Basic Biographical Details

Name: Henry Makins Tait
Designation: Architect
Born: 29 July 1877
Bio Notes: Henry Makins Tait was born on 29 July 1877 and was articled to James Stevenson & Son of Berwick-upon-Tweed from 1894 to 1898, during which period he studied at Berwick School of Art for the South Kensington exam. In 1899 he moved to Glasgow as draughtsman to James Thomson of Baird & Thomson, enabling him to study at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College, probably as civil engineer as well as architect.

In 1901 Tait emigrated to Salisbury, Rhodesia where he served in the BSA Mounted Police. Between then and 1903 he spent some months working as a draughtsman in the Public Works Department in Salisbury. In the latter year he moved to Kimberley, South Africa to work in the office of the Borough Engineer, Thomas Callen, as a building inspector, draughtsman and chief assistant. Whilst in that office in 1910 and 1911 he took a correspondence course through Herbert Hodgson of Bradford to prepare himself for the RIBA final exam. He returned to Britain on sick leave in September 1911, applying for Licentiateship of the RIBA in the same month, and was admitted LRIBA on 8 January 1912, his proposers being Hodgson and James Ewing, a former colleague in Stevenson's office. His nomination papers state that he was hoping to take the final exam in the previous November; it has not yet been established whether he was successful, but he was due to set sail on his return voyage to South Africa on 18 January 1912.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2Redden Hall, Kelso, Roxburghshire, ScotlandPrivateSeptember 191118 January 1912on sick leave
Item 2 of 230, Synagogue Street, Kimberley, South AfricaPrivate1912 *  

* 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 4James Stevenson & Son18941898Apprentice 
Item 2 of 4Baird & Thomson18991901Draughtsman 
Item 3 of 4Public Works Department, Salisbury, RhodesiaAfter 1901Before 1903DraughtsmanFor a few months only
Item 4 of 4Borough Engineer's Office, Kimberley1903After 1911Chief AssistantWorking under Thomas Callen, Borough Engineer; began as building inspector and draughtsman before being promoted


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 2James Ewing8 January 1912for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 2Herbert Hodgson8 January 1912for 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 51899Dumbarton Municipal BuildingsDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandSome details - as draughtsman to Baird & Thomson
Item 2 of 51899Liverpool London and Globe Insurance Office  GlasgowScotlandAs draughtsman to Baird & Thomson
Item 3 of 5After 1899Buildings for the Old Man's Friend Society  GlasgowScotlandAdditions and alterations - as draughtsman to Baird & Thomson
Item 4 of 5After 1899Clydesdale BankBeith AyrshireScotlandAs draughtsman to James Thomson
Item 5 of 5After 1899Clydesdale BankCastle Douglas KirkcudbrightshireScotlandAs draughtsman to James Thomson


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of Website of artefacts, for the recording of South African buildingsAccessed February 2017

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v22 no1763