Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Cobban
Born: 1873
Bio Notes: James Cobban was born in 1873 in Keith, Banffshire, the son of James Cobban, house carpenter. He was articled to George Sutherland of Aberdeen and Elgin in 1890. After completing his apprenticeship in 1895 he secured a position as assistant in the office of McKay & Doig, Elgin. Throughout this period he studied at the Elgin School of Art and obtained many South Kensington Art Certificates. He commenced independent practice in Keith in 1898, and the following year was appointed architect to Lord Aberdeen at Haddo House, although he continued his private practice in addition to the estate work. He worked for the Earl of Aberdeen for 19 years. He was admitted LRIBA in the mass intake of 20 July 1911, his proposers being George Sutherland, Robert Baillie Pratt and George Watt.

In 1918 the Aberdeen Cattle and Farm Produce Association Ltd opened an estate agency in Aberdeen. Cobban was appointed as their architect and surveyor.

He ceased practising in September 1923. He was taken to court in 1923 or 1924 as he had failed to pay the National Insurance and Unemployment Benefit for an apprentice and also National Insurance for his son who was an apprentice in his office. His defence lawyer stated that this was because he was in financial difficulties. He thought he did not have to pay the National Insuracne for his son. A trust was set up thereafter and the fiscal remarked that Cobban gave the authorities 'a lot of trouble'. He presumably ceased practising because of finacial difficulties. His son, Spence Cobban, emigrated to Rhodesia for work for the Gold Schists Land and Trading Company. However he had returned to Scotland by 1937 when he attended a dinner in Aberdeen with his parents to mark the 37th annual dinner of the Edinburgh, Aberdeen Banff and Kincardine Association.

Pamphlet on farm buildings, 'Transactions of the Highland Society', 1909.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 3Haddo House, Aberdeen, ScotlandBusiness18991918 
Item 2 of 3Whinden, Tarves, Aberdeenshire, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1911After 1914 
Item 3 of 370, Ashley Road, Aberdeen, ScotlandPrivatec. 1924  

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 2George Sutherland18901895Apprentice 
Item 2 of 2Mackay & Doig (or McKay & Doig)18951897Assistant 

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 2James Milner FraserJune 1920September 1923Apprentice 
Item 2 of 2[James] Fenton ('Tony') Wyness19221924 or 1925Apprentice 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Robert Baillie Pratt20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 3George Sutherland20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 3George Watt20 July 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 141892Tarves Parish ChurchTarves AberdeenshireScotlandOrgan chamber
Item 2 of 141902House of Schivas  AberdeenshireScotlandRestoration from ruins - as executant architect for scheme prepared by Sydney Mitchell
Item 3 of 141904Balquhindachy HouseDalgety AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 4 of 141904BungalowMethlick AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 5 of 141905Tarves Parish ChurchTarves AberdeenshireScotlandPorch and vestry annexe
Item 6 of 141906Savoch ChurchSavoch of Deer AberdeenshireScotlandDesign for addition - south organ chamber
Item 7 of 141908Church hallOld Meldrum / Oldmeldrum AberdeenshireScotlandConverted form the United Secession Church
Item 8 of 141909Beaton HallMethlick AberdeenshireScotland'Buildings of Scotland' gives 1908-1909
Item 9 of 141910Higher Grade SchoolTarves AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 10 of 141911Millbrex Public SchoolMillbrex AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 11 of 141911Tarves  AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 12 of 141914Craigdam Memorial Hall  AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 13 of 141923114 Anderson Drive  AberdeenScotland 
Item 14 of 141923War memorialEllon AberdeenshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 1Who's Who in Architecture1914    

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 5Aberdeen Journal4 October 1899   
Item 2 of 5Aberdeen Journal15 September 1920   
Item 3 of 5Aberdeen Journal18 July 1924   
Item 4 of 5Aberdeen Journal6 March 1937   
Item 5 of 5Building News6 October 1899  p440

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Census records onlineCensuses  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v16 no 1186