Hafod

Name: William Hesketh Lever
Gender: Male
Relationship: Previous owner
Nationality: British
Date of birth: 1851-09-19
Place of birth: Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: Lancashire: Bolton
Date of death: 1925-05-07
Place of death: Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: Greater London: Hampstead
Cause of death: Pneumonia
Brief biography: 1st Viscount Leverhulme (1851 - 1925), English industrialist and philanthropist who founded the Lady Lever Art Gallery in 1922
Further information: William Hesketh Lever was a multimillionaire businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He was born in Bolton, the son of a wholesale grocer. He left school at 16 to join the family firm which he expanded and transformed. In 1884 he decided to focus on just one product - household soap - primarily because of its potential for marketing in pre-wrapped bars under a brand name. Previously soap had to be cut to order from a single large block.

Two years later he began to manufacture soap himself and set up the firm of Lever Brothers with his invalid brother. He initially produced his soap in an existing factory but by 1888 had outgrown the site and moved to a purpose built and much larger building on the Wirral shore of the Mersey. He also built a village to house his employees and named it Port Sunlight after his most successful brand of soap.

Within a few years the interests of his company Lever Brothers stretched from the United Kingdom to West Africa, the Pacific and the United States. The company grew until Lever was employing 85,000 workers around the world in 1925. The success of his company made Lever very rich. By 1912 in addition to his income, he had personal assets valued at nearly three million pounds. Lever made a large contribution to the lives of ordinary people. He built Port Sunlight to provide his workforce with good housing. He campaigned for better welfare and a shorter working day, and supported building, education and medical projects.

Lever also became a passionate collector of art on a scale unmatched in Britain since his death and he used his enormous wealth to put together an outstanding collection. He purpose-built the Lady Lever Art Gallery, which opened in Port Sunlight on 16 December 1922, in memory of his late wife, Elizabeth, with the intention of using it to display his extensive art collection.

Mr William Lever: 1851–1911
Sir William Lever, Bt: 1911–1917
The Rt Hon. The Lord Leverhulme: 1917–1922
The Rt Hon. The Viscount Leverhulme: 1922–1925

Name: James Orrock
Gender: Male
Relationship: Previous owner
Nationality: British: Scottish
Date of birth: 1829
Place of birth: Europe: Northern Europe: UK: Scotland: Midlothian: Edinburgh
Date of death: 1913-05-10
Place of death: Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: London
Cause of death: unknown or unrecorded
Brief biography: British artist and collector (1829-1913), occasional art dealer, former surgeon-dentist and probably an art forger
Further information: Orrock originally trained and qualified as a dentist in his home town of Edinburgh. He then moved to Nottingham where he set up his practice and later worked at the Nottingham School of Design, and began to buy some works of art. Orrock pursed a care... more

Name: Joseph Mallord William Turner
Gender: Male
Relationship: Maker
Nationality: British: English
Date of birth: 1775-05-23 probably
Place of birth: Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: London: City of Westminster: Covent Garden
Date of death: 1851-12-19
Place of death: Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: London: Kensington and Chelsea: Chelsea
Cause of death: unknown or unrecorded
Brief biography: British landscape painter and printmaker (1775 - 1851)
Further information: Turner is regarded as one of the greatest British artists of all time. He helped transform British art and raise landscape painting from ‘superior wallpaper’ to the defining genre of the period.

His long artistic career began at the Royal Academy Sc... more