© All rights reserved. The Bailie 15 August 1883, The Men you Know no565 (Courtesy of Iain Paterson) 

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Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Baird the Second
Designation: Architect
Born: November 1816
Died: 5 August 1893
Bio Notes: John Baird the Second was no relation of the first (John Baird 'Primus'), being born in November 1816 at Ayr, the son of Alexander Baird, shoemaker, and his wife Elizabeth Grange. About 1830 he was articled to James Watt, but after Watt's death in 1832 he completed his apprenticeship with John Herbertson. Thereafter he worked with John Fisher until Spring 1837 when he joined David and James Hamilton where he was very unusually allowed to put his name in the Directory. There he worked on Lennox Castle, the Clydesdale, Western, British Linen and Union Banks and in the Western Club: and at Hamilton Palace he worked on the Black Marble Stair and on the base of the mausoleum under the direct supervision of the Duke. In December 1843 David Hamilton died, his son James thereafter forming a partnership with his sister's husband James Smith, father of Madeline Hamilton Smith of murder trial fame. Within a few months however the partnership was sequestrated, possibly as a result of financial troubles over their development on the north side of Royal Exchange Square. James Hamilton then withdrew from the partnership; Smith carried on the practice on his own, possibly with his brother-in-law's assistance, and Baird commenced practice on his own. In 1846 Smith and Baird formed a partnership but this was not a success and by the beginning of 1848 Baird was practising on his own account at 112 Hope Street, Glasgow. On 21 September 1847, he married, at a double wedding, Jessie Nicholson, daughter of Michael Angelo Nicholson (died 1841) and granddaughter of the architect Peter Nicholson, the other bridegroom being Alexander Thomson, who married her sister Jane.

In 1849 a partnership was formed between the two under the name Baird & Thomson. Within two years the Baird & Thomson partnership was extremely successful with a large clientele for medium-sized villas and terraces of cottages in Pollokshields, Shawlands, Crossmyloof, Cathcart, Langbank, Bothwell and Cove and Kilcreggan. At Cove and Kilcreggan they enjoyed the support of the builder, railway contractor and ironfounder John McElroy who commissioned Craig Ailey in 1850 and built a considerable number of other marine villas either speculatively or for clients. These early villas were generally either Gothic, sometimes with Pugin-derived details, or Italian Romanesque but a few, most notably Glen Eden at Cove, had very original elements which, as Gavin Stamp has shown, have their origins in the publications of the architectural historian and theorist James Fergusson.

In 1854 Thomson began designing in a picturesque asymmetrically composed pilastraded neo-Greek idiom which derived from Schinkel at Rockbank, Helensburgh and the Mossman studio on Cathedral Street. These were followed by the Scottish Exhibition Rooms in Bath Street which he and some architect friends built to provide a Scottish counterpart to the period courts in the Crystal Palace at Sydenham. This decisive shift to the neo-Greek which would remain characteristic of him and by then had no counterpart either in Edinburgh or south of the Border was quickly followed by a change of partner. In 1856 the partnership of Baird & Thomson was amicably dissolved so that Thomson could form a separate practice with his brother George who may still have been in the office of John Baird Primus: the record is not absolutely clear. Baird thereafter practised alone from 112 West Regent Street.

Baird was elected FRIBA on 4 December 1876, his proposers being Charles Berry, John Honeyman and James Fergusson. Although he was extremely well known in his lifetime and is frequently referred to by Gildard it is difficult to form any clear picture of his style from his executed works or even of what he did; his pen portrait in the Baillie 'Man-you-know' series referring to his work merely says 'look around you'. His practice consisted mainly of suburban villa work. Nevertheless his Italianate competition design for the Glasgow Municipal Buildings indicated an original mind.

Outside his professional practice Baird was active, being Captain of the Lanarkshire Engineers in the Volunteers and Grand Architect of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. His wife Jessie died on 24 February 1866: Baird married a second time, to Margaret Mary Ann Jane Hunter. Baird had five children, two boys and three girls. He died of apoplexy on 5 August 1893 at 29 St Vincent Crescent.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 5112, Hope Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessEarly 1848 *  
Item 2 of 5112, West Regent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness18561888Listed at this address 1888
Item 3 of 5114, West Regent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1862 PO Directory
Item 4 of 5116, West Regent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1862 PO Directory
Item 5 of 529, St Vincent Crescent, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate18885 August 1893Place of death

* 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 7James Wattc. 18301832Apprentice1830-1832
Item 2 of 7John Herbertson1832Before 1837Apprentice 
Item 3 of 7John Fisherc. 1835(?)Early 1837Assistant(?) 
Item 4 of 7D & J HamiltonEarly 1837December 1843Assistant(?) 
Item 5 of 7Hamilton & SmithDecember 18431844Assistant 
Item 6 of 7Smith & Baird18461848Partner 
Item 7 of 7Baird & Thomson18491856Partner 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 1John Parker1880February 1883Apprentice 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Charles Barry (junior)4 December 1876for Fellowship
Item 2 of 3James Fergusson4 December 1876for Fellowship
Item 3 of 3John Honeyman4 December 1876for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 7David Barclay3 January 1881for Fellowship
Item 2 of 7George Bell I16 December 1878for Fellowship
Item 3 of 7Robert Alexander Bryden20 May 1878for Fellowship
Item 4 of 7Alan Burgess Crombie20 March 1882for Fellowship
Item 5 of 7Andrew Heiton (junior)23 June 1879for Fellowship
Item 6 of 7William Moffat20 March 1882for Associateship
Item 7 of 7James Archibald Morris23 May 1881for Associateship

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 86 Lindsay HouseCathcart GlasgowScotlandDate unknown
Item 2 of 86 St John's Masonic Lodge  Glasgow?ScotlandHall, 'Egyptic and small' - date unknown
Item 3 of 861837Lennox CastleLennoxtown StirlingshireScotlandOriginal mansion house - as assistant to D & J Hamilton
Item 4 of 86After 1837British Linen Bank Head Office  GlasgowScotlandOriginal building - as assistant to D & J Hamilton. Colvin gives 1840-41.
Item 5 of 861839Western Club  GlasgowScotlandOriginal building - as assistant to D & J Hamilton
Item 6 of 861841Hamilton Palace Mausoleum and keeper's lodge  LanarkshireScotlandOriginal scheme - as assistant to D & J Hamilton
Item 7 of 861842City Halls and BazaarCandleriggs GlasgowScotlandNew roof of bazaar.
Item 8 of 861843City Halls and BazaarCandleriggs GlasgowScotlandNew market hall roof (supervised by John Carrick)
Item 9 of 861844St Peter's Episcopal Church and ParsonageKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 10 of 861849Benmore HouseKilmun ArgyllScotlandPossible attribution by 'Buildings of Scotland'
Item 11 of 86c. 1849Design for Unidentified Building with Galleried Interior on Iron columns     
Item 12 of 861850sAnchorageCove DunbartonshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable--Check partnership
Item 13 of 861850sBlocks of Tenements, 37?-387 Sauchiehall Street  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented but relief panels are the same as those on demolished warehouse in Howard Street
Item 14 of 861850sCarradaleKilcreggan DunbartonshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 15 of 861850s(?)Design for Romanesque Church with Campanile     
Item 16 of 861850sEllerlyKilcreggan DunbartonshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 17 of 861850sIvy Cave CottageCove DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 18 of 861850sSeaton LodgeKilcreggan DunbartonshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 19 of 861850sVilla, 26 Maxwell DrivePollokshields GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable on stylistic grounds
Item 20 of 861850sWodrow Monument, Eastwood Old Cemetery  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable on stylistic grounds
Item 21 of 861850Cove Cottage, Semi-detached VillasCove DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 22 of 861850Seymour LodgeCove DunbartonshireScotlandVilla and detached coach house
Item 23 of 861850The Knowe and LodgePollokshields GlasgowScotlandOriginal house
Item 24 of 861851ArdsloyKilcreggan DunbartonshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but very likely
Item 25 of 861851Beech VillaPollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 26 of 861851Green GablesPollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 27 of 861851Lincoln VillaPollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 28 of 861851Manhattan CottagePollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 29 of 86c. 1851John Blair & Co Warehouse and Shops  GlasgowScotland 
Item 30 of 86c. 1851Sighthill Cemetery, Mossman Monument  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 31 of 861852(?)Block of Tenements on Taylor Street and Parson Street  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 32 of 86c. 1852Craig Ailey, Italian VillaCove DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 33 of 86c. 1852Sighthill Cemetery, Atwood Monument  GlasgowScotland 
Item 34 of 861853Langside Estate layout  GlasgowScotland 
Item 35 of 861853Unitarian Church  GlasgowScotlandCompetition designs - not successful
Item 36 of 86c. 1853Braehead VillaCathcart GlasgowScotland 
Item 37 of 86c. 1853St Ann's LodgeBlairmore ArgyllScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable
Item 38 of 8618541339 Pollokshaws RoadShawlands GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 39 of 861854Darnley TerraceShawlands GlasgowScotlandUndocumented--attribution by Worsdall
Item 40 of 861854Mossman Sculptor's Studio  GlasgowScotland 
Item 41 of 861854Rockbank House and LodgeHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 42 of 861854Scottish Exhibition Rooms  GlasgowScotlandGreek court
Item 43 of 861854Sessional School  GlasgowScotland 
Item 44 of 86c. 18541349 Pollokshaws RoadShawlands GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 45 of 86c. 18541353 Pollokshaws RoadShawlands GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 46 of 86c. 18541365 Pollokshaws RoadShawlands GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 47 of 86c. 18541381-1389 Pollokshaws RoadShawlands Road GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain
Item 48 of 86c. 1854Craigrownie HouseCove DunbartonshireScotlandHouse and boundary wall
Item 49 of 86c. 1854Southern Necropolis, Thomson Monument  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented
Item 50 of 861855Caledonia Road UP ChurchHutchesontown GlasgowScotlandBegan church
Item 51 of 861855Crossmyloof BuildingsLangside GlasgowScotland 
Item 52 of 861855Glen EdenBothwell LanarkshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but certain?
Item 53 of 861855(?)Knockderry Castle and lodge (Knockderry Cottage)Cove DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 54 of 861855Pollok Burgh SchoolPollokshaws GlasgowScotlandBaird claimed responsibility
Item 55 of 861855Woodside CottagesLangbank RenfrewshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable on stylistic grounds; APSD refers to Langbank.
Item 56 of 86c. 1855Eastwood and Rhodove, Double Villa  GlasgowScotlandAttribution undocumented and uncertain; date unknown
Item 57 of 86c. 1855Huntly LodgeBothwell LanarkshireScotland 
Item 58 of 86c. 1855The Knowe and LodgePollokshields GlasgowScotlandExtension
Item 59 of 861856Block of Tenements and Shops, Hospital StreetHutchesontown GlasgowScotland 
Item 60 of 861856Block of Tenements with Shops, Cathcart Road  GlasgowScotland 
Item 61 of 861856Busby House (for Mr Kessock)Busby LanarkshireScotlandLarge addition
Item 62 of 861856Maria Villa, Langside HillLangside GlasgowScotlandBegun by Baird & Thomson; finished by A & G Thomson
Item 63 of 861856Upper Clifton House, CraigmoreRothesayButeButeScotland 
Item 64 of 86c. 1856Glen EdenCove DunbartonshireScotlandAttribution undocumented but probable on stylistic grounds
Item 65 of 861857HowburnCrosshill GlasgowScotland 
Item 66 of 861860Haggs Castle  GlasgowScotlandRestoration as residence for Factor of Pollok Estate
Item 67 of 86c. 1860Tramway Offices, Bath Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 68 of 861863Schoolmaster's HouseRosneath / Roseneath DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 69 of 861866Strathblane Free ChurchStrathblane StirlingshireScotland 
Item 70 of 861870Glasgow Herald Building  GlasgowScotlandOriginal building
Item 71 of 86c. 1870(?)4 and 4A Mill RoadBothwell LanarkshireScotland 
Item 72 of 861872Tenement and business premises in Gordon Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 73 of 861874Corner tenement, Turnberry Road and Hyndland Road  GlasgowScotlandJoint architect with H & D Barclay, but not in partnership
Item 74 of 861874Globe Theatre  Glasgow?Scotland44' fontage to Stevenson Street and 80' to Tobago Street
Item 75 of 861874Pollok Burgh SchoolPollokshaws GlasgowScotlandEnlargement
Item 76 of 861875Biscuit Factory of Gray, Dunn & Co, Kinning ParkKinning Park GlasgowScotland 
Item 77 of 861876Hutchesons' Hospital  GlasgowScotlandInternal reconstruction
Item 78 of 86Before 1876BalsusneyKirkcaldy (near?) FifeScotland 
Item 79 of 86Before 1876Barrhead AcademyBarrhead RenfrewshireScotlandJohn Baird II, 4 December 1876
Item 80 of 86Before 1876RossleaRhu/Row DunbartonshireScotlandOriginal building
Item 81 of 86c. 1880Glasgow Municipal Buildings  GlasgowScotlandCompeition design entered under the pseudonym My X Mark in the first competition and under pseudonym 'Light and Air' in the second competition.
Item 82 of 86188386 High StreetAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 83 of 861885Hartwood AsylumShotts LanarkshireScotlandCompetition design, selected but not successful
Item 84 of 861887Petershill School  GlasgowScotland 
Item 85 of 86c. 1855Green Bank VillaBothwell LanarkshireScotland 
Item 86 of 86c. 1870Westwood HouseBothwell LanarkshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2Gildard, Thomas1895An Old Glasgow Architect on some Older OnesXXVIProceedings of the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow 
Item 2 of 2Scotlands People Website Wills & Testaments  Glasgow Sheriff Court Wills SC36/51/109

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 4British Architect7 January 1876  p8
Item 2 of 4Builder27 October 1961  'Architectural Historians' Conference: Papers Submitted to the Edinburgh Meeting' p787 - David Walker delivered a paper entitled 'Towards a New Style' at the SAH (UK) Conference in Edinburgh on 15-17 Sept 1961 in which he mentioned Baird
Item 3 of 4RIBA Journal23 September 1893v9London: Royal Institute of British Architectspp507-508 Obituary written by artist William 'Crimea' Simpson
Item 4 of 4The Bailie15 August 1893no 565  

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 v5 p60 (microfiche 89/B4)


© All rights reserved. The Bailie 15 August 1883, The Men you Know no565 (Courtesy of Iain Paterson) 

© All rights reserved. The Bailie 15 August 1883, The Men you Know no565 (Courtesy of Iain Paterson)