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Famous Scots - William Lorimer

A native of Sanquhar, Dumfriesshire, he was born 4th November, 1844 . The Chairman of the North British Locomotive Company, who was also Chairman of the Steel Company of Scotland, was the head of two of the most gigantic "concerns" in Scotland. When the late Mr. Henry Dubs "hived off" from Hyde Park Works in 1864, and began his own locomotive works at Polmadie he chose Mr. Lorimer as one of his staff. Three years later he made him his chief assistant, and in 1875 he took him into partnership at the same time as his own two elder sons. After the death of Mr. Dubs Mr. Lorimer became managing partner, and under his direction the undertaking has greatly prospered and increased. The works now cover twenty-four acres, and they have sent forth to the ends of the earth over four thousand locomotive engines.

On the amalgamation of three great locomotive firms of Glasgow in 1903 under the style of the North British Locomotive Company, Mr. Lorimer was appointed chairman of the combination, and subsequent results have justified the choice. On receiving that appointment he gave up the active management of Glasgow Locomotive Works (Dubs's), where he was succeeded by his eldest son, and at the same time, to commemorate his long connection with the firm, he conveyed to trustees a large number of shares in the North British Locomotive Company to provide pensions for aged and infirm workmen who have been fifteen years or more in the service.

Mr. Lorimer was a director of the Glasgow and South-western Railway. In addition to his business affairs he has taken a considerable part in the public life of the city. He was one of the originators of the Victoria Infirmary in 1890, and was long one of its managers. He is also a life governor of Glasgow Technical College, last of the three appointed by the old College of Science and arts, once the Mechanics' Institute. And he was for some years a member of the Juvenile Delinquency Board, taking a special interest in the Day Industrial School in Rose Street, South-side.  Mr. Lorimer found further scope for his energy and business acumen in his position as Lord Rector's Assessor in the University Court, a position to which he was appointed by the "Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1905. He was further, in 1908, appointed Chancellor's Assessor for a period of five years by Lord Rosebery, on his Lordship's accession to the Chancellorship of the University. The amount of business transacted and the number of meetings held by the Court make large demands on the time of a man with interests so many and so varied, but Mr. Lorimer possessed qualifications which undoubtedly make him a valuable acquisition to this administrative body.

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Headstone Photograph

Further Information

Title: SIR

Firstname: WILLIAM


Date of Death: 9th Apr 1922

Age at Death: 78

Cemetery: Cathcart Cemetery

  160 Brenfield Road

Town: Cathcart

Region: Glasgow and Clyde Valley

Country: Scotland


Please Note, the marker on this map indicates the Cemetery location, not the location of a particular grave. is a privately owned website with no affiliation to any Local Councils.