Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Robert Rhind
Designation: Architect
Born: 1853
Died: 10 January 1918
Bio Notes: James Robert Rhind was born in 1853, the son of Inverness architect George Rhind (1813-1886) and Isabella Milne. James served an apprenticeship to his elder brother, the Inverness architect John Rhind (and possibly also with their father), before moving to Glasgow where he became an assistant in the City Architect's Department. His connection with this department was to prove useful later in his career; it must have had some bearing on his securing the commission for the six Glasgow libraries. He moved to London in 1880 to become an assistant in the Beaux-Arts practice of Isaacs & Florence. Subsequently he was 'assistant superintendent' in the office of Boulnois & Warner. Thereafter Rhind emigrated to Montreal and set up private practice in the city in 1888 initially as supervising architect for Saxon Snell at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal to which he subsequently added a very picturesque laundry block. He competed for the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine in New York in 1889 and came second rather than first in a number of Montreal competitions. He is said to have competed successfully for an important Canadian national exhibition but the project was not executed.

Rhind returned to Scotland in 1895, settling in Inverness to resume the practice of his brother and competed successfully for most of the Carnegie libraries in the Glasgow area, and for a library in London. Most of these have a markedly French Beaux-Arts character influenced by Henry Florence and his experience in Montreal. He had a Glasgow office at 67 Hope Street in 1904-5, for the supervision of his library projects there.

Rhind's three sons John, James and Victor all fought in the First World War. He died of 'cerebral softening' in his home in Victoria Terrace, Inverness on 10 January 1918 following a long illness, and was survived by his wife, Florence Edith Ellaby, and sons. In his obituary he is described as a 'man of quiet and retiring, yet, genial dispositionů much liked by his many friends' and who 'did not perhaps make the most of his professional skill and success in the commercial sense'.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 46, Victoria Terrace, Inverness, Inverness-shire, ScotlandBusiness 1918 
Item 2 of 4Montreal, CanadaBusiness18891895 
Item 3 of 428, High Street, Inverness, Inverness-shire, ScotlandBusinessc. 1902After 1915 
Item 4 of 467, Hope Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1904 * Temporary office for supervision of building of libraries

* 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 4John Rhindc. 1868(?)Before 1880ApprenticePossibly partner thereafter
Item 2 of 4Glasgow Office of Public Works Architectural Department (later Glasgow Corporation City Engineer's Department)After 18701880Assistant 
Item 3 of 4Isaacs & Florence1880Before 1888Assistant 
Item 4 of 4Boulnois & WarnerAfter 1880c. 1888Assistant 

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 23 Unspecified Library  LondonEnglandDate unknown
Item 2 of 231895Semi-detached house, Broadstone ParkInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 3 of 231896House, Manse RoadInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 4 of 231896Tenements, Ross AvenueInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 5 of 231896Tenements, Shore StreetInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 6 of 231896The GrangeDornoch SutherlandScotland 
Item 7 of 231897Crown Free Church HallInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 8 of 231897Villa, Bishop's RoadInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 9 of 231898Parish Council OfficesInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 10 of 231898Tenements, Tomnahurich RoadInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 11 of 231899Creamine FactoryInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 12 of 231900Crown UF ChurchInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 13 of 231901Forres UP ChurchForres MorayshireScotlandShallow lower chancel added
Item 14 of 231903Bridgeton LibraryBridgeton GlasgowScotland 
Item 15 of 231903Dennistoun LibraryDennistoun GlasgowScotlandWon in competition
Item 16 of 231903Maryhill Public LibraryMaryhill GlasgowScotlandSecured commission
Item 17 of 231903Shop, bakehouse and house, Stephen's BraeInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 18 of 231904Hutchesontown LibraryHutchesontown GlasgowScotland 
Item 19 of 231904Inverness Town HouseInverness Inverness-shireScotlandExtension - South wing (first prize in competition) - executed under the supervision of William Wardlaw Sclanders
Item 20 of 231905Property of James ArnottInverness Inverness-shireScotlandAdditions
Item 21 of 231905Woodside LibraryWoodside GlasgowScotland 
Item 22 of 231906Govanhill and Crosshill District LibraryGovanhill and Crosshill GlasgowScotland 
Item 23 of 231906Parkhead LibraryParkhead GlasgowScotlandWon competition and secured job


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2Gifford, John1992Highland and Islands (The Buildings of Scotland) Penguin Books 
Item 2 of Website of 'Glasgow - City of Scultpure', co-produced by Gary Nisbet and Tim Gardner 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 6Building Industries15 February 1918  Obituary
Item 2 of 6Building News20 February 1918  p155 - obituary
Item 3 of 6Glasgow Advertiser and Property Circular5 February 1918  Obituary
Item 4 of 6Highland News12 January 1918  Obituary
Item 5 of 6Inverness Courier11 January 1918  Obituary
Item 6 of 6Montreal Illustrated1894  Information per Holly Kinnear

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3British Architectural Library, RIBARIBA Biographical Files  
Item 2 of 3Mitchell LibraryGlasgow City Archives Inverness Courier [Obit], 11 January, 1918;
BI [Obit], 15 February, 1918;
GAPC [Obit], 5 February, 1918;
AGN 475 per Gary Nisbet
Item 3 of 3Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Information per Holly Kinnear and Alexander Rae; additional research by Iain Paterson.