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

Not All Stock Issued

Chicago Daily News  (1912) 

NOT ALL STOCK ISSUED

 
T. Ismay Contributes to Pirrie Hospital Fund

The Times  (1896) 

T. ISMAY CONTRIBUTES TO PIRRIE HOSPITAL FUND

 
Pirrie Denies That He is to Retire

New York Times  (1913) 

PIRRIE DENIES THAT HE IS TO RETIRE

 
VISCOUNTY FOR LORD PIRRIE

The Times  (1921) 

VISCOUNTY FOR LORD PIRRIE

 
Harland & Wolff and the partition of Ulster

Titanic Research  (2011) 

HARLAND & WOLFF AND THE PARTITION OF ULSTER

 
Pirrie's Election as Lord Mayor Assured

The Times  (1895) 

PIRRIE'S ELECTION AS LORD MAYOR ASSURED

 
PIRRIE TO REBUILD YACHT

The Sun (New York)  (1912) 

PIRRIE TO REBUILD YACHT

 
LORD PIRRIE'S WIFE TO VISIT THE WEST

The San Francisco Call  (1912) 

LORD PIRRIE'S WIFE TO VISIT THE WEST

 
Mrs. Pirrie awarded freedom of the city of Belfast

The Times  (1904) 

MRS. PIRRIE AWARDED FREEDOM OF THE CITY OF BELFAST

 
Captain E. J. Smith Memorial

The Times  (1913) 

CAPTAIN E. J. SMITH MEMORIAL

 
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    (2014) William James Pirrie Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #2468, accessed 27th November 2014 06:40:18 AM)

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