News from 1913 MR SAMUEL LAWTHER

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Mark Baber

Jul 4, 2000
MAB Note: I have never encountered Mr. Lawther's name before, that I recall, and can in quick, early research find no reference to his having a connection to White Star other than this obituary. His name is not listed in either Oldham or Anderson as among White Star's 1869 shareholders. He is, though, mentioned in Shipbuilders to the World as the owner of five Harland & Wolff-built sailing ships---called E.J. Harland (# 106), G.W. Wolff (# 120) and Walter H. Wilson (# 150), W.J Pirrie (# 155) and Queen's Island (# 184).

The Times, 10 June 1913

Mr. Samuel Lawther, D.L., of Mount Vernon, Belfast, and Rath House,
Tullow, Co. Carlow, died on Sunday night at Tullow.

Mr. Lawther, who was 79 years of age, was for many years associated with
the shipping business and the public life of Belfast. He was one of the
original shareholders of the White Star Line, and was interested in the
passenger and cargo service between Belfast and Liverpool which some
years ago led to a severe rate-cutting war. At present the firm of S.
Lawther and Son manages the Belfast and Mersey Steamship Company, and is
agent for the Belfast and Manchester Steamship Company, while the late
Mr. Lawther was also head of the firm of Lawther and Harvey, Shipping
Agents and Timber Merchants, Belfast. Mr. Lawther retired from business
and public life In 1909. He was formerly an alderman of the Belfast
Corporation and High Sheriff of the City. He was also a member of the
Belfast Harbour Board and Chairman of the Belfast Asylum Committee.

In 1900 Mr. Lawther opposed Sir W. G.Ellison-Macartney, now Governor of
Tasmania, for South Antrim as an Independent Conservative and was not
far off capturing the seat. He did not afterwards attempt to enter
Parliament. He was a strong Unionist and land reformer. He advocated the
better recognition of Ireland's claims by the Admiralty and the
establishment of Belfast as a paying-off port for naval ships from
foreign service, and also better lighthouse accommodation on the Ulster

One of Mr. Lawther's last actions must have been to write a letter to
The Times dated June 8, and received last night, inviting us to send a
special correspondent to investigate the state of affairs in Ulster.


Bob Godfrey

Nov 22, 2002
A rather roundabout connection with WSL is that Lawther's partner, J Thompson Harvey, was the father of engineer Herbert Harvey who went down with the Titanic.
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