Basic Biographical Details

Name: Hunter Crawford & Williamson
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: November 1912
Ended: Late 1930s
Bio Notes: Alexander Hunter Crawford was born in 1865 in Edinburgh, the son of William Crawford, biscuit-maker. He was apprenticed c.1880 to John Russell Walker and remained there until 1885 or 1886 when he moved to London. After a couple of short-term appointments he secured a place in the office of Ralph Selden Wornum in 1887, from whom he moved to the LCC Architects Department for six months early in 1891. In August 1891 he commenced practice on his own account at 39 York Place, Edinburgh, and at Whitsunday 1899 he entered into partnership with Robert Rowand Anderson and Frank Worthington Simon as Anderson Simon & Crawford. The partnership with Anderson was dissolved as a result of a lawsuit in July 1902, but Crawford and Simon remained briefly in partnership at 10 Randolph Place although Simon had formed another partnership in Liverpool by June of that year, Crawford retaining the Randolph Place office after Simon's departure.

In November 1912 Crawford formed a partnership with Henry Rochead Williamson. Williamson had been born on 22 May 1885, the grandson of John Thomas Rochead, and had been educated at George Watson's College, Edinburgh. He had been articled to Henry Francis Kerr c.1901, but had transferred to James Bow Dunn in 1903. He had attended classes at Edinburgh School of Art from 1903 to 1908 and gained first prize in the EAA competition 1908-9. He had remained with Dunn for two years as improver after completing his apprenticeship and thereafter joined George Washington Browne as draughtsman. He had 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. He had commenced independent practice in Edinburgh in 1912, shortly before entering into partnership with 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.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 410, Randolph Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1912c. 1915 
Item 2 of 42, Hill Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1927c. 1933 
Item 3 of 465, Frederick Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessMid 1920sAfter 1925 
Item 4 of 421, Hill Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1937 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architectural practice (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 6Ion Victor Godfrey Hamilton WarnerAugust 1912November 1915Apprentice 
Item 2 of 6Alexander Hunter CrawfordNovember 19121913Partner 
Item 3 of 6Henry Rochead WilliamsonNovember 19121914Partner 
Item 4 of 6Henry Rochead Williamson19211939Partner 
Item 5 of 6Philip Edward Joseph McManus (later Phillip or Philipp Edouard McManis)19261930Apprentice 
Item 6 of 6Philip Edward Joseph McManus (later Phillip or Philipp Edouard McManis)19301932Principal Assistant 

Buildings and Designs

This architectural practice 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 11925House for Mrs James WrightGreenbank EdinburghScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 1Post Office Directories