Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||James Lessels and Harry Ramsay Taylor |
|Designation: ||Architectural practice |
|Started: ||1890 |
|Ended: ||c. 1905 |
|Bio Notes: ||James Lessels (born c.1834) was the younger son and partner of John Lessels Senior, the elder brother John having gone into government service. When his father died in 1883, James inherited his father's interest in the practice and his appointment as architect to the City Improvement Trust. He worked in a very similar Scots Jacobethan style. He remained sole practitioner at 50 George Street until 1890 when he took Harry Ramsay Taylor into partnership, the office subsequently moving to 7a Young Street by 1901. |
Taylor was born in Stranraer in 1863 or 1864, the son of Samuel H Taylor, an architect in practice there, and was in his father's office from 1878 until 1880 when he transferred to the Lessels practice in Edinburgh, remaining as an assistant until taken partnership. During that period he attended the School of Art, Heriot-Watt College and the University of Edinburgh and travelled in Belgium, England and Scotland, and just after commencing practice he visited Italy to study Venetian architecture.
Much of the work of the practice depended on the connection with Nelsons the publishers which had been established by John Lessels. When James Lessels retired or died c.1905 Taylor merged the practice with that of William Ormiston of Cousin & Ormiston as Cousin, Ormiston & Taylor, moving into Ormiston's office at 140 Princes Street, an event which marked the final conclusion to the long-standing links between the Cousin and Lessels practices. Taylor was admitted FRIBA on 3 December 1906, his proposers being Harold Ogle Tarbolton, Hippolyte Jean Blanc and Alexander Hunter Crawford.
Ormiston died c.1919 and Taylor on 14 November 1922. Dr A R B Haldane remembered him as a big man, very good with the Haldane children to whom he was known as 'Woolly Bear' because of his liking for big leather coats with fur collars.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|50, George Street, Edinburgh, Scotland||Business||1890||Before 1901|| |
|7a, Young Street, Edinburgh, Scotland||Business||Before 1901||c. 1905|| |
|140, Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland||Business||c. 1905|| || |
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|
|Professor David M Walker personal archive||Professor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material|| ||Personal information from A R B Haldane|