Basic Biographical Details

Name: Mackenzie & Matthews
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1844
Ended: October 1854
Bio Notes: Thomas Mackenzie was born in 1814, son of Alexander Mackenzie, architect, St Martins, Perthshire, and his wife Janet Davidson. The precise date of his birth is not known, but he was christened on 9 October. He was articled to his eldest brother William Macdonald Mackenzie, and was in the office of his brother David in Dundee in 1835 when he submitted a design for the Watt Institution there, which was not accepted, George Angus's being preferred. In the same year Thomas moved to Aberdeen and would appear to have been briefly in the office of John Smith before moving to Archibald Simpson's, still in the same year. He remained there until 1839, publishing lithographs of Simpson's Marischal College, Market Street and New Market and of St Nicholas spire. In 1839 he moved to Elgin as principal assistant to William Robertson, who died in June 1841, his practice being inherited by his nephews Alexander and William Reid. Mackenzie then commenced practice in Elgin on his own account. He was successful at once, securing the commission for Elgin Museum, and went on to become an extremely accomplished classical and Italianate architect in a style developed from Simpson's late work.

In 1844 he formed a partnership with James Matthews, initially with Mackenzie doing most of the designing in Elgin, and Matthews attending to the management of the Aberdeen office. James Matthews was born in December 1819, son of Peter Matthews, a teller in the Commercial Bank in Aberdeen. His mother was Margaret Ross, daughter of William Ross, the architect-builder who had built Union Bridge. Educated at Robert Gordon's, he was articled to Archibald Simpson in 1834, and worked under Mackenzie's supervision. In 1839 he went to George Gilbert Scott's in London. On his return early in 1844, Simpson offered him the post of chief assistant with the promise of partnership in two years. He declined as he thought Simpson would be 'too greedy' (the Mackenzies, however, found Matthews 'a bit of a Jew'), and instead formed his partnership with Thomas Mackenzie. In the year of the formation of the partnership, Mackenzie & Matthews won the competition for the Free Church College (New College) in Edinburgh, in a competition assessed by Sir Charles Barry. The perspective, formerly at Bourtie, is now in the possession of Professor Alistair Rowan. The competition was set aside, however, and the commission given to William Henry Playfair. Initially the Elgin practice was much more prosperous than the Aberdeen one and in 1848 Matthews applied unsuccessfully for the post of head of the Edinburgh office of the Office of Works. The practice managed to secure the job of producing a prototype design for poorhouses.

On 22 July 1845, Mackenzie married Helen Margaret McInnes of Dandaleith, Rothes, at Rothes. The house and office was at Ladyhill, Elgin, to which he made Romanesque and baronial additions. In the late 1840s the London architect Robert William Billings became a particular friend when working on the Baronial and Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Scotland, their common interest in the subject resulting in Mackenzie being a particularly literate exponent of the Scots Baronial idiom.

Mackenzie died of brain fever - apparently brought on by an accident - on 15 October 1854, Matthews continuing the practice thereafter under his name alone. Just before Mackenzie's death an Inverness office had been established with William Lawrie in charge as resident assistant. Although not made a partner until 1864, Lawrie was given what seems to have been a free hand in the design work and for some years the Inverness office was the more prosperous. Matthews continued the Aberdeen office alone, and it was not until 1877 that Mackenzie's son, Alexander Marshall Mackenzie, was taken into partnership, having established a successful practice of his own in his native Elgin. Thereafter Matthews ran the practice as two separate partnerships - Matthews & Mackenzie in Aberdeen and Elgin, and Matthews & Lawrie in Inverness. When Lawrie died in 1887, the Inverness practice was inherited by John Hinton Gall (born 1848), who had been his chief assistant since 1872 and who continued the business under his own name, Matthews withdrawing completely from that branch of the firm.

Matthews entered the Town Council in 1863, and retired as a councillor in 1871. In November 1883 he was recalled as Lord Provost and held office until November 1886. He was mainly responsible for implementing the City Improvement Act of 1883. He was a director of the North of Scotland Bank, and its Chairman from time to time. He retired from the practice in 1893, and died at Springhill, which he had greatly altered for himself, on 28 June 1898.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 3255, Union Street, Aberdeen, ScotlandBusiness   
Item 2 of 3Aberdeen, ScotlandBusiness1844 James Matthews
Item 3 of 3Ladyhill, Elgin, Morayshire, ScotlandPrivate/business1844 Thomas Mackenzie

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 5James Matthews1844October 1854PartnerIn Aberdeen office
Item 2 of 5Thomas Mackenzie1844October 1854PartnerIn Elgin office
Item 3 of 5John Russell MackenzieAfter 1844(?)Before 1850ApprenticeIn Aberdeen office, under James Matthews
Item 4 of 5David Rossc. 1850October 1854ApprenticeIn Elgin office
Item 5 of 5James Souttar1852October 1854Apprentice 

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 1031844Forres Market CrossForres MorayshireScotlandMay have been in partnership
Item 2 of 1031844Free High Church and Free Church College  EdinburghScotlandWon competition (although Playfair's design actually used)
Item 3 of 1031844Grange HallForres MorayshireScotlandLong rear wing added
Item 4 of 1031845Boharm Suspension Bridge, near GarbityBoat of Brig BanffshireScotlandRepairs and improvements
Item 5 of 1031845Drummuir House and gatelodgeDalmuir BanffshireScotlandLodge, stables & Mansion house built. Also later Factor's House
Item 6 of 1031845Elgin FountainElgin MorayshireScotlandMackenzie responsible
Item 7 of 1031845Milne's Free SchoolFochabers MorayshireScotland 
Item 8 of 1031845Villa and gardens, BishopmillElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 9 of 103c. 1845Leuchars House  MorayshireScotland 
Item 10 of 1031846Ardross CastleAlness Ross and CromartyScotlandDesigns - executed by George Rhind
Item 11 of 1031846Double cottageElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 12 of 1031846Millbank HouseNairn NairnshireScotlandAdditions
Item 13 of 1031846Newmill ManufactoryElgin MorayshireScotlandAdditions and new roof
Item 14 of 1031847Aberdeen Poorhouse  AberdeenScotland 
Item 15 of 1031847Alvie ManseAlvie Inverness-shireScotlandBaronial additions
Item 16 of 1031847Ballindalloch HouseInveravon BanffshireScotlandHouse, stables & lodge at Levit Bridge
Item 17 of 1031847Caledonian BankInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 18 of 1031847Dr Cooper's HouseOld Deer AberdeenshireScotlandAdditions
Item 19 of 1031847MarketForres MorayshireScotlandMackenzie responsible
Item 20 of 1031847Nigg School and schoolmaster's houseNigg KincardineshireScotland 
Item 21 of 1031847North of Scotland BankDufftown BanffshireScotland 
Item 22 of 1031847Orton House  MorayshireScotlandAdditions
Item 23 of 1031848Caledonian BankNairn NairnshireScotland 
Item 24 of 1031848Christ Church Episcopal ChurchHuntly AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 25 of 1031848Free Church SchoolNairn NairnshireScotland 
Item 26 of 1031848Lagmore FarmhouseBallindalloch BanffshireScotland 
Item 27 of 1031848New MarketElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 28 of 1031848Nigg Manse  KincardineshireScotland 
Item 29 of 103c. 1848Cawdor Castle  NairnshireScotlandExtension of W wing, addition of short bay and tower to S wing begun
Item 30 of 10318491-6 Rubislaw Place and 21, 23 Waverley Terrace  AberdeenScotlandTook over and built Simpson's design
Item 31 of 1031849Brucklay HouseNew Deer AberdeenshireScotlandRemodelling
Item 32 of 1031849Chapel of St Andrew  AberdeenScotlandConversion to public baths
Item 33 of 1031849CottageEllon AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 34 of 1031849Culloden MonumentCulloden Inverness-shireScotlandOnly partly executed
Item 35 of 1031849Ellon Castle (new)Ellon AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 36 of 1031849Ellon Girls' SchoolEllon AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 37 of 1031849Ellon PoorhouseEllon AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 38 of 1031849Knockespock House  AberdeenshireScotlandProposals to radically alter house with Baronial tower - not executed
Item 39 of 1031849Rubislaw Estate feuingRubislaw AberdeenScotlandTook over feuing and revised conditions (completed post-1861)
Item 40 of 1031849St John's Episcopal Church  AberdeenScotland 
Item 41 of 1031849St Mary's Parish ChurchBanff BanffshireScotlandTower completed to Robertson's plans under supervision of Thomas Mackenzie
Item 42 of 1031849Stoneywood HouseDyce AberdeenshireScotlandMatthews responsible
Item 43 of 1031849The GablesBanff BanffshireScotlandMackenzie responsible
Item 44 of 1031850Aberlour SchoolAberlour BanffshireScotland 
Item 45 of 1031850All Saints Episcopal Church, WhiterashesWhiterashes AberdeenScotlandOriginal building
Item 46 of 1031850Arndilly House  BanffshireScotlandRemodelling
Item 47 of 1031850Ballindalloch HouseInveravon BanffshireScotlandFurther additions to house and lodge built
Item 48 of 1031850Buckie LodgeBuckie BanffshireScotlandAlterations and additions - the small out building attached to the back of the house and the high coombed ceiling on the first floor
Item 49 of 1031850Drumtochty Castle stables and coachhouse  KincardineshireScotland 
Item 50 of 1031850Free Church College  AberdeenScotland 
Item 51 of 1031850Gollanfield Mansion HouseGollanfield Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 52 of 1031850House, Hadden Street  AberdeenScotland 
Item 53 of 1031850Inveravon School  BanffshireScotland 
Item 54 of 1031850Kildrummy Manse and officesKildrummy AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 55 of 1031850ManseGlenmuick AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 56 of 103c. 1850Ballindalloch SchoolBallindalloch BanffshireScotland 
Item 57 of 103c. 1850Elgin Commercial BankElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 58 of 103c. 1850North of Scotland BankOld Deer AberdeenshireScotland'Probably' (Buildings of Scotland)
Item 59 of 103c. 1850Orton Home Farm  MorayshireScotlandHS - 'possibly' Mackenzie
Item 60 of 1031851Aldourie Castle  Inverness-shireScotlandFirst remodelling, eastern tower addition, circular stair in the eastern re-entrant angle of the drawing room heightened to a Midmar-like form with a crenallted parapet.
Item 61 of 1031851Culloden House, LodgeCulloden Inverness-shireScotlandNew lodge
Item 62 of 1031851Dess House  AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 63 of 1031851Free High ChurchInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 64 of 1031851House, Brae of Coynach, ClolaOld Deer AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 65 of 1031851St Andrew's Masonic HallBanff BanffshireScotland 
Item 66 of 1031851St Drostan's Episcopal ChurchOld Deer AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 67 of 1031851Villa in InvernessInverness Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 68 of 1031851Wartle HouseRayne AberdeenshireScotlandAdditions
Item 69 of 10318525-22 Rubislaw Terrace  AberdeenScotland 
Item 70 of 1031852Caledonian BankForres MorayshireScotland 
Item 71 of 1031852Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and parsonageElgin MorayshireScotlandRecasting
Item 72 of 1031852Lerwick ManseLerwickMainlandShetlandScotland 
Item 73 of 1031852Nairn UP ChurchNairn NairnshireScotland 
Item 74 of 1031852Newton HouseAlves MorayshireScotlandAdditions and laterations with some internal remodelling
Item 75 of 1031852Rathen Manse and OfficesRathen AberdeenshireScotlandProvided alternative cheaper plan but Smith plan selected
Item 76 of 1031852Stonehaven Free Church ManseStonehaven KincardineshireScotland 
Item 77 of 1031852Strathdon Parish ChurchStrathdon AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 78 of 1031853Birsay and Harray Manse MainlandOrkneyScotland 
Item 79 of 1031853Elgin Station HotelElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 80 of 1031853Firth and Stenness Manse MainlandOrkneyScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 81 of 1031853Fraserburgh Town Hall and police officeFraserburgh AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 82 of 1031853Holy Trinity Episcopal SchoolElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 83 of 1031853Ladyhill HouseElgin MorayshireScotlandAlterations
Item 84 of 1031853Seafield HouseBanff BanffshireScotland 
Item 85 of 1031853Strichen ManseStrichen AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 86 of 1031853Union Club House  AberdeenScotland 
Item 87 of 10318545th Duke of Gordon Monument, LadyhillElgin MorayshireScotlandStatue added
Item 88 of 1031854Auldbar Estate, cottages  AngusScotland 
Item 89 of 1031854Balnagask FarmNigg Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 90 of 1031854Birse Parish ChurchBirse AberdeenshireScotlandRepairs
Item 91 of 1031854Cawdor Castle  NairnshireScotlandAlterations - 'Gentle baronialisation'
Item 92 of 1031854Dall House  PerthshireScotlandHouse
Item 93 of 1031854Episcopal ChurchInverness Inverness-shireScotlandCompletion of tower
Item 94 of 1031854Fife Arms HotelLhanbryde MorayshireScotland 
Item 95 of 1031854Inverurie Manse and officesInverurie AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 96 of 1031854Milton of Leys steading  Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 97 of 1031854Royal Northern InfirmaryInverness Inverness-shireScotlandPorter's Lodge (and other work?)
Item 98 of 1031854St Mary'sRothes MorayshireScotlandAdditions and remodelling of earlier house
Item 99 of 1031854St Mary's CottageOrton MorayshireScotland'Probably' Mackenzie (HS)
Item 100 of 103Before 1854House for Dr GeddesElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 101 of 103Before 1854(?)Old House of Glack and New House of Glack  AberdeenshireScotlandUnspecified work by James Matthews - unclear whether in partnership with William Lawrie or with Alexander Marshall Mackenzie
Item 102 of 103Before 1854Pluscarden PrioryPluscarden, Elgin MorayshireScotlandRepairs?
Item 103 of 103Before 1854St John's Episcopal ChurchForres MorayshireScotlandAlterations and additions

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 5APSD The Dictionary of Architectureed Wyatt PapworthThe Architectural Publication Society (8v 1852-1892)Thomas Mackenzie
Item 2 of 5Bailey, Rebecca M1996Scottish architects' papers: a source book Edinburgh: The Rutland Pressp97
Item 3 of 5Gifford, John1980Architects of the Highlands in the Nineteenth Century, A SketchNo 7, September 1980, pp29-48The Scottish Georgian Society Bulletin, Edinburgh, 1980pp37,39
Item 4 of 5In Memoriam1898In Memoriam: an obituary of Aberdeen and Vicinity  James Matthews
Item 5 of 5Lippe, William1979The Scottish baronial house in Aberdeenshire of the Mackenzies and James Matthews The Robert Gordon University post graduate dissertation 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Elgin Courant20 October 1854  Thomas Mackenzie

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architectural practice:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal information from: AGR Mackenzie; John G Marr; Ian G Lindsay; Robert W R Mackenzie (of Perth); Mrs Adams ('Dr Marshall Mackenzie's quine'); and David Stokes (interview with Charles McKean, 17 December 1985)
Item 2 of 2Public Record OfficeOffice of Works Records Per David Grant