Basic Biographical Details

Name: Henry Rochead Williamson
Designation: Architect
Born: 22 May 1885
Died: 17 January 1955
Bio Notes: Henry Rochead Williamson was born on 22 May 1885, the son of James robert David Williamson, Free Church of Scotland minister, and his wife Louise Constance Rochead, and grandson of John Thomas Rochead. He was educated at George Watson's College, Edinburgh. He was articled to Henry Francis Kerr c.1901, but transferred to James Bow Dunn in 1903. He attended classes at Edinburgh School of Art from 1903 to 1908 and gained first prize in the EAA competition 1908-9. He remained with Dunn for two years as improver after completing his apprenticeship and thereafter joined George Washington Browne as draughtsman. He left Browne in 1910 to take up the post of draughtsman in charge of stone details with Clegg & Son and Fryers & Penman of Manchester and Largs.

Williamson commenced independent practice in Edinburgh in 1912, and shortly thereafter, in November the same year, formed a partnership with Alexander Hunter Crawford. Crawford left the practice in the care of Williamson in 1913 and appears to have been in Liverpool rebuilding Fairfield Biscuit Works.

Williamson was mobilised in the Territorial Army in 1914, forcing him to leave a project of additions to an unspecified building in the hands of Arthur Forman Balfour Paul. Whilst he served in the First World War, during which he was a Captain in the Edinburgh Field Company Royal Engineers in Egypt and France and took the opportunity to sketch various monumental buildings in the locations where he was stationed, the practice was in the care of Henry Francis Kerr at his house at 12 East Claremont Street in 1915: Kerr had previously shared Crawford & Williamson's office at 10 Randolph Place, perhaps with the intention of merging the practices. After the war, in 1920, Williamson undertook a six-month 'refresher course' as draughtsman in H M Office of Works before resuming independent practice under the title of Hunter-Crawford & Williamson, first at 37 Frederick Street, then 65 Frederick Street, then at 2 Hill Street (1927-33), and at 21 Hill Street in 1937. Crawford gradually withdrew from practice to concentrate on both the buildings and the management of the family biscuit firm, and from 1931 until 1945 he lived mainly in London at 21 Avenue Road.

In the late 1920s Williamson entered into a separate partnership with W Hepburn Wainwright, an engineer and architect (appearing with the letters AFAS, ME and San I after his name). They worked initially from 65 Frederick Street, Edinburgh, and moved to 2 Hill Street from the late 1920s until about 1930.

Williamson continued the Hunter-Crawford & Williamson practice until the outbreak of the Second World War, during which he held government appointments with the War Damage Commission, Air Ministry (Surveyors' Department), and Ministry of Supply Home-Grown Timber Production Department. He also attended a Town Planning course at Edinburgh College of Art in 1940. He was admitted LRIBA on 9 April 1946, his proposers being John Ross McKay, James Alexander Arnott and John Wilson. By that time he had been appointed Director of Housing to the Town Council of Musselburgh, where he lived at 1 Windsor Gardens, Levenhall; his office address was 11 Randolph Place, Edinburgh.

At some point prior to 1950 Williamson worked for Tarbolton & Ochterlony. It is unclear whether he was a partner or a senior assistant. He diedon 17 January 1955 at 153 Morningside Drive. He had been married twice, first to Veronia Haddon, and second to Elizabeth Houston Wallace.

In 1926 he had read a paper to the Scottish Ecclesiological Society in Glasgow entitled 'Some Glasgow Churches designed by John T Rochead FSA (1814-78).

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1119, Morningside Place`, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1909c. 1911 
Item 2 of 1110, Randolph Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1912 *c. 1915 
Item 3 of 11Cray House, Glenshee, Blairgowrie, Perthshire, ScotlandPrivate1914 *  
Item 4 of 1137, Fredersick Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1921  
Item 5 of 1114, Greenbank Crescent, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1925  
Item 6 of 1165, Frederick Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessLate 1920s  
Item 7 of 112, Hill Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1930 or 1931 *  
Item 8 of 1121, Hill Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1939 or 1940 * Could this be a misreading for 2 Hill Street?
Item 9 of 1110, Randolph Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1946 *  
Item 10 of 111, Windsor Gardens, Levenhall, Musselburgh, Midlothian, ScotlandPrivate1946 *1954 
Item 11 of 114, St Colme Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1950 * This was the address of Tarbolton & Ochterlony.

* 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 12Henry Francis Kerr1901October 1903Apprentice 
Item 2 of 12James Bow DunnOctober 19031907 or 1908Apprentice 
Item 3 of 12James Bow Dunn1907 or 19081909Improver(?) 
Item 4 of 12George Washington Browne19091910Draughtsman 
Item 5 of 12Charles Clegg & Son19101911Draughtsman 
Item 6 of 12Fryers & Penman19101911Draughtsman 
Item 7 of 12Hunter Crawford & WilliamsonNovember 19121914Partner 
Item 8 of 12H M Office of Works (later Ministry of Works, Department of the Environment and Property Services Agency)19201920DraughtsmanFor six months
Item 9 of 12Hunter Crawford & Williamson19211939Partner 
Item 10 of 12Wainwright & WilliamsonLate 1920sAfter 1935Partner 
Item 11 of 12Air Ministry Works & Buildings DepartmentAfter 1939Before 1945 In Surveyors' Department
Item 12 of 12War Damage Repair DepartmentAfter 1939Before 1945  


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3James Alexander Arnott9 April 1946for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 3John Ross McKay9 April 1946for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 3John Wilson9 April 1946for Licentiateship

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 91913Murrayfield Parish ChurchMurrayfield EdinburghScotlandAddition
Item 2 of 91922St Giles Cathedral, Albany Chapel, memorial to the 416th Field Company of Royal Engineers  EdinburghScotland 
Item 3 of 91925House for Mrs James WrightGreenbank EdinburghScotland 
Item 4 of 91928Houses, 1-12 Greenbank Drive  EdinburghScotland 
Item 5 of 91928Houses, 13-24 Greenbank Drive  EdinburghScotland 
Item 6 of 9Early 1920sHouses at 1-8 Greenbank Avenue  EdinburghScotland 
Item 7 of 9Early 1920sHouses at 12-18 Greenbank Crescent  EdinburghScotland 
Item 8 of 9Before 1930Row of lock-up garages, Greenbank Avenue  EdinburghScotland 
Item 9 of 91932Double villa  EdinburghScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 2 of 3RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 3 of 3Who's Who in Architecture1914    

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Scotsman15 February 1926   
Item 2 of 2Scotsman15 May 1943  p8 Harry Rochead Williamson (son) reported as missing.

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L no5880 (combined box 105)