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

Pirrie's Election as Lord Mayor Assured

The Times  (1895) 

PIRRIE'S ELECTION AS LORD MAYOR ASSURED

 
CONTROLLER-GENERAL'S RETIREMENT

The Times  (1919) 

CONTROLLER-GENERAL'S RETIREMENT

 
LADY PIRRIE DEAD; HEADED SHIP FIRM

New York Times  (1935) 

LADY PIRRIE DEAD; HEADED SHIP FIRM

 
T. Ismay Contributes to Pirrie Hospital Fund

The Times  (1896) 

T. ISMAY CONTRIBUTES TO PIRRIE HOSPITAL FUND

 
Lord Pirrie's Will

The Times  (1925) 

LORD PIRRIE'S WILL

 
Pirrie Re-Elected Lord Mayor

The Times  (1896) 

PIRRIE RE-ELECTED LORD MAYOR

 
NEW M.P. FOR EAST BELFAST

The Times  (1940) 

NEW M.P. FOR EAST BELFAST

 
NEW KNIGHT OF ST. PATRICK

The Times  (1908) 

NEW KNIGHT OF ST. PATRICK

 
LORD PIRRIE NOT RETIRING

New York Times  (1912) 

LORD PIRRIE NOT RETIRING

 
Thomas Ismay Honored by City of Belfast

The Times  (1899) 

THOMAS ISMAY HONORED BY CITY OF BELFAST

 
PIRRIE TO REBUILD YACHT

The Sun (New York)  (1912) 

PIRRIE TO REBUILD YACHT

 
Pirrie Sworn in as Privy Councillor

The Times  (1897) 

PIRRIE SWORN IN AS PRIVY COUNCILLOR

 
Pirrie Honoured for Service as Lord Mayor

The Times  (1897) 

PIRRIE HONOURED FOR SERVICE AS LORD MAYOR

 
VISCOUNTY FOR LORD PIRRIE

The Times  (1921) 

VISCOUNTY FOR LORD PIRRIE

 
Captain E. J. Smith Memorial

The Times  (1913) 

CAPTAIN E. J. SMITH MEMORIAL

 
LORD PIRRIE OPERATED UPON

New York Times  (1912) 

LORD PIRRIE OPERATED UPON

 
Not All Stock Issued

Chicago Daily News  (1912) 

NOT ALL STOCK ISSUED

 
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

 
CHANGE IN COMMODORES

New York Times  (1911) 

CHANGE IN COMMODORES

 
OLYMPIC CARRIES PIRRIE'S BODY HOME

New York Times  (1924) 

OLYMPIC CARRIES PIRRIE'S BODY HOME

 
Mrs. Pirrie awarded freedom of the city of Belfast

The Times  (1904) 

MRS. PIRRIE AWARDED FREEDOM OF THE CITY OF BELFAST

 
Pirrie Installed as Lord Mayor

The Times  (1896) 

PIRRIE INSTALLED AS LORD MAYOR

 
LORD PIRRIE DIES ON SHIP BOUND HERE

New York Times  (1924) 

LORD PIRRIE DIES ON SHIP BOUND HERE

 
OLYMPIC CUTS HER OWN TIME

The New York Times  (1911) 

OLYMPIC CUTS HER OWN TIME

 
Lord Pirrie's Title

The Times  (1906) 

LORD PIRRIE'S TITLE

 
[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 27th August 2016 08:52:34 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