Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||James Milne |
|Designation: ||Architect |
|Born: ||c. 1778 |
|Died: ||1850s |
|Bio Notes: ||James Milne was born about 1778. He practised in Edinburgh between at least 1809 and 1834. He was almost certainly the James Milne who was admitted a burgess of Edinburgh in 1809. He wrote 'The Elements of Architecture' published in 1812, the proposed second volume of which was never published. In 1818 it is certain that he was living in James Street as at that date a servant stole money from his house and the case was reported in the Caledonian Mercury. He wrote a book entitled ‘Theory of the Earth’ which was published in 1821. He was employed in the Dean area of Edinburgh and designed a large number of houses there. He also designed a church in Lerwick. |
In 1832 Milne exhibited his newly invented and patented stone hewing engine before members of the Society of Arts at his yard in Fountainbridge in Edinburgh. The machine was steam driven and said to be very quick and very precise. The machine clearly was highly regarded as newspapers throughout Britain reported the invention. The following year a Mr James Milne of Edinburgh invented an ‘apparatus for roasting and boiling by gas’.
Milne moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the early 1830s to build the Westgate Union Poorhouse. It is possible that he had secured this commission by competition but this has yet to be confirmed by documentary evidence. In 1840 after the completion of this commission he delivered a series of twelve lectures at the Gunner Tower in Forth Lane, Newcastle. The topics covered were as follows: Ancient Egyptian, Grecian, Roman and Gothic architecture; the Principles of Beauty, Perspective, the Laws of Motion, Composition and Resolution of Forces, Theory of Arches, Strength and Strain of Timber and Mechanical Powers etc.
In 1841 he was living at 18 Elsrick Terrace with his wife Jane, his son Thomas, aged 30, a draughtsman, and twins aged 25 James, a law stationer(?), and Mary Ann, a governess. At that date he is described as architect and engineer. It is clear that he remained alert and active in the later 1840s as a report of a letter sent to the Newcastle Guardian & Tyne Mercury on the theory of the formation of coal was mentioned in the issue of 23 January 1848. By 1851 Milne was a widower living with his daughter at 58 Westgate House in Newcastle.
His death date is as yet uncertain but there is no record of him in the 1861 census.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|Edinburgh, Scotland||Business||Before 1809||1834|| |
|3, James Street, Edinburgh, Scotland||Private||1810||1811|| |
|9, James Street, Edinburgh, Scotland||Private||1815 *||1816|| |
|2, Northumberland Place, Edinburgh, Scotland||Business||1825 *|| || |
|Newcastle upon Tyne, England||Private/business||1834|| || |
|5, Blenheim Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England||Business||1838|| || |
|18, Elswick Terrace, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Egypt||Private||1839 *||After 1841|| |
|58, Westgate House, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England||Private||1851 *|| || |
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architect:|
|Colvin, Howard||2008||A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840|| ||London: YUP. 4th edition|| |
|The following periodicals contain references to this architect:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Caledonian Mercury||15 January 1818|| || || |
|Fife Herald||29 March 1832|| || || |
|Newcastle Courant||24 August 1833|| || || |
|Newcastle Guardian and Tyne Mercury||23 December 1848|| || || |
|Northern Liberator||24 October 1840|| || || |
|Scots Magazine||1 July 1821|| || || |