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Basic Biographical Details

Name: (Sir) Edward Guy Dawber
Designation: Architect
Born: 3 August 1861
Died: 24 April 1938
Bio Notes: Edward Guy Dawber was born at King's Lynn in 1861, the son of a merchant there. He was articled to William Adams in the same town about 1877 and then moved to Dublin as assistant to Sir Thomas Newenham Deane, but in 1882 the Land League riots brought all building work to a close and he had to return to England. The quality of his draughtsmanship secured him a place in the office of Ernest George and admission to the Royal Academy Schools, but in 1877 trouble with his eyesight resulted in him being sent as clerk of works to Batsford Park, then building for the diplomat and politician, Algernon Bertram Freeman Mitford, later (1902) Lord Redesdale. This enabled him to study the vernacular architecture of the Cotswolds, sometimes in the company of Herbert Baker who was then George & Peto's chief assistant. He passed the qualifying exam in 1889 and was admitted ARIBA on 3 June 1889 his proposers being George, Sir William Emerson and John Belcher. With the support of Freeman Mitford, Dawber commenced independent practice at Bourton-on-the-Hill in 1890, returning to London to rent an office at 22 Buckingham Street, Strand, where he became an active member of the Art Work's Guild.

Within a decade Dawber built up a large practice specialising in middle-sized stone-built country houses in a refined slightly understated idiom which varied in style from Tudor to late Stuart. He designed only two major urban buildings, the London and Lancashire Fire Office in Pall Mall, London (1906) and the low-profiled Foord Almshouses at Rochester (1926). His largest commission was the extensive Lord Wandsworth Agricultural College, Long Sutton, Hampshire (1915 onwards) where he replaced Reginald Blomfield.

With David 27th Earl of Crawford and 10th of Balcarres Dawber founded in 1925 the Council for the Preservation of Rural England of which he was vice-president and chairman; in his earlier years he had written extensively on vernacular buildings, particularly those of the Cotswolds and Kent and Sussex. He then had a fairly high profile as President of the RIBA, an office he held from 1925 until 1927, the year in which he was belatedly elected ARA. In 1928 he was awarded the Royal Gold Medal, the first architects with an exclusively domestic practice to be so honoured: elevation to full academician followed in 1935, and a knighthood in 1936.

Dawber died in London on 24 April 1938. He was survived by his wife Mary Eccles, sister of the architect Thomas Edward Eccles.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 3Bourton-on-the-Hill, Gloucestershire, EnglandPrivate1889  
Item 2 of 322, Buckingham Street, Strand, London, EnglandBusinessBefore 1894After 1914 
Item 3 of 318, Maddox Street, Hanover Square, London, EnglandBusinessBefore 1923After 1926 

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 4(Sir) Thomas Newenham Deane Before 1882Assistant 
Item 2 of 4William Adamsc. 1877 Apprentice 
Item 3 of 4Ernest George & Peto1886 *   
Item 4 of 4Dawber & WhitwellBefore 1900 Partner 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

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 6Stanley Davenport Adshead1892Before 1894Assistant 
Item 2 of 6Thomas Millwood Wilson19011910Assistant 
Item 3 of 6Oliver Frederick SavegeAfter 19091914Head Draughtsman 
Item 4 of 6Robert Carruthers-Ballantyne (or Robert Ballantyne Carruthers; or Roy Carruthers Ballantyne)19121914Apprentice 
Item 5 of 6Edwin Herbert Horsley Williams1922 *1930Assistant 
Item 6 of 6Edwin Herbert Horsley Williams19301938Chief Assistant 

* earliest date known from documented sources.


RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 10Robert Carruthers-Ballantyne (or Robert Ballantyne Carruthers; or Roy Carruthers Ballantyne)15 October 1930for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 10Courtenay Melville Crickmer29 March 1911for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 10Courtenay Melville Crickmer2 December 1912for Fellowship
Item 4 of 10William Courtenay Le Maitre4 December 1905for Associateship
Item 5 of 10Thomas Geoffry Lucas (or Geoffry Lucas)27 March 1911for Fellowship
Item 6 of 10James Andrew Minty14 June 1926for Fellowship
Item 7 of 10Percy Richard Morley Horder4 January 1904For Fellowship
Item 8 of 10Oliver Frederick Savege1 March 1920For Associateship
Item 9 of 10Neil Campbell Smith6 March 1905for Associateship
Item 10 of 10John Douglas Dixon Watt29 November 1909for Associateship

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 11915Edgerston House  RoxburghshireScotlandLibrary refitted


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 5British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 2 of 5Gotch, J A1934The Growth and Work of the Royal Institute of British Architects 1834-1934 London: RIBAPortrait by Orpen
Item 3 of 5Gray, A Stuart1985Edwardian Architecture: A Biographical Dictionary   
Item 4 of 5Grove Dictionary of Art Grove Dictionary of Art   
Item 5 of 5Reilly, C H1931Representative British Architects of the Present Day London: Batsford Ltdpp80-87

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 5Architect3 July 1925   
Item 2 of 5Architect22 July 1925   
Item 3 of 5Builder29 April 1938   
Item 4 of 5RIBA Journal23 June 1928 London: Royal Institute of British ArchitectsRoyal Gold Medal
Item 5 of 5RIBA Journal9 May 1938v45London: Royal Institute of British Architectspp666-7 - obituary and list of works


© All rights reserved.  National Portrait Gallery, London 

© All rights reserved. National Portrait Gallery, London