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Biographical entry Shapland, Sir William Arthur (1912 - 1997)

Kt 1982; Hon DSc Buckingham 1983; Hon DLitt Leicester 1985; Hon FRCS 1977.

20 October 1912
1 October 1997
Accountant and Philanthropist


Sir William Shapland, an honorary fellow of the College, was born on 20 October 1912, the son of Arthur Frederick Shapland and Alice Maud née Jackson. Educated at Tollington School, he joined the firm of Allen Charlesworth & Co, chartered accountants. He was given the responsibility of dealing with the accounts of John Blackwood Hodge & Co and Bernard Sunley & Sons, and, later, of advising the chairman, Bernard Sunley, a construction magnate. So valuable was his advice that, in 1946, he was invited to join the group as a non-executive director. In 1954 he became an executive director, succeeding Sunley as chairman of Blackwood Hodge ten years later.

In 1960 he helped set up the Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation, which distributes almost £3 million a year to good causes. Charities and institutions as varied as the Scout movement, Charing Cross Hospital and the Wild Fowl Trust have benefited. Among his many honours he was a Waynflete fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and honorary fellow of St Catherine's College, Oxford.

He died on 1 October 1997, leaving his wife Madeleine and two daughters.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Leicester University Gazette December 1997.].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England