William James Pirrie

Lord William James Pirrie

William James Pirrie

William James Pirrie was born in Quebec, Canada on 31 May 1847 the only son of James Alexander Pirrie his wife Eliza (neé Montgomery). Pirrie's family lived at Conlig, County Down.

Following an education at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, in 1862, he entered the firm of Harland and Wolff. So meteoric was his rise that by 1874 he had been made a partner. He would remain with the firm all his life. Pirrie nurtured a close and lucrartive working relationship with first Thomas Henry Ismay and later his son, Joseph Bruce Ismay who led the White Star Line. Harland and Wolff was the sole constructor for White Star, building its ships to the highest specifications on what was termed a "cost-plus" basis.

Pirrie was instrumental in the formation of the International Mercantile Marine under John Pierpont Morgan which consolidated maritime transport in the North Atlantic with obvious benefits to his firm.

He was Lord Mayor of Belfast from 1896 to 1897 and was made Baron Pirrie of Belfast in 1906 (Viscount Pirrie in 1921 when George V visited Belfast).

Lord Pirrie died at sea on 6 June 1924 while on a business tour of South America.

References and Sources

The Dictionary of National Biography

Pictures

Baptismal Record of William Pirrie

(1847) 

BAPTISMAL RECORD OF WILLIAM PIRRIE

 
Captain Smith with Lord Pirrie of Harland and Wolff

(1912) 

CAPTAIN SMITH WITH LORD PIRRIE OF HARLAND AND WOLFF

 
Downshire House

DOWNSHIRE HOUSE

 

Articles and Stories

LORD PIRRIE DIES ON SHIP BOUND HERE

New York Times  (1924) 

LORD PIRRIE DIES ON SHIP BOUND HERE

 
Mrs. Pirrie awarded freedom of the city of Belfast

The Times  (1904) 

MRS. PIRRIE AWARDED FREEDOM OF THE CITY OF BELFAST

 
Mrs. Pirrie honored

The Times  (1904) 

MRS. PIRRIE HONORED

 
LADY PIRRIE

The Times  (1935) 

LADY PIRRIE

 
30-KNOT LINER PROBABLE

New York Times  (1907) 

30-KNOT LINER PROBABLE

 
CONTROLLER-GENERAL'S RETIREMENT

The Times  (1919) 

CONTROLLER-GENERAL'S RETIREMENT

 
Peerage of the United Kingdom Conferred Upon Pirrie

The Times  (1906) 

PEERAGE OF THE UNITED KINGDOM CONFERRED UPON PIRRIE

 
Lord Pirrie Appointed Comptroller of Household of Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland

The Times  (1907) 

LORD PIRRIE APPOINTED COMPTROLLER OF HOUSEHOLD OF LORD-LIEUTENANT OF IRELAND

 
Pirrie's Election as Lord Mayor Assured

The Times  (1895) 

PIRRIE'S ELECTION AS LORD MAYOR ASSURED

 
Harland & Wolff and the partition of Ulster

Titanic Research  (2011) 

HARLAND & WOLFF AND THE PARTITION OF ULSTER

 
[There are 36 more items in the William James Pirrie document archive]
  • Add new information or a comment


  • Help improve this biography

  • Link and cite this biography

    (2014) William James Pirrie Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #2468, accessed 22nd August 2014 08:53:22 AM)

    URL : http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-biography/lord-pirrie.html