A self-made man, company founder, merchant, philanthropist and yachtsman.
Born as Thomas Johnstone Lipton in Glasgow to Irish parents who has a small provisions shop. He opened his own shop and this grew into a chain across the UK. He then moved into the production and distribution of tea, targeting the untapped poor working class market.
A keen yachtsman, he repeatedly challenged the American holders of the America's Cup. He donated Lipton trophies to other sports including football and rowing.
Presenting himself as a 'ladies man', he never had a relationship with a woman, but lived with one of his early shop assistants, William Love, with whom he had a thirty-year relationship.
In 1892, after both his parents had died, he moved to Osidge House, 151 Chase Side, Southgate, N14. He also began his philanthropic work, setting up the Alexandra Trust, with Queen Alexandra, which provided meals to London’s poor.
The Estate Agents, Anthony Webb, have a good page of information about Lipton.