Basic Biographical Details

Name: Francis William Troup
Born: 11 June 1859
Died: 2 April 1941
Bio Notes: Francis William Troup was born on 11 June 1859 in the Congregational Manse at Huntly, the son of the Rev Robert Troup and his wife Margaret MacDonald. He was educated in Huntly and in Aberdeen at the Grammar School and what is described in his nomination paper as the Aberdeen Gymnasium. In 1877 he moved to Glasgow as an articled pupil with Campbell Douglas & Sellars and like so many others from that office found a place in the London office of John James Stevenson at £60 per annum. (in the 1881 census he was staying with his uncle, Rev James Troup in Row, Dunbartonshire.)

While at Stevenson's he studied at the RA Schools from 1884 to 1886, winning the Silver Medal for measured drawing in 1885. The subject was the north porch of St Pauls: he seems to have measured it with Robert Weir Schultz who produced an almost identical set of drawings. Through Schultz he obtained an entrée to the newly formed Art Workers' Guild.

Troup left Stevenson's office at the end of his articles to undertake short-term employment with a number of architects. His nomination paper lists John McKean Brydon, William Young and George Lethbridge in London and Rowand Anderson in Edinburgh where he worked on the competition drawings for the Imperial Institute with William Henry Bidlake, an engagement which came near to a lawsuit in respect of overtime. Troup then returned to Stevenson's office as clerk of works at St John's College Oxford, remaining with him until 1889. Throughout that period Troup travelled and sketched intensively, buying photographs wherever available.

Troup passed the qualifying exam in 1888 and was admitted ARIBA on 11 March 1889, his proposers being Stevenson, Brydon and Douglas. Shortly thereafter he set up office beside W R Lethaby at 9 Hart Street, soon moving to 14 Gray's Square where he shared rooms with Schultz: shortly thereafter they shared a house at 6 Mandeville Place. During these early years he seems to have been largely dependent on work farmed out by Stevenson (part of which consisted of interiors for the Orient Line steamship Omrah), Schultz, Lethaby and Lorimer. This persisted until Troup obtained the commission for his largest and best country house Sandhouse for the Congregationalist Joseph King in 1902. Thereafter Troup's practice was reasonably prosperous, punctuated by a small number of really large jobs, Thistlegate House, Charmouth, Dorset in 1911, Blackfriars House, New Bridge Street, London in 1913, Cambridge University Press in 1920 and from 1921 the Bank of England where his scheme was superseded by that of Sir Herbert Baker. In that year he entered into a partnership with Harold Rooksby Steele which lasted until February 1941 when Troup retired. Also in the practice was his nephew Robert Jamieson Troup, son of his farmer brother Robert, who had served in the Gordon Highlanders and ended the war with serious health and psychological problems. He withdrew from the practice in 1936 to return to Huntly where he had a desultory architectural practice.

Troup was an Arts and Crafts man throughout his life with a particular interest in leadwork and was an excellent craftsman himself. He was Master of the Art Workers Guild in 1923 and Hon Sec of the SPAB in 1940. He never married, living with a long-serving housekeeper, Elizabeth Green. He is said to have been rather shy but among his friends and particularly with children he was hilarious company, retaining his Aberdeenshire accent to the end. Near the end of his life he presented an area of land in Huntly known as Glamourside to the people of that town. He died suddenly at Mandeville Place on 2 April 1941.

After the Second World War Robert Troup was largely supported by Alexander George Robertson Mackenzie who entrusted him with the listing of buildings of architectural and historic interest in the Huntly area. The arrangement was not without difficulties ('Dear Troup, I have your account but I do not seem to have your list, Yours AGRM') but it lasted until Robert Troup's death on 10 December 1959.

Note: Francis William Troup should not be confused with Francis Gordon Troup, born 1887. Because of his training with Forsyth & Maule in London he lies outwith the scope of the present dictionary.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 6Huntly, Aberdeenshire, ScotlandPrivate1859Before 1877Place of birth
Item 2 of 6Cottage, John Street Lane, Row, Dunbartonshire, ScotlandPrivate1881 *  
Item 3 of 639, Pembroke Square, Kensington, London, EnglandPrivate/business1889 *  
Item 4 of 69, Hart Street, Bloomsbury, London, EnglandBusiness1891 *  
Item 5 of 66, Mandeville Place, London, EnglandPrivate1899 *  
Item 6 of 614, Gray's Inn Square, London, EnglandBusinessBefore 1899After 1929 

* 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 8Campbell Douglas & Sellars18771882Apprentice 
Item 2 of 8John James Stevenson18831887Assistant 
Item 3 of 8Wardrop & Anderson1887 * Assistant 
Item 4 of 8John James Stevenson18871888ClerkClerk of Works for Restoration of St John's College, Oxford. Assisted Stevenson from his own office 1889-1899.
Item 5 of 8John McKean BrydonAfter 1888Before 1890  
Item 6 of 8George LethbridgeAfter 1888Before 1890Assistant 
Item 7 of 8William YoungAfter 1888Before 1890Assistant 
Item 8 of 8Troup & Steele1921February 1941Partner 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

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 4George Thow SmithAfter 1897Before 1904AssistantOccasional assistant while in Schultz's office
Item 2 of 4Hugh Stewart19071907 or 1908Assistant 
Item 3 of 4Robert Jamieson Troup19201922Apprentice(?) 
Item 4 of 4Robert Jamieson Troup19221936Architect(?)Working in association; it is unclear whether he was officially a partner


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6John McKean Brydon11 March 1889for Associateship
Item 2 of 6John McKean Brydon4 December 1899for Fellowship
Item 3 of 6Campbell Douglas11 March 1889for Associateship
Item 4 of 6George Lethbridge4 December 1899for Fellowship
Item 5 of 6John James Stevenson11 March 1889for Associateship
Item 6 of 6Leonard Aloysius Scott Stokes4 December 1899for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 11Donald Matheson30 November 1925for Fellowship
Item 2 of 11John Ross McMillan4 March 1907for Fellowship
Item 3 of 11Joseph Abraham Meikle18 October 1937for Fellowship
Item 4 of 11Harry Redfern (or Henry Redfern)8 June 1903for Fellowship
Item 5 of 11James McGlashen Ross24 June 1912for Licentiateship
Item 6 of 11Alexander Thomson Scott3 November 1930for Fellowship
Item 7 of 11Arnold Dunbar Smith3 December 1906for Fellowship
Item 8 of 11George Thow Smith20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 9 of 11Hugh Stewart20 March 1911for Licentiateship
Item 10 of 11Robert Jamieson TroupEarly 1929for Fellowship
Item 11 of 11William Weir20 March 1911for Licentiateship

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 181885The Old GranaryCambridge CambridgeshireEnglandReconstruction as a house - as assistant to Stevenson
Item 2 of 181887Imperial Institute  LondonEnglandUnsuccessful competition design - as assistant to Wardrop & Anderson
Item 3 of 181887St John's CollegeOxford OxfordshireEnglandRestoration. Acted as clerk of works on this job
Item 4 of 181888Christ's CollegeCambridge CambridgeshireEnglandWorked with Stevenson on this from his own office
Item 5 of 181891Mansfield House University Settlement, hall and club roomsBarking LondonEngland 
Item 6 of 181892Farnley Iron Company officesLeeds (near) YorkshireEngland 
Item 7 of 181895Decoration of ChurchHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 8 of 181896Memorial Almshouses, FarnleyLeeds (near) YorkshireEngland 
Item 9 of 181896Various cottages     
Item 10 of 181897Canning Town Congregational ChapelCanning Town LondonEnglandNew front, redecoration etc.
Item 11 of 181897Mansfield House University Settlement, residenceBarking LondonEngland 
Item 12 of 181898HowglenHuntly AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 13 of 181898RowanleaHuntly AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 14 of 181906BlucairnLossiemouth MorayshireScotland 
Item 15 of 181913Blackfriars House  LondonEngland 
Item 16 of 181913Hall for the Art Workers' Guild  LondonEngland 
Item 17 of 181921War memorialHuntly AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 18 of 181924Royal Caledonian SchoolBushey  HertfordshireEnglandEnlargement of school premises


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 2Abramson, Daniel M2007Building the Bank of England: Money, Architecture, Society, 1694-1942 Yale 
Item 2 of 2Jackson, Neil1985F W Troup Architect 1859 - 1941   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2RIBA JournalMay 1941 London: Royal Institute of British ArchitectsObituary p124
Item 2 of 2Scotsman5 April 1941  p6 Obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal recollections of the late Mr & Mrs A G R Mackenzie; Mackenzie's letter book, now no longer extant
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A v10 p101, microfiche 43/A5; F v13 p65, microfiche 118/F2