Pim (later Grubb), Sarah (1746–1832), and her brothers Joshua Pim and Joseph Pike Pim, entrepreneurs, were among the sixteen children of John Pim, quaker businessman of Mountrath, Queen's Co. (Laois), and his wife Sarah (née Clibborn), who was also of a quaker family from Moate, Co. Westmeath. John Pim was one of the most important woollen merchants of the time, said to have exported one-third of all the worsted yarn sent from Ireland to England during a period before the 1780s. He was a member of the Constitution Club of Dublin and of the Dublin Society in 1774, but moved to premises in Threadneedle St., London, probably the same year. His family was well educated and brought up in the quaker traditions of fair dealing and probity.
Sarah Pim, the eldest child, was born 11 December 1746; she lived for a time in the 1770s in London, where her younger sister Abigail Pim (1767–1821), who never married, later became a well known quaker minister and prison visitor. Sarah married (1778) John Grubb, who had a large grain milling business in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, one of several locally that were owned by quaker families. The Grubbs had five daughters before John Grubb died, in his late forties (1784). Unusually for the time, his widow took over running the enterprise on her own account, with the help of family members and quaker managers, and was extremely successful. Her business and professional skills were matched by her willingness to help the disadvantaged members of her community, and by her generosity in funding, among other things, the Friends' Newtown School, Waterford, and the anti-slavery campaign of the early nineteenth century, in which quakers were very active. She was an elder in her local meeting, and was such a forceful and prominent person, in Clonmel and further afield, that people called her – only partly in jest – ‘the queen of the south’. She died 31 October 1832 at Clonmel, leaving a thriving business worth over £100,000. Her daughters married into other quaker families, further strengthening the quakers' characteristic kinship and business links. John Grubb Richardson (qv) was a grandson. David Malcolmson (born 1765 in the north of Ireland) was related to Sarah Grubb, perhaps a cousin; he worked for her in Clonmel before founding the cotton factory and innovative model village of Portlaw, Co. Waterford, which was one of the biggest industrial complexes built anywhere in the world in the nineteenth century.
Joshua Pim (1748–1822), born 13 June 1748 at Mountrath, and Joseph Pike Pim (1759–1806), born 13 August 1759, lived together, both unmarried, at Usher's Island, Dublin. They engaged in various commercial activities, in particular carrying on their father's involvement in the export of Irish woollen thread to England and the colonies, and also invested in the Grand Canal Co. Joshua Pim may also have been involved in cotton manufacture, and was prominent in large-scale financial and investment activities, including trading in bullion, discounting of money bills, and insurance; he was one of the merchants who promoted the General Insurance Co. of Ireland and the Commercial Insurance Co. of Dublin.
Joshua Pim succeeded his father in membership of the Dublin committee of merchants, possibly in 1774, and was one of the two men who originated the idea of a Dublin chamber of commerce, set up in 1783. He was elected its treasurer in that year, and was subsequently a member of the reformed chamber of commerce from 1806, and was its president 1820–22. Joseph Pim was Dublin agent for Newport's Bank in Waterford, and probably for other provincial banks and merchants, and was a member of the Ouzel Galley Society, a dining and commercial arbitration club for forty of the most important Dublin merchants, from 1768; Joshua was a member from 1776. Joshua Pim gave evidence to the Irish parliamentary committee on trade in 1778 and again in 1782, and in 1788 was chosen as one of a committee of the Dublin chamber of commerce to support the English Anti-Slavery Society. In 1793 he supported catholic merchants' rights in the chamber of commerce, and he was one of three leaders of a group of thirteen radical merchants of Dublin who met on 28 February 1795 in support of catholic relief. According to Richard Harrison, Joshua Pim claimed in 1821 that William Pitt's commercial propositions (1784–5) derived in fact from his (Pim's) representations to the government. The Pims were also involved in various philanthropic initiatives; Joshua and other quakers financed a school to train boys to earn their livings as weavers. This had been operating for several years in 1793. Pim and others founded a dispensary to supply medicines and medical advice to disadvantaged people.
Joseph Pim died 12 May 1806 in Dublin, and Joshua Pim died 6 May 1822. Their younger brother Richard Pim (1768–p.1819) owned a famous Dublin brewery from 1800, but went bankrupt in 1808 and again in 1817, and was expelled from the Society of Friends in that year. His son inherited Joshua Pim's considerable fortune. Other notable Pims, active in Dublin and elsewhere in Ireland, were relatives; for instance, Jonathan Pim (qv), MP, was the grandson of a second cousin of Joseph and Joshua Pim.