© All rights reserved. Edinburgh and the Lothians at the opening of the twentieth century / by A. Eddington. Contemporary biographies / edited by W.T. Pike 

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Basic Biographical Details

Name: Henry Francis Kerr
Designation: Architect
Born: 15 February 1855
Died: 2 November 1946
Bio Notes: Henry Francis Kerr was born in Edinburgh on 15 February 1855, the son of Andrew Armstrong Kerr, banker, 4 Broughton Place, and was educated at Hunter's School and thereafter at Edinburgh Academy from 1866 to 1871 and at Edinburgh University from 1871 to 1872. In the following year he was articled to Pilkington & Bell, and he remained with Pilkington as a draughtsman until 1878, continuing to attend classes at the University of Edinburgh and the Government School of Design. In 1879 he obtained a place in the office of John Lamb Murray of Biggar where he seems to have remained until commencing practice on his own account in Edinburgh in 1881, initially from his parents' house in Broughton Place. In 1889 he passed the qualifying exam and was admitted ARIBA his proposers being Rowand Anderson, John Slater and Arthur Cates. By this time he had made various sketching tours in Scotland and while in London to Norwich and Newcastle.

Kerr had Fife connections and for many years a second residence at St Colm's, Inverkeithing. He was a prominent antiquary and architectural historian and published extensively in the 'RIAS Quarterly', 'The Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries' and the 'Transactions of the Scottish Ecclesiological Society', and in the 'Book of the Old Edinburgh Club'. He was elected to the Parish Council in 1898, was a member of the Board of Managers of the Royal Edinburgh Asylum and was President of the Edinburgh Architectural Association in 1900.

During World War I Kerr took charge of the practice of Alexander Hunter Crawford and Henry Rochead Williamson and ran it from his home at 12 East Claremont Street: Crawford at this time was in Liverpool overseeing the rebuilding of the Fairfield Biscuit Works and Williamson was on active service. Kerr had previously shared Crawford & Williamson's office at 10 Randolph, perhaps with the intention of merging the practices.

Kerr died at his daughter's house at 12 East Claremont Street, Edinburgh on 2 November 1946 where he had lived after the death of his wife but his daughter also predeceased him.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 114, Broughton Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/businessc. 1881c. 1884 
Item 2 of 1120, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1885c. 1890Possibly longer
Item 3 of 112, London Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate18871889Possibly longer
Item 4 of 1136, Hanover Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1891c. 1902 
Item 5 of 1156, Hanover Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1895  
Item 6 of 1122, East Claremont Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1901  
Item 7 of 1162, Hanover Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1905c. 1913 
Item 8 of 1112, East Claremont Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 19121946From 1916 until 1922 as office as well. Then office moved to 16 Duke Street. Practised from home again from 1938c
Item 9 of 1110, Randolph Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/businessc. 1914c. 1915Sharing office with Crawford & Wlliamson sometime before this date
Item 10 of 1112, Duke Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1923 * Who's who in Archit4ecture 1926 says this was number 16 Duke Street
Item 11 of 1116, Duke Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1923c. 1938 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 3Pilkington & Bell1873c. 1877Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3Frederick Thomas Pilkington18771878Draughtsman 
Item 3 of 3John Lamb Murray18791881(?)Assistant 

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 5Edward George Louttit  Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5Bailey Scott Murphy18921897Apprentice 
Item 3 of 5Donald MacPherson Gordon18951900Apprentice 
Item 4 of 5Henry Rochead Williamson1901October 1903Apprentice 
Item 5 of 5John Okell19311935Apprentice 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3(Sir) Robert Rowand Anderson3 June 1889for Associateship
Item 2 of 3(Professor) Gerald Baldwin Brown3 June 1889for Associateship - as President of the Edinburgh Architectural Association
Item 3 of 3G Fairbairn3 June 1889for Associateship - as Secretary of the Edinburgh Architectural Association

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 2David Alexander Crombie20 March 1911for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 2John Dall20 March 1911for Licentiateship

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 52 Robertson Memorial Church  EdinburghScotlandInstructed Scott Morton & Co for interior work - date unknown
Item 2 of 52After 1879Culterallers House  LanarkshireScotlandAs assistant to John Lamb Murray
Item 3 of 52After 1879Hartree HouseBiggar PeeblesshireScotlandAs assistant to John Lamb Murray
Item 4 of 52After 1879SchoolsLanark LanarkshireScotlandAs assistant to John Lamb Murray
Item 5 of 52c. 1882County Hall and Sheriff Court Houses and County Police OfficeHamilton LanarkshireScotlandNine bay block to Almada Street (accommodation for Court Officials) as assistant to John Lamb Murray
Item 6 of 521883St Paul's Episcopal Church  EdinburghScotlandChurch Halls (including 'new church room')
Item 7 of 521887Municipal BuildingsCoupar Angus AngusScotland 
Item 8 of 521889George Heriot's School, Broughton Street  EdinburghScotlandConverted school to hall
Item 9 of 52After 1889St Margaret's Episcopal Schools  EdinburghScotland 
Item 10 of 52After 1889St Mary's Church Halls  EdinburghScotland 
Item 11 of 52After 1889War memorials   ScotlandComeptition designs
Item 12 of 521890Markinch InstituteMarkinch FifeScotlandWon competition and secured job(?)
Item 13 of 521890Simpson Memorial InstituteUpper Largo FifeScotlandUnsuccessful competition design
Item 14 of 521891Students' Settlement (New College Mission)  EdinburghScotland 
Item 15 of 521892Dryburgh Abbey HouseDryburgh RoxburghshireScotlandRebuilding after fire
Item 16 of 521893Free Church  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 17 of 521893Nicolson Square Methodist Church  EdinburghScotlandRemodelling of gallery front
Item 18 of 521894St Mark's Church  EdinburghScotland 
Item 19 of 521895Glen OsmondInverleith EdinburghScotland 
Item 20 of 521895Tenements, 17-20 Bank Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 21 of 521895Trinity Congregational ChurchComely Bank EdinburghScotland 
Item 22 of 521896EdenholmeDunbar East LothianScotlandGabled extension on west - for dark room, pantry, bathroom etc.
Item 23 of 521896Redmount (or Redhouse?)Wester Coates EdinburghScotland 
Item 24 of 521898Dalry Mission BuildingsDalry EdinburghScotland 
Item 25 of 5218992 Wester Coates Avunue  EdinburghScotland 
Item 26 of 521899ErnsgarthWester Coates EdinburghScotland 
Item 27 of 521899St Oswald's Church and hall  EdinburghScotlandWon competition and secured job
Item 28 of 521900Edenshead HouseStrathmiglo FifeScotlandExtensions and remodelling
Item 29 of 521900Strathendry HouseLeslie FifeScotlandAdditions
Item 30 of 521901FerrycraigsNorth Queensferry FifeScotland 
Item 31 of 521901St Serf's Church and hallGoldenacre EdinburghScotlandCompetition design - not successful
Item 32 of 521902Bungalow, 11 Pentland AvenueColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 33 of 521902TullianColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 34 of 521902Villa for Mr Richard WatsonColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 35 of 521903St Peter's Episcopal ChurchInverkeithing FifeScotlandNave
Item 36 of 521906KingarthColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 37 of 521906Strathendry CastleMarkinch FifeScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 38 of 521906The GlebeColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 39 of 521907KingarthColinton EdinburghScotlandAmended plans
Item 40 of 521907National MonumentCalton Hill EdinburghScotlandScheme for completion
Item 41 of 521908St Oswald's Church and hall  EdinburghScotlandRussell Aisle
Item 42 of 521909Almshouses  EdinburghScotland 
Item 43 of 521910Murray CottagesCorstorphine EdinburghScotlandWon competition and secured job
Item 44 of 521910St Peter's Episcopal ChurchInverkeithing FifeScotlandChancel
Item 45 of 521911Dalziel UF ChurchMotherwell LanarkshireScotland 
Item 46 of 521911Leven Free ChurchLeven FifeScotlandOrgan designed (& installed)
Item 47 of 521915Glebe CottageColinton EdinburghScotlandAdditions
Item 48 of 521918(?)Hutton Parish Church and ChurchyardHutton BerwickshireScotlandMay have instructed Scott Morton & Co on further interior work?
Item 49 of 521925St Columba's Parish ChurchBurntisland FifeScotlandElectric lighting intriduced
Item 50 of 521931New Greyfriars Church  EdinburghScotlandNew and Old Greyfriars Churches united
Item 51 of 521931Old Greyfriars Church  EdinburghScotlandNew and Old Greyfriars Churches united. Rebuilding of arcades of Old Greyfriars
Item 52 of 521937St Mary's Church, Memorial to Douglas of DrumlanrigHawick RoxburghshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 6Edinburgh Academy1982Edinburgh Academy Register   
Item 2 of 6McKinstry, Sam1982What factors influenced the design of Dalziel UF Church, Motherwell Open University A 305. K0037636 
Item 3 of 6Pike Edinburgh and the Lothians at the turn of the 20th century   
Item 4 of 6Post Office Directories     
Item 5 of 6Scottish Biographies1938  E J Thurston (pub.) 
Item 6 of 6Who's Who in Architecture1926    

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 4Architect and Building NewsNovember 1946  Obituary
Item 2 of 4Builder15 November 1946  Obituary
Item 3 of 4RIBA Journal29 January 1947v54London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp203 - obituary
Item 4 of 4Scotsman4 November 1946  p6 - obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIAS Collection, NMRS, RCAHMSHenry Francis Kerr Press Cuttings Book  


© All rights reserved. Edinburgh and the Lothians at the opening of the twentieth century / by A. Eddington. Contemporary biographies / edited by W.T. Pike 

© All rights reserved. Edinburgh and the Lothians at the opening of the twentieth century / by A. Eddington. Contemporary biographies / edited by W.T. Pike