Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||Robert Thomas Napier Speir |
|Designation: ||Architect |
|Born: ||15 October 1841 |
|Died: ||3 April 1922 |
|Bio Notes: ||Robert Thomas Napier Speir was born on 15 October 1841, the only son of Robert Speir of Culdees and Burnbrae and Mary, daughter of Sir William Milliken Napier of Milliken Park, Renfrewshire and nephew of Lady Aymee Clerk of Penicuik. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church Oxford, and married the Hon Emily Gifford, 3rd daughter of 2nd Baron Gifford in 1868. Prior to inheriting the estates he was a captain in the 4th Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. His four sons all entered the army; there were two daughters. |
The Speir family fortune was derived from Groves, Speir and Company.
Speir was forty years chairman of the Executive Committee and Home Mission Board of the Scottish Episcopal Church and the author of one of the essays on church reform edited by the Bishop of Birmingham. In November 1883 the Rev Farquhar of St Ninian's Cathedral, Perth stayed with him at Culdees when taking the service at Muthill and described him as a 'tall, handsome, aristocratic-looking man in the prime of life … he is a church architect and has erected several small churches; he makes beautiful coloured windows with his own hands and paints beautifully on china etc; there is something very manly about him.' How Speir acquired his architectural skills is not known: his practice was confined to Episcopal churches where family or friends had a controlling interest. He died at Culdees on 3 April 1922.
There is a stained glass to his memory in Paisley Abbey.
(Farquhar quotation per Margaret Lye, 4 December 2004.)
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|Culdees, Muthill, Perthshire, Scotland||Private|| || || |
Buildings and Designs
|The following archives hold material relating to this architect:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|Professor David M Walker personal archive||Professor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material|| ||Information from Margaret Lye|