Basic Biographical Details

Name: James W Stewart
Designation: Architect, Engineer
Born: 1826
Died: c. 1881
Bio Notes: James W Stewart wasn born in Perth about 1826, the son of John Stewart, wood merchant. He trained as a ship's carpenter initially but later worked primarily as a civil engineer and surveyor. In 1851 he was lodging at a house in North West Circus Place and was described as a civil engineer's assistant.

He commenced practice from his house at 17 Dublin Street in the early 1850s, moving his office to a more central address at 73 George Street by 1860. In about 1863 he merged his practice with that of Duncan Menzies who had inherited Robert Bell's practice in 1859, and moved into the Bell & Menzies office at 13 Young Street, initially in his own name only, the partnership adopting the style of Stewart & Menzies possibly late 1863 or early 1864. At that date Stewart was living at East Viewfield Street, Trinity, but in or about 1867 he moved to The Craigs at Corstorphine, making a final move to Stoneypath House, Musselburgh in or about 1874.

In the years around 1870, Stewart was involved in the unfortunate Dundee water supply scheme. In 1869 the Town Council obtained an act authorising it to take over the Dundee Water Company, whose engineer was James Leslie, formerly Dundee's harbour engineer. The town's water commissioners secured reports from Stewart, who recommended drawing water from the River Isla, from Leslie who recommended the Loch of Lintrathen as providing a better and purer supply, and from the burgh engineer John Fulton, and presented them to appointed John Frederic Bateman whom they had appointed as their engineer. Bateman concurred with Leslie's recommendation and produced a scheme which received the royal assent in 1871; but the commissioners then obtained a further report from Stewart who recommended substituting a direct line of cast-iron pipes instead of the gentler fall achieved by a combination of pipes, reservoirs and aqueducts proposed by Bateman. At a meeting of the commissioners in October Stewart's direct line was approved, although William Robertson, its mill engineer convener, strongly dissented. In an unsolicited report of January 1872 Bateman set out the problems of the unprecedented pressures which would arise from Stewart's scheme and proposed a direct line of his own with lesser gradients: he also refuted allegations of extravagance. Leslie then proposed a partial modification of Stewart's scheme but Stewart declined to change it, as did the Commissioners. The pipes burst and the joints leaked as Bateman and Robertson predicted and the scheme had to be modified under powers obtained in the Dundee Water (Additional Powers) Act of 1874.

The practice moved from Young Street to 39 York Place in 1877 or early 1878. Stewart appears to have died or retired about 1881 or 1882, his last appearance in the directories being in 1881. Thereafter Menzies practised in his own name only.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect, engineer:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 617, Dublin Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/businessc. 1855 House and office
Item 2 of 673, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1859c. 1862House and office
Item 3 of 6East Viewfield Street, Trinity, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1861c. 1864 
Item 4 of 613, Young Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1863c. 1877 
Item 5 of 6The Craigs, Corstorphine, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1868c. 1874 
Item 6 of 639, York Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1878c. 1881 

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect, engineer (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 1Stewart & MenziesBefore 1868After 1886Partner 

Buildings and Designs

This architect, engineer 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 101863Inzievar HouseDunfermline FifeScotlandStable courtyard
Item 2 of 101872Barnhall Cottages     
Item 3 of 101872Buildings at East PiltonEast Pilton EdinburghScotland 
Item 4 of 101872Buildings at Meadowfield  EdinburghScotland 
Item 5 of 101872Cottage at CliftonClifton West Lothian?Scotland 
Item 6 of 101872Easter Drylaw Cottages  EdinburghScotland 
Item 7 of 101872Hallyards  Perthshire/Peeblesshire?Scotland 
Item 8 of 101872North Gyle cottages  EdinburghScotland 
Item 9 of 101878Two cottages at Gogar MainsGogar Mains MidlothianScotland 
Item 10 of 101878Windsor Place UP ChurchPortobello EdinburghScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect, engineer:
Item 1 of 4Architects Engineers and Building Trades Directory1868Architect's, Engineer's and Building Trades' Directory London, Wyman 
Item 2 of 4British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 3 of 4Kelly's Building Trades1886Kelly's Building Trades   
Item 4 of 4Post Office Directories     

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect, engineer:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Dundee Courier9 December 1871