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British Industrial History

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Henry Alfred Willey

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Henry Alfred Willey (1863-1904) of Willey and Co

1863 July 4th. Born the son of Henry Frederick Willey

1891 Living Ebrington Terrace, Exeter (age 27 and born in Exeter), Gas Engineer. With wife Emilie Louise, two daughters and a servant. [1]

1901 Living at 3 Pennsylvania Park, Exeter (aged 37 and born in Exeter), Civil Engineer. With his wife Emilie L., two daughters and two sons (including Thornton Willey aged one year) plus three servants [2]

1904 Obituary[3]

1905 Obituary [4]

HENRY ALFRED WILLEY, second son of the late Henry F. Willey, gas-engineer, of Exeter, was born in that city on the 4th July, 1863.

At an early age he was apprenticed to the woollen trade and went on a voyage to Australia in the interests of his employers. On his return, owing to the continued ill-health of his elder brother, the subject of this notice was introduced into the business then carried on by his father in Exeter, and for several years actively assisted him in its development.

On the death of his father in 1894, Mr. Willey became sole proprietor of the business, which he greatly enlarged and extended. Having become Consulting Engineer, in succession to his father, to a number of gas-companies, he designed and erected gas-holders, buildings, roofs and equipment, at Plymouth, Woolwich, Wandsworth, Greenwich, Torquay, Devonport, Windsor and other places.

In the conduct of his business, to which he devoted all his energies, Mr. Willey gave numerous proofs of foresight and sagacity.

In this connection may be instanced his prompt recognition of the commercial possibilities of the automatic gas-meter, the manufacture of which became an important branch of his business.

Although, owing to the demands on his time, Mr. Willey took no active part in municipal affairs, his native city always claimed his interest. Shortly before his death he gave a complete electric light installation to the cathedral and to the Albert Memorial College; and he devoted much time and money to the development of the Manual Training School.

Early in 1904, having been in failing health for some time, he turned his business into a limited company. His death took place at his residence, 3 Pennsylvania Park, Exeter, on the 21st September, 1904.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution on the 6th April, 1897.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1891 Census District 9
  2. 1901 Census District 17
  3. The Engineer 1904/09/30 p331
  4. 1905 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries