Lord Leverhulme

Bolton Lever Rotary Club takes its name from Lord Leverhulme, a noted industrialist and philanthropist.


William Hesketh Lever

William Hesketh Lever was born in 1851, in Bolton, Lancashire, and educated at the Bolton Church Institute. After training with his father's wholesale grocery business, he established a soap manufacturing company called Lever Brothers (now part of Unilever) with his brother James. It was one of the first companies to manufacture soap from vegetable oils, and in conjunction with Lever's business acumen and marketing practices, produced a great fortune.

Lord Leverhulme is remembered as a philanthropist. Port Sunlight is now the home of the Lady Lever Art Gallery; he endowed a school of tropical medicine at Liverpool University; he gifted Lancaster House in London to the British nation; and endowed the Leverhulme Trust. The garden of his former London residence 'The Hill' in Hampstead, is open to the public. He was a major benefactor in his home town of Bolton. He bought Hall i' th' Wood (Samuel Crompton's birthplace) and donated it to the town. He made many donations to Bolton School and wanted to completely redesign Bolton town centre but his offer was not accepted by the council.

He was created Baron Leverhulme in 1917, and Viscount Leverhulme in 1922 - the hulme section of the title being in honour of his wife, Elizabeth Hulme.

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