William Alfred Westropp Foyle
Person Male Born 4/3/1885 Died 4/6/1963
Founded Foyles Bookshop in 1903. Born Shoreditch, the 7th child of a 7th child of a 7th child. William and brother Gilbert opened their first bookshop in Islington, moved to Peckham and then Cecil Court, already a street of bookshops. In about 1907 they moved to Charing Cross Road, where the bookshop stayed, with many extensions to the building. It was only in 1912 that the shop began selling new books, prior to that all books had been second-hand. The Manette Street extension was built and opened in 1929.
1945 he bought the abbey at Beeleigh for his home and library, an exceptional, in quality and size, collection of antiquarian books.
His daughter Christina joined the business and initiated the Literary Lunches. Our picture shows William with Christina.