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British Industrial History

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William George Pearce

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Sir William George Pearce (1861–1907), shipbuilder and philanthropist

1861 Born at Chatham, Kent, on 23 July, the only child of Sir William Pearce and his wife, Dinah Elizabeth Socoter.

Educated at Rugby School and Trinity College, Cambridge

1885 Called to the bar at the Inner Temple.

1888 On the death of his father, succeeded him as chairman of the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Co of Glasgow. Under Pearce's chairmanship, the company maintained its high reputation. He was also a chairman of the Scottish Oriental Steamship Co.

1892 Elected to parliament as Conservative member for Plymouth but did not seek re-election in 1895.

1905 Married Caroline Eva Coote, on 18 March. They had no children.

1907 Died after a short illness on 2 November, followed shortly after by his wife.


1907 Obituary [1]

. . . of the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Co, Glasgow. Sir William, who was forty-six years of age, was the son of the late Sir William Pearce, the noted shipbuilder of Fairfield . . [more]


1907 Obituary [2]

SIR WILLIAM GEORGE PEARCE, Bart., died at his residence, 2 Deanery Street, Hyde Park, London, on November 2, 1907, as the result of an attack of appendicitis. He was forty-six years of age and was the son of the late Sir William Pearce, the well-known shipbuilder. He was educated at Rugby and the Glasgow University, whence he proceeded to Trinity College, Cambridge.

In 1884 he received the degrees of Master of Arts and Bachelor of Laws, with honours, and in the following year was called to the Bar, at the Inner Temple. In that year he contested an election as a conservative candidate for Dover, and in 1902 he was elected member for the borough of Plymouth.

On the death of Sir William Pearce he succeeded him as chairman of the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Limited, in the business of which he manifested a keen interest, and over the affairs of which he exercised great influence. He presided over the meeting of the company in October and at the launch of the battleship Indomitable in March, and the news of his death was received with deep regret in Govan, with which the family had, for many years, been closely connected, although he did not, himself, reside in the locality.

In addition to the position he held in connection with the Fairfield Company he was, until recently, chairman of the Union Steamship Company prior to its acquisition by the Norddeutscher-Lloyd, and was also chairman of the Northern Steamship Company, which was subsequently taken over by the Morgan Combination. He took an active interest in the volunteer movement, and was Honorary Colonel of the 2nd Devonshire Royal Garrison Artillery Volunteers.

He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1889.


1907 Obituary.[3]



See Also

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Sources of Information

  • Biography of William George Pearce, ODNB [1]