Basic Biographical Details

Name: William Edward Riley
Designation: Architect
Born: 1852
Died: 9 November 1937
Bio Notes: William Edward Riley was born in 1852. He joined the staff of the Admiralty Works Department in 1877 and served there for twenty-two years, reaching the rank of Assistant Director and twice received the special approbation of the Admiralty. He was appointed Chief Architect to the London County Council in 1899.

As Architect to the Council he was responsible for the general direction of many buildings or works of importance including the Central School of Arts & Crafts, Newington Sessions House, Greenwich generating station, fire stations, technical institutes, schools, working class dwellings etc. and during his tenure of the office the department gained a reputation as producing work of a very high standard which was a recognised model of departmental civic architecture. On retiring from the LCC in 1919 he entered into partnership with E B Glanfield. He retired in 1931 and died on 9 November 1937.

He was a man of 'unusually forceful personality' who 'expressed himself by somewhat autocratic methods'. He was an excellent administrator and posessed 'a fine literary taste' as well as being a 'a brilliant conversationalist and a most genial companion'.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1London, EnglandBusiness   

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 1London County Council Architects' Department (LCC Architects' Department)18991919Chief Architect 

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 12Robert Robertson18921901Assistantin LCC Architects Department
Item 2 of 12Robert Ernest Stewardson19001901AssistantIn LCC Architects Department
Item 3 of 12Robert Robertson1901After 1911Assistantin LCC Architects Department - Assistant Architect in charge of Housing the Working Classes (Buildings) Section
Item 4 of 12Harry Edward EastMay 1901October 1903AssistantIn LCC Architects' Department
Item 5 of 12Archibald Stuart Soutar9 September 19011912AssistantIn LCC Architects Department
Item 6 of 12John Carrick Stuart Soutar9 September 19011912AssistantIn LCC Architects Department
Item 7 of 12William James Nash1902(?) * AssistantIn LCC Architects Department
Item 8 of 12Thomas Kerr1903After 1911AssistantIn LCC Architects' Department
Item 9 of 12Louis David Blancc. October 1903After March 1911AssistantIn LCC Architects' Department
Item 10 of 12Arthur Williamson1904After 1910AssistantIn the LCC Architects Department Schools Division
Item 11 of 12Francis Runcie Chalmers1904After 1912Senior AssistantIn LCC Architects' Department
Item 12 of 12Robert RobertsonAfter 19111919Architectin LCC Architects Department - Chief Divisional Architect (Schools)

* 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 7Francis Henry Fitzgerald3 December 1906for Associateship
Item 2 of 7Robert Robertson20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 7James Maxwell Scott30 November 1908for Associateship
Item 4 of 7Archibald Stuart Soutar20 March 1911for Licentiateship
Item 5 of 7John Carrick Stuart Soutar20 March 1911for Licentiateship
Item 6 of 7Robert Ernest StewardsonEarly 1921for Fellowship
Item 7 of 7Arthur Williamson9 January 1911for Licentiateship


Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2RIBA Journal20 December 1937v45London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp204 - obituary
Item 2 of 2RIBA Journal24 January 1938v45London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp317 - reminiscence by F R Hiorns

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1London Metropolitan Archives Biographical volumes on Council architects