Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Ednie
Designation: Interior designer
Born: 6 January 1876
Died: 18 June 1934
Bio Notes: John Ednie was born on 6 January 1876 at 19 Gourlay Street in Glasgow, the son of George Ednie, engine fitter and Jane-Amelia Potts Campbell who had been married in Belfast in 1873. John went to school in Edinburgh, and studied architecture at Heriot-Watt. He won a travelling scholarship which enabled him to visit several European countries. Between 1898 and 1903 he was employed concurrently by John Kinross as an apprentice and W Scott Morton and Company, sharing a home address with his younger brother Andrew B Ednie at 73 Ashley Terrace, Edinburgh. During that period he attended the School of Applied Art,

In 1903 he took up a teaching post at Heriot-Watt College while working as principal designer for Wylie & Lochhead. Thereafter he worked in Glasgow, mainly for McCulloch and Co, decorators and glass-stainers and continued to work for Wylie & Lochhead in association with his brother Andrew and with John Taylor. His home address was Rosevale at Bishopton at this time. While his architectural work was influenced by Kinross his interior work and furniture in the earlier 1900s was closely related to that of Mackintosh and was exhibited along with that of Mackintosh at Turin in 1902.

In the following year on 15 June he married Lily Rebecca Epton, who was an artist, in Edinburgh. At some stage Ednie himself had studied painting in Paris in the studio of Colarossi. In 1905 he commenced practice on his own account in Glasgow as architect and interior designer and in 1908 he was appointed head of the Decorative Art Department for evening students at Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College. In his application he undertook to give up his teaching job at Heriot Watt, and also stated that he was terminating his work for Wylie & Lochhead. He also told the College of his intention to continue private practice in Glasgow. The post was subsequently re-titled Principal of the Decorative Arts Trades School. In these later years his work gradually became more conservative. Between 1905 and 1926 he apparently built several houses and decorated many houses and public buildings including cinemas and restaurants. Scott Morton's Filing Book's character comments written in 1910 sees Ednie deemed a 'Big Bug now'.

During the College vacations Ednie studied and painted in Holland, France, Cyprus, Rhodes and Egypt but neither he nor his wife exhibited their work at the RSA or RGI at that time, presumably being sold through dealers. In 1926 the Ednies moved to London, and in 1928 he secured the post of Directory of the School of Applied Art, Guiza (or Giza), Cairo, having acquired a particular interest in Egypt from earlier visits. He died at Maadi, Cairo on 18 June 1934 after a long illness which resulted from a bite from a 'strange wild animal'. His wife Rebecca returned to Britain a year after his death but would appear to have returned to Cairo.

Illustrations of Ednie's work are to be found in 'The Studio' August 1901, p166; August 1906, pp 254-5; and ? 1908, p165. The furniture in the Presbytery House of John Kinross's St Peter's Fraserburgh appears to be his.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this interior designer:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 873, Ashley Terrace, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1903 * With his brother Andrew
Item 2 of 8Rosevale Cottage, Bishopton, Renfrewshire, ScotlandPrivate1904 *  
Item 3 of 878, Queen Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1906 *  
Item 4 of 826, Dundas Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness(?)c. 1912  
Item 5 of 846, Gordon Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1915After 1919 
Item 6 of 8248, West George Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1924 or 1925 *  
Item 7 of 8Guiza, Cairo, EgyptBusiness1928  
Item 8 of 819, Rue Hesmat Pasha, Maadi, Cairo, EgyptPrivatec. 19281934 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this interior designer (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 3John Kinross18981903Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3Scott Morton & Co (later Scott Morton & Tynecastle Co Ltd; finally Scott Morton Ltd)18981903  
Item 3 of 3Wylie & LochheadAfter 1903Before 1926 Principal designer

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this interior designer (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 1Francis (Frank) Richard Eptonc. 1914 Assistant 

Buildings and Designs

This interior designer 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 10190326 Huntly GardensKelvinside GlasgowScotlandInternal refitting and new billiard room
Item 2 of 101903Hall interior   Scotland 
Item 3 of 101904Roseval, smoking room fireplaceBishopton RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 4 of 10190611 Whittinghame Drive  GlasgowScotland 
Item 5 of 101910House at KelvinsideKelvinside GlasgowScotland 
Item 6 of 101912City Halls and BazaarCandleriggs GlasgowScotlandRedecoration of City Hall
Item 7 of 101914Cranston's Picture House and Tea Rooms, Renfield Street  GlasgowScotlandTearoom in Louis XVI style with Miller - rebuilding as 13-17 Renfield Street
Item 8 of 101914La Scala Cinema  AberdeenScotlandInterior
Item 9 of 10c. 1914The RiggsCarmunnock GlasgowScotlandFor himself
Item 10 of 10c. 1924Rest HarrowWhitecraigs GlasgowScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this interior designer:
Item 1 of 1Post Office Directories     

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this interior designer:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 7Edinburgh Evening Dispatch26 July 1934  Obituary
Item 2 of 7Egyptian Gazette26 June 1934  Appreciation
Item 3 of 7Glasgow Herald26 July 1934  Obituary
Item 4 of 7Scotsman26 July 1934  Obituary
Item 5 of 7The StudioAugust 1901  p166
Item 6 of 7The StudioAugust 1906  pp254-255
Item 7 of 7The Studio1908  p165, check date

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this interior designer:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Courtesy of Stafford WatersInformation sent to David M Walker Sent February 2009.
Item 2 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Information from D C Mays, Stweart Cruden, Juliet Kinchin and Iain Paterson.