William Willes

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For those of a similar name, see William Wills (disambiguation) and William S. S. Willes.

William Willes (1814–1890) was an early Latter-day Saint songwriter and, along with Hugh Findlay, was one of the first Mormon missionaries to enter India.

Willes was born in England. He was well-educated and by the age of 22 became head of a boys' college in Cardiff, Wales. He lost his position as a result of joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1848.[1] In 1851 he and Findlay traveled to India, where they met limited success. He sailed for the United States in 1855.

Willes served as a "Sabbath School missionary" after his arrival in Utah. He was an accomplished singer and premiered a song by Eliza R. Snow at the Salt Lake City 4 July celebration in 1861.[2][3]

Willes has the following hymns to his credit in the current LDS hymnal:

  • Come Along, Come Along, 244
  • Thanks for the Sabbath School, 278

Willes is no relation to early Mormon figure William S. S. Willes.


  • Willes, William (15 July 1882). "Ornaments and Dress in India". Juvenile Instructor. 17: 221. 


  1. ^ Davidson, Karen Lynn. Our Latter-day Hymns. Deseret Book, 1988, p. 459. ISBN 0-87579-137-9.
  2. ^ Eliza R. Snow: Poems for July. Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History. smithinstitute.byu.edu. [1]. Accessed 19 August 2007.
  3. ^ Deseret News (10 July 1861), p. 148-50.