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

Peerage of the United Kingdom Conferred Upon Pirrie

The Times  (1906) 

PEERAGE OF THE UNITED KINGDOM CONFERRED UPON PIRRIE

 
PIRRIE TO REBUILD YACHT

The Sun (New York)  (1912) 

PIRRIE TO REBUILD YACHT

 
Pirrie Re-Elected Lord Mayor

The Times  (1896) 

PIRRIE RE-ELECTED LORD MAYOR

 
Lady Pirrie May Head Harland & Wolff, The Great British Shipbuilding Firm

New York Times  (1924) 

LADY PIRRIE MAY HEAD HARLAND & WOLFF, THE GREAT BRITISH SHIPBUILDING FIRM

 
LORD PIRRIE NOT RETIRING

New York Times  (1912) 

LORD PIRRIE NOT RETIRING

 
Mrs. Pirrie awarded freedom of the city of Belfast

The Times  (1904) 

MRS. PIRRIE AWARDED FREEDOM OF THE CITY OF BELFAST

 
LORD PIRRIE'S ESTATE

The Times  (1925) 

LORD PIRRIE'S ESTATE

 
Pirrie Takes Oath as Baron

The Times  (1906) 

PIRRIE TAKES OATH AS BARON

 
LADY PIRRIE

The Times  (1935) 

LADY PIRRIE

 
Thomas Ismay Honored by City of Belfast

The Times  (1899) 

THOMAS ISMAY HONORED BY CITY OF BELFAST

 
[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 21st October 2014 05:56:17 AM)

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