Basic Biographical Details

Name: Samuel Edwin Duncan
Designation: Architect
Born: 10 January 1899
Bio Notes: Samuel Edwin Duncan was born on 10 January 1899 and articled to James Bower Bennett of 5 Hill Street, Edinburgh in September 1915. His apprenticeship was interrupted by war service but he completed it with William Nicholas Thomson of 87 Constitution Street, Leith. He studied at Heriot-Watt College and at Edinburgh College of Art under George Washington Browne. He remained with the same firm after completing his training, and became principal assistant in 1925, superintending and inspecting all work for the firm, and working principally on domestic buildings, factories, shops, stores and alterations. He was admitted LRIBA in late 1930 or early 1931, his proposers being George Washington Browne and A Nicol Bruce, the then secretary of the RIAS. In 1935 he became a partner in Thomson's firm, but he withdrew from the partnership in 1939, a year after it had been taken over by Thomson's son William Innes Thomson on the elder Thomson's death. It seems that he then entered partnership with Thomas J Harkess in Haddington.

Duncan emigrated to Cape Town South Africa in 1949 with his wife and 15 year old son. He was registered with the South African Institute of Architects in 1952. In the RIBA Directory for 1956-57 he is listed as a retired member of the RIBA and is recorded in 1959 as a retired member of the South African Institute.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 487, Constitution Street, Leith, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessBefore 19251935(?) 
Item 2 of 452, Leith Walk, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)c. 1938c. 1940As assistant to William N Thomson & Co
Item 3 of 426, Fountainhall Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1949 *  
Item 4 of 4Brookfield/25, Grotto Road, Rondebosch, Cape Town, South AfricaPrivate1950After 1959 

* 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 5James Bower BennettSeptember 1915Before 1918Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5W N Thomson & CoAfter 1918Before 1925Apprentice 
Item 3 of 5W N Thomson & CoBefore 19251935Chief Assistant 
Item 4 of 5W N Thomson & Co19351939Partner 
Item 5 of 5S E Duncan & HarkessAfter 1939 Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1George Washington BrowneLate 1930 or early 1931for 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 3c. 1930Housing or other buildings for Motherwell Bridge and Engineering CoMotherwell LanarkshireScotland 
Item 2 of 31938Seafield CrematoriumLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 3 of 3After 1939BielBeesknowe East LothianScotlandAdditions and alterations


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 2 of 2South African Institute of Architects1959South African Institute of Architects Year Book  Per Roger Fisher

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 no3694 (box 15)