Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: March 18, 2018
Webpage revised: August 29, 2018




Mr William Willoughby was the second son of Mr William Willoughby and his wife, Mary, from Illogan, Cornwall, the founder of the Central Foundry and Engineering Works in Rendle Street, Plymouth.

Born in East Stonehouse in 1829, Mr Willoughby spent his early years as an apprentice and then a employee of his father's business.  But at the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1855 he joined the Royal Navy as an engineer and served in the Black Sea Fleet.  He was present at the Battle of Sevastopol and the bombardment of Odessa and was awarded both the Crimean Medal and the Turkish Medal.  At the end of the War in 1858 he returned to his father's business.

His father passed away in 1879 and his sons took over running the business, which now became Messrs Willoughby BrothersJames Willoughby, the eldest, died in 1882, almost exactly three years after his father, and William then became the senior partner.  By his skill and industry he built the business up to become one of the largest and best known in the area.

Mr Willoughby was a staunch Conservative, a Freemason, and a worshipper at the Ebenezer Methodist Chapel in Plymouth.  He was elected on to Plymouth Borough Council, where his technical knowledge and expertise became invaluable, and was a valuable member of the Free Library Committee and the Plymouth Board of Guardians.  He was among the chief advocates of the electrification of the tramway system.

On Thursday January 30th 1908 Mr William Willoughby passed away at his home in Saint George's Terrace, Saltash Road, Plymouth.  The cause of death was stated to be acute bronchitis following an attack of influenza.  His funeral was on Monday February 3rd 1908, upon which day the Works were closed.