William Purves History

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 >

Virtual Funerals

Two years ago, the funeral sector had to pivot almost overnight and deliver the best service possible in the worst of circumstances during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Technology was the key to adapting how we delivered quality funeral support to grieving families then,...

A Year of Firsts

This month marks the first anniversary of the death of HRH Prince Philip.  For the Queen and other bereaved families, this year will have been filled with many “firsts”.  From the big events to the simplest of routines.  Each day may present a first for someone facing...

Covid-19: The Undertaker two years on

https://youtube.com/watch?v=EdfFr9wZ5uY&feature=share Watch this moving documentary exploring the impact of Covid-19 on our lives and business, launched today to mark the two year anniversary of lockdown. Thanks to film makers The Times and The Sunday Times...