Sir Thomas Johnstone, Bart. Lipton - Encyclopedia

Sir Thomas Johnstone, Bart. Lipton

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SIR THOMAS JOHNSTONE LIPTON, Bart. (1850-), British merchant, was born at Glasgow in 1850, of Irish parents. At a very early age he was employed as errand boy to a Glasgow stationer; at fifteen he emigrated to America, where at first he worked in a grocery store, and afterwards as a tram-car driver in New Orleans, as a traveller for a portrait firm, and on a plantation in South Carolina. Eventually, having saved some money, he returned to Glasgow and opened a small provision shop. Business gradually increased, and by degrees Lipton had provision shops first all over Scotland and then all over the United Kingdom. To supply his retail shops on the most favourable terms, he) purchased extensive tea, coffee and cocoa plantations in Ceylon, and provided his own packing-house for hogs in Chicago, and fruit farms, jam factories, bakeries and bacon-curing establishments in England. In 1898 his business was converted into a limited liability company. At Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee in 1897 he gave 20,000 for providing dinners for a large number of the London poor. In 1898 he was knighted, and in 19,92 was made a baronet. In the world of yacht-racing he became well known from his repeated attempts to win the America Cup.

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