William Purves History

History Sub Heading....

Family run for five generations

When you place your trust in William Purves you can expect the highest standards of professionalism, compassionate care and a truly distinct service.

1888

William Purves
In 1888, William Purves, a craftsman and cabinet-maker from the Borders, gave his name to the company. He started his career as a joiner and by the end of the 19th Century he and his 10 joiners undertook cabinet making, french polishing, upholstering and … undertaking.

1900s

Willie Purves
By the early 1900’s his son Willie became the second generation to carry on the family business opening a funeral office in Marchmont Road.

1962

John Purves
John (or Jack as he was known) was a time-served joiner who worked alongside his father Willie until he died in 1962. John retired the joinery side of the company and opened a funeral office with rest rooms, a service chapel and bought the first hearse (an Austin 3 litre) and Daimler funeral cars.

1975

John and Graeme
Jack had 5 children and fostered many more. His son John, became the fourth generation of Purves to join the company, taking over when his father passed away in 1975. John worked with his brother-in-law Graeme Brown to open more William Purves offices throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians.

Today

The Company has 21 William Purves branches with an additional 7 funeral director brands and one stonemason under its banner. The company currently employs around 100 people across Scotland and North East England.

Latest Posts

View all posts >

Popularity of funeral service rooms in 2021

Choosing to have a funeral in a funeral director's service room offers a range of added benefits to families, especially during the current climate where social distancing is still in force and limits to attendees is a changing picture. The scope of choice is no...

Lasting legacy for North East Families

Further coverage of Vinnie's Cot, donated by Natalie and Callum Laidlaw in memory of their son Vinnie.  Earlier this month, the cot was donated to William Purves, enabling families throughout the North East region to spend more time at home.  Read more about their...

A promise that’s worth something

When it comes to your funeral, or that of a loved one, you need to trust who you choose to help with the arrangements. It’s not a purchase you make every day and it’s often influenced by who your families and friends have used in the past or who is nearest. Sometimes...