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.

2019

Today our high standards are upheld by Tim Purves, the fifth generation of the Purves family, together with fellow directors; James Morris, Roger Pagan, Andrew Purves and Colin Brown. The ‘William Purves family’ now comprises over 100 staff including great-great-grandchildren.


(From Left: Colin Brown, Tim Purves, James Morris, Roger Pagan, Andrew Purves)

Latest Posts

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Graduate Success for William Purves

A huge congratulations to our eight graduates in this year's NAFD (National Association of Funeral Directors) Diploma in Funeral Directing as published in this month's Funeral Director Monthly. This year, William Purves employees made up almost a third of the graduate...

Toy Story4 theme to be a funeral favourite

This month's launch of Toy Story 4 features a Joni Mitchell hit "Both Sides Now" which is being tipped as a future funeral anthem. Listeners of the Chris Evans Breakfast Show @ Virgin Radio today were treated to an extended play of the song following an interview with...

Summer solstice 2019

June 21st 2019 marks the UK’s longest day and shortest night as sunlight hours are at a peak.   In our experience, longer and sunnier days mean woodland burials are more popular at this time of year with nature in full bloom. If you’d like advice on an eco-funeral, a...