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Basic Biographical Details

Name: Thomas Edward Collcutt
Designation: Architect
Born: 16 March 1840
Died: 7 October 1924
Bio Notes: Thomas Edward Collcutt was born in Oxford on 16 March 1840. He was educated at the Oxford Diocesan School at Cowley and at Mill Hill.

In 1856 Collcutt was articled to Richard Armstrong, an Edinburgh-born London-based architect who had been an assistant with Edward Blore and had some connection with David Bryce. At the end of his articles he became an assistant first to Mills & Murgatroyd and then to George Edmund Street, subsequently spending some time with the cabinetmakers Collinson & Locke which gave him experience in high-quality woodwork. In 1867 he moved to Brighton as assistant to its burgh surveyor P C Lockwood, working on the conversion of the Pavilion stables riding school into assembly rooms.

Collcutt commenced independent practice in London in 1869, one of his earliest private clients being his former employers Collinson & Locke whose Fleet Street premises he designed in 1873-4. In 1872, when briefly in partnership with the obscure H Woodzell, Collcutt won his first competition, the Public Library and Museum at Blackburn, Lancashire. In 1877 he won that for the Town Hall at Wakefield with a Gothic design in deference to the assessor, his former master G E Street, but in execution redesigned it in a predominantly English early Renaissance manner which was to become characteristic of his work in the 1880s and 1890s, increasingly infused with refined French and Hispanic detail, frequently executed in terracotta.

These successes resulted in him being admitted FRIBA on 13 January 1879, his proposers being Street, James Brooks and Edward Robert Robson. By 1886 he had acquired sufficient standing to be nominated for the limited competition for the Imperial Institute in South Kensington, which he won, the building being completed in 1893: his refusal to shorten the tower is said to have cost him the knighthood usually conferred for such buildings. The story may be apocryphal, but no other major government commission came his way and the remainder of his career was spent on a flourishing practice of private and commercial client work, notably for Richard D'Oyly Carte at the Royal English Opera House (1891) and at the Savoy, where a bold High Renaissance treatment in white faience was adopted. In his domestic work an accomplished English Arts and Crafts manner was adopted from about 1900.

Collcutt was awarded the Royal Gold Medal in 1902. From 1906 he was in partnership with Stanley Hinge Hamp, born 1877, who had been both pupil and assistant and had briefly left to establish his own practice in 1904.

Collcutt retired in 1920, devoting his time to writing 'London of the Future' (published in 1923), a book which discouraged open fires and advocated central heating to improve the atmosphere. He died at Southampton on 7 October 1924. The Buenos Aires architect Bertie Hawkins Collcutt (1883-1937) was his nephew.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 417, Essex Street, Strand, London, EnglandBusiness1873 *  
Item 2 of 412, Finsbury Place South, London, EnglandBusiness1875 *  
Item 3 of 436, Bloomsbury Square, London, EnglandPrivate/business(?)Before 1878After 1914 
Item 4 of 45, Lancaster Place, Strand, London, EnglandBusiness1891  

* 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 1Collcutt & Hamp19061924Partner 

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 12Leonard Aloysius Scott StokesAfter 1878 Assistant 
Item 2 of 12Henry Anderson Paley18811882 or 1883Assistant 
Item 3 of 12George John OakeshottAfter 1881(?)Before 1889Assistant 
Item 4 of 12James Glen Sivewright GibsonAfter 18811890Assistant 
Item 5 of 12Arthur Rutherford Jemmett18851890Assistant 
Item 6 of 12Allan John MeacherNovember 1888February 1894(?)Apprentice 
Item 7 of 12Andrew Noble PrenticeJune 18901892Assistant 
Item 8 of 12Stanley Hinge Hamp18931896Apprentice 
Item 9 of 12William Hodgson Burnet18941899Apprentice 
Item 10 of 12Henry Ebenezer BuddenAfter 1895Before 1900Assistant 
Item 11 of 12Stanley Hinge Hamp18961904Assistant 
Item 12 of 12William Hodgson Burnet18991901ClerkClerk of Works


RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 16(Sir) Robert Rowand Anderson2 March 1903for Fellowship - reinstatement after lapsing
Item 2 of 16William Hodgson Burnet20 March 1911for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 16William Nicholson Cumming9 January 1893for Associateship
Item 4 of 16Neil Campbell Duff11 June 1906for Fellowship
Item 5 of 16James Glen Sivewright Gibson16 June 1890for Associateship
Item 6 of 16John Melville Keith9 January 1893for Associateship
Item 7 of 16Allan John Meacher8 June 1891for Associateship
Item 8 of 16George John Oakeshott11 March 1889for Associateship
Item 9 of 16Burnett Napier Henderson Orphoot20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 10 of 16Henry Anderson Paley8 June 1885for Associateship
Item 11 of 16Andrew Noble Prentice8 June 1891for Associateship
Item 12 of 16Andrew Noble Prentice3 February 1902for Fellowship
Item 13 of 16(Sir) Thomas Duncan Rhind11 March 1895for Associateship
Item 14 of 16Samuel Bridgman Russell19 June 1890for Associateship
Item 15 of 16Leonard Aloysius Scott Stokes16 June 1890for Fellowship
Item 16 of 16Clyde Francis Young5 December 1910for Fellowship

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 31887Imperial Institute  LondonEnglandWon competition to secure job
Item 2 of 31910Savoy Hotel  LondonEnglandRemodelling of river frontage
Item 3 of 31926Leith Town Hall and Public LibraryLeith EdinburghScotlandSecond premiated design


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 2 of 3Gray, A Stuart1985Edwardian Architecture: A Biographical Dictionary   
Item 3 of 3Grove Dictionary of Art Grove Dictionary of Art   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 4Architectural ReviewNovember 1924  Obituary
Item 2 of 4Builder17 October 1924  Obituary
Item 3 of 4RIBA JournalNovember 1924 London: Royal Institute of British ArchitectsObituary
Item 4 of 4The Times9 October 1924  Obituary


© All rights reserved.   

© All rights reserved.