William John Porritt (1828-1896) was born in Ramsbottom. He lived in Helmshore, Lancashire, where the family were known for being decent employers who were concerned with the welfare of local people. He rose to the position of cotton merchant having begun his working career as an apprentice wool sorter.
There were houses built at St Annes with stone from the Porritt quarries and William was Chairman of the St Annes Board of Health from 1891 to 1894. Following his death a workpeople’s memorial was erected in his honour at the Primitive Methodist Chapel in Helmshore.