Basic Biographical Details

Name: Edward Welby Pugin
Designation: Architect
Born: 11 March 1834
Died: 5 June 1875
Bio Notes: The founder of the Pugin & Pugin practice was Edward Welby Pugin, born in London on 11 March 1834, eldest son of Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin and his second wife Louisa Burton. He was brought up in his father's office and was 'his right hand man' by the age of sixteen, keeping the practice going through his father's periodic fits of madness from February 1852 onwards. When his father died on 14 September of that year he was eighteen. The sole beneficiary of his father's will was his third wife, Jane Knill, and on the advice of the stained-glass manufacturer John Hardman Powell who had married Pugin's eldest daughter Anne, Jane Pugin moved both household and practice to Birmingham partly to be near their main patron the 17th Earl of Shrewsbury. For the Earl, Edward revised his father's designs very much in his father's style, but in 1856 the Earl died. The Pugin family resettled in Gordon Square, London, in the same year becoming sufficiently prosperous to resume full occupation of the Grange at Ramsgate by 1861.

In 1856 Edward succeeded in having himself appointed an additional assessor in the Lille Cathedral competition. Thereafter he began working in an individualistic French and Flemish gothic, often with strong polychromatic effects. His practice expanded rapidly and to cope with it he set up an additional office in Liverpool and formed a partnership with the Irishman James Murray in 1857, who had already been in practice there. In 1860 he formed a second partnership with his brother-in-law George Coppinger Ashlin and opened a Dublin office for Irish work. The Murray partnership was, however, dissolved in 1860, Murray thereafter practising on his own account until his early death; and in 1862 Edward merged his practice with that of the older and well-established Joseph Aloysius Hansom. That partnership closed acrimoniously in the following year.

Edward Pugin was admitted FRIBA on 16 June 1862. Two years earlier in 1860 he had founded the South East Furniture Company to manufacture his designs, the management of it being largely in the hands of his brother Cuthbert. The break-up of his partnership with Ashlin in 1869 may have been related to a much more high-risk business venture, the Granville Hotel at Ramsgate, a vast hotel and hydropathic complex. This failed in 1873 leaving Pugin bankrupt with liabilities of 187,000. Some sources state that he left for the United States where he quickly obtained commissions for some thirty churches and a monastery in Cuba. However his stay there must have been quite brief as he was involved in various libel cases (both against and by him) in 1874-5. The English and Scottish work in hand was continued by his brothers Cuthbert Welby Pugin, born to Louisa in 1840, and Peter Paul Pugin, born in 1851 to his father's third wife Jane Knill, both of whom had been assisting him since the 1860s and had recently been taken into partnership, the practice becoming Pugin & Pugin.

Edward Pugin died suddenly on 5 June 1875 as a result of overwork and 'injudicious use of chloral hydrate'. He was unmarried and the main responsibility for the practice passed to his brother Peter Paul.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 8London, EnglandPrivate18341852Place of birth.
Item 2 of 8Birmingham, EnglandBusiness18521856 
Item 3 of 8Gordon Square, London, EnglandPrivate1856Before 1873 
Item 4 of 8Liverpool, EnglandBusiness18571862(?)Branch office
Item 5 of 8Dublin, EireBusiness18601869Branch office
Item 6 of 825, Savile Row, London, EnglandBusiness1868 *  
Item 7 of 8Victoria Street, London, EnglandBusinessc. 18701873 
Item 8 of 8United States of AmericaBusiness1873  

* 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 4Pugin & Murray18571860Partner(?) 
Item 2 of 4Pugin & Ashlin18601869Partner 
Item 3 of 4Joseph Aloysius Hansom & Edward Welby Pugin18621863Partner 
Item 4 of 4Pugin & PuginEarly 1870sBefore 1875Partner 

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 3George Coppinger Ashlin18561859Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3Peter Paul Puginc. 1860Early 1870sAssistant 
Item 3 of 3Cuthbert Welby PuginEarly 1860s(?)Early 1870sAssistant 

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 51852St Mary Star of the Sea RC ChurchLeith EdinburghScotlandWith A W N Pugin and Hansom?
Item 2 of 51856St Stephen's RC ChurchBlairgowrie PerthshireScotland 
Item 3 of 51861St Margaret's Convent of the Ursulines of Jesus  EdinburghScotlandSchool wing: apparently designed in association with James Murray
Item 4 of 51862St Mary's RC ChapelHaddington East LothianScotland 
Item 5 of 51873St Mary and St Finnan RC ChurchGlenfinnan Inverness-shireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 5Anson, Peter1965Fashions in church furnishings2ndLondon 
Item 2 of 5Atterbury, Paul, et al.1996A W N Pugin Master of the Gothic Revival   See especially Chapter 10, p208
Item 3 of 5British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 4 of 5O'Donnell, Roderick The later PuginsChapter 20Pugin: a Gothic passion ed. Paul Attenbury and Clive Wainwright 
Item 5 of 5Wedgwood, Alexandra1985A W N Pugin and the Pugin family   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 9Architect12 June 1875   
Item 2 of 9Builder12 June 1875   
Item 3 of 9Builder19 June 1875   
Item 4 of 9Builder26 June 1875   
Item 5 of 9Building News11 June 1875   
Item 6 of 9Building News18 June 1875   
Item 7 of 9East London Observer5 December 1874   
Item 8 of 9London Standard3 June 1874   
Item 9 of 9Nottinghamshire Guardian4 December 1874