourn, Staffordshire 1652. member of the Worcestershire Association, 1655. Ejected from Wombourn 1662, after which he preached as an independent minister in and around Birmingham and Old Swinford, Worcestershire, where he was living at the time of his death.


In his will, Willesby created an endowment to establish a school in Spalding; one of the conditions was that the children “who are most towardly and tractable” should leave “well cloathed with a bible and some practacall booke such as Mr Baxter’s Call to the unconverted or Mr Thos. Gouge’s Young man’s guide”. He bequeathed his copies of William Camden’s Britannia, Peter Heylyn’s Geography, Clark’s Mirror and Baxter’s Christian directory to his brother James, and directed that the rest of his books, excepting “some practacall ones my wife shall reserve for her owne use” to be sold, and the proceeds distributed to “foure poore ejected ministers or their widows and children”.

Characteristic Markings

None of Willesby’s books have been identified.


  • Matthews, A. G. Calamy revised. Oxford, 1934.
  • Venn, J. & J. A. Alumni Cantabrigienses. Cambridge, 1922.