Basic Biographical Details

Name: Matthews & Petrie
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: Before 1857
Ended: Before 1861
Bio Notes: James Matthews was born in December 1819, son of Peter Matthews, a teller in the Commercial Bank in Aberdeen, and was christened on 12 or 13 December that year. His mother was Margaret Ross, daughter of William Ross, the architect-builder who had built Union Bridge. Educated at Robert Gordon's, he was articled to Archibald Simpson in 1834, and worked under the supervision of Simpson's assistant Thomas Mackenzie (born 1814). In 1839 he went to George Gilbert Scott's in London. On his return early in 1844, Simpson offered him the post of chief assistant with the promise of partnership in two years. He declined as he thought Simpson would be 'too greedy' (the Mackenzies, however, found Matthews 'a bit of a Jew'). Matthews then formed his partnership with Thomas Mackenzie, initially with Mackenzie doing most of the designing in Elgin, and Matthews attending to the management of the Aberdeen office. Initially the Elgin practice was much more prosperous than the Aberdeen one and in 1848 Matthews applied unsuccessfully for the post of head of the Edinburgh office of the Office of Works.

Mackenzie died of brain fever - apparently brought on by an accident - on 15 October 1854, Matthews continuing the practice thereafter under his name alone, though he did form a brief partnership with George Petrie of Elgin in c.1857. Petrie presumably filled the role of Mackenzie manning the Elgin end of the practice. Both partners continued to practise after the dissolution of their partnership; in 1868 Petrie was still practising from High Street, Elgin but on his own.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1Elgin, Morayshire, ScotlandPrivate/business1857 *1868(?) 

* 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 2James MatthewsBefore 1857Before 1861Partner 
Item 2 of 2George PetrieBefore 1857Before 1861Partner 

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 21857Union BankElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 2 of 21859Mechanics' InstituteElgin MorayshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 1Walker, David W and Woodworth, Matthew2015The Buildings of Scotland: Aberdeenshire North and Moray Yale University Press