Basic Biographical Details

Name: Robert Matthew Mitchell
Designation: Architect
Born: 27 May 1874
Died: 28 September 1949
Bio Notes: Robert Matthew Mitchell was born on 27 May 1874 and apprenticed in a 'practical workshop' (presumably a joiner's) and attended 'the usual technical classes in the evening'. He was essentially self-taught, gaining a place as a junior draughtsman and later chief assistant in the office of James Graham Fairley in Edinburgh in 1896 without any formal apprenticeship. In 1898 he moved to the Stirling firm of McLuckie & Walker, leaving after two years to make a tour of the United States and Canada before commencing practice on his own account at 27 King Street, Crieff in 1901. Owing to lack of business he emigrated to Edmonton, Alberta, in 1911, securing admission as LRIBA on 20 July just prior to his departure, for which he was proposed by William Fleming Wilkie and the Dundee Institute of Architects which he had joined earlier that year. At that date his home address was Fairmount, Auchterarder.

On arrival in Edmonton he obtained an appointment in the office of Roland Walter Lines, remaining with him for 'a considerable time' before accepting a position as chief draughtsman to the Edmonton Public School Board, later being promoted to chief architect. His principal work during his five years in Edmonton was Westmount Public School. He became a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

Mitchell closed his practice for war service in 1916, returning to Scotland to serve with the Scottish Horse. In 1919 he was demobilised by request and returned to architectural practice, joining the staff of Donald Alexander Stewart of Smart & Stewart, Perth. He was taken into partnership in 1924, the new firm name being Smart Stewart & Mitchell. He was still with the same firm in 1931 when he was admitted FRIBA, his proposers being William Salmond, Patrick Hill Thoms and Donald Alexander Stewart.

Mitchell's obituarist records that 'despite a busy life, he found time to give service for many years as a member of Auchterarder Town Council and was a Magistrate for several terms'.

Donald Stewart died in January 1940 and Mitchell on 28 September 1949. In 1946 Mitchell took into partnership J Morrison and H C Miller. The practice continued under the style of Smart Stewart & Mitchell.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 5Fairmount, Auchterarder, Perthshire, ScotlandPrivate 1911 
Item 2 of 527, King Street, Crieff, Perthshire, ScotlandBusiness1901c. 1911 
Item 3 of 5Edmonton, Alberta, CanadaPrivate19111916 
Item 4 of 5Muircroft, Auchterarder, Perthshire, ScotlandPrivate1931 *  
Item 5 of 540, Tay Street, Perth, Perthshire, ScotlandBusinessBefore 19311949 

* earliest date known from documented sources.


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 6James Graham Fairley18961898Junior Draughtsman 
Item 2 of 6James Graham Fairley1897 or 18981898Chief Assistant 
Item 3 of 6McLuckie & Walker18981900 or 1901Assistant 
Item 4 of 6Roland Walter Lines1911Before 1916Assistant(?) 
Item 5 of 6Smart & Stewart19191924Assistant 
Item 6 of 6Smart, Stewart & Mitchell19241949Partner 

RIBA

RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 4William SalmondMid 1931for Fellowship
Item 2 of 4Donald Alexander StewartMid 1931for Fellowship
Item 3 of 4Patrick Hill ThomsMid 1931for Fellowship
Item 4 of 4William Fleming Wilkie20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Dundee Institute of Architects

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Ian Roger Dalgetty19 January 1943for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 6James Stewart McGavin15 January 1946For Associateship
Item 3 of 6Harold Carmichael Miller12 March 1946for Licentiateship
Item 4 of 6John Penman9 March 1948For Licentiateship
Item 5 of 6William Erskine ThomsonEarly 1932for Fellowship
Item 6 of 6Graham Conacher Young20 July 1939for 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 631896Addiewell Board SchoolAddiewell MidlothianScotlandAs assistant to James Graham Fairley
Item 2 of 631896Mayfield UP ChurchMayfield EdinburghScotlandAs assistant to James Graham Fairley
Item 3 of 631897Senior SchoolWest Calder MidlothianScotlandAs assistant to Fairley - perhaps working on new design or alterations?
Item 4 of 631898St Patrick's RC Church  EdinburghScotlandInterior realignment and new chancel -as assistant to James Graham Fairley
Item 5 of 63After 1901Auchterarder Board SchoolAuchterarder PerthshireScotland 
Item 6 of 63After 1901Auchterarder Free ChurchAuchterarder PerthshireScotlandAlterations and decorative scheme
Item 7 of 63After 1901Auchterarder UF ChurchAuchterarder PerthshireScotlandAlterations and decorative scheme
Item 8 of 63After 1901Belvidere HouseAuchterarder PerthshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 9 of 63After 1901Blackford Board SchoolBlackford PerthshireScotlandAlterations
Item 10 of 63After 1901Blackford UF ChurchBlackford PerthshireScotlandAlterations and decorative scheme 'of Deacons' Court'
Item 11 of 63After 1901Boot factoryBlackford PerthshireScotland 
Item 12 of 63After 1901Business premises for J Halley & CoCrieff PerthshireScotland 
Item 13 of 63After 1901Electric run bakeryBroxburn West LothianScotland 
Item 14 of 63After 1901Factory for Messrs White & CoAuchterarder PerthshireScotlandAdditions
Item 15 of 63After 1901HousesCrieff PerthshireScotland 
Item 16 of 63After 1901Monzievaird Parish ChurchMonzievaird PerthshireScotlandAlterations
Item 17 of 63Before 1901Dreadnought HotelBathgate West LothianScotlandWorked on this in its early stages when in Fairley's office
Item 18 of 631902The KnollCrieff PerthshireScotland 
Item 19 of 63After 1911Westmount Public SchoolEdmonton AlbertaCanada 
Item 20 of 631919Burscough, Ormskirk War MemorialBurscough, Ormskirk LancashireEngland 
Item 21 of 631919Dunning War MemorialDunning PerthshireScotland 
Item 22 of 631919J Pullar & Sons DyeworksPerth PerthshireScotlandReconstruction
Item 23 of 63After 1919Auchterarder Parish ChurchAuchterarder PerthshireScotlandNew aisle windows
Item 24 of 63After 1919Business block for Messrs Campbell & McLagganPerth? Perthshire?Scotland 
Item 25 of 63After 1919Business block for Messrs Grove & SonsPerth? Perthshire?Scotland 
Item 26 of 63After 1919Campbell's DyeworksPerth PerthshireScotlandExtension?
Item 27 of 63After 1919Masonic LodgeBlairgowrie PerthshireScotland 
Item 28 of 63After 1919Moncrieff Arms HotelBridge of Earn PerthshireScotlandReconstruction and additions
Item 29 of 63After 1919Sports pavilionPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 30 of 631920Darnhall Drive Housing EstatePerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 31 of 631920MeikleourBlairgowrie PerthshireScotlandAdditions - new hall and institute
Item 32 of 631920Perth Fire StationPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 33 of 631920 or 1930Meikleour Hall and InstituteMeikleour Village PerthshireScotland 
Item 34 of 631921Auchterarder UF Church HallAuchterarder PerthshireScotland 
Item 35 of 631921James McEwan & Co's ShopPerth PerthshireScotlandReconstruction
Item 36 of 631921Printing works and offices for J Young & SonPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 37 of 631921Shop for W Brydson & CoPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 38 of 631923Gannochy Housing EstatePerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 39 of 631923Strowan HouseCrieff (near) PerthshireScotlandAlterations
Item 40 of 63After 1923Perth Masonic TemplePerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 41 of 631924Kincarrathie House, cricket pavilionPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 42 of 631925The Filling StationPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 43 of 63192612-16 St John's PlacePerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 44 of 6319268 South St John PlacePerth PerthshireScotlandExtension
Item 45 of 631927(?)Finlayson Memorial HallAuchterarder PerthshireScotland 
Item 46 of 631927Hillside HousePerth PerthshireScotlandAdditions
Item 47 of 631927Perth Savings BankPerth PerthshireScotlandExtensions
Item 48 of 631927Royal George HotelPerth PerthshireScotlandReconstruction
Item 49 of 631929James Murray Royal Lunatic Asylum, Gilgal housePerth PerthshireScotlandWon competition to secure job
Item 50 of 631929Kinnoull Parish ChurchKinnoull PerthshireScotlandInterior recast
Item 51 of 631929The MonumentPerth PerthshireScotlandArt Gallery and Museum addition to south
Item 52 of 63193110-16 King Edward StreetPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 53 of 631931Comrie Free ChurchComrie PerthshireScotlandFurnishings
Item 54 of 631931Shop, St John StreetPerth PerthshireScotlandRemodelling of shop front
Item 55 of 631932Hillside HousePerth PerthshireScotlandAdditions to the north
Item 56 of 631933Premises of Garvie & SymePerth PerthshireScotlandNew shopfront
Item 57 of 631934152-156 South StreetPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 58 of 631934Perth UF ChurchPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 59 of 631937James Murray Royal Lunatic Asylum, staff residencesPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 60 of 631937St Finnian's Episcopal ChurchLochgelly FifeScotland 
Item 61 of 631939Blairgowrie Golf Club, RosemountBlairgowrie PerthshireScotland 
Item 62 of 631939James Murray Royal Lunatic Asylum, nurses' homePerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 63 of 631948Auchterarder Parish Churchyard, Second World War MemorialAuchterarder PerthshireScotland 

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Measurers\' Companion1911The Scottish Architects' and Measurers' Companion   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 4Builder26 January 1940  Stewart
Item 2 of 4Municipal Engineering25 January 1940  Stewart
Item 3 of 4RIAS QuarterlyFebruary 1950 Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)Obituary
Item 4 of 4RIBA JournalJanuary 1950v57London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp120 - obituary (erroneously states that his apprenticeship was served in the office of 'Reginald Fairley of Edinburgh')

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal information from J Morrison and H C Miller in 1962
Item 2 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v19 no1466; F no2934 (box 14)
Item 3 of 3Smart, Stewart & Mitchell, Perth - in 1960s)Smart, Stewart & Mitchell Practice Drawings