Did you know? Masonic Philately

Sir George Cathcart No. 617

Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton (1851-1931)

Tea Packer and International Sportsman





Sir Thomas Lipton was born 1851 in Crown Street, Gorbals, Glasgow, his parents coming from an Irish background. At the young age of 10 years he was employed as a message boy at stationers Messrs. A&W Kennedy then later with Tillie & Henderson shirt manufacturers. Next he was a cabin boy and aged 15 he crossed the Atlantic to America arriving there at the time of the countries recovery from the civil war. He soon found employment as an assistant in a grocery store. But it wasn't long until he grew homesick and returned to Glasgow where he started a small provision shop in Crown Street. With his unique style of shop keeping and imaginative advertising Lipton soon expanded his grocery empire into many corners of the United Kingdom. In 1889 his business was made into a liability company and accompanied by a remarkable demand for shares by investors. In addition to his stores Sir Thomas Lipton owned tea and coffee plantations in Ceylon, packinghouses for pigs in Chicago, fruit farms, bakeries and curing premises in England. His tea is still a popular brand in the United States and he is one of the many characters buried in Glasgows Southern Necropolis who is still asked about till this day.

He competed five times for the America Cup,(the symbol of international yachting championship,) with five different yachts, each named Shamrock.

The years were 1899, 1901, 1903, 1920 and 1930.


Bro. Sir Thomas was a member of Lodge Scotia No 178 Glasgow.


Initiated:-          31st May 1870

Passed:-            17th Aug 1870

Raised:-            17th Aug 1870


Stamps Issued:- Dominica 1992 SG 1647