Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Mylne junior
Designation: Architect
Born: 1611
Died: 24 December 1667
Bio Notes: John Mylne was probably born in Perth in 1611, the son of John Mylne who died in 1657. He was admitted a burgess of Edinburgh by right of patrimony on 9 October 1633 and became a ‘fellow of craft’ in the Masonic Lodge in Edinburgh on the same day. He succeeded his father as Master Mason to the Crown in February 1636 and in 1646 was appointed Captain of Pioneers and Master Gunner of Scotland.

In 1643 Mylne succeeded William Aytoun as master mason to Heriot's Hospital. This had been begun in 1628 was was still incomplete owing to financial troubles and political changes at the time.

Mylne became a well-known figure in Edinburgh for the next thirty years. He was Deacon of the Edinburgh masons several times and for a number of years served on the Town Council. In 1652 he was sent to London as one of the Scottish Commissioners to negotiate the Treaty of Union with the English Parliament. From 1655 to 1659 he represented Edinburgh at the convention of royal burghs. He was elected MP for Edinburgh in the Scottish Parliament in 1662. He attended the second and third sessions of Charles II’s first parliament in Edinburgh.

After the Restoration Mylne was confirmed in his office of master Mason to the Crown. Thereafter he work at Holyroodhouse.

Panmure House (1666) bore some resemblance to Heriot's Hospital with its quadrangular plan and picturesque silhouette. However like Drumlanrig Castle it looked back to the early 17th century rather than encapsulating the new architectural ideas already current in England and soon to be introduced by Sir William Bruce into Scotland. Mylne may be seen as the leading master of the last phase of Scottish Mannerism.

Mylne was married three times but his only son died in infancy. He died on 24 December 1667. The dynasty of Mylnes was carried on by his brother Alexander’s children. His nephew Robert Mylne (1633-1710) succeeded him as Master Mason to the Scottish Crown. John Mylne was buried in Greyfriars Cemetery and Robert designed a monument to his memory. There is also an inscription over the door of St Mary’s Chapel which was the meeting place of the masons which was erected by the Incorporated Trades of Scotland. It notes that he was the fourth John Mylne and the sixth master mason to seven successive kings.

There is a portrait of Mylne in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

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 191633Palace of Holyroodhouse, sundial  EdinburghScotlandAssisted his father in the construction of this.
Item 2 of 19After 1633Church, Castlelhill  EdinburghScotland 
Item 3 of 191634Cowane's HospitalStirling StirlingScotlandProvided design
Item 4 of 191637Tron Church  EdinburghScotland 
Item 5 of 191642Jedburgh AbbeyJedburgh RoxburghshireScotlandReported on the dangerous state of the Abbey at Jedburgh
Item 6 of 191648George Heriot's Hospital  EdinburghScotlandWas instructed to take down the upper part of the south west tower abd rebuild it uniform with the others.
Item 7 of 191648St Giles Cathedral  EdinburghScotlandRepair of crown spire
Item 8 of 191649Leith Citadel and fortificationsLeith EdinburghScotlandWorking on the fortifications at Leith.
Item 9 of 19February 1650Newbattle AbbeyNewbattle MidlothianScotlandDrew up estimate for adding frontispiece - 'in a perfect manner off gudlie Architect[ure]'.
Item 10 of 191656College, professor's house and six chambers  EdinburghScotland 
Item 11 of 191659George Heriot's Hospital  EdinburghScotlandWas still working at Heriot's Hospital
Item 12 of 191661Coldingham ChurchColdingham BerwickshireScotlandRepair and partial rebuilding to be carried out ' by the sught of John Milne master mason and any other they shall bring to visite the same after finishing thereof'.
Item 13 of 19November 1661Addiston HouseRatho MidlothianScotlandContracted to execute the masonry of a 'great addition'
Item 14 of 191663Palace of Holyroodhouse  EdinburghScotlandDrew up a survey of the second floor showing how it was to be completed. Not executed until after his death.
Item 15 of 191665Fort CharlotteLerwickMainlandShetlandScotlandEmployed to design (probably) but certainly to build this.
Item 16 of 191666Balgonie Castle  FifeScotlandAddition of large scale and platt staircase
Item 17 of 191666Panmure House and ancillary estate buildingsCarnoustie AngusScotlandContracted to build house 'according to the maner forme and dimensions of the said structure and edifice designed and set down by the said John Mylne in draughts'. Work completed by Alexander Nesbit, mason in edinburgh after Mylne's death.
Item 18 of 191667Leslie HouseMarkinch FifeScotlandWas engaged to enlarge and remodel the house but Bruce's advice sought and Robert Mylne completed it in a more up-to-date style.
Item 19 of 191667TolboothLinlithgow West LothianScotlandDesigns drawn up just before death. Not executed.


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 7APSD The Dictionary of Architectureed Wyatt PapworthThe Architectural Publication Society (8v 1852-1892) 
Item 2 of 7Colvin, Howard2008A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 London: YUP. 4th edition 
Item 3 of 7DNB Dictionary of National Biography   
Item 4 of 7Gifford, John2012The Buildings of Scotland: Angus and Dundee Yalep720
Item 5 of 7Mylne, R S The Master Masons to the Crown of Scotland   
Item 6 of 7Wood, M (ed.) Extracts from the Records of the City of Edinburgh, 1642-55   
Item 7 of 7Wood, M (ed.) Extracts from the Records of the City of Edinburgh, 1655-65