Brooke Foss Westcott was born in Birmingham in 1825. Educated at King Edward VI School and Trinity College, Cambridge, he took both the mathematical and the classical triposes.
Ordained in 1851, Westcott became a teacher at Harrow School. While at Harrow, Brooke Foss Westcott wrote several books and in 1870 became regius professor of divinity at Cambridge University. This was followed by positions as Canon of Westminster and Bishop of Durham.