Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Alexander Steedman
Designation: Architect
Born: 18 August 1890
Died: 4 February 1950
Bio Notes: James Alexander Steedman was born in Edinburgh on 18 August 1890, the son of James Steedman, principal clerk, secretary's office, the post office, and his wife Madeline Seath. He was articled to Archibald Macpherson from 1908 to 1912, attending morning classes at Edinburgh College of Art and evening classes at Heriot-Watt College. During this period he carried out measured drawings at Holyrood Chapel, Haddington and Linlithgow. On completion of his apprenticeship he spent six months as draughtsman to William A Ross in Edinburgh and six with John Farquharson in Hamilton before emigrating to India in 1913 to take up a post as assistant in the firm of Mackintosh Burn & Co in Calcutta. With that firm he worked on residential and office bildings, blocks of flats, jute and paper mills, factories, cinemas, power stations and substations. His career was interrupted by war service from 1915 to 1919 in the Indian Army Reserve of Officers, attached to the Royal Engineers. He held the rank of Captain while acting as a Field Engineer, and served in Mesopotamia and Persia and on the North-West Frontier, culminating in Afghanistan in 1919.

Steedman returned to the same office after the war and was promoted to chief assistant in 1931. He left the firm in 1936 and either then or shortly thereafter returned to Edinburgh. He was registered as an architect on 6 May 1940 and was admitted LRIBA on 17 November 1942, his proposers being Thomas Forbes Maclennan, John Ross McKay and Charles Edward Tweedie junior. At that time he was working at 10 Rutland Square and living at 72 Morningside Drive.

He died on 4 Fenruary 1950 aged 59. He never married.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 210, Rutland Square, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1942 *  
Item 2 of 272, Morningside Drive, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1942 *1950 

* 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 5Archibald Macpherson19081912Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5William Alexander Ross (or William H A Ross)1912Late 1912 or early 1913Assistant 
Item 3 of 5John FarquharsonLate 1912 or early 19131913Draughtsman 
Item 4 of 5Mackintosh, Burn & Co19131931AssistantWith the exception of war service, 1915-19
Item 5 of 5Mackintosh, Burn & Co19311936Chief Assistant 


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 Maclennan17 November 1942for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 3John Ross McKay17 November 1942for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 3Charles Edward Tweedie (junior)17 November 1942for Licentiateship


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 no5227 (combined box 65)