William Westley was the person who, in his will of 1723, left most of his money to fund a school in Whittlesford. He was a butcher in Cambridge but born in Whittlesford. He died age 38. His surviving wife bluntly refused that the money should be used in this way because she thought it should be hers. She fought furiously for the money for 57 years but her loss is the gain for all who have passed through William Westley School.Who was William Westley ?
Why did he choose to build a school ?
All of William Westley’s eight children tragically died young. He wanted to remember all his children and by directing all his money to a school he believed that all of the children that went to his school would remember him a a kind of “father”.
Go and do likewise....
Be a modern William Westley! The William Westley Charity which still supports the school after nearly 300 years, needs your help for the next 300!
The history of William Westley starts at the saxon cross where people could come and listen to the stories Jesus told. After that there was no real school situated in one place as they switched from house to house until William Westley altered the life of Whittlesford forever.
Our own little bit of history.
The school was linked to the Church and had a building on the High Street in 1859.
In 1973 William Westley’s school was moved to it’s current position on Mill Road and was opened by Hamilton Kerr.
He is remembered annually on William Westley Day which is held on the Friday nearest the day he died, 13th July. All the children go to church and hear his story. Afterwards we have a family picnic and have a summer fete in the evening.