Sir Robert Rankin, 1st Baronet

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Sir Robert Rankin, 1st Baronet (18 October 1877 – 11 October 1960) was a Liverpool shipbuilder,[1] and British Conservative politician, who was elected a Member of Parliament for Liverpool Kirkdale in 1931 until 1945.[2]


Rankin worked for Pollok, Gilmour and Company, before it was subsequently renamed, and he became director and chairman of shipbuilders Rankin, Gilmour and Company, Liverpool. He was president of the Lonsdale Unionist Division (1937–1947), a vice-president of the Royal Commonwealth Society, and a vice-president of the Air League of the British Empire.[1]

He was selected High Sheriff of Lancashire for 1948.[3]


Born in Liverpool in 1877, Robert Rankin was the elder son of John Rankin (b. 14 Feb 1845 Greenbank, New Brunswick, nephew of Robert Rankin)[4][5] and his wife Helen Margaret (daughter of James Jack, married John 1 September 1875, died 1937).[6] He attended Clare College, Cambridge, and in 1914, joined the 18th Royal Fusiliers (Public School Brigade), and later became a captain in the Royal Army Service Corps.[1]

He had two daughters by his first wife, Helen Mary (daughter of James Edmund Baker of Tehran, Iran), who died in 1932. In 1940 he married Rachel Dufrin (daughter of Charles Dufrin Drayson of Melton Court).[1]


His step-father, John Joseph Fahie, left him a fortune in 1934. In 1937, the Rankin Baronetcy was created, becoming the 1st Baronet of Broughton Towers at Broughton-in-Furness.[1] In 1946, Rankin gifted the mansion and 1205 acres, to Lancashire.[7]

Death and funeral[edit]

Those attending his funeral at Golders Green Crematorium on Friday 14 October 1960 included Lady Rankin, Air Vice-Marshal and Mrs John Grandy (son-in-law and daughter), Mrs C.H.M. Shaw (daughter), Mr James Rankin (brother), Lieutenant R. Rankin and Mr John Cherry (grandsons), Mr and the Hon. Mrs George Drayson and Mrs K. Bull (brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law), Mrs Jefferson Hogg (sister-in-law), Mr and Mrs William Rathbone (nephew and niece), Mr and Mrs W. Rathbone, (great-nephew and great-niece.[8]

After his death, he paid £506,159 gross death duty, and bequeathed £250 each to the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the Royal Commonwealth Society, the Liverpool Conservative Association, and the Rankin Boys Club.[9] His brother, James Stuart Rankin (1880–1960), Conservative MP for East Toxteth, 1916–1924) died nine days later on 20 October 1960.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Obituary: Sir Robert Rankin", The Times (London), Wednesday, 12 October 1960, page 15, Issue 54900.
  2. ^ Charles Roger Dod, Robert Phipps Dod, Dod's parliamentary companion, Publisher: Dod's Parliamentary Companion, ltd., 1936, page 419
  3. ^ "No. 38239". The London Gazette. 16 March 1948. p. 1881.
  4. ^ John Rankin, A history of our firm: being some account of the firm of Pollok, Gilmour and Co. and its offshoots and connections, 1804–1920, publ. 1921, page 143
  5. ^ "England and Wales Census, 1881 for John Rankin" at
  6. ^ John Rankin, A history of our firm: being some account of the firm of Pollok, Gilmour and Co. and its offshoots and connections, 1804–1920, publ. 1921, page 325
  7. ^ "Broughton Tower For Lancashire", The Times (London), Tuesday, 17 September 1946, page 7, Issue 50558
  8. ^ Deaths. "Funeral. Sir Robert Rankin", The Times, (London), Saturday, 15 October 1960; page 8, Issue 54903
  9. ^ Deaths. "Latest Wills", The Times, (London), Tuesday, 6 December 1960, page 15, Issue 54947.
  10. ^ Obituary, The Times, (London), Saturday, 22 October 1960, page 8, Issue 54909.


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Elijah Sandham
Member of Parliament for Liverpool Kirkdale
Succeeded by
William Keenan
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baronet
(of Broughton Tower, Lancashire)