Real People, Real Stories: Jane Lazarus

Next section

In the ongoing series, read the stories of the people who designed, built and sailed on the Ship of Dreams.

This is one of many personal stories recounted as part of the Titanic Experience.

Following our blog on Margaret Pirrie and the pop-up exhibition honouring Lord Pirrie, we had the pleasure of welcoming Jane Lazarus, who shared her personal connection to Lady Margaret Pirrie.

The Legacy of Lady Margaret Pirrie

Lady Margaret Pirrie was a pivotal figure in the Titanic story. As the wife of Lord William Pirrie, the Chairman of Harland & Wolff, she played a significant role in the social and philanthropic circles of her time. Her contributions extended beyond her support of her husband's work; she was actively involved in various charitable endeavours, leaving a lasting impact on Belfast.

A Family Connection

Jane Lazarus recently reached out to us as a descendent of Lady Margaret Pirrie to offer a fascinating glimpse into her personal connection with this remarkable woman. Jane's connection is through her paternal side, her great-great-grandmother, Catherine Montgomery, married John Carlisle, Lady Margaret Pirrie's brother and they had a daughter – Peggy Margaret who was Jane’s grandmother.

Jane unfortunately never got to meet her grandmother, Peggy Carlisle passed away in 1951, two years before Jane was born.

Following her father’s passing in 2002 and as one of few descendants of Lord Pirrie, Jane gave permission for his memorial to be removed out of Belfast City Cemetery following damage and visited Belfast in 2006, on the 159th anniversary of William Pirrie’s birth for the unveiling of the restored sculpture.

Jane Lazarus visited Titanic Belfast in June 2024 to see the Lord Pirrie pop-up exhibition and share her family's story, bringing with her a unique piece of history—a brooch that once belonged to Lord Pirrie’s mother, Eliza.

The Story of the Brooch

The brooch that Jane brought is a cherished family heirloom with a compelling story. Eliza, Lord Pirrie’s mother, had this brooch made in Belfast. It includes a halfpenny dated 1862 and bears the inscription: "Part of W.J.P’s first earnings 1862." This halfpenny came from Lord Pirrie’s first pay packet when he started working at Harland & Wolff.

Jane was able to take the brooch apart to show the halfpenny. Although the identity of the jeweller who made it remains unknown and there are no documents to trace its exact origins, the brooch was given to Jane by J.S. Bailie, a former chairman of Harland & Wolff, when she was a teenager. Jane imagines that Lord Pirrie’s mother gave the brooch to Lady Pirrie, but how it came into J.S. Bailie’s possession is unknown.

Brooch belonging to Jane Lazarus

Dockers & Dolls - The Art of Terry Bradley

White Star Premium Pass

Early Riser

My Itinerary

(0 Events/Activities)

We’re looking forward to welcoming you to Titanic Belfast soon! Here's how your itinerary currently looks.

There have been no activities saved to your itinerary planner yet. Why not take a look at our Experiences or upcoming events for some inspiration?

Based on your chosen activities, we estimate your visit may take approximately: 0

Book your tickets Book