Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||Cousin, Ormiston & Taylor |
|Designation: ||Architectural practice |
|Started: ||c. 1905 |
|Ended: ||c. 1922 |
|Bio Notes: ||George Cousin was David Cousin's brother and was in his office at Royal Exchange by at least 1864 along with William Ormiston who was, according to his apprentice John Hinton Gall, Cousin's partner though perhaps not necessarily at that date. When David Cousin was spending much of his time abroad trying to recover his health George Cousin and William Ormiston appear to have been responsible for his private practice, although Ormiston also entered into short-term arrangements with John Lessels during that period, submitting a joint design for the Medical School. Either when David Cousin died in the USA in August 1878, or perhaps earlier, they formed the partnership of Cousin & Ormiston to continue it, but they did not retain the business of the British Linen Bank, David Cousin's main client. |
Ormiston became Lord Dean of Guild but despite this the Cousin & Ormiston practice's known works were few and unimportant until 1900 when the commission for the Hotel Paris was received. By that date George Cousin appears to have died, and for this project a very able free-style assistant was recruited but his identity has not been traced through the nomination papers.
In 1904 the commission for James Gray & Sons' equally stylish building was received, but in the following year Ormiston merged the practice with that of Lessels & Taylor, bringing to a final conclusion the long-standing links between the Cousin and Lessels practices. James Lessels had recently retired or died, leaving Harry Ramsay Taylor as the sole remaining partner of the Lessels & Taylor firm. Taylor had been born in Stranraer in 1863 or 1864, the son of Samuel H Taylor, an architect in practice there and had been in his father's office from 1878 until March 1880 when he transferred to the Lessels practice in Edinburgh. He had completed his apprenticeship under John Lessels & Son and remained as assistant to James Lessels thereafter, being taken into partnership in 1890. He had attended the School of Art, Heriot-Watt College and the University of Edinburgh and had travelled in Belgium, England and Scotland, and later in Italy to make a study of Venetian architecture.
The practice of Cousin, Ormiston & Taylor continued to be based in William Ormiston's office at 140 Princes Street. 'Buildings of Scotland, Edinburgh' has assumed a connection between the two practices prior to 1905, but there is no obvious stylistic link between them and Taylor's consistent use of neo-Jacobean at those dates. The Taynuilt house was markedly influenced by Lorimer's simpler houses.
Taylor was elected FRIBA on 3 December 1906, his proposers being Harold Ogle Tarbolton, Hippolyte Jean Blanc and Alexander Hunter Crawford.
Ormiston died c.1919, Harry Ramsay Taylor on 14 November 1922. The practice continued to appear in Post Office directories until 1928: it is probable that the work in hand was completed by that date by an as yet unidentified chief assistant.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|140, Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland||Business||c. 1905||c. 1922||Practice continued on at this address after death of Taylot|
Employment and Training
Employees or Pupils
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architectural practice:|
|Post Office Directories|| || || || || |
|The following archives hold material relating to this architectural practice:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert Museum||RIBA Nomination Papers|| ||John Hinton Gall: L v17 no1275 (mentions 'G Cousin' as Ormiston's partner)|