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Sir William Pearce

Mitchell Library, The Bailie

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Sir William Pearce

A caricature of Sir William Pearce (1833-1888), shipbuilder and engineer, from the Bailie .

Pearce was born in Kent and trained as a naval architect. In 1864 he was appointed manager of Napier's shipyard in Govan and five years later became a partner with John Ure and J L K Jamieson in John Elder & Co. He became sole partner in 1878 and in 1886 converted the firm to a limited company, the Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co.

Under Pearce's management, became one of the country's leading warship and passenger liner builders.

Pearce was a freemason and became Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow. A Conservative, he was elected Govan's first MP in 1885. He was created a baronet in 1887, but died the following year. His statue, known as "The Black Man", stands at Govan Cross, across the road from the Pearce Institute that was commissioned by his widow, Lady Dinah.

Reference: Mitchell Library, GC 920.04 BAI

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Archives

Keywords:
Black Man, Conservative Party, Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co, Fairfield Shipyard, freemasons, Grand Masters of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow, John Elder & Co, managers, masons, members of Parliament, MPs, naval architects, Pearce Institute, Provincial Grand Masters, shipbuilders, shipbuilding, shipyards, statues



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