Basic Biographical Details

Name: Matear & Simon
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1903
Ended: After 1907
Bio Notes: Frank Lewis Worthington Simon was born on 31 March 1862 at Darmstadt, Germany, the son of David Worthington Simon DD MA PhD. He was educated at Tettenhall College, Wolverhampton and the King Edward VI Grammar School in Birmingham, and was articled to John Cotton in Birmingham in 1879. At the end of his apprenticeship, c.1882, he became an assistant to Jethro Anstice Cossins in the same city before joining the atelier of Jean Louis Pascal and enrolling c.1883 at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts where he spent only one year and was a contemporary of Alexander Nisbet Paterson, John Keppie and Stewart Henbest Capper, sharing rooms with the latter two. After completing the course he spent about a year in Glasgow with Burnet Son & Campbell in 1886 and then a similar period with Wardrop & Anderson: according to his RIBA nomination paper he joined that firm just prior to George Washington Browne's departure. Throughout that period, from sometime before March 1885, Simon had his own studio at 8 York Place from which he made a fine series of drawings of old Edinburgh which formed the basis of his 'Etchings of Old Edinburgh'. He won the Tite Prize in 1887 and commenced independent practice in the following year at 34 St Andrew Square, his first significant commission being a fine house, Outwood, at 8 Mortonhall Road for his father, who had now become Principal Simon. He then formed a partnership with his fellow student at Pascal's, Stewart Henbest Capper, winning the competition for Hope Chapel, Wigan, in 1888.

In 1890 Simon came into prominence as the architect of the Edinburgh International Exhibition of that year, working in collaboration with the artist-architect William Allan Carter who also had his own studio at 5 St Andrew Square; in that same year Rowand Anderson and David MacGibbon persuaded thirty well-off individuals to subscribe 1,200 for the formation of the Edinburgh School of Applied Art at the Royal Institution. When classes commenced on 17 October 1892 Simon was its first professor with George Mackie Watson as first assistant, quickly joined by his brother John who had run the Edinburgh Architectural Association classes and by Capper, the last giving the School as a whole a marked Ecole des Beaux-Arts bias in its teaching. All owed their appointments to Anderson's patronage, the Watson brothers also being ex-assistants of Anderson's while Capper was an ex-assistant of his former partner George Washington Browne.

Simon moved his private practice to 36 Hanover Street late in 1891 or early 1892. The School of Applied Art was hugely successful in attracting students and later that same year 1892, pressure of work at the School - where the classes were from 8 to 10am - induced Simon to end his partnership with Capper and enter a short-lived partnership with Charles Edward Tweedie. Tweedie's provenance is not yet known but he had a one-year-old son suggesting an age of about thirty. The Simon & Tweedie partnership won the competition for Llanelly Town Hall in 1892 but lost the commission to the local architect William Griffiths. It had more success in Manchester where Simon had won the competition for the Macfadyen Memorial Church, an office being opened in Manchester to build it. The Simon & Tweedie partnership seems to have closed late in 1895 or early in 1896 and in 1897 Simon resigned his chair to concentrate wholly on his practice.

About 1898 Simon merged his practice with that of Alexander Hunter Crawford, born 1865 of the biscuit-making family; Crawford had been in practice in Edinburgh since 1891 following some years in London with R Selden Wornum and the LCC Architects Department, the new partnership of Simon & Crawford being based in Simon's office at 36 Hanover Street. In the following year, 1899, there was a further merger with Rowand Anderson's practice as Anderson, Simon & Crawford. While some clients saw Anderson's age and difficult temperament as a problem - he was then sixty-five - the catalyst may have been the competition for the Glasgow International Exhibition of 1901 for which they prepared an entry. This partnership also proved brief, being dissolved in 1902 as a result of a lawsuit. Simon and Craword then reverted to their previous partnership name, with an office at 10 Randolph Place, Simon's address then being 67 Great King Street.

Simon was admitted FRIBA on 9 June 1902, his proposers being Burnet, Cotton and Huon Arthur Matear of Liverpool (born 1856), who had been articled to James Francis Doyle in that city and had earlier worked in partnership with C S Ingham. No previous connection between Matear and Simon is known and it may be that Matear was simply seeking a partner to help with the major commission for Holy Trinity Church, Southport, begun in 1903. Simon formally ended his partnership with Crawford in November 1903 and moved to Liverpool where he and Matear won the competition for the giant Liverpool Exchange in 1905 and built Orleans House on Bixteth Street, to which Matear moved his own office. The partnership withered after 1907 and in 1910 Simon entered into partnership with Henry Boddington, born 1881 of the brewing family, apparently for the purpose of entering competitions.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1The Temple, Dale Street, Liverpool, EnglandBusiness1904 Matear and Simon offices - Building News

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 6Frank Lewis Worthington Simon1903After 1907Partner 
Item 2 of 6Huon Arthur Matear1903After 1907Partner 
Item 3 of 6John Manuel (junior)19041907Assistant 
Item 4 of 6Arthur James Barclayc. 1904c. 1906Assistant 
Item 5 of 6Charles Ernest Elcock19051906Assistant 
Item 6 of 6John Stuart SymeEarly 19051905AssistantWith Simon in Liverpool.

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 3After 1903Holy Trinity ChurchSouthport LancashireEnglandContinued in partnership
Item 2 of 31904Liverpool Cotton Exchange  LiverpoolEngland 
Item 3 of 31907Orleans House  LiverpoolEngland 

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Gray, A Stuart1985Edwardian Architecture: A Biographical Dictionary   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architectural practice:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers F v14 p46 no877 (microfilm reel 11) (Simon's paper)