Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Dorward
Designation: Architect
Born: 28 September 1877
Died: 21 October 1945
Bio Notes: James Dorward was born on 28 September 1877, the son of Andrew Dorward, baker, and his wife, Isabella Milne. He was articled to an unspecified architect in Edinburgh in 1895, studying at Heriot-Watt College. On completion of his apprenticeship in 1900 he found employment with the North British Railway Company as an assistant on the North British Station Hotel, presumably in association with George Beattie & Son. In 1903 he left to join the practice of William Nicholas Thomson as an assistant, and he was made a partner in 1915 under the practice title of W N Thomson & Co, the office at that time being at 87 Constitution Street, Leith.

Dorward was elected FRIAS in 1923. In 1935 Samuel Edwin Duncan, who had completed his apprenticeship in the practice after the First World War and had remained as assistant and since 1925 as principal assistant, was also taken into partnership, the practice moving to Hope Chambers, 52 Leith Walk.

In 1938 Thomson retired at the age of seventy, his interest in the practice passing to his son William Innes Thomson, who had been working immediately prior to that time as an assistant with W Scott Morton & Co, probably for practical experience in bar fitting which was the staple business of the Thomson practice. The younger Thomson's return appears to have unsettled Duncan who withdrew from the partnership in the following year.

Dorward was admitted LRIBA late in life on 20 July 1943, his proposers being John Ross McKay, Thomas Forbes Maclennan and William Innes Thomson, son of William Nicholas Thomson and Dorward's partner since the father's retirement in 1938. Dorward was also a Fellow of the Edinburgh Architectural Association. He retired c.1944, the practice being continued by William Innes Thomson.

Outwith his professional life Dorward was active in Masonic circles and was a Past Master of Lodge Canongate, Kilwinning no 2.

Dorward who is described as architect and surveyor died on 21 October 1945 at his home in Edinburgh. He was survived by his wife Henrietta Wright Kerr.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 387, Constitution Street, Leith, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness19151935 
Item 2 of 3Hope Chambers/52, Leith Walk, Leith, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1935After 1943 
Item 3 of 38, Paties Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1943 *1945 

* 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 3North British Railway Company19001903Assistant 
Item 2 of 3William Nicholas Thomson1903Late 1914Assistant 
Item 3 of 3W N Thomson & CoEarly 1915c. 1944Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Thomas Forbes Maclennan20 July 1943for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 3John Ross McKay20 July 1943for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 3William Innes Thomson20 July 1943for 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 51900North British Railway Hotel  EdinburghScotlandAs assistant to North British Railway Company, and presumably in association with George Beattie & Son
Item 2 of 51908The KnoweColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 3 of 51930Garage and workshopsLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 4 of 51934Offices and warehouse for D BuchanLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 5 of 51938Seafield CrematoriumLeith EdinburghScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3Post Office Directories     
Item 2 of 3RIBA1930The RIBA Kalendar 1930-1931 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 3 of 3RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Scotsman2 November 1945  p3 Obituary

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 no5458 (combined box 80)