Basic Biographical Details

Name: Stewardson & Spence
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1919
Ended: 1928
Bio Notes: Robert Ernest Stewardson was articled to Robert Macfarlane Cameron in Edinburgh from 1894 to 1898. On completing his apprenticeship he moved to London where he worked as assistant to William Henry White for one year; in H M Office of Works, Westminster for one year; in the LCC Architects Department under William Edward Riley for one year; and to George Hornblower for three-and-a-half years. During these early years he spent holidays sketching in Scotland, East Anglia and Normandy.

He was admitted ARIBA on 5 December 1904, his proposers being Hornblower, White and William Alfred Pite. The following year he was chosen by Aston Webb to be sent to the Public Works Department in Bloemfontein, South Africa to carry out the Grey College Buildings, following which, in 1908, he moved to Shanghai to work as assistant and latterly chief assistant to Walter Scott. It was there that he commenced independent practice in April 1913.

In 1919 he entered into partnership with Herbert Marshall Spence, a former colleague in the Office of Works, as Stewardson & Spence. Spence had been born in 1883, had trained in Newcastle, England, and had worked with several firms before joining the Office of Works, being sent to work in their Shanghai branch in 1911. He was admitted ARIBA in 1907.

Stewardson was elected FRIBA in early 1921, his proposers being White, Riley and Hornblower. By that time he had undertaken extensive travels embracing America, Canada, India, South Africa, the Strait Settlements, the Phillipines, Siberia, Germany, Russia, China and Japan.

The partnership was dissolved in 1928, Spence leaving to enter into partnership with HDF Robinson, CFS Butt and JE March as Spence, Robinson & Partners. He was admitted FRIBA in the following year and remained in the same partnership thereafter, relocating to Shong Kong in 1950. He died in 1958.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1Shanghai, ChinaBusiness   

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 2Robert Ernest Stewardson19191928Partner 
Item 2 of 2Alexander Wood Graham-Brown1920 *   

* earliest date known from documented sources.


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 1Denison, Edward and Guang, Yu Ren2006Building Shanghai: The Story of China's Gateway Chichester: Wiley-Academy (John Wiley & Sons Ltd)p 144