Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Armstrong
Designation: Architect
Born: 20 January 1857
Died: 27 April 1941
Bio Notes: John Armstrong was born on 20 January 1957 at 5 Newport Street, Edinburgh, the son of James Armstrong, engine driver, and his wife, Agnes Irvine. When he less than 4 years old his father moved to Carlisle. He remained in Carlisle from about 1860 until after 1871.

He first appears as an architect in Edinburgh in about 1880-81 when he was at 51 Cockburn Street. His home address at the time of the 1881 Census was 2 South Clerk Street and is listed as an architect. About 1882 he took an office at 2 Queen Street, but he did not have a house address (no home address between 1881 and 1885) until 1885 when he was living at 17 Hillside Crescent. During the time he was in Edinburgh he was involved with the Carrubbers Close Mission. In his later application to the Quaker Meeting House at Westminster and Longford, he states that he was involved with the Carrubber's Close Mission and that his efforts were directed to mission work and 'more especially among voluntary labourers'. This explains how he obtained the commission for the Carrubbers Close Mission Building. He may have also been a relative of the John Armstrong whose occupation was given as missionary, living at 10 Society.

In about 1886 he moved to the Birmingham area where he lived with his brother. Armstrong moved to London in mid-1880s and applied for membership of the Friend's Meeting House in Middlesex on 23 April 1888. He met there and married Marie Marthe Bobenrieth, who was born in France in 1863, in 1889. He was active in the Peace Committee in the early 1900s. The couple lived in Middlesex in Queen Victoria Street. He renovated and designed and built and addition to the house. He later applied for, as noted above, admission to the Westminster & Longford Meeting House. He then moved to Acton for a couple of years before building a house - Eden Hall - in Ealing on Montpelier Road. He practiced as a civil engineer at Ealing but bought the Villa L'ensoleillado in Hyeres, France in 1926 and moved there in 1933. He died on 27 April 1941 in Hyeres, his wife surviving him until her death in 1955. They had two sons one of whom became a Patent Agent.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 651, Cockburn Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness(?)   
Item 2 of 6Hyeres, FrancePrivate 1041 
Item 3 of 66, South Clerk Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1881 *  
Item 4 of 62, Queen Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness18811885No entry after 1886
Item 5 of 617, Hillside Crescent, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1885 *  
Item 6 of 6Villa L'ensoleillado/18, Montee Costebelle, Hyeres, FrancePrivate1926  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Buildings and Designs

This architect was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 51880Town Hall design    Design exhibited
Item 2 of 5c. 1880(?)Glasgow Municipal Buildings  GlasgowScotlandCompetition design entered under the pseudonym Roman
Item 3 of 51883Carrubber's Close MissionOld Town EdinburghScotland 
Item 4 of 51883Old Waverley Hotel  EdinburghScotlandExtension
Item 5 of 5After 1926Villa L'ensoleilladoHyeres  FranceAddition of oal panelled library with stained glass windows, some of which bore the monogram AB for Armstrong/Bobenrieth


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1Post Office Directories     

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3Courtesy of Bernadette Coupe, Armstrong's granddaughterInformation sent via 'Contact Us' page on website Sent April 2010 and June 2011
Item 2 of 3National Archives (via Scotlands People)Statutory births  
Item 3 of 3Not yet establishedMinutes of the Westminster & Longford Quaker Meeting HouseVolume 19Pages 173-174