Our History

2nd Viscount Leverhulme

Second Lord Leverhulme

William Hulme Lever, 2nd Viscount Leverhulme (1888-1949)

William Hulme Lever, who inherited the Leverhulme title on the death of his father in 1925, continued the traditions and progressive approach established by his father.  He built various homes and facilities for the benefit of the community, including the Women’s Institute in Thornton Hough and the Village Hall in Brimstage.

Donating land & property

Some land was sold – principally the estate at Arrowe Hall, which his father had agreed to before his death. This went to Birkenhead Corporation and has subsequently provided sites for a public park, the golf course, playing fields, the cemetery, and more recently Arrowe Park Hospital. Other land was simply given away – such as Whitfield Common in Heswall, which is still enjoyed by residents. His other principal donation was land and property, including the village school, the village green, St. George’s Church and various other properties in Thornton Hough to enable the church’s continued financial future.

Businessman & philanthropist

William Hulme continued his association with Port Sunlight and Lever Brothers, and was a leading figure in the formation of Unilever in 1929. As High Sheriff of Chester and Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire he was committed to the wider area and served in various capacities in many national and local organisations including the Wirral and Cheshire Agricultural Societies, the Cheshire Scouting Association, the Bromborough Society, Barnston Men’s Club, and Thornton Hough’s own British Legion.

His sudden death in 1949 in America during a round-the-world business trip meant that his son, Philip, was elevated to the title and stewardship of the Leverhulme Estates rather sooner than he had anticipated.