William Purves history

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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 14 funeral director brands under its banner as well as our own team of stonemasons throughout Scotland and N.E. England. The company currently employs around 100 people.

Latest Posts

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Funerals in the bleak midwinter

As one of the UK's most popular Christmas carols, various versions of In the Bleak Midwinter are cheerfully sung in churches, village halls and high streets throughout December. Roll on a few weeks and I can assure you, there are fewer places bleaker in mid-winter...

Defending Funeral Directors – Scotland on Sunday/Evening News

Tim Purves vigorously defends the role of funeral directors following a high profile fine imposed on an English firm for not policing unexpected crowds in The Scotland on Sunday newspaper. Funeral directors 'should not be responsible' for policing mourner numbers |...

Memorials Replace Big Funerals – The Times

Today's Times features our second generation memorials team at work, providing lasting legacies for loved ones at a time when funeral attendance is so restricted. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/covid-in-scotland-elaborate-headstones-replace-big-funerals-7b29nl0kk...