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Basic Biographical Details

Name: (Sir) Robert William Edis
Designation: Architect
Born: 13 June 1839
Died: 13 June 1927
Bio Notes: Colonel Sir Robert William Edis was born at Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire on 13 June 1839. He was educated at Aldenham School and articled to William Gilbee Habershon and Edward Habershon whereafter he became head assistant to Anthony Salvin. In 1859 he joined the Architectural Association (of which he was to become president 1865-67) and in 1880 the Artists' Volunteer Rifle Club (of which he was to become Colonel 1883-1902). He was admitted ARIBA on 17 November 1862, his proposers being H B Garling, William Burges and John Pollard Seddon, and commenced practice in the following year. He was admitted FRIBA on 29 April 1867, his proposers being Edward William Godwin, James Fergusson and Frederick Pepys Cockerell.

In his RIBA obituary Edis is described as having spent much of his professional career in building and altering private houses in England and Scotland. His early work was Gothic but with Godwin he moved quickly into Queen Anne and the Aesthetic Movement, publishing 'Decoration and Furniture of Town Houses' (1881) and 'Healthy Furniture and Decoration' (1884). He was knighted for his military services in 1919 and died at The Old Hall, Great Ormsby, Norfolk on 13 June 1927. His wife had predeceased him but he was survived by his five daughters.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 3The Old Hall, Great Ormsby, Norfolk, EnglandPrivate 1927 
Item 2 of 314, Fitzroy Square, London, EnglandBusiness1890 *  
Item 3 of 347, Fitzroy Square, London, EnglandBusiness1894 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training

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 15Edward John MayAfter 18761879Assistant 
Item 2 of 15Horace Field1880c. 1885Apprentice 
Item 3 of 15Henry Denison Walton18841885Assistant 
Item 4 of 15Arthur Thomas Bolton18841887Apprentice 
Item 5 of 15Arthur Keen18851889Assistant 
Item 6 of 15William Henry BidlakeBefore 1887Before 1887Assistant 
Item 7 of 15William Adam Forsyth1889 ApprenticeRemained as assistant
Item 8 of 15Alexander Nisbet Paterson18901891Assistant 
Item 9 of 15Thomas Ballantine18901893Apprentice(?) 
Item 10 of 15Arthur Hay Livingstone MackinnonSeptember 1890April 1893Improver 
Item 11 of 15John Anderson18911891 or 1892Assistant 
Item 12 of 15Hugh Patrick Guarin Maule18911894Apprentice 
Item 13 of 15John Begg18911895Chief Assistant 
Item 14 of 15William Harold Williams18971903Assistant 
Item 15 of 15Alexander George Robertson MackenzieEarly 1900c. 1901Improver 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6William Burges17 November 1862for Associateship
Item 2 of 6Frederick Pepys Cockerell29 April 1867for Fellowship
Item 3 of 6James Fergusson29 April 1867for Fellowship
Item 4 of 6Henry Bayly Garling17 November 1862for Associateship
Item 5 of 6Edward William Godwin29 April 1867for Fellowship
Item 6 of 6John Pollard Seddon17 November 1862for Associateship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 10John Anderson11 June 1894for Associateship
Item 2 of 10George Ashdown Audsley12 June 1876for Fellowship
Item 3 of 10William James Audsley12 June 1876for Fellowship
Item 4 of 10Colonel Eustace James Anthony Balfour18 January 1892For Fellowship
Item 5 of 10John McKean Brydon23 May 1881for Fellowship
Item 6 of 10Walter Ralph Herring1882 
Item 7 of 10Alexander Marshall Mackenzie30 November 1896for Fellowship
Item 8 of 10Arthur Hay Livingstone Mackinnon11 June 1894for Associateship
Item 9 of 10Alexander Nisbet Paterson3 March 1890for Associateship
Item 10 of 10Alexander Ross9 January 1893for Fellowship

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 41880Whyte-Melville Memorial FountainSt Andrews FifeScotlandDesign (sculptural work executed by Earp)
Item 2 of 41883Constitutional Club  LondonEngland 
Item 3 of 41884Badminton Club  LondonEngland 
Item 4 of 41892Conservative Club  GlasgowScotland 


Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 4Builder1 July 1927   
Item 2 of 4Building News3 January 1890   
Item 3 of 4RIBA Journal13 August 1927 London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp639 Obituary
Item 4 of 4Victorian Society Annualbetween 1986 and 1986   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Drawings Collection  


© All rights reserved.  Trustees of the National Library of Scotland 

© All rights reserved. Trustees of the National Library of Scotland