Basic Biographical Details

Name: Boucher & Cousland
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: c. 1853
Ended: 1875
Bio Notes: James Boucher was born on 24 August 1826, probably at Cumbernauld where his father, the Rev James Boucher, was minister. He was articled to Charles Wilson c.1842 and was an assistant there when he became acquainted with James Cousland (born 1853), the son of Alexander Cousland and his wife Elizabeth Stark, who joined Wilson's office as an articled apprentice c.1848. The Couslands were prosperous wire-workers with a manufactory in Mitchell Street, Glasgow.

On 20 April 1853 Boucher commenced a grand tour, travelling through Belgium and sailing up the Rhine through Germany. He then made his way to Switzerland, Italy and France which he reached by sailing from Naples to Marseilles. He returned on 16 December, sailing from Boulogne to Folkestone. On his return Boucher commenced independent practice in partnership with Cousland. Both architects must have come from wealthy families since as early as 1855 or 1856 they built for themselves a pair of semidetached houses, Swiss Cottage at 35-37 St Andrew's Drive, Pollokshields, and in the latter years Boucher and two friends undertook a walking tour through the High Alps to the Tyrol, an account of which was published in the Glasgow Herald. In September 1857 Boucher repeated the route of his 1853 tour in less than three weeks between the 4th and the 23rd. What he saw on those tours strongly influenced the practice's architecture for the next twenty years. Two years after his return he married 20-year-old Rebecca Laurie at Govan on 7 October 1859, and built for her a fine Italianate house, Swiss Villa, at Coulport adjacent to his client John Kibble's Coulport House. They had two daughters, Ella, born 8 December 1867, and Jane Laurie, born 26 April 1869. Later the Bouchers moved their Glasgow residence to Brandon Place, now 217 West George Street, where the Italian painter Enrico Patalano was a member of the household from c.1878 until 1881. There is no record of Cousland having travelled, although he probably did, but Boucher seems to have been the most travelled Scottish architect of his generation, in sheer extent approached only by John Dick Peddie and David MacGibbon.

The Boucher & Cousland practice was successful at once, designing the ambitious Gothic Renfield Free Church on Bath Street, a large block of warehouses and shops for Black at the corner of Gordon Street and Renfield Street in 1857-8, and a considerable number of very ambitious villas exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1860 and the Glasgow Institute in 1861. Within a year or two Walter Macfarlane of Saracen Iron Works became a client and in addition to the Macfarlane warehouse in Washington Street (1862) and the Saracen Ironworks at Possilpark (begun 1869), the practice made many designs for architectural castings. The Couslands had some sort of business connection with John Kibble whose father had a wire and metal warehouse at Turner's Court in Argyle Street. In the early 1860s Kibble built the large Italian Romanesque villa Coulport House adjacent to Boucher's Swiss Villa at Loch Long for which they designed the conservatory which in enlarged form became the Kibble Palace in the Botanic Gardens at Kelvinside: Cousland is said to have made a model in wire, to show Kibble what it would look like. In 1862-64 the partnership reached its zenith with the towered Romanesque Free Church at Kinning Park and their cruciform Renaissance Free St George's Church, but Cousland's career was to be brief: his health was upset by a fatal accident at the building of Free St George's and he died at Swiss Cottage on 12 June 1866 after several months of paralysis, survived by his wife Jessie Knox Anderson.

Boucher was thereafter sole practitioner until 1875 when he took into partnership his pupil Henry Higgins (born 1848) who had been his assistant for two years, the style of the firm now becoming Boucher & Higgins.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 65, Bath Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1856  
Item 2 of 6Swiss Cottage/35-37, St Andrews Drive, Pollokshields, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivatec. 1857  
Item 3 of 643, Bath Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness18601862 
Item 4 of 6177, St Vincent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness18651872 
Item 5 of 6217, West George Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness18751877 
Item 6 of 6247, St Vincent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1880  

Employment and Training

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architectural practice (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 4James Couslandc. 18531866Partner 
Item 2 of 4James Boucherc. 18531875Partner 
Item 3 of 4William Leiper1855 or 1856c. 1859Apprentice 
Item 4 of 4Thomas Lennox Watson18661871Apprentice 

Buildings and Designs

This architectural practice 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 371853Kemp's, 37 Buchanan Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 2 of 37After 1854Eaton BankDowanhill GlasgowScotland 
Item 3 of 37After 1854Villa for James McBrideGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 4 of 371855Speculative building, Sauchiehall Street (south side)  GlasgowScotland 
Item 5 of 371857Renfield Free Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 6 of 371857Swiss Cottage (Double Villa)Pollokshields GlasgowScotland 
Item 7 of 371857Thornton LodgeHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 8 of 371858Black's warehouse  GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 9 of 371858Hopeville  GlasgowScotland 
Item 10 of 371858Mansefield ChurchKilwinning AyrshireScotland 
Item 11 of 371858Villa for Alexander McGawPort Glasgow RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 12 of 37c. 1858CastlebankBothwell LanarkshireScotland 
Item 13 of 37c. 1858(?)Villa for Robert CuthbertGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 14 of 371860VillaDowanhill GlasgowScotland 
Item 15 of 37c. 186053 Buchanan Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 16 of 37c. 1860Balclutha HouseGreenock (near) RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 17 of 37c. 1860Benvue, Sydenham Road  GlasgowScotland 
Item 18 of 37c. 1860Double villa for T L Paterson  GlasgowScotland 
Item 19 of 37c. 1860Norwood, Sydenham RoadDowanhill GlasgowScotland 
Item 20 of 37c. 1860Villa for David BurgesHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 21 of 37c. 1860Villa for David JohnstoneGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 22 of 37c. 1860Villa for John HendersonCanniesburn GlasgowScotland 
Item 23 of 371861Coulport HouseLoch Long ArgyllScotland 
Item 24 of 371861Mansion at AscogAscogButeButeScotland 
Item 25 of 371861Wellington Arcade  GlasgowScotlandNew entrance and enlargement.
Item 26 of 371862Kinning Park Free ChurchKinning Park GlasgowScotland 
Item 27 of 371862Sanitary Warehouse  GlasgowScotland 
Item 28 of 371863Free ManseTighnabruaich ArgyllScotland 
Item 29 of 371863Glasgow Botanic Garden, Kibble Palace  GlasgowScotlandCousland made wire model, executed by ironfounder John Boyd of Paisley; it is unclear whether Cousland was involved in later phases of work
Item 30 of 371863St George's Free Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 31 of 371863The Lodge, LochgoilheadLochgoilhead ArgyllScotland 
Item 32 of 371863Tighnabruaich Free ChurchTighnabruaich ArgyllScotland 
Item 33 of 371865Greenock ClubGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 34 of 37c. 1865Aytoun House  GlasgowScotland 
Item 35 of 371866Ravensleigh  GlasgowScotlandProbably by Boucher & Cousland
Item 36 of 371867Gaelic Free Church and hallCampbeltown ArgyllScotlandCousland dead by this date
Item 37 of 371886Richmond  GlasgowScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 2Post Office Directories     
Item 2 of 2Walker, Frank Arneil1986South Clyde Estuary: An Illustrated Architectural Guide to Inverclyde and Renfrew  p131

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architectural practice:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2National Monuments Record of Scotland/NMRS, RCAHMSDrawings Collection Folio of villa designs by Boucher and Cousland
Item 2 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal information gathered by Alfred G Lochhead from members of the Cousland family.