Basic Biographical Details

Name: George Beattie
Born: 1809 or 1810
Died: 11 June 1872
Bio Notes: George Beattie was born in 1810, the son of William Beattie, Senior, wood merchant, sawmiller, and building contractor and his wife Helen Hamilton. Together with his brothers William and Adam, he was taken into partnership in the 1830s under the title of William Beattie & Sons, their yard and houses being on Bread Street, Edinburgh. Of the three brothers William was the timber merchant and sawmiller, Adam the builder, and George the architect.

On 11 August 1837 William Beattie Senior died aged fifty-four, William Junior then becoming senior partner. In 1843 a further house was acquired at 5 Lothian Road which became George's home and office from 1844. He was presumably in charge of the drawing office from that time although his first recorded works as an architect were workmen's houses in Leith walk and Pleasance in 1851. By the mid-1850s, the Beattie's were collaborating with the Peddie family in opening up Chalmers Street followed by the development of Lauriston Park and Glen street on their own account, William Beattie having moved to Lauriston Place by about 1850.

By 1862 there was a schism in the partnership which was probably related to the return of George's son, William Hamilton Beattie, on the completion of his articles with David Bryce. George Beattie then formed the separate partnership of George Beattie & Son, initially trading only as builders, with a house at 13 Grove Street and an office at number 17. In 1875 the partnership became architects and builders and in 1867 architect, ordained surveyors and valuators, George having obtained appointment as valuator to the City Improvement Trust. The building side of the partnership was then given up with probably healed any breach there may have been with his brothers.

With William Hamilton Beattie's arrival the architecture became more up-market with the Greek revival 16 Princes Street (1864) and a Venetian Gothic warehouse in West Register Street, both for Cowans, the papermakers. The practice achieved national prominence by winning the competition for the huge City Parish poorhouse in 1867, their scheme being submitted under the pseudonym 'Comfort for the Poor and Care for the Ratepayer.' The assessor was David Bryce, which may have helped them win, but their five pavilion scheme with linking corridors was very up-to-date in terms of segregation and probably had strong appeal for the City's Medical Officer, Sir Henry Littlejohn. Within a few years the architectural practice had moved to the more up-market address of 10 George Street with a branch office at 94 Constitution Street in Leith.

In 1870 Beattie began his career as a hotel architect with the reconstruction of the Royal Hotel on Princes Street where he superseded David MacGibbon. Work went on until 1875: it ended in a lawsuit with the client Don R MacGregor but it made his name and resulted in the commission for the original Central Hotel (1873), the Clarendon (1875) and the giant Morningside Hydropathic (1879).

George Beattie died on 11 June 1872, survived by his wife Anne Leitch who lived until 10 February 1898. His son William Hamilton Beattie continued the practice and succeeded him as valuer to the Edinburgh City Improvement Trust.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 623, Bread Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)18351842William Beattie & Sons
Item 2 of 611, 17, 21, 23, Bread Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)18431862William Beattie & Sons
Item 3 of 65, Lothian Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/business18441862George Beattie's house and office while with William Beattie & Sons
Item 4 of 615, Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)18471862 
Item 5 of 613, Grove Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate18621872George Beattie & Son
Item 6 of 617, Grove Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness(?)18621872 

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 2William Beattie & SonsBefore 1851Late 1850sPartner 
Item 2 of 2George Beattie & Sonc. 18601872Partner 

Buildings and Designs

This 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 111851Workmen's Houses  EdinburghScotland 
Item 2 of 111851Workmen's Houses  EdinburghScotland 
Item 3 of 111857New Streets opposite Lauriston Park  EdinburghScotland 
Item 4 of 11186416 Princes Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 5 of 111864Warehouse for Cowan & Co, West Register Street  EdinburghScotlandOriginal building
Item 6 of 111865City PoorhouseCraiglockhart EdinburghScotlandWon competition to secure job (150 premium) - William Hamilton Beattie responsible
Item 7 of 111867Houses, Greenbank Drive, The Steils and Mid Steils  EdinburghScotland 
Item 8 of 111868Villa at DeanDean EdinburghScotland 
Item 9 of 111869Melrose District AsylumMelrose RoxburghshireScotlandCompetition designs
Item 10 of 111870Buildings (new) for Kennington & Jenner  EdinburghScotland 
Item 11 of 111872Grove Street Mission Church, West Fountainbridge Hall  EdinburghScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 3Architects Engineers and Building Trades Directory1868Architect's, Engineer's and Building Trades' Directory London, Wyman 
Item 2 of 3Post Office Directories     
Item 3 of 3Scotlands People Website Wills & Testaments  Edinburgh Sheriff Court Wills SC70/4/141

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Scotsman12 July 1872  p4 - report referring to William taking on his late father's post as valuator to the City Improvement Trust

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 3Melrose UP ChurchManagers' Minutes  
Item 3 of 3National Archives of Scotland (formerly SRO)Register of Sasines