Basic Biographical Details

Name: James MacLaren Ross
Designation: Architect
Born: 13 September 1878
Died: 2 March 1944
Bio Notes: James MacLaren Ross was born in Edinburgh on 13 September 1878, the son of Thomas Ross of MacGibbon & Ross and his wife Mary. He was educated at the Edinburgh Academy from 1889 to 1894 and apprenticed to his father's firm from September 1894 to May 1899. During that period he studied at Heriot-Watt College gaining the Modern History medal in 1895 and the Building Construction medal in 1897.

After completing his apprenticeship he spent several months travelling and sketching in Scotland before moving to London and securing a position in the office of R Selden Wornum in September 1899. This enabled him to study at the Architectural Association where he won the Essay Medal in 1900, his essay being published as 'The Life and Work of Sir William Chambers' in 'AA Notes' 1901. He won the Design Medal in 1902 and was appointed the Association's librarian. He passed the qualifying exam in 1902 and was admitted ARIBA on 19 January 1903, his proposers being Wornum, Francis Hooper and William Alfred Pite.

Ross commenced independent practice in London in 1907 (EA Register) or 1908 (nomination paper) and married Cecilia Mary Neill of Edinburgh. In 1909 he received honourable mention in the RIBA Essay Prize competition his subject being Sir William Chambers. He established a good domestic practice with commissions as far away as Vancouver, BC, Canada, but this was interrupted by war service as a lieutenant in the Royal Engineers during which he was awarded the MC at Cambrai in 1915. After the war his most important client was his brother Dr Thomas Arthur Ross of the Cassel Hospital for Functional Nervous Disorders at Swaylands Kent; in his later years he specialised in garden design and country house alteration work rather than new building. He was member of the practice standing committee 1934-38.

After the outbreak of the Second World War he was commissioned in the Home Guard and he died amid a busy practice of war factory and war damage workon 2 March 1944.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 351, Mornington Road, Gloucester Gate, London NW, EnglandBusiness1903 *  
Item 2 of 39, Doughty Street, London WC, EnglandPrivate/business1914 *  
Item 3 of 3175, Piccadilly, London W, EnglandPrivate/business1914 *  

* 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 2MacGibbon & RossSeptember 1894May 1899Apprentice 
Item 2 of 2Ralph Selden WornumSeptember 1899Before 1908Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Francis George Fielden Hooper19 January 1903for Associateship
Item 2 of 3William Alfred Pite19 January 1903for Associateship
Item 3 of 3Ralph Selden Wornum19 January 1903for Associateship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1James Edwin Forbes4 July 1910for Licentiateship


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3The Edinburgh Academy Register1914    
Item 2 of 3Walker, David1984The Architecture of MacGibbon & Ross: The Background to the Books Breeze, David (ed.): 'Studies in Scottish Antiquity', Chapter 16, pp391-449p448
Item 3 of 3Who's Who in Architecture1914    

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Builder10 March 1944v166 p 198 - obituary
Item 2 of 2RIBA JournalJuly 1944v51London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp243 - obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal information from Dr David Ross, Cupar
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A v15 p98 (microfilm reel 18)