William Burrell (July 9
1861 - March 29
1958) was a Glaswegian shipping merchant and philanthropist. He was born in
Glasgow, Scotland in
He was the third of nine children in a family, which
ran a shipping business.
Burrell joined this business in 1875, at the age of 14, and took
over the firm when his father died. Burrell and his brothers were
successful in business by ordering ships during economic downturns,
and using these modern vessels to full capacity when the economy
recovered. Using this method the family managed to become rich.
This allowed Burrell to spend his time collecting antiques
, and he managed this by his eye for a
In 1902 he married Constance Mary Lockhart Mitchell, the daughter
of another ship owner. Burrell was knighted in 1927 for services to
art and for his public work.
In 1944 Burrell donated his collection to the city of Glasgow, with
£250,000 to house it. The conditions of this include the request
that the collection should be in a rural setting. This posed a
problem until the council acquired Pollok Country Park
. A custom-build museum,
Collection, was finally opened in 1983 - even this is large
enough to display only a portion of Burrell's collection.
displays his collection of 17th century Scottish furniture.
William Burrell died at Hutton Castle
in the Scottish Borders
on 29 March
1958, at the age of 96. He is buried in Largs, where he had a
holiday home in Nelson Street, along with his wife Constance who
died on 15 August 1961 aged 86.