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

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

 
$1,000,000 FOR WITLEY COURT

New York Times  (1909) 

$1,000,000 FOR WITLEY COURT

 
NEW M.P. FOR EAST BELFAST

The Times  (1940) 

NEW M.P. FOR EAST BELFAST

 
PIRRIE TO REBUILD YACHT

The Sun (New York)  (1912) 

PIRRIE TO REBUILD YACHT

 
T. Ismay Contributes to Pirrie Hospital Fund

The Times  (1896) 

T. ISMAY CONTRIBUTES TO PIRRIE HOSPITAL FUND

 
Lord Pirrie Takes oath as Viscount

The Times  (1921) 

LORD PIRRIE TAKES OATH AS VISCOUNT

 
OLYMPIC CARRIES PIRRIE'S BODY HOME

New York Times  (1924) 

OLYMPIC CARRIES PIRRIE'S BODY HOME

 
Pirrie Nominated for Lord Mayor of Belfast

The Times  (1895) 

PIRRIE NOMINATED FOR LORD MAYOR OF BELFAST

 
Pirrie's Election as Lord Mayor Assured

The Times  (1895) 

PIRRIE'S ELECTION AS LORD MAYOR ASSURED

 
LORD PIRRIE TO RETIRE

New York Times  (1912) 

LORD PIRRIE TO RETIRE

 
Pirrie Takes Oath as Baron

The Times  (1906) 

PIRRIE TAKES OATH AS BARON

 
VISCOUNTY FOR LORD PIRRIE

The Times  (1921) 

VISCOUNTY FOR LORD PIRRIE

 
Pirrie Denies That He is to Retire

New York Times  (1913) 

PIRRIE DENIES THAT HE IS TO RETIRE

 
LADY PIRRIE

The Times  (1935) 

LADY PIRRIE

 
Pirrie Invested as Knight of St. Patrick

The Times  (1909) 

PIRRIE INVESTED AS KNIGHT OF ST. PATRICK

 
LORD PIRRIE'S WIFE TO VISIT THE WEST

The San Francisco Call  (1912) 

LORD PIRRIE'S WIFE TO VISIT THE WEST

 
Pirrie Honoured for Service as Lord Mayor

The Times  (1897) 

PIRRIE HONOURED FOR SERVICE AS LORD MAYOR

 
LORD PIRRIE'S ESTATE

The Times  (1925) 

LORD PIRRIE'S ESTATE

 
Mrs. Pirrie honored

The Times  (1904) 

MRS. PIRRIE HONORED

 
Not All Stock Issued

Chicago Daily News  (1912) 

NOT ALL STOCK ISSUED

 
J. Bruce Ismay Returns to England

New York Times  (1901) 

J. BRUCE ISMAY RETURNS TO ENGLAND

 
Pirrie Sworn in as Privy Councillor

The Times  (1897) 

PIRRIE SWORN IN AS PRIVY COUNCILLOR

 
LADY PIRRIE DEAD; HEADED SHIP FIRM

New York Times  (1935) 

LADY PIRRIE DEAD; HEADED SHIP FIRM

 
CHANGE IN COMMODORES

New York Times  (1911) 

CHANGE IN COMMODORES

 
Passengers from Europe Grieved

New York Times  (1901) 

PASSENGERS FROM EUROPE GRIEVED

 
[There are 21 more items in the William James Pirrie document archive]
  • Link and cite this biography

    (2016) William James Pirrie Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #2468, accessed 26th August 2016 08:27:55 AM)

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

    Let us know if you spot an error or want to add new information about William James Pirrie.

  • Leave a comment