Life Story of Sir Thomas Lipton
The Legacy

Sir Thomas Lipton died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Osidge on the 2nd October 1931. He was 81 years of age and was said to have been planning his sixth attempt at The America's Cup. He was buried beside his beloved mother and father in the Southern Necropolis, Glasgow. Thousands of Glaswegians filed past his coffin in St George's Church and huge crowds lined the streets as the funeral cortege made its way to the cemetery.

The terms of his will were to benefit the city of his birth. £80,000 was left to establish the Frances Lipton Memorial Fund for the benefit of poor mothers and their children. His yachting trophies and press cuttings collection were also left to the city, the former housed at Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, the latter forming the Sir Thomas J. Lipton Collection at the Mitchell Library. He left specific bequests to Glasgow hospitals, servants and friends. His London house, Osidge, became The Sir Thomas Lipton Memorial Hospital for Retired Nurses in memory of his mother. The residue of his estate was to be used by his trustees for the benefit of the poor in Glasgow. In 1937, six years after Lipton's death, a High Court order allowed his trustees to sell his interests with the proceeds going to the Lipton Trust for the benefit of the poor in Glasgow.

By 1946, when the last payment was made, The Lipton trust had donated a total of £821,000 to the City. The Lipton brand, now owned by Unilever, is still going strong.

Portrait of Sir Thomas Lipton. 1906.


Lipton, T.J. Leaves from the Lipton Logs. London: Hutichison & Co. (Publishers) LTD. Crampsey, B. 1985. The King's Grocer: The Life of Sir Thomas Lipton. Glasgow: Glasgow City Council.