Basic Biographical Details

Name: Cousin & Gale
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1839
Ended: 1845
Bio Notes: David Cousin was born in North Leith in 1809 (christened 28 May), the son of John Cousin, joiner and his wife Isabella Paterson. He was articled to his father as a joiner but studied mathematics with Edward Sang and early secured a place in William Henry Playfair's office, exhibiting a design for a parish church in the RSA of 1830. He left in 1831 to commence his own practice from his father's house at 24 Fettes Row. No executed work is known from the first few years but he competed for the Scott Monument and became acquainted with John Claudius Loudon for whose 'Cottage, Farm and Villa Architecture' he made two designs, that for a Scots baronial mansion being advanced for its date.

Around 1837 Cousin moved to 12 Clarence Street on his marriage to his first wife Isabella Galloway. Shortly thereafter, in 1839, he formed a short-lived partnership with the Glasgow civil engineer William Gale under the style of Cousin & Gale, Cousin being in charge of the Edinburgh office and Gale the Glasgow one. Gale had been in partnership with Robert Scott and John Stephen in the 1830s, but that partnership had come to an end some time after the death of Robert Scott in April 1839. The Cousin & Gale practice came to wider notice almost immediately by winning two competitions, one for the classical West Church in Greenock and another for the neo-Norman Parish Church at Cambuslang.

In 1841 Cousin was appointed assistant to the elderly city Superintendent of Works, Thomas Brown, at 12 Royal Exchange, with freedom to continue his private practice, which was based at 43 Princes Street from c.1843. Over-commitment in relation to the Greenock Church brought about what was described as 'brain-fever' which left his health permanently impaired; although he was one of the most outstanding architects of his generation, his recurrent ill-health and preoccupation with civic duties prevented his abilities from being as fully realised as they might have been.

From 1843 the main business of the Cousin & Gale practice was Free Church work for which Cousin had made standard designs. The partnership was dissolved in 1845; Cousin then became architect to the British Linen Bank following the death of George Angus in that year, whilst the Gales continued to provide architectural as well as engineering services. Their Ayr church was very competent neo-Norman, similar to that of David Cousin's Edinburgh churches, and may have been designed by Cousin before the dissolution of the partnership: whether it owed anything to their referral of the drawings to Thomas Hamilton for an opinion is unclear.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 212, Royal Exchange, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1842c. 1843Office run by Cousin
Item 2 of 2153, Queen Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessc. 1842c. 1843Office run by Gale

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 2William Galec. 18381845Partner 
Item 2 of 2David Cousinc. 18381845Partner 

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 251839Cambuslang Parish ChurchCambuslang LanarkshireScotlandCompetition win
Item 2 of 25After 1839Design for a Church  Wigtownshire?Scotland 
Item 3 of 251840New West ChurchGreenock RenfrewshireScotlandCompetition win
Item 4 of 251840Olrig Parish ChurchOlrig CaithnessScotland 
Item 5 of 251841St Thomas's Church of England  EdinburghScotland 
Item 6 of 251842Chirnside Bridge Paper MillsChirnside BerwickshireScotlandContinued by Cousin after dissolution of partnership
Item 7 of 251842City and County Buildings and second Merchants' House  GlasgowScotlandUnsuccessful competition designs
Item 8 of 251842Glasgow Necropolis, Mausoleum to Major Archibald Douglas Monteath (or Monteith)Dennistoun GlasgowScotland 
Item 9 of 251842Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society HallInverleith EdinburghScotland 
Item 10 of 251842Warriston CemeteryWarriston EdinburghScotlandWon competition and secured job
Item 11 of 251843Auchterarder Free ChurchAuchterarder PerthshireScotland 
Item 12 of 251843Cramond Free Church  EdinburghScotland 
Item 13 of 251843Kirkcaldy Free ChurchKirkcaldy FifeScotlandProbably supervised the design: see Notes
Item 14 of 251843Newington Free Church  EdinburghScotland 
Item 15 of 251843Pathhead Free ChurchPathhead, Kirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 16 of 251843St Andrew's Free Church  EdinburghScotland 
Item 17 of 251843St Devenick's Free ChurchBanchory KincardineshireScotland 
Item 18 of 251843St George's Free Church Lothian Road  EdinburghScotland 
Item 19 of 25c. 1843Borgue Free ChurchBorgue KirkcudbrightshireScotland 
Item 20 of 251844(?)Ayr Free ChurchAyr AyrshireScotlandPlans may have been made by Cousin prior to dissolution of partnership; executed subsequently by Gale
Item 21 of 251844Dean Free ChurchDean EdinburghScotland 
Item 22 of 251844Free High Church and hallsKilmarnock AyrshireScotlandChurch and probably hall to south
Item 23 of 251844Saltcoats Free ChurchSaltcoats AyrshireScotlandMain church
Item 24 of 251845(?)Dean Cemetery and lodgesDean EdinburghScotlandCousin won competition and secured job; possibly begun in partnership
Item 25 of 251845Kinghorn Free ChurchKinghorn FifeScotlandBegun in partnership; presumably completed by Cousin alone


Bibliographic References

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