Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Raeburn
Designation: Architect
Born: 20 February 1787
Died: 30 September 1851
Bio Notes: James Raeburn was born at Boyndie in Banffshire on 20 February 1787. His original training is not recorded, but his choice of forenames for his architect son, Robert Reid Raeburn, born 4 August 1819, suggests that he was in Reid's employment at that date. He became Reid's principal clerk of works in the Scottish Office of Works on its establishment in 1827.

On the abolition of the Scottish Office of Works in 1839 he retired with a pension at the age of fifty-two and commenced practice own his own account from his house at 9 South East Circus Place, from 1841 assisted by his son Robert Reid Raeburn, born 4 August 1819 and articled to Thomas Brown, architect to the Prison Board.

In 1843 or early 1844 Raeburn moved to a flat at 3 Warriston Place, suggesting that his practice had not flourished and that his circumstances were somewhat reduced but by the late 1840s he had moved to a house at 4 Warriston Crescent. During those years he exhibited schemes for the improvement of Edinburgh at the RSA, but these were probably by his son who had exhibited designs with similar themes in that later 1830s. He appears to have been an adherent of the Free Church as he published a lithographed sheet of designs for Free Church buildings.

Raeburn married twice: first to Mary Ann Petrie, the mother of Robert who died on 11 September 1834 aged 37 and secondly to Rebecca Ord, born in 1804. Raeburn died in Edinburgh and was buried in St Cuthbert's Churchyard.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 39, South East Circus Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/businessc. 1833c. 1842 
Item 2 of 33, Warriston Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1843c. 1846 
Item 3 of 34, Warriston Crescent, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1848September 1851(?)Moved there in late 1840s

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 2Robert ReidBefore 1819(?)1827Assistant(?)Probably there in 1819. Became principal clerk of works at Scottish Office of Works in 1827
Item 2 of 2H M Office of Works (later Ministry of Works, Department of the Environment and Property Services Agency)18271839Clerk of WorksIn Edinburgh office - Principal Clerk of Works

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 1Robert Reid Raeburn18411851Assistant(?) 

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 131820Music Hall  AberdeenScotlandPlans for music hall - not selected
Item 2 of 131839Blythswood Testimonial schoolsRenfrew RenfrewshireScotlandCompetition design - placed second
Item 3 of 131841Wellington Testimonial     
Item 4 of 131843Banff Free ChurchBanff BanffshireScotland 
Item 5 of 131843Design for widening North Bridge  EdinburghScotland 
Item 6 of 131843Proposed Church  MontrealCanada 
Item 7 of 131844Design for improving the entrance to Parliament Square  EdinburghScotland 
Item 8 of 131844Free ManseDornoch SutherlandScotland 
Item 9 of 13c. 1844Free High Church and Free Church College  EdinburghScotlandCompetition design (exhibited in James's name)
Item 10 of 131845Architectural Design     
Item 11 of 131845Davidson's Mains School and Schoolhouse  EdinburghScotland 
Item 12 of 131846Obelisk to Rev Henry Duncan at Ruthwell Free Church ManseRuthwell DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 13 of 131850Design for Unspecified Monument     


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2Colvin, H M1995A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-18403rd editionNew Haven and London: Yale University Press 
Item 2 of 2Post Office Directories