R.M.S. TITANIC/BELFAST/UNIONIST HISTORY: A superb 18ct. gold Hunter pocket watch which was the personal property of Thomas Andrews Senior, father of Thomas Junior, chief designer of the Titanic and John Miller Andrews Prime Minister of Northern Ireland 1940-43. He was a leading liberal Unionist politician in Ulster in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The watch itself is a French Royal Exchange of London, hallmarked London 1869-70. It bears the armorials for the Andrews family on one side and the Pirries on the other. It is assumed to have been a wedding gift to Thomas from his wife Eliza Pirrie, sister of William Pirrie, Chairman of Harland and Wolff and one of the driving forces behind the Titanic as they married on 15th September 1870. The Albert chain has thee attachments, a locket with Mr Andrews's initials and the family armorial with pictures of his wife Eliza Andrews nee Pirrie and his daughter, also Eliza, together with an Aspreys 9ct. gold pencil and an Anglo American key.
Thomas Andrews Shipbuilder - Shan F. Bullock, page 1:
"For six generations the Andrews family has been prominent in the life of Comber: that historic and prospering village, near Strangford Lough, on the road from Belfast to Downpatrick: and in almost every generation someone or other of the family has attained distinction. During the eventful times of 1779-82, John Andrews raised and commanded a company of volunteers, in which his youngest son, James, served as Lieutenant. Later, another John Andrews was High Sheriff of Down in 1857; and also it was he who founded the firm John Andrews & Co., which today gives employment to some six hundred of the villagers. The present head of the family, William Drennan Andrews, LL.D., was a Judge of the High Court, Ireland from 1882, and has been a Privy Councillor since 1897.
Thomas Andrews, is a man whose outstanding merits and sterling character have won him an honoured place among Ulstermen. One of the famous Recess Committee of 1895, he is President of the Ulster Liberal Unionist Association, Chairman of the Belfast and County Down Railway Company, a Privy Councilor. Two more brothers, James and John, were Justices of the Peace. In 1870 Thomas Andrews married Eliza Pirrie, a descendant of the Scotch Hamiltons, Lord Pirrie's sister, and herself a woman of the noblest type" Pirrie even claiming descent from Charlemagne through the Hamilton family tree!
"Thomas Andrews was a Liberal who was proud to number Dr William Drennan, the inspiration and founder of the United Irishmen, among his ancestors. A brother of Thomas Andrews gloried in the name William Drennan Andrews and rose to the eminence of Judge in the Exchequer Division of the High Court of Justice. The Andrews family, like many other Presbyterian families, was proud of its links with the United Irishmen and were Liberals and Unionists because the true aims of the United Irishmen - parliamentary reform, religious equality and free trade - had been realised under the Union.
Thomas Andrews was born at Comber on 26th February 1843. He was educated at the Belfast Academical Institute and the Queen's College, Belfast. He was foreman on site at the building of the linen mill founded by his father in 1863 and demonstrated himself to be an extremely astute businessman. Before the 'Great Betrayal', as Ulster Liberals referred to Gladstone's espousal of Home Rule, Thomas Andrews was an enthusiastic Liberal. Thereafter he was a Liberal Unionist, being a member of the Executive Committee of Ulster Liberal Unionist Committee formed in June 1886. The organisation subsequently became the Ulster Liberal Unionist Association and in 1892 Thomas Andrews became the association's third president. Like his other great friend, Thomas Sinclair, Andrews was active in the Ulster Defence Union (1893) and a member of the Recess Committee (1895). His membership of the Recess Committee was eloquent testimony to his undying faith in the value of remedial reform. Like Sinclair, he was a great admirer of the work of Horace Plunkett and a 'firm believer in constructive Unionism'".
"Andrews was chairman of the Belfast and County Down Railway Company, a member of the Appeal Commission established under the terms of the Local Government (Ireland) Act of 1898 and a member of the Arterial Drainage Commission (Ireland) of 1905. He was also an extremely efficient chairman of Down County Council. In recognition of his public service he was appointed to membership of the Irish Privy Council in 1903. He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for County Down.
The editorial of the Northern Whig on 18th September 1916 observed, 'Had he chosen, he might have obtained the honours to fall into political leaders in parliament, but he preferred to shoulder a musket in the ranks…'"
From The Great Convention of 1892, Gordon Lucy, pg. 96.
Thomas Andrews Snr. was a keynote speaker at the Ulster Unionist Convention of 17th June 1892. As President of the Liberal Unionist association and Ulster Reform club he was instrumental in organizing AND drafting resolutions. He was a key note speaker in support of first resolution at the often forgotten great Convention of 1892 drawn together from a wide coalition of interests to oppose Home Rule. The Conservative Belfast News Letter estimated that at least 100,000 people, drawn from the Unionist Clubs and the Orange Institution, were present. This convention is seen as the forerunner of The Ulster Unionist Council founded in 1905 to formalize resistance to Home Rule and later to become the foundation and governing body for the Ulster Unionist Party
The Craigavon Demonstration, 23rd September 1911 saw Thomas Andrews welcoming Sir Edward Carson as their leader. Denouncing the Land League and other illegal societies, and the men who had cheered British reverses during the Boer War, Andrews assured Sir Edward that they would 'never bow the knee to the disloyal factions led by Mr John Redmond and his colleagues'. The motion was seconded by William Moore, the MP for North Armagh, representing the Conservative wing of the Unionist alliance in anticipation of the Parliament Bill reaching the Statute Book before the end of the summer and the struggle with which Irish Unionists would then be confronted.
£4000 - 6000 Click here for details of BP and other fees payable on this lot.