Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Hamilton
Born: c. 1826
Died: 26 June 1894
Bio Notes: James Hamilton was born c.1826 the son of John Hamilton, manager of St Rollox Chemical Works and his wife Jane McKay. By his own account in the 'Architects, Engineers and Building Trades Directory' of 1868, he was articled to Alexander Kirkland with whom he remained several years as an assistant, setting up on his own account in 1857. While at Kirkland's he designed in his own name several monuments in the Glasgow Necropolis including the boldly theatrical one to J H Alexander. Thomas Gildard (ms p.20) is careful to emphasise that he was not related in any way to David Hamilton or his son James. From what Professor William James Smith learned when with the Hamiltons in the early twentieth century, Hamilton was largely responsible for the design of Kirkland's Venetian Tillie and Henderson Building, 37-51 Miller Street, and Eagle Buildings on Bothwell Street. Tillie and Henderson was a Londonderry company and it was in Ireland that Hamilton made his name by winning the competition for the Ulster Bank in 1857 with elevations related to Tillie and Henderson's; he also designed several branches for that bank. Hamilton also established himself as an expert in the design of baths buildings, his Directory entry recording essays on heating, ventilation and acoustics. In 1861 Kirkland took Hamilton into partnership (his previous partnership with James Russell having ended in 1856) with an office in West Nile Street, but Kirkland abruptly withdrew at the end of 1861, leaving for London to recommence practice as a civil engineer only on 19 February 1862. Their apprentice Thomas Ross (1839-1930), later of MacGibbon & Ross, then left for the office of Charles Wilson. James Hamilton continued the Glasgow practice alone with the assistance of James Sellars from 1864-67. To manage the Belfast office he entered into a partnership with Frank Stirrat who had supervised the building of the Ulster Bank, an arrangement that lasted from 1863 until 1866.

James Hamilton's son John, born in 1851, was educated at Glasgow High School and Glasgow School of Art and completed his articles with his father 1867-1873. Thereafter he gained five years experience in unspecified offices, and at some stage travelled on the continent. He was taken into formal partnership as James Hamilton & Son in 1877. However father and son disagreed c.1884 and John thereafter practised independently at 212 St Vincent Street until the last months of his father's life when a reconciliation took place and the partnership was reformed. James's office drawings were moved to John's office which was then at 112 Bath Street, but in the mid-1890s the office moved back to 212 St Vincent Street.

James Hamilton died at Neil's Cottage, Millport, Great Cumbrae on 26 June 1894. He left moveable estate of only 383 17s 2d, but probably had significant heritable property. His wife Catherine Mackay had predeceased him, dying on 3 December 1890. The name James Hamilton & Son was retained until 1910 when John's son Arthur Donaldson Hamilton was, taken into partnership, the firm becoming John Hamilton and Son in that year.

Arthur was born on 25 January 1882 and articled to his father 1899 to 1905, attending Glasgow School of Art and the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College. In 1905 he was placed with John Archibald Campbell for experience, returning to his father's practice as an assistant before being taken into partnership in 1910. He did a good deal of work for the Salvation Army in a heavy-handed art nouveau manner. Much of the work of the practice was valuation, notably for the Glasgow City and District Railway and the Caledonian Railway, and arbitration, notably for the Glasgow Corporation Sewage Scheme. John Hamilton was admitted FRIBA on 11 June 1906, his proposers being Horatio Kelson Bromhead and John Keppie; Arthur was admitted LRIBA on 24 June 1912.

Arthur was killed in the First World War (c.1917). John spent the First World War as architect to the Munition Works Board and thereafter practised alone at 112 Bath Street with the assistance of Professor W J Smith. He died on 22 March 1935, the practice being taken over by John G Hamilton.

All three generations of Hamiltons were closely associated with Rothesay, where they had weekend houses. They built many villas there and in the surrounding area.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 11Belfast, Northern IrelandBusiness   
Item 2 of 119, Woodlands, Albert Road, Langside, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate 1894 
Item 3 of 1198, West Nile Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1860After 1862 
Item 4 of 11113, West Regent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1865 *  
Item 5 of 11111, West Regent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1868After 1871Conflict of information: DMW has 1868-1877 for this address.
Item 6 of 11113, West Regent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1873After 1877Conflict of information: DMW has 1865 for this address.
Item 7 of 11132, West Regent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1879After 1890 
Item 8 of 11Hartfield House, Rothesay, Bute, Bute, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)1888 Both 22 Carment Drive and Hartfield House, Rothesay are listed as residences in 1888 Directory
Item 9 of 1122, Carment Drive, Shawlands, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1888 Both 22 Carment Drive and Hartfield House, Rothesay are listed as residences in 1888 Directory
Item 10 of 11Neil's Cottage, Millport, Little Cumbrae, Bute, ScotlandPrivate1894 *  
Item 11 of 11112, Bath Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1894 *  

* 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 8Alexander Kirklandc. 1846c. 1851Apprentice 
Item 2 of 8Alexander Kirklandc. 18511854Assistant 
Item 3 of 8Kirkland & Russell18541856Assistant 
Item 4 of 8Alexander Kirkland1856c. 1857Assistant 
Item 5 of 8Kirkland & Hamilton18611861Partner 
Item 6 of 8Hamilton & Stirrat18631866Partner 
Item 7 of 8James Hamilton & Son1877c. 1884Partner 
Item 8 of 8James Hamilton & Sonc. 18931894Partner 

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 Sellars18641867Assistant 
Item 2 of 2John H Hamilton18671873Apprentice 

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 341851Glasgow Necropolis, John Henry Alexander MonumentDennistoun GlasgowScotlandDesigned while in Kirkland's office
Item 2 of 341854Eagle Buildings  GlasgowScotlandAs assistant to Kirkland & Russell
Item 3 of 341854Tillie and Henderson Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 4 of 341857Glasgow Necropolis, David Robertson (bookseller) MonumentDennistoun GlasgowScotland 
Item 5 of 341857Ulster Bank  BelfastNorthern IrelandWon in competition
Item 6 of 341861Allan Water HydropathicBridge of Allan StirlingshireScotland 
Item 7 of 341862Ulster BankSligo County SligoEire 
Item 8 of 341863Ulster BankTrim County MeathEire 
Item 9 of 341864Newton Place UP ChurchPartick GlasgowScotlandWas given the job?
Item 10 of 341864St Mary's Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 11 of 34c. 1865Barnageeha  BelfastNorthern IrelandAttributed (Thomsonesque manner related to Bridge of Allan Hydropathic)
Item 12 of 34c. 1865Dunoon HydropathicDunoon ArgyllScotland 
Item 13 of 341866Parsonage for Glencraig ChurchCraigavad DowNorthern Ireland 
Item 14 of 341866Shops and premises, High Street and Church Lane  BelfastNorthern Ireland 
Item 15 of 341866Warehouse, Wellington Place  BelfastNorthern IrelandConversion of dwelling house into warehouse
Item 16 of 34Before 1868Glasgow Hydropathic and Turkish Bath  GlasgowScotland 
Item 17 of 34Before 1868Glenburn HydropathicRothesayButeButeScotlandExtensive French-roofed additions, forming virtually a new building incorporating David and James Hamilton's hydropathic of 1843
Item 18 of 34Before 1868Taymouth CastleTaymouth PerthshireScotlandBaths within castle
Item 19 of 34Before 1868Unidentified Warehouse in Glasgow  GlasgowScotland 
Item 20 of 341869Bedford Street Warehouse  BelfastNorthern Ireland 
Item 21 of 34c. 1869Coffee House, Trongate and Hutcheson Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 22 of 34c. 1870(?)109 Forrest StreetAirdrie LanarkshireScotlandAttribution by Peden
Item 23 of 34c. 1870Warehouse, Watson Street and Gallowgate  GlasgowScotland 
Item 24 of 341871Fort William Mansion  BelfastNorthern Ireland 
Item 25 of 341874Grand Hotel  GlasgowScotlandCompetition design
Item 26 of 34c. 1875Glasgow Necropolis, Aikens of Dalmoak MausoleumDennistoun GlasgowScotland 
Item 27 of 341876Duncan HallsRothesayButeButeScotlandWon competition to secure job
Item 28 of 341877Corner tenement with shop, Russell Street and Mill StreetRothesayButeButeScotlandHS suggestion
Item 29 of 341877Free Church and manseWhiting BayArranButeScotlandChurch and probably manse
Item 30 of 341884Baths, Leslie StreetPollokshields GlasgowScotlandWon competition and secured job; James Hamilton is credited with this at the time of the opening as reported in the Glasgow Herald, 21 March 1885.
Item 31 of 341892St Rollox UP ChurchSt Rollox GlasgowScotland 
Item 32 of 341893Shawlands AcademyShawlands GlasgowScotland 
Item 33 of 341894Drill Hall, Rumford StreetBridgeton GlasgowScotland 
Item 34 of 341894Free Presbyterian ChurchLamlashArranButeScotland'Buildings of Scotland' attribution


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 2Architects Engineers and Building Trades Directory1868Architect's, Engineer's and Building Trades' Directory London, Wyman1868
Item 2 of 2Johnston, W T2003Artists of Scotland Officina Publications CDROM 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Journal9 November 1935 London: Royal Institute of British ArchitectsObituary of John Hamilton (son)

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Mitchell LibraryGildard's 'Some Old Glasgow Architects' supplementary manuscript  
Item 2 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Information from personal recollections of the late Professor W J Smith; additional research by Iain Paterson