Basic Biographical Details

Name: John McLaren Biggar
Designation: Architect
Born: 1874
Died: 8 August 1943
Bio Notes: John M Biggar was born in Glasgow in 1874, the son of James Biggar, a joiner and his wife Mary Borland, and was educated at the City Public School. He was primarily a certified accountant, public auditor, property and insurance agent within whose office there appears to have been an architectural department.

Biggar was extremely active in public life. He was a member of New Kilpatrick School Board, 1908-16; Glasgow School Board 1915-19; Glasgow Education Authority 1919-30 and its Property Committee 1919-32; Glasgow Corporation from 1929 onwards, sitting on its Education Committee 1933-36. He became a member of Glasgow University's Court in 1938. He was also President of the London Association of Certified Accountants for four years, chairman of the Scottish Burial Reform and Cremation Society and for a time Honorary Secretary of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Branch of the Garden City and Town Planning Association.

Biggar married Margaret Cameron, daughter of Hugh Cameron in 1900. In 1935 his business address was 40 St Vincent Street and his home address Lairfad, East Kilbride.

At the time of his death of arterio sclerosis and cerebral thrombosis at his home in East Kilbride on 8 August 1943, Biggar had been Lord Provost of Glasgow for two years. He was a popular figure, renowned for his commitment to the improvement of social conditions for the poor and the education of the young. His memorial service at Glasgow Cathedral was attended by thousands. His obituary in 'The Scotsman' describes him as 'one of those to whom personal prestige and popularity were completely unimportant, so long as the causes for which he strove could be achieved', and continues: 'During the two years Mr Biggar held the office of Lord Provost he showed the same quiet, shrewd ability, the same strength of character, and the same selfless adherence to principle which had characterised his whole career.'

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2Lairfad, East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, ScotlandPrivate1923 *1943 
Item 2 of 240, St Vincent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1938 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

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 11924City Bakeries  GlasgowScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1Scottish Biographies1938  E J Thurston (pub.) 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Scotsman12 August 1943  p3 - obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Additional information from Iain Paterson