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Gustave Wilhelm Wolff

Shipbuilder 1834-1913
Gustave Wilhelm Wolff

Born on 14 November 1834 to a merchant and his wife Fanny Schwabe, Gustave left Hamburg in 1849 to study in Liverpool College.  This was followed by an apprencticeship at an engineers Joseph Whitworth and Company in Manchester, where he was held in high esteem.  He was then employed by B. Goodfellow Ltd., as a draughtsman.  In 1857 he was employed as Edward Harland's personal assistant at Robert Hickson's shipyard at Queen's Island, Belfast.  In 1860, he joined Harland in partnership and Harland and Wolff was formed.  He retired from  the business in 1906.


Outside of Harland and Wolff he had many interests, including the Belfast Ropeworks and The Union Steamship Company.  1887-1893 he served as a Belfast Harbour Commissioner and served as a Member of Parliament.  From 1892-1910 he was the Member of Parliament for Belfast East and retired from Parliament in 1910.  He was then made a Freeman of Belfast by the Belfast Corporation.


He gave money to the Ulster Hospital and The Orange Order and was a member of many different clubs, including the Carlton Club and the Garrick Club.


He died at home in London in April 1913.