Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Baird Thomson
Designation: Architect
Born: 1869 or 1870
Died: 5 June 1917
Bio Notes: James Baird Thomson was born in 1869 or 1870, the elder son of James Thomson and his first wife Isobel Miller Aitken. He was probably educated at the Albany Academy like his younger brother William Aitken Thomson. James was articled to his father and became an assistant from 1891 when he designed the British Linen Bank at Whiteinch and an addition to Crossbasket House. In October 1888 he was joined by his brother born in Glasgow on 21 September 1871. In 1892 he undertook the working drawings for the Schaw Convalescent Home at Bearsden, presumably from sketch designs by his father. Both sons were made partners in May 1899, and both were admitted FRIBA on 3 December 1906, their proposers being James Milne Monro and John James Burnet. Their nomination papers helpfully list their work separately indicating that James Baird Thomson was responsible for the free Renaissance Cambridge buildings and the severe warehouse designs and William Aitken Thomson the German Renaissance elevator buildings. There is no indication of either brother having studied at Glasgow School of Art or having travelled, although William probably had as contemporary accounts correctly state that the details of the Connel building were taken from the Ritter Inn at Heidelberg.

James Baird Thomson became a Fellow of the RIBA on 3 December 1906 as part of a wider programme of admission of the leading practices to the RIBA his proposers being J M Monro, J J Burnet and William Leiper.

By 1914 James Baird Thomson had retired from the practice to Florida Mount, New Brighton, Cheshire probably because of poor health. He died on 5 June 1917, and is buried in the family lair in Glasgow Necropolis, his gravestone indicating that he was married to Isobel Aitken Swan. The practice was continued by his brother.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 288, Bath Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness18871914 
Item 2 of 2Florida Mount, New Brighton, Cheshire, EnglandPrivate1914 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 3James Thomson1887c. 1892(?)Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3James Thomsonc. 18921899Assistant(?) 
Item 3 of 3Baird & Thomson1899Before 1914Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 2(Sir) John James Burnet3 December 1906for Fellowship
Item 2 of 2James Milne Monro3 December 1906for Fellowship

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 321891British Linen BankWhiteinch GlasgowScotlandAs assistant
Item 2 of 321891Crossbasket HouseHigh Blantyre LanarkshireScotlandAdditions - as apprentice
Item 3 of 321891Glasgow Necropolis, Monument to Charles Clark MacKirdyDennistoun GlasgowScotlandAs assistant to his father
Item 4 of 321892Clydesdale Bank, 340-344 Argyle Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 5 of 321892Lesmahagow Cemetery, Monument to the late General David Elliot MacKirdyLesmahagow LanarkshireScotland 
Item 6 of 321895Woodfield Mansion House  Edinburgh (near)ScotlandClaimed specific responsibility
Item 7 of 321898Building for William Connall & Co  GlasgowScotlandIn partnership
Item 8 of 321898Cambridge Buildings, 202-212 Sauchiehall Street  GlasgowScotlandIn partnership
Item 9 of 321898Muirhead & Company, 200 Sauchiehall Street  GlasgowScotlandClaims specific responsibility
Item 10 of 321898New Factory, 110-112 Ingram Street and Montrose Street  GlasgowScotlandIn partnership but claims specific responsibility
Item 11 of 321899Clydesdale BankGreenock RenfrewshireScotlandIn partnership but James Baird Thomson claims specific responsibility
Item 12 of 321899Clydesdale BankStirling StirlingshireScotlandIn partnership but claims specific responsibility
Item 13 of 321899Dumbarton Municipal BuildingsDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandIn partnership
Item 14 of 321899Liverpool London and Globe Insurance Office  GlasgowScotland 
Item 15 of 321900Bridgegate Parish Church  GlasgowScotlandDesign made. In partnership but claimed specific responsibility
Item 16 of 321900Feuing plan of Mirrlees estateKelvinside GlasgowScotlandIn partnership
Item 17 of 321900Great Western Hotel and TerraceOban ArgyllScotlandAlterations and installation of lift (with electric motor house at rear of hotel)
Item 18 of 321900Standard Life Buildings  GlasgowScotlandMinor alterations
Item 19 of 321902Clydesdale BankDunfermline FifeScotlandIn partnership
Item 20 of 321902UF Church HallDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandChurch hall and link to church
Item 21 of 321903North British Hotel  GlasgowScotlandAlterations and top floor. In partnership
Item 22 of 321904Clydesdale BankBo'ness / Borrowstouness West LothianScotlandIn partnership
Item 23 of 321904Tobacco Warehouse, James Watt Street  GlasgowScotlandAdditions - new Brown Street fašade
Item 24 of 321905Clydesdale BankAlloa ClackmannanshireScotlandAlterations - in partnership
Item 25 of 321905Clydesdale BankLarbert StirlingshireScotlandAddition - in partnership
Item 26 of 321906Buildings for the McAlpin Nursing Home  GlasgowScotland 
Item 27 of 32190836 Jamaica Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 28 of 321908Royal Glasgow Cancer Hospital, McAlpin Nursing Home  GlasgowScotland 
Item 29 of 321909Standard Life Buildings  GlasgowScotlandTop storeys added
Item 30 of 321913Clydesdale Bank, 10-12 James StreetHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotlandReconstruction and enlargement
Item 31 of 321914Wire Rope Factory  GlasgowScotland 
Item 32 of 321915Clydesdale BankOban ArgyllScotlandNew premises


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1Johnston, W T2003Artists of Scotland Officina Publications CDROM 

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers F v18 no1192 p37 (microfilm reel no12)