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Basic Biographical Details

Name: William Lambie Moffatt (originally William Lambie Moffat)
Designation: Architect
Born: 31 October 1807
Died: 5 June 1882
Bio Notes: William Lambie Moffat was born on 31 October 1807, the son of John Moffat, clerk of works and Sarah Couch. At some stage, for unknown reasons, he adopted the spelling of Moffatt which is continued by his descendents, although his brother Henry retained the single 't' as Moffat throughout his life. William Lambie was articled to William Burn who employed his father as his clerk of works at Carstairs House. The earliest record of work by William Lambie Moffatt dates from when he was seventeen years old and a pupil of Burn: he made the drawings for Carstairs House, designed by Burn, for J P Neale's 'Views of Seats'. He appears to have remained as an assistant: his subsequent career suggests he was engaged on the institutional side of the practice.

In 1833 Moffatt is listed at 8 Morrison Street, Edinburgh which is also the address of his father at this date.

In 1836 he won the competition for Wakefield Corn Exchange with a very original Greek Revival design which induced him to settle in Doncaster. In 1838 William Hurst of Doncaster invited him to become a partner, his previous partner John Woodhead having died, and for the next six years Hurst and Moffatt had a flourishing practice, particularly for churches financed by The Incorporated Church Building Society.

On 8 December 1844 Hurst died. Moffatt continued the Doncaster practice, but was increasingly dependent on winning competitions for business. As a number of his competition wins were for hospitals and poorhouses in Scotland, he closed his Doncaster practice in 1858, the catalyst probably being the new asylum at Montrose (1856). He returned to Edinburgh, his house being at 4 Fettes Row, and he subsequently remodelled 13 Queen Street for his own occupation. By May 1873 he was so busy with school board work, probably mainly won in competition, that James Aitken, of whom nothing is as yet known, was taken into partnership.

Moffatt was equally skilled in Greek, Italianate, Gothic and neo-Jacobean, his work in the last of those being strongly influenced by William Burn's houses of the mid to late 1820s and early 1830s: in the past some writers conflated him with G G Scott's partner, the English William Bonython Moffatt, and in the earlier 'Buildings of England' volumes he is sometimes wrongly given as W B Moffatt.

Moffatt died on 5 June 1882 at 23 Minto Street, survived by his widow Wilhelmina Crystal. Information on the subsequent career of James Aitken - if any - is not yet available.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 10ScotlandPrivate   
Item 2 of 108, Morrison Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/businessc. 1833c. 1834 
Item 3 of 10Doncaster, EnglandPrivate/businessc. 1836c. 1855 
Item 4 of 1030, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1849c. 1851 
Item 5 of 1023, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1850After 1855 
Item 6 of 104, Fettes Row, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)1858c. 1868 
Item 7 of 1056, Frederick Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 18691871 
Item 8 of 1023, Minto Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1871  
Item 9 of 1012, North St David Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1872c. 1873And with Aitken at this address until 1882
Item 10 of 1013, Queen Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1875  

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 3William BurnBefore 1824(?) Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3Hurst & Moffatt18381844Partner 
Item 3 of 3Moffatt & Aitken (or Moffat & Aitken)c. 1874 Partner 

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 1David Brash Dickc. 1862(?)c. 1867(?)Apprentice 

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 115c. 1824Carstairs HouseCarstairs LanarkshireScotlandPrepared drawings for publication in Neale (as pupil of William Burn)
Item 2 of 1151836Wakefield Corn ExchangeWakefield YorkshireEnglandWon competition; presumably secured job
Item 3 of 1151837Union workhouseSelby YorkshireEngland 
Item 4 of 1151838Union workhouseRotherham YorkshireEngland 
Item 5 of 1151838Union workhouseThorne YorkshireEngland 
Item 6 of 1151839Chatsworth Estate, unspecified work  DerbyshireEngland 
Item 7 of 1151839New Independent ChapelLeeds YorkshireEngland 
Item 8 of 1151839Union workhouseDoncaster YorkshireEngland 
Item 9 of 1151840Grosmont ChurchGrosmont YorkshireEngland 
Item 10 of 1151840The Ship Hotel and Westgate improvementsRotherham YorkshireEngland 
Item 11 of 115c. 1840Union workhouseGateshead NorthumberlandEngland 
Item 12 of 1151841Christ ChurchArdsley YorkshireEngland 
Item 13 of 1151841Holy Trinity ChurchThurgoland YorkshireEngland 
Item 14 of 1151841St Mary's ChurchWoodsetts YorkshireEngland 
Item 15 of 1151841St Peter's ChurchRockferry CheshireEngland 
Item 16 of 1151842Welbeck Abbey, Clipstone ArchwayWelbeck NottinghamshireEngland 
Item 17 of 1151843Savings BankDoncaster YorkshireEngland 
Item 18 of 1151843St John's ChurchGoole YorkshireEngland 
Item 19 of 1151843The Corn MarketDoncaster YorkshireEngland 
Item 20 of 1151844Borough GaolLeeds YorkshireEngland 
Item 21 of 1151844Hook ChurchHook YorkshireEnglandRestoration
Item 22 of 115After 1844Stock ExchangeLeeds YorkshireEngland 
Item 23 of 115After 1844Trinity ChurchWakefield YorkshireEngland 
Item 24 of 1151846Town HallMiddlesbrough YorkshireEngland 
Item 25 of 1151848Dalkeith Union PoorhouseDalkeith MidlothianScotland 
Item 26 of 1151848St Peter's ChurchAskern YorkshireEngland 
Item 27 of 1151849Kirkcaldy and Dysart PoorhouseKinghorn FifeScotland 
Item 28 of 1151851Hull WorkhouseHull YorkshireEnglandCompetition design - placed 2nd (Lockwood & Mawson appointed)
Item 29 of 1151852St John's ChurchFenwick YorkshireEngland 
Item 30 of 1151854East Poorhouse and Maryfield HospitalStobswell DundeeScotlandOriginal building. William Scott was the executant architect
Item 31 of 1151854Latheron PoorhouseLatheron CaithnessScotland 
Item 32 of 1151854Thurso Combination PoorhouseHalkirk CaithnessScotland 
Item 33 of 1151854Upper Nithsdale PoorhouseThornhill DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 34 of 1151855Montrose AsylumHillside, Montrose AngusScotlandOriginal building
Item 35 of 1151856Peebles Union PoorhousePeebles PeeblesshireScotlandAppointed and his scheme executed
Item 36 of 1151857Banniskirk HouseHalkirk CaithnessScotland 
Item 37 of 1151857Kyle Union PoorhouseAyr AyrshireScotlandOriginal building
Item 38 of 1151858Rosemount Buildings (workmen's houses)  EdinburghScotland 
Item 39 of 1151858Union workhouseNorthallerton YorkshireEngland 
Item 40 of 1151859Millfield Cottage    Improvements
Item 41 of 1151859Rosemount House  EdinburghScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 42 of 115c. 1859Haddington District Asylum, ancillary building and North LodgeHaddington East LothianScotland 
Item 43 of 1151860Chalmers HospitalBanff BanffshireScotland 
Item 44 of 1151860Paisley Asylum (annexe to Abbey Poorhouse), RiccartsbarPaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 45 of 115c. 1860Mavisbank House  EdinburghScotlandConversion of Mavisbank House to Asylum - addition of wings and internal alterations
Item 46 of 1151862Houses for Edinburgh Assocation  EdinburghScotland 
Item 47 of 1151862St Michael with St Lawrence ChurchByker Newcastle upon TyneEngland 
Item 48 of 1151863Eldin HouseBonnyrigg/Lasswade MidlothianScotlandExhibited sketch; almost certainly responsible for extensive rebuilding of this period
Item 49 of 1151864All Saints Episcopal Church  EdinburghScotlandSubmitted design in limited competition
Item 50 of 1151865Crichton Royal Institution, Southern Counties AsylumDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandAdditions and alterations (wards, recreation hall and central tower, and improvements to the heating system in 'the old house' etc. Also new Turkish baths
Item 51 of 115186611-13 Queen Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations to stair to area flats (perhaps not executed?)
Item 52 of 1151866Factory for Henry WidnellLasswade MidlothianScotlandPlans drawn up for new factory at various different sites - Lasswade, Bonnyrigg, Musselburgh, and Gorebridge
Item 53 of 115January 1866HospitalLow Walker Newcastle upon TyneEngland 
Item 54 of 1151867Crichton Royal Institution, main buildingsDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandCompletion of Burn's original building and partial remodelling.
Item 55 of 115186811-13 Queen Street  EdinburghScotlandRemodelling of the ground floor of 13 as his own office.
Item 56 of 1151868Cunninghame Combination PoorhouseIrvine AyrshireScotlandPlans for alterations 'to remedy defects'
Item 57 of 1151868Edinburgh Royal Lunatic Asylum  EdinburghScotlandAlterations and improvements
Item 58 of 115July 1868East Poorhouse and Maryfield HospitalStobswell DundeeScotlandAlterations and improvements
Item 59 of 115Before 1868Beaver Hall  MiddlesexEngland 
Item 60 of 115Before 1868Darrington Hall  YorkshireEnglandAdditions
Item 61 of 115Before 1868Staffordshire County AsylumLichfield (near) StaffordshireEngland 
Item 62 of 1151869Designs for building for the Industrial Buildings Company  Newcastle upon TyneEnglandCompetition design
Item 63 of 1151869Lincoln County PrisonLincoln LincolnshireEnglandCompetition design - placed 3rd
Item 64 of 1151869Newcastle AsylumCoxlodge Newcastle upon TyneEngland 
Item 65 of 1151869Premises of Mr Henry Moffat in Leith StreetLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 66 of 115After 1869Melrose District AsylumMelrose RoxburghshireScotlandDrew up plans to 'remedy defects'
Item 67 of 1151870District Asylum for Midlothian and PeeblesRoslin/Rosslyn MidlothianScotlandOriginal building (during the latter stages in partnership with James Aitken
Item 68 of 1151870Property in Jamaica Street  EdinburghScotlandPlans prepared for conversion to school
Item 69 of 115September 1870Crichton Royal Institution, Southern Counties AsylumDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandAlterations to refractory wards, new airing courts etc
Item 70 of 115November 1870Shop premises for Henry Moffat Esq  EdinburghScotlandPlans for alterations
Item 71 of 1151871Free Church Offices and Savings Bank  EdinburghScotlandMinor alterations
Item 72 of 1151871Schools and boarding house ('pensionnat')La Tour  FrancePlans and working drawings drawn up
Item 73 of 115May 1871Block of dwellings for the working classesStockbridge EdinburghScotlandProposed
Item 74 of 115May 1871Working Men's InstituteStockbridge EdinburghScotlandAlterations and new billiard room
Item 75 of 1151872Cocklaw Farm  LanarkshireScotlandMinor alterations
Item 76 of 1151873Balcurvie SchoolMarkinch FifeScotlandProposed enlargement - uncertain if this was executed
Item 77 of 1151873Free Church schoolsRoseburn EdinburghScotlandUpgrade of accommodation
Item 78 of 1151873Infant SchoolFountainbridge EdinburghScotlandUpgrade of accommodation
Item 79 of 1151873Milton of Balgonie Board SchoolMilton of Balgonie FifeScotlandPlans for additions to old school and for new school on the old site - uncertain which executed, if either
Item 80 of 1151873Portobello Public School and janitor's housePortobello EdinburghScotland 
Item 81 of 1151873SchoolDalkeith MidlothianScotland 
Item 82 of 1151873St Paul's Free Church SchoolsSt Leonards EdinburghScotlandUpgrade of accommodation
Item 83 of 1151873Training House for Friendless Girls  EdinburghScotlandPlans drawn up for alterations and new schoolroom, dormer windows etc
Item 84 of 115187411-13 Queen Street  EdinburghScotlandPalace front.
Item 85 of 1151874Arbroath Public SchoolArbroath AngusScotland 
Item 86 of 1151874Edinburgh Royal Lunatic Asylum  EdinburghScotlandNew wing
Item 87 of 1151874Keptie Public SchoolArbroath AngusScotland 
Item 88 of 1151874Lovers' Loan School  EdinburghScotlandAlterations and upgrade
Item 89 of 1151874Public SchoolBurntisland FifeScotland 
Item 90 of 1151875Bristo Public School  EdinburghScotland 
Item 91 of 1151875Leith Walk School and lodge  EdinburghScotlandOriginal building
Item 92 of 1151875Markinch Board SchoolMarkinch FifeScotlandWorking plans and specifications prepared - presumably for new school
Item 93 of 1151875Montrose AsylumHillside, Montrose AngusScotlandAdditions - dining hall, recreation room, enlargement of stores, extension of washhouse and laundry offices, new washhouse
Item 94 of 1151875Premises for J Horsburgh  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 95 of 1151875Prestonhall Board SchoolGlenrothes FifeScotland 
Item 96 of 1151876Farm steading at LairgLairg SutherlandScotland 
Item 97 of 1151876Two blocks of tenements, Lutton Place  EdinburghScotlandPlans prepared
Item 98 of 115c. 1876New buildings (probably tenements)Joppa EdinburghScotlandGround surveyed and sketch plans prepared
Item 99 of 1151877Lower Craig View Row and Prince Albert Buildings, Terraces of TenementsDumbiedykes EdinburghScotlandRepairs and sketch plans and plans drawn up for 'utilising the vacant angle at the north end'
Item 100 of 1151877Mossgreen ChurchDalgety FifeScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 101 of 1151877PoorhouseMontrose AngusScotlandPlans for new poorhouse drawn up but project abandoned
Item 102 of 115January 1877Feuing plan of BrickfieldJoppa EdinburghScotlandPlans
Item 103 of 1151878SchoolStenton East LothianScotlandHS attribution
Item 104 of 1151879Aberdour Public SchoolAberdour FifeScotland 
Item 105 of 1151879Donibristle SchoolDalgety FifeScotland 
Item 106 of 1151879Feuing plan of Policy ParkAberdour FifeScotland 
Item 107 of 1151879Greenock Municipal BuildingsGreenock RenfrewshireScotlandThird premiated competition design
Item 108 of 1151879Villa for Miss Auld, Policy ParkAberdour FifeScotland 
Item 109 of 1151879Villa for Miss McGill, Policy ParkAberdour FifeScotland 
Item 110 of 1151879Villa, Craigmillar ParkCraigmillar EdinburghScotlandSketches and working plans made for alterations and additions
Item 111 of 1151879Villa, Lauder Road  EdinburghScotlandMeasured survey made and plans for addition to house
Item 112 of 1151879Woodside HotelAberdour FifeScotland 
Item 113 of 1151881Semi-detached cottageJoppa EdinburghScotlandPlans prepared
Item 114 of 1151881Semi-detached cottage in Quarry ParkJoppa EdinburghScotland 
Item 115 of 1151881Working Menís DwellingsLeith EdinburghScotlandArchitectural Competition. Awarded second premium of £50


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 7Architects Engineers and Building Trades Directory1868Architect's, Engineer's and Building Trades' Directory London, Wyman 
Item 2 of 7Colvin, H M1954A biographical dictionary of English architects 1660-18401st edition p441
Item 3 of 7Colvin, H M1995A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-18403rd editionNew Haven and London: Yale University Pressp522-524
Item 4 of 7Neale, J P 1824Views of Seats2nd ser, i  
Item 5 of 7Post Office Directories     
Item 6 of 7Pride, Glen L1999The Kingdom of Fife2nd EditionThe Rutland Pressp41
Item 7 of 7Scotlands People Website Wills & Testaments  Edinburgh Sheriff Court Wills SC70/4/196 and inventories Sc70/1/216

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3H M Register HouseDeath Register Death of William Lambie Moffatt
Item 2 of 3National Archives of Scotland (formerly SRO)William Lambie Moffatt Cash Book 1859-1881 GD 1/412/1  
Item 3 of 3Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Information from Professor H K Moffatt, great-great-grandson of William Lambie Moffatt (email 30 June 2006)


© All rights reserved.   

© All rights reserved.