Silas Burroughs, the Man who Made Wellcome: American ambition and global enterprise

By Julia Sheppard

The first biography of the business brain behind Burroughs Wellcome & Co.

ISBN: 9780718895983


Silas Burroughs arrived in London from America in 1878 and proved himself an exceptional entrepreneur, taking the pharmaceutical business by storm. He was the brains and energy behind Burroughs Wellcome & Co. With his business partner Henry Wellcome he created an internationally successful firm, the legacy of which can be found in the charity the Wellcome Trust, yet few now remember him and the impact he made in his short lifetime.

A consummate salesman, Burroughs was also an astute businessman, with new ideas for marketing, advertising and manufacturing: his writings describe sales trips around the world and the people he met. He was also a visionary employer who supported the eight-hour working day, profit-sharing, and numerous social and radical political movements, including the single tax movement, free travel, Irish Home Rule and world peace. In this first biography of Burroughs, Julia Sheppard explores his American origins, his religion and marriage, and his philanthropic work, as well as re-evaluating the dramatic deterioration of his relationship with his partner Wellcome.

Additional information

Dimensions 234 × 156 mm
Illustrations 35 b&w


Trade Information LGENPOD

About the Author

Julia Sheppard graduated in history from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and has spent her career working with military and medical archives. As Head of Research and Special Collections at the Wellcome Library, she was instrumental in the acquisition of Burroughs’s papers, and he has fascinated her ever since. Her previous publications include British Archives: A Guide to Archive Resources in the United Kingdom. She was recently Chair of the British Records Association.