William White, the last Ulverston shipbuilder

William and John White operated one of several shipyards at the head of the Ulverston canal. They built twelve vessels at Ulverston, and William White can claim to be the last Ulverston shipbuilder, because after the launch of the Ellen Harrison no more merchant vessels were ever built there.

William White

Obituary - March 1912

We have to record the death of Mr. W. White; at Ulverston, on Thursday afternoon, at the ripe age of 86, who will go down to posterity as the last UIverston shipbuilder. He was born at Canal side, Ulverston, January 24th, 1826, and received his education at the Town Bank School, under Mr. W. Farrer. He had lessons in navigation at the night school of Mr. Peter Tipping, and received special instructions as ship's draughtsman later in life at Whitehaven.

He served a full apprenticeship with Messrs. Petty and Postlethwaite, shipbuilders, etc., and afterwards had much practical experience in designing and building of boats for the lakes at Ulverston, Fleetwood, Barrow, etc., when he entered partnership with his brother John as shipbuilders, launching their first ship, Mary Goldsworthy, into the Ulverston Canal, in October, 1865. Eleven other ships followed, the last, Ellen Harrison, in 1879. The deceased was the designer and draughtsman for these craft, which were recognised as pretty models, and had both sailing and carrying powers for which they were noted. Mr. White was of a bright, cheerful disposition, which he maintained to the last. Very retiring, he took no active part in public life. He was a decided Conservative in politics, and a firm upholder of Church and State, having no sympathy with the so-called Progressive views of to-day. He leaves a grown-up family, two sons and three daughters. His eldest son Mr. John White, the respected and trusted Chairman of the Lowick Parish Council, and secretary of Lowick Agricultural Show, etc., who relinquished his duties as schoolmaster at Lowick over three years ago, owing to indifferent health. The younger son, Mr. Wm. White is the popular schoolmaster at Penny Bridge, where for twenty years he has taken a leading place in the activities of Greenodd and district, and is at the present time the Prov. D.G.M. of the Ulverston District of Oddfellows, M. U. The elder daughter is Mrs. John Kellett, of Cartmel Fell, and the deceased has lived with his two unmarried daughters, Emma and Agnes at Ulverston since the death of their mother, six years ago.