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

Research Articles

Glenn Simpson Titanica! (2011) Harland & Wolff and the partition of Ulster

Newspaper Articles

The Times (29 November 1895) Pirrie Nominated for Lord Mayor of Belfast
The Times (30 November 1895) Pirrie's Election as Lord Mayor Assured
The Times (2 January 1896) Pirrie Installed as Lord Mayor
The Times (2 December 1896) Pirrie Re-Elected Lord Mayor
The Times (17 December 1896) T. Ismay Contributes to Pirrie Hospital Fund
The Times (7 August 1897) Pirrie Sworn in as Privy Councillor
The Times (15 December 1897) Pirrie Honoured for Service as Lord Mayor
The Times (25 July 1898) Pirrie Becomes First Honorary Burgess of Belfast
The Times (22 July 1899) Thomas Ismay Honored by City of Belfast
New York Times (8 September 1901) Passengers from Europe Grieved
New York Times (19 September 1901) J. Bruce Ismay Returns to England
The Times (6 April 1904) Mrs. Pirrie honored
The Times (21 April 1904) Mrs. Pirrie awarded freedom of the city of Belfast
The Times (29 June 1906) Peerage of the United Kingdom Conferred Upon Pirrie
The Times (21 July 1906) Lord Pirrie's Title
The Times (24 July 1906) Pirrie Takes Oath as Baron
New York Times (23 August 1907) 30-KNOT LINER PROBABLE
The Times (26 December 1907) Lord Pirrie Appointed Comptroller of Household of Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland
The Times (9 October 1908) NEW KNIGHT OF ST. PATRICK
The Times (5 February 1909) Pirrie Invested as Knight of St. Patrick
New York Times (10 May 1909) $1,000,000 FOR WITLEY COURT
New York Times (12 December 1909) Giant Ships Soon to Join the Atlantic Fleet
New York Times (6 June 1911) CHANGE IN COMMODORES
The New York Times (19 July 1911) OLYMPIC CUTS HER OWN TIME
New York Times (23 February 1912) LORD PIRRIE OPERATED UPON
New York Times (14 March 1912) LORD PIRRIE TO RETIRE
New York Times (15 March 1912) LORD PIRRIE NOT RETIRING
Belfast Newsletter (1 April 1912) THE DEPARTURE OF THE TITANIC.
Chicago Daily News (20 April 1912) Not All Stock Issued
The San Francisco Call (2 June 1912) LORD PIRRIE'S WIFE TO VISIT THE WEST
(27 August 1912) PIRRIE TO REBUILD YACHT
The Times (27 September 1913) Captain E. J. Smith Memorial
New York Times (21 November 1913) Pirrie Denies That He is to Retire
The Times (23 December 1919) CONTROLLER-GENERAL'S RETIREMENT
The Times (23 June 1921) VISCOUNTY FOR LORD PIRRIE
The Times (14 July 1921) Lord Pirrie Takes oath as Viscount
The Times (16 July 1921) LORD PIRRIE'S TITLE (1)
The Times (9 June 1924) LORD PIRRIE - DOMINANT FIGURE IN SHIPBUILDING
New York Times (9 June 1924) LORD PIRRIE DIES ON SHIP BOUND HERE
New York Times (14 June 1924) OLYMPIC CARRIES PIRRIE'S BODY HOME
New York Times (17 July 1924) Lady Pirrie May Head Harland & Wolff, The Great British Shipbuilding Firm
The Times (4 April 1925) LORD PIRRIE'S ESTATE
The Times (9 May 1925) Lord Pirrie's Will
The Times (20 June 1935) LADY PIRRIE
New York Times (20 June 1935) LADY PIRRIE DEAD; HEADED SHIP FIRM
The Times (9 February 1940) NEW M.P. FOR EAST BELFAST

Images

Captain Smith with Lord Pirrie of Harland and Wolff
Downshire House
(1847) Baptismal Record of William Pirrie
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Encyclopedia Titanica (2017) William James Pirrie (ref: #2468, last updated: 7th September 2017, accessed 2nd August 2021 20:14:30 PM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-biography/lord-pirrie.html

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