William James Pirrie (1847 - 1924):
William Pirrie was born in Quebec into a County Down family and was educated at the Royal Academical Institution, Belfast. In 1862 he was apprenticed to Harland & Wolff's shipbuilding firm and in 1874 became a partner and later the chairman. He instigated the innovation of design which led to building of large liners. In 1896 he became Lord Mayor of Belfast, and in 1897 he was made a Privy Councillor. He was Controller of Shipping during the First World War and was raised to the peerage and knighted. On his yacht at the Kiel Regatta he hosted the Kaiser. He was Pro-Chancellor of Queen's University, Belfast, and sat in the Northern Ireland Senate. He died on board ship near Panama. The Royal Belfast Academical Institution named its Pirrie House after him.
||24 May 1847
||7 June 1924