Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Thomson
Designation: Architect
Born: 1822
Died: 3 November 1898
Bio Notes: James Thomson was born in Airdrie in 1822, the son of a weaving agent who was a town councillor. He was apprenticed as a joiner in 1837, but attended classes in draughtsmanship in Coatbridge, obtaining an unspecified 'diploma' in architecture in Edinburgh in 1846. Shortly thereafter he obtained the commission for New Monkland Poorhouse which inaugurated his career as an architect, his office being in Coatbridge rather than Airdrie in the 'Architect's Engineer's and Building Trades' Directory' of 1868. He was competent classicist.

Thomson had three sons: John, born 1846, who was articled to his father c.1862, and was for a time an assistant in the office of Alexander Thomson, probably c.1865-67 and continued the Airdrie practice; Peter, born 1849, who practised as a civil engineer and died relatively young in 1895; and Robert Miller Thomson, born 1856 who practised in his own name in Glasgow from 1878 but was apparently still in partnership with his father and elder brother. He had only just made his name as an architect of tall office buildings with Andrew Wilson as his assistant when he died in 1900.

James Thomson Senior died ion 3 November 1898, survived by his wife Janet Miller and the practice was continued by his son John and in turn his son James, born 17 April 1878. John died in 1912 and James Junior in 1921. The practice was continued by James Junior's much younger brother Alexander Houston Thomson, born 1 May 1882, who had been taken into partnership in 1906. He retired to Arran in the early 1960s; the practice records were destroyed soon afterwards.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2Airdrie, Lanarkshire, ScotlandPrivate1822Before 1846 
Item 2 of 2Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, ScotlandBusiness1868 *  

* 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 1James Thomson & SonsAfter 1867(?)1898Partner 

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 2John Thomsonc. 1862 Apprentice 
Item 2 of 2George Arthurc. 1865c. 1870Apprentice 

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 15After 1846New Monkland PoorhouseCoatbridge LanarkshireScotland 
Item 2 of 151856Corn ExchangeAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 3 of 151856Hallcraig MarketAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 4 of 151858Airdrie County BuildingsAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 5 of 151870St Columba's ChurchGovan GlasgowScotlandNMRS says James Thomson of Airdrie responsible but the church records do not mention 'of Airdrie'. However the Alexander Thomson character of the design suggests this may be correct as John Thomson (son of James) had not long left Alex Thomson's office.
Item 6 of 15c. 1870BrowniesidePlains LanarkshireScotland 
Item 7 of 151874Royal Bank of ScotlandAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 8 of 151874St Margaret's SchoolAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 9 of 151880FruitfieldAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 10 of 151880Rawyards HouseAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 11 of 151882Ebeneezer Congregational ChurchAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 12 of 151897The Red HouseAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 13 of 15Late 1800sTenement, 2 East High StreetAirdrie LanarkshireScotland 
Item 14 of 151901Tenement with shops, 35-41 South StreetBo'ness / Borrowstouness West LothianScotland 
Item 15 of 151902Tenement with shops, 23-29 South StreetBo'ness / Borrowstouness West LothianScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1Scotlands People Website Wills & Testaments  Airdrie Sheriff Court SC35/31/7

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Letters from Dr Philip McWilliams of Coatbridge to DMW, 21 March and 17 October 1988