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Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Bennie Wilson
Designation: Architect
Born: 1848
Died: 3 January 1923
Bio Notes: John Bennie Wilson was born in Glasgow in 1848, the son of Archibald Wilson, mechanical engineer, and his wife Janet Wilson. Educated at St Enoch's School and Anderson's Institution, he was articled to John Honeyman in 1864 and remained with him as an assistant from 1869 until 1873 when he transferred to the office of David Thomson. He moved again to John Burnet's in 1875, and remained there until he commenced independent practice on his own account in 1879 at 227 West George Street, Glasgow. He was, unusually for a Scot at that date, admitted ARIBA on 22 March 1882, his proposers being Honeyman, Thomson and Burnet. In that same year he moved office to 112 Bath Street.

Wilson had a very large church building practice, mainly won through open and limited competitions. In addition to the larger churches listed below, Wilson was said by A G Lochhead and W A P Jack to have designed a number of very small and very plain churches in the Highlands and Islands, but these do not appear in either the 'Buildings of Scotland' Highland or Argyll volumes.

Wilson's earlier churches tended to be Early English, perhaps influenced by his two years with the younger Burnet as well as by his apprenticeship with Honeyman, but in the later 1880s he adopted a late Gothic style ultimately derived from the free Gothic of Sedding and his circle in London, adapted to Presbyterian plan forms. His classical work similarly derives from London rather than Honeyman or Burnetian models, notably at the Collcutt-inspired Motherwell Town Hall, but moved into more Palladian influenced forms later.

In 1897 Wilson moved office to 92 Bath Street and in 1909 the practice became John B Wilson & Son when his son and pupil John Archibald Wilson was taken into partnership. The elder Wilson was admitted FRIBA on 28 February 1910, his proposers being George Bell, Burnet and John Keppie. As a very active president of the Glasgow Institute of Architects, he became a member of the RIBA Council in the following year.

Wilson was awarded the Gold Medal of Honour at the Vienna Health Congress for the plans of the County Asylum at Ayr. He was an enthusiastic volunteer, joining the 3rd Lanarkshire Scottish Rifles as a private in 1868. He was commissioned in 1880 and promoted to Major in 1894 and to Lieutenant Colonel in 1903. He succeeded Colonel Howie as commander in 1905 and marched 700 men past Edward VII at the Edinburgh Review of 1906, but severe illness brought his military career to a close in the following year. He was awarded the Volunteer Decoration.

Wilson was a member of the Trades House and a prominent mason in Kilwinning Mother Lodge and the Cathedral RA Chapter. He was also a football enthusiast, becoming President of the Glasgow Football Charity Cup Committee. He married twice, first to Sarah Harrison and secondly to a widow, Mary Gilmour Paton or Barclay and survived both, dying of cardiac masarca on 3 January 1923 at 45 Fotheringay Road, Pollokshields, aged seventy-three. He left a moveable estate of 7,782 4s 11d. His son was admitted FRIBA in 1925 but survived his father by only three years, dying on 1 May 1926. The practice was taken over by James M Honeyman, initially under the style of Honeyman, John B Wilson & Son.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 6376, Crown Street, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivateBefore 18721879 
Item 2 of 6227, West George Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness18791882 
Item 3 of 6112, Bath Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness18821895(?) 
Item 4 of 616, Regent Park Terrace, Strathbungo, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1888  
Item 5 of 692, Bath Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1895(?)1923 
Item 6 of 645, Fotheringay Road, Pollokshields, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivateBefore 19101923 

Employment and Training

Employers

The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 5John Honeyman18641869Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5John Honeyman18691873Assistant 
Item 3 of 5David Thomson18731875Assistant 
Item 4 of 5John Burnet (senior)18751879Assistant 
Item 5 of 5John B Wilson & Son19091923Partner 

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 9John Archibald Wilson Before 1909Apprentice(?) 
Item 2 of 9William DickAfter 1879 Assistant(?) 
Item 3 of 9William Reid16 June 18832 July 1888Apprentice 
Item 4 of 9John Dall18861890Junior Assistant 
Item 5 of 9James SmithOctober 1894December 1898Apprentice 
Item 6 of 9James Hoey CraigieBefore 1894Before 1894Assistant 
Item 7 of 9Thomas Anderson Moodie16 February 18971 June 1899Draughtsman 
Item 8 of 9John Bothwell Steel1902 or 19031903 or 1904Assistant 
Item 9 of 9Hamilton Neil1904c. 1905Assistant 

RIBA

RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6George Bell I28 February 1910for Fellowship
Item 2 of 6John Burnet (senior)20 March 1882for Associateship
Item 3 of 6(Sir) John James Burnet28 February 1910for Fellowship
Item 4 of 6John Honeyman20 March 1882for Associateship
Item 5 of 6John Keppie28 February 1910for Fellowship
Item 6 of 6David Thomson20 March 1882for Associateship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 84Matthew Adam22 April 1912for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 2 of 84James Montgomerie Alexander20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 3 of 84William Armour Arbuckle22 April 1912for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 4 of 84John Arthur20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 5 of 84John Maurice Arthur20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 6 of 84William Baillie12 June 1912for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 7 of 84John BarbourEarly 1911for Licentiateship
Item 8 of 84William Mair Bishop24 June 1912for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 9 of 84William John Blain20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 10 of 84George Arthur Boswell20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 11 of 84James Stirling Boyd18 July 1910for Licentiateship
Item 12 of 84William Craig Boyd20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 13 of 84Donald Bruce20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 14 of 84Hugh Campbell20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 15 of 84William Arthur Laurie Carrick20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 16 of 84James Carruthers20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 17 of 84Ronald Carswell20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 18 of 84Thomas McGill Cassels20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 19 of 84George Donaldson Copland20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 20 of 84James Hoey Craigie20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 21 of 84James Hoey Craigie1920 or 1921for Fellowship
Item 22 of 84John Burns Cromb20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 23 of 84Hugh Dale20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 24 of 84Allan Ferguson Duncan20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 25 of 84Thomas Dykes20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 26 of 84William Ferguson20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 27 of 84Alexander Gardner20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 28 of 84Alexander McInnes Gardner20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 29 of 84Charles Ramsay GilchristEarly 1911for Fellowship
Item 30 of 84Edward Alexander Buckingham Hay20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 31 of 84Henry Edward Higgins20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 32 of 84William Holmes Howie20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 33 of 84John Marshall Hunter20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 34 of 84James Kerr20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 35 of 84William Kerr20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 36 of 84John King20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 37 of 84Gavin Lennox20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 38 of 84James Lochhead1911for Fellowship
Item 39 of 84John Whitelaw Lockhart20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 40 of 84Thomas Melville Lunan20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 41 of 84Daniel Walter MacMath20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 42 of 84Alan George MacNaughtan20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 43 of 84Alexander Nisbet Malcolm20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 44 of 84Andrew Morell McKinlay20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 45 of 84James McKissack20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 46 of 84Thomas Andrew Millar20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 47 of 84Henry Mitchell20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 48 of 84James Money24 June 1912for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 49 of 84Latto Alexander Morrison20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 50 of 84Hamilton Neil20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 51 of 84William Newlands24 June 1912for Licentiateship
Item 52 of 84Gavin Paterson20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 53 of 84George Andrew Paterson20 July 1911for Licenciateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 54 of 84Larmont Douglas Penman22 April 1912for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 55 of 84James Campbell Reid2 December 1912for Fellowship
Item 56 of 84William Reid20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 57 of 84Francis George Glyn Robertson (or Frank George Glyn Robertson)22 April 1912for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 58 of 84Robert Thom Ross20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 59 of 84David Salmond20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 60 of 84Alexander Alban Hamilton Scott (or Archibald Alban Hamilton Scott, or Augustine Alban Hamilton Scott)20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 61 of 84George Simpson20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 62 of 84Hugh Dykes Simpson20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 63 of 84John Stewart20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 64 of 84David Woodburn Sturrock20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 65 of 84Eric Alexander Sutherland20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 66 of 84Alexander Houston Thomson24 June 1912for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 67 of 84James Thomson (junior)20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 68 of 84Joseph John Tough20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 69 of 84James Carruthers Walker20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 70 of 84Henry Denison Walton20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 71 of 84John Watson20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 72 of 84James Wilkie Weddell20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 73 of 84Robert Wemyss24 June 1912for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 74 of 84Charles Edward Whitelaw20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 75 of 84Robert Whyte24 June 1912for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 76 of 84William McNicol Whyte24 June 1912for Licentiateship
Item 77 of 84James Jackson Wilson20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 78 of 84Joseph WilsonMid 1919for Associateship
Item 79 of 84Alexander Wingate20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 80 of 84Alexander Wright20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 81 of 84James Wright (junior)20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 82 of 84William John Brockie Wright22 April 1912for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 83 of 84David Valentine Wyllie20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects
Item 84 of 84Alexander Young20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects

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 871872Design for a country church     
Item 2 of 871878Livingstone Masonic Hall and Public HallBlantyre LanarkshireScotland 
Item 3 of 871878New Free ChurchNitshill GlasgowScotland 
Item 4 of 871879KilcadzowCarluke LanarkshireScotland 
Item 5 of 871879Law Free ChurchLaw LanarkshireScotland 
Item 6 of 871880Byldene  EssexEngland 
Item 7 of 871880Yieldshiells SchoolCarluke LanarkshireScotland 
Item 8 of 871881Oatlands UP ChurchOatlands GlasgowScotland 
Item 9 of 871882Whifflet Free ChurchWhifflet, Coatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 10 of 871883Established ChurchQuarter LanarkshireScotland 
Item 11 of 871883FingarryMilton of Campsie StirlingshireScotland 
Item 12 of 871883Leadhills Free ChurchLeadhills LanarkshireScotland 
Item 13 of 871884Drill Hall, Coplaw Road  GlasgowScotland 
Item 14 of 871884LillyburnMilton of Campsie StirlingshireScotlandAdditions
Item 15 of 871884Mother LodgeKilwinning AyrshireScotland 
Item 16 of 871885Bandon GroveHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotlandAdditions
Item 17 of 871885Crescent Presbyterian Church  BelfastNorthern IrelandWon in competition
Item 18 of 871885Drill hall, Hill Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 19 of 871885Free Church and ManseDouglaswater Argyll/LanarkshireScotland 
Item 20 of 871885House, 84 West Clyde StreetHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 21 of 871885Linenhall Street Presbyterian Church  BelfastNorthern IrelandProbably won in competition
Item 22 of 871885TighcruachanCardross DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 23 of 871886Barony Parish Church  GlasgowScotlandUnsuccessful competition design
Item 24 of 871886EU Congregational ChurchPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandWon in competition
Item 25 of 871886Motherwell Town Hall and Municipal OfficesMotherwell LanarkshireScotlandWon competition and secured job
Item 26 of 871886Stockwell Free ChurchPollokshields GlasgowScotlandWon in competition
Item 27 of 871886Uddingston Trinity Parish ChurchUddingston LanarkshireScotlandReconstruction - apse and transepts added
Item 28 of 871887Galston Free ChurchGalston AyrshireScotland 
Item 29 of 871888Cold Store  GlasgowScotlandNorthernmost part
Item 30 of 871888St Georges Presbyterian ChurchSunderland County DurhamEngland 
Item 31 of 871888Swedenborgian New Jerusalem Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 32 of 871888Troon UP ChurchTroon AyrshireScotland 
Item 33 of 871889Craigmore UP ChurchRothesayButeButeScotlandAwarded 2nd premium
Item 34 of 871889West UP ChurchSelkirk SelkirkshireScotland 
Item 35 of 871890(?)Hutchesontown UP ChurchHutchesontown GlasgowScotland 
Item 36 of 871890Larkhall Public HallLarkhall LanarkshireScotland 
Item 37 of 871891Bridge of Weir UP ChurchBridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotlandWon in competition
Item 38 of 871892Alloa Public SchoolSunnyside, Alloa ClackmannanshireScotlandJohn Bennie Wilson secured job though it seems he did not win the competition
Item 39 of 871892Clydebank Municipal BuildingsClydebank DunbartonshireScotlandUnsuccessful competition design
Item 40 of 871892Hutchesontown Free ChurchHutchesontown GlasgowScotland 
Item 41 of 871892St Andrews Free Church and hallAyr AyrshireScotlandWon commission in competition
Item 42 of 871893Clydebank Union ChurchClydebank DunbartonshireScotlandWon commission and secured job
Item 43 of 871893Cold Store  GlasgowScotlandMiddle part
Item 44 of 871894Juniper Green ChurchJuniper Green EdinburghScotlandUnsuccessful competition design
Item 45 of 871894Waterside ChurchWaterside AyrshireScotland 
Item 46 of 871895Avon Street UP ChurchHamilton LanarkshireScotland 
Item 47 of 871895Church HallMauchline AyrshireScotland 
Item 48 of 871895UP Church on Queen Margaret Drive  GlasgowScotland 
Item 49 of 871895Wilson UP ChurchPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 50 of 871896Ivy Place UP ChurchStranraer WigtownshireScotland 
Item 51 of 871896Langside Road UP ChurchLangside GlasgowScotland 
Item 52 of 871896Larkhall AcademyLarkhall LanarkshireScotland 
Item 53 of 871896Stonehouse Congregational ChurchStonehouse LanarkshireScotland 
Item 54 of 871897Gorbals Free ChurchGorbals GlasgowScotlandDesign exhibited - possibly competition design.
Item 55 of 871897Partick East UP ChurchPartick GlasgowScotland 
Item 56 of 871897Rosemount SchoolRoyston GlasgowScotland 
Item 57 of 871897Thornhill UF ChurchThornhill DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 58 of 871897Trinity UF Church and hallsAyr AyrshireScotlandWon in competition
Item 59 of 871898Wellfield UP ChurchSpringburn GlasgowScotland 
Item 60 of 871899Dunnikier Free ChurchKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 61 of 871899Glen HallsNeilston RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 62 of 871899Patna Waterside Parish ChurchPatna AyrshireScotlandAddition
Item 63 of 871900St Stephen's UF ChurchComely Bank EdinburghScotlandCompetition design - not successful
Item 64 of 871900Terrace of houses, 1-10 Moray PlaceStrathbungo GlasgowScotlandAdditions to no 1
Item 65 of 871901Proposed city church   Scotland 
Item 66 of 871901St Paul's UF ChurchPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 67 of 871901Stoneykirk Parish ChurchStoneykirk WigtownshireScotlandAlterations
Item 68 of 871901UF ChurchPatna AyrshireScotland 
Item 69 of 871902Auldfield Weaving Mills  GlasgowScotland 
Item 70 of 871902Cairns UF ChurchMilngavie DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 71 of 871902Scotstoun UF Church hallsScotstoun GlasgowScotland 
Item 72 of 871903Annbank Parish ChurchMossblown AyrshireScotland 
Item 73 of 871903Ayrshire Lunatic AsylumAyr AyrshireScotlandHospital block - described at the time as the 'New Hospital' (now offices)
Item 74 of 871903Burntisland UP ChurchBurntisland FifeScotlandBuild/construction
Item 75 of 871903Drill Hall, Coplaw Road  GlasgowScotlandExtension to west
Item 76 of 871903Grange UF ChurchGrangemouth StirlingshireScotland 
Item 77 of 871904Waterside InstituteDalmellington AyrshireScotland 
Item 78 of 87c. 1905Ardrossan EU Congregational ChurchArdrossan AyrshireScotlandClose gives John Bennie Wilson for this church, but other references to bear this out are missing.
Item 79 of 871906Institute of Engineers and Shipbuilders  GlasgowScotlandWon in competition
Item 80 of 871907Confectionery Works  GlasgowScotland 
Item 81 of 871907New Cathcart Free Church and HallCathcart GlasgowScotlandChurch (won in competition)
Item 82 of 871907Villa for Dr Forrest  GlasgowScotland 
Item 83 of 871909Hyndland Public School  GlasgowScotlandUnsuccessful competition design
Item 84 of 871910Claud Street SchoolLarkhall LanarkshireScotland 
Item 85 of 871910Stonelaw UF ChurchRutherglen LanarkshireScotland 
Item 86 of 87c. 1910(?)Summerhill HouseShandon DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 87 of 871911Cold Store  GlasgowScotlandAnderston Quay block

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Bailey, Rebecca M1996Scottish architects' papers: a source book Edinburgh: The Rutland Presspp144-155
Item 2 of 3Pride, Glen L1999The Kingdom of Fife2nd EditionThe Rutland Pressp46
Item 3 of 3Who's Who in Glasgow1909    

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Additional information from research by Iain Paterson
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A v8 p96 (microfiche 32/A1); F v20 no1428 (microfilm reel 13)

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© All rights reserved. Who's who in Glasgow 1909