Basic Biographical Details

Name: (Sir) George Gilbert Scott
Born: 13 July 1811
Died: 27 March 1878
Bio Notes: George Gilbert Scott was born on 13 July 1811 at Gawcott, Buckinghamshire where his father the Rev Thomas Scott was curate; his mother Euphemia Lynch was born in Antigua, and her mother's family were Gilberts. He was educated, or rather self-taught, at home, but received instruction in drawing from a Mr Jones. At the age of fourteen he went for a year to his uncle Samuel King at Latimer who taught him both architecture and mathematics. He was then articled to James Edmeston of Bishopsgate, London, a dissenting architect recommended to his father by 'the travelling agent to the Bible Society'. Edmeston had a good library and Scott took classes with George Maddox. About 1829 Scott was joined at Edmeston's by William Bonython Moffatt, a joiner from Cornwall who also took classes at Maddox's. At Maddox's Scott met Samuel Morton Peto of the contractors Grissel & Peto, and joined him in an unpaid capacity in 1831 to learn construction and pricing. A year later, in 1832, he obtained a place with Henry Roberts and at Christmas 1834 he took an office in Carlton Chambers, Regent Street to help an architect friend Sampson Kempthorne with workhouses. Early in 1835 Scott's father died and he set up practice on his own, initially specialising in workhouses, assisted by Moffatt who was taken into formal partnership in 1838. In the same year he married Caroline Oldrid.

Scott built his first church in 1838. His reputation was established when he won the competition for the Martyrs' Monument at Oxford in 1840, and still more when he designed the large St Giles Camberwell in best Camden Society Gothic in 1842-44. In 1844 Scott made his first continental tour, and in the following year, 1845, he won the competition for the Nikolaikirche in Hamburg. In that same year Caroline Scott broke off the partnership with Moffatt, who had become extravagant and unreliable, Scott thereafter largely abandoning the workhouse side of the practice to concentrate on church building, gaining the commission for St John's Cathedral Newfoundland in 1846. His Scottish practice began in 1853 when Alexander Penrose Forbes, Bishop of Brechin, commissioned him to design St Paul's Church at Dundee, a continental hall church with a 220-foot spire and an apse.

In 1855 Scott won the competition for the Hamburg Rathaus and his successes in the Whitehall competitions of 1856 established his reputation for large public buildings leading to the commission without competition for the Albert Institute at Dundee and the University of Glasgow, both in 1864. St Mary's Church in Glasgow followed, again without competition, in 1870 but he had to compete for St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh, the commission for which was received in 1873. By that date his health had been affected by a slight stroke and family bereavements; his son George Gilbert Scott Junior having set up his own practice in 1863, he was largely assisted by his second son John Oldrid Scott, born 1841 and articled to his father in 1860, and in Scotland by two very able clerks of works, William Conradi in Glasgow and Edwin Morgan in Edinburgh. Nevertheless St Mary's was a remarkable design which reflected the immense increase in his scholarship associated with his Royal Academy lectures from 1868 onwards, published after his death in 1879.

Scott was admitted FRIBA on 3 December 1849, his proposers being Henry Roberts, Thomas Bellamy and Thomas Henry Wyatt. In 1851 he was largely responsible for the establishment of the London Architectural Museum. He was elected ARA in 1855 and RA in 1860, having been awarded the RIBA's Royal Gold Medal in the previous year. He was knighted in 1872 and was President of the RIBA 1873-76. Although in fragile health Scott remained firmly in charge of the practice until his sudden death from a heart attack on 27 March 1878.

Scott's practice was inherited by John Oldrid Scott who was admitted FRIBA on 2 December 1878, his proposers being Charles Barry Junior, George Edmund Street and Benjamin Ferrey. His nomination paper describes him as having commenced practice in 1864, i.e. at the end of his articles, although he had no formal partnership and had become principal assistant only by the later 1860s. He completed his father's Scottish projects, modifying the design of the spire at the University of Glasgow and acting as consultant for new buildings at the university until 1901. He died on 30 May 1913.

In his later years John Oldrid Scott was assisted by Charles Marriot Oldrid Scott, born 1880, and articled to Reginald Theodore Blomfield 1898-1902; he returned to his father's practice in 1902-3, but obtained a place with George Frederick Bodley to widen his experience in 1903 before returning to his father's office as partner in 1904. He completed the spires of St Mary's Cathedral but, like his father, obtained no new Scottish commissions. He either did not attempt or did not pass the qualifying exam and was admitted LRIBA in the mass intake of 20 July 1911, his proposers being George Luard Alexander, a colleague at Bodley's, Richard John Tyndall (both of whom had recently passed the qualifying exam and had been admitted ARIBA) and an elderly former assistant of his grandfather's, Charles Robert Baker King.

Charles Marriot Oldrid Scott died in 1952.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2Carlton Chambers, Regent Street, London, EnglandBusiness1834  
Item 2 of 2Spring Gardens, London, EnglandBusiness1849 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

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 4James Edmestonc. 18261831Apprentice 
Item 2 of 4Grissel & Peto18311832AssistantUnpaid
Item 3 of 4Henry Roberts1832December 1834Assistant(?) 
Item 4 of 4George Gilbert Scott and William Bonython Moffatt18381845Partner 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 38George Frederick Bodley  Apprentice 
Item 2 of 38Thomas Garner  Apprentice 
Item 3 of 38Henry Edward Coe 1849Apprentice 
Item 4 of 38William Kidner 1869Assistant 
Item 5 of 38William Bonython Moffatt18351838Assistant 
Item 6 of 38James Matthews18391844Assistant 
Item 7 of 38John Johnstone1840s Clerk of Works 
Item 8 of 38James Thomas Irvine18401845Apprentice 
Item 9 of 38George Henry Stokes18431847Apprentice 
Item 10 of 38James Thomas Irvine18451852Assistant 
Item 11 of 38William Hay1846 Assistant 
Item 12 of 38Richard Coad18471864Assistant 
Item 13 of 38Robert James Johnson18491858Assistant 
Item 14 of 38James Thomas Irvine18521877Clerk of Works 
Item 15 of 38Edward Ingress BellAfter 1852Before 1860Assistant 
Item 16 of 38William Henry CrosslandBefore 1856Before 1860Apprentice 
Item 17 of 38(Sir) Robert Rowand Anderson18571859Assistant 
Item 18 of 38John James Stevenson18581860Assistant 
Item 19 of 38Charles Robert Baker King18591878Assistant 
Item 20 of 38John Oldrid Scott18601864Apprentice 
Item 21 of 38(Sir) Robert Rowand AndersonNovember 1861February 1862 Appointed to supervise construction of St James the Less at Leith
Item 22 of 38John Henry MiddletonAfter 1861Before 1875Assistant 
Item 23 of 38John Thomas Micklethwaite1862Before 1869Apprentice 
Item 24 of 38William Forrest Salmonc. 1862(?)c. 1866Assistant 
Item 25 of 38Arthur Baker18641867Apprentice 
Item 26 of 38John Oldrid Scott18641878Assistant(?) 
Item 27 of 38Hubert James Austinc. 18651867Assistant(?) 
Item 28 of 38John Moyr Smith1866c. 1867Assistant 
Item 29 of 38John Myrie Cory18671869Assistant 
Item 30 of 38Arthur Baker18671878Assistant 
Item 31 of 38William ConradiBefore April 18671876(?)ClerkClerk of Works in Glasgow
Item 32 of 38Edmund Benjamin FerreyJanuary 1869October 1869Improver 
Item 33 of 38John More Dick PeddieAfter 1870Before 1875Assistant(?) 
Item 34 of 38Edwin Morganc. 1870 ClerkClerk of Works in Edinburgh
Item 35 of 38Temple Lushington Moore18751878Apprentice 
Item 36 of 38John Reginald Naylor18761877Improver 
Item 37 of 38John McLean (or Maclean) CrawfordAfter 1876Before 1885Assistant 
Item 38 of 38Temple Lushington Moore1878After 1878Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Thomas Bellamy3 December 1949for Fellowship
Item 2 of 3Henry Roberts3 December 1949for Fellowship
Item 3 of 3Thomas Henry Wyatt3 December 1949for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6(Sir) Robert Rowand Anderson1 June 1874for Fellowship; lapsed 1889
Item 2 of 6(Sir) Arthur William Blomfield20 May 1867for Fellowship
Item 3 of 6Charles Buckeridge4 March 1861for Associateship
Item 4 of 6Francis Thomas Dollman4 January 1846for Associateship
Item 5 of 6Charles John Phipps23 January 1860for Associateship
Item 6 of 6Charles John Phipps12 February 1866for Fellowship

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 28 Drumlanrig CastleDrumlanrig DumfriesshireScotlandPlans for cloister and chapel
Item 2 of 281847St John the Baptist CathedralSt John's NewfoundlandCanadaScheme adopted
Item 3 of 281850sSt Paul's Church  DundeeScotlandAumbry and piscina designed by Scott but executed posthumously.
Item 4 of 281853St Paul's Church  DundeeScotlandOriginal building and pews.
Item 5 of 281854Episcopal ChurchSt Andrews (later, Buckhaven) FifeScotlandNew front
Item 6 of 281855St Cuthbert's Episcopal ChurchHawick RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 7 of 281857Exeter College, Rector's LodgingOxford OxfordshireEngland 
Item 8 of 281858St Mary's Episcopal ChurchBroughty Ferry DundeeScotlandOriginal church
Item 9 of 28c. 1858St Cuthbert's Episcopal RectoryHawick RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 10 of 281861St James Episcopal Church - church, lodge and rectoryLeith EdinburghScotlandReconstruction - design executed by Robert Rowand Anderson
Item 11 of 281861St Peter's Episcopal ChurchStornowayLewisRoss and CromartyScotlandPulpit (from G G Scott's remodelling of King's College Chapel London)
Item 12 of 281861Trinity College GlenalmondGlenalmond PerthshireScotlandRevised design of hall in execution
Item 13 of 281863Trinity College Glenalmond, LodgeGlenalmond PerthshireScotland 
Item 14 of 281864Albert Institute  DundeeScotlandWon in competition
Item 15 of 281864University of Glasgow, main quadranglesGilmorehill GlasgowScotlandOriginal scheme, inspired by John Baird II's unexecuted 1840s scheme for the university rebuilding
Item 16 of 281865St John's Episcopal Church  EdinburghScotlandUnexecuted proposals for chancel, north aisle and other liturgical changes (modified scheme was executed by Kinnear in 1867)
Item 17 of 281867St John's Episcopal Church, Monument to Dean Ramsay  EdinburghScotland 
Item 18 of 281867St Machar's CathedralOld Aberdeen AberdeenScotlandAdvised on restoration of heraldic ceiling - his advice not fully taken (ceiling largely renewed)
Item 19 of 281868Holy Trinity Church  ShanghaiChinaDesign of building - executed by Kidner
Item 20 of 281868Principal's HouseUniversity Gardens GlasgowScotlandOriginal house
Item 21 of 281870St Mary's Episcopal ChurchBroughty Ferry DundeeScotlandSouth aisle added
Item 22 of 281870St Mary's Episcopal Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 23 of 281872City Churches, St Clement's Church and St Mary's Tower  DundeeScotlandRestoration of tower; proposals for crown not carried out
Item 24 of 281872St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral  EdinburghScotlandWon in competition although G E Street had been recommended
Item 25 of 281872Town's Churches, St Mary's Church and church hall  DundeeScotlandRestoration
Item 26 of 281873Dunblane CathedralDunblane PerthshireScotlandAdvised on repair work on chancel
Item 27 of 281876Holy Trinity Episcopal ChurchKilmarnock AyrshireScotlandChancel (built by James Wallace)
Item 28 of 281878St Paul's Church  DundeeScotlandAlexander Penrose Forbes Monument.


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 6Cole, David1980The Work of Sir Gilbert Scott   
Item 2 of 6Dixon, Roger, ed.1980Sir Gilbert Scott and the Scott Dynasty   
Item 3 of 6Jackson, T G Recollections of Sir Thomas Graham Jackson   
Item 4 of 6RCAHMS1992Dundee on Record RCAHMSView of tower of St Mary's Church, Dundee prior to Sir George Gilbert Scott's restoration of 1872. p10
View of Albert Institute, Dundee. p45
Item 5 of 6Scott, G G (Junior), ed.1879Personal and Professional Recollections New edition with introduction by Gavin Stamp 
Item 6 of 6Victoria & Albert Museum1978Gilbert Scott (1811-78): Architect of the Gothic Revival London: Victoria & Albert Museum (exhibition catalogue) 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 5Builder6 April 1878  Obituary
Item 2 of 5Building News29 March 1878  Obituary
Item 3 of 5Building News5 April 1878  Obituary
Item 4 of 5Building News19 April 1878  Obituary
Item 5 of 5RIBA Transactionsbetween 1878 and 9  Obituary - pp3-5, 193-208

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers F v2 p75, microfiche 77/G4