Andrews, William (‘Billy’,‘Bill’) Nathaniel (Mac Andrieu, Liam) (1873–1939), musician, was born 9 January 1873 in Dublin, son of Arthur Andrews, printer, and Elizabeth Andrews (née Dunne), both protestants. He studied classical music and was instructed on the piano by his aunt (Eva Andrews of the Alexandra School of Music) and on the flute by George Ellard at the Municipal School of Music. He developed a taste for traditional Irish music while playing the flute for dances; inspired by the piping of Tom Rowsome (fl. 1897), he joined the Dublin Pipers Club and studied under Nicholas Markey (qv). From 1913 he taught the uilleann and highland pipes; he was pipe-major to several bands including Dublin University Officers' Training Corps, and helped to defend the university during the Easter rising, for which he received a commemorative cup. He won prizes including first prize at the Oireachtas; first prize on uilleann pipes and joint first prize on highland pipes at the Dublin Pipers Club (1911); and was senior winner of the piping competition at the 1921 Feis Ceoil. He adapted Irish tunes, published McCullough's Irish warpipe tutor and tune book (c.1924), and wrote articles for Piping and Dancing under the pseudonym ‘Slainte’. He made several recordings; broadcast for many years; made, repaired, and sold pipes and pipe chanters; and acted as consultant to Dublin music shops. Well known in Ireland and Scotland, he belonged to the ‘loose’ school of piping, and developed a distinctive style. He died 13 December 1939. He married (1908) Frances Elizabeth Cathcart; they had one son.
Francis O'Neill, Irish minstrels and musicians (1913) (photo); Sinn Fein rebellion handbook: Easter 1916 (1917); ‘The passing of W. N. Andrews’, Piping and Dancing (Dec. 1939), 3 (portr.); B[reándan]. B[reathnach]. ‘Leo Rowsome’, Ceol, iv, no. 3 (Apr. 1977), 94–5; R. D. Cannon, A bibliography of bagpipe music (1980), 278–9; Sean Reid, Classics of Irish piping, i: William Andrews and Liam Walsh, sleeve notes (photo), Topic Records, 12T 262 (1992); ‘Acquisitions’, An Píobaire, 2nd ser., no. 4 (1979), 2; ‘Feis Ceoil results culled from Dublin papers’, ibid, no. 37 (1987), 7; ‘Making the bagpipes’, ibid, no. 41 (1988), 7; GRO