Basic Biographical Details

Name: Andrew Dewar (later A Redcote Dewar)
Born: 10 December 1846
Died: After 1932
Bio Notes: Andrew Dewar was born in Edinburgh on 10 December 1846, the eldest son of the seven children of Stewart Dewar, bootmaker, and his wife Jane Blair. He was articled to Robert Paterson from the age of fourteen (if not before) and during his articles in 1863 won the First Medal for geometrical drawings from the Architectural Institute of Scotland.

Dewar emigrated to Canada in 1869 and settled in Halifax. The following year he was invited to join David Stirling, another Scottish emigré, in partnership as Stirling & Dewar. The practice was successful and was responsible for a number of well-designed buildings during the 1870s. Dewar also wrote a long essay on the architecture of Canada which was published in 'The Architect' on 20 May 1871. He later claimed he was appointed Dominion Architect for Nova Scotia (see below).

While he was in Nova Scotia he wrote essays to the Nova Scotia Institute of Natural Science in Halifax with Angus Ross, perhaps another Scots emigré, attempting to reconcile modern evolutionary theories with Christian teachings.

However in February the partnership with Stirling was dissolved. After the fire in St John's New Brunswick, Dewar moved there and joined J C Dumaresq in partnership as Dumaresque & Dewar in July 1877 but this proved short-lived and was dissolved in December of that same year. Dewar returned to Halifax and opened business on his own account in early 1878. He advertised his services in the local press as architect and drawing teacher. However the business may not have thrived as he left Canada and had returned to Edinburgh by 1881. There he won the competition for Colston Street UP Church. He is almost certainly the Andrew Dewar who presented an opinionated paper on recent architecture in Edinburgh to the Edinburgh Architectural Association which was published in the Building News 31 March 1882, 383-85.

About 1887 he moved to Leven where he formed a partnership with his younger brother Alexander Cumming Dewar (born 1859) as A & A C Dewar, Architects and Surveyors in 1888 (Bailey gives 1886, but A & A C Dewar drawings begin 1889). Alexander Cumming's obituary in the Aberdeen Journal notes that he had gone to Leven '45 years ago' which would make the start of the practice there 1887.

In 1889 one of the two brothers spoke in support of Mr Asquith when the latter was addressing the townspeople of Leven. Andrew stood for election to the Town Council of Leven in October 1890 but it is not clear if he was elected. He was also nominated for election to the School Board of Leven in 1891. Alexander was appointed Town Clerk c.1892, retaining the position for the rest of his life and serving under six Provosts.

In 1891 Andrew Dewar was involved in settling the affairs of his sister. A letter (offered for sale on ebay 23 December 2013) written by him to his solicitor states that he had forgotten to include [in a previous letter] a list of the successors to his sister's trustees regarding the house of Boglea Loan. In 1898 Dewar published a book entitled 'From Matter to Man'.which put forward the theory that life originates from the lower materialstic energies chiefly magnetism. His nom de plume was A Redcote Dewar.

In 1902 Andrew Dewar won a Ist prize for lettering at the Edinburgh Industrial Exhibition.

The obituary of Alexander Cumming Dewar which appeared in the Edinburgh Evening Telegraph 11 March 1932 states that he became sole partner in the business after the retiral of his brother. Andrew emigrated to South Africa in 1903. He is probably the A Dewar who sailed from Southampton to Durban on 17 January 1903. After his move to South Africa Dewar seems to have been known by his nom de plume, A Redcote Dewar (Redcote was the name of his brother's house in Leven and in 1901 Andrew Dewar lived at 'Promenade Redcote').

Later in 1903 he won the competition for St Andrew's Church and Hall (foundation stone 21 Oct 1903), Johannesburg. He and F Bergdahl submitted a plan for a new synagogue in Johannesburg in the same year. His biography, published there in 1905, records him as 'Mr. Redcote [sic] Dewar, ...who went to Canada and was Dominion Architect for Nova Scotia, erecting many public and private buildings in that country including the Post Office, and the Asylum for Insane, Charlottetown, the Athenaeum, St. John's Newfoundland, and Fort Massey Church, Halifax'. However the statement that he was Dominion Architect is untrue. He might have been hired as a local supervisor for the Dominion Architect, this post being held by Thomas Seaton Scott from 1871 to 1881.

In about 1905 he joined G Smith in Port Elizabeth as Smith & Dewar and remained in Port Elizabeth for the rest of his career. The firm was joined by Smith's sons. According to the South African Architectural Record (Aug 1953, pp42-3) he was elected the first President of the local Institute of Architects, the date not yet known. He resigned from the ISAA in December 1932.

Andrew Dewar's death date is not yet known.

The origin of creation: or, The science of matter and force. A new system of natural philosophy / by Thomas Roderick Fraser, M.D. and Andrew Dewar. (1874)

A Redcote Dewar: From matter to man. A new theory of the universe. (1898)

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 69, Broughton Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)1867  
Item 2 of 620, Warrender Park Crescent, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/business1881  
Item 3 of 634, Marchmont Cresent, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1882c. 1884A & C Dewar at this address in 1885
Item 4 of 6Leven, Fife, ScotlandBusinessc. 1885c. 1907 
Item 5 of 6Warriston House, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1891 *  
Item 6 of 6Promenade Redcote, Scoonie, Leven, Fife, ScotlandPrivate1901 *  

* 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 2Robert PatersonBefore 1863 Apprentice 
Item 2 of 2A & A C Dewar1888c. 1907Partner 

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 171867'Architectural design'     
Item 2 of 17c. 1880Glasgow Municipal Buildings  GlasgowScotlandCompetition design entered under a crescent logo.
Item 3 of 171881Colston Street UP Church  EdinburghScotlandWon competition to secure job
Item 4 of 171888Durie Estate, feuing plans  FifeScotland 
Item 5 of 171889Market Cross, Carberry HouseLeven FifeScotland 
Item 6 of 171889Simpson Memorial InstituteUpper Largo FifeScotlandUnsuccessful competition design
Item 7 of 171890s(?)Buildings with shopsMethil FifeScotland 
Item 8 of 171890sMoodies BuildingsMethil FifeScotland 
Item 9 of 171891Leven Town HallLeven FifeScotlandReconstruction
Item 10 of 171894Colinsburgh Town HallColinsburgh FifeScotland 
Item 11 of 171896Cellardyke School and Schoolteacher's houseCellardyke FifeScotlandSecond storey and west wing added and old part reclad in matching stone.
Item 12 of 171896(?)Methil Co-operative Society Premises, Harbour WyndMethil FifeScotlandOne phase of alterations within this period or earlier? Possibly carried out by Alexander Cumming Dewar alone after Andrew Dewar's emigration c.1907
Item 13 of 171897New Parish ChurchLeven FifeScotland 
Item 14 of 171898Masonic and Volunteer HallsLeven FifeScotland 
Item 15 of 171898Street plan South Street and High StreetLeven FifeScotlandWidening of street by removal of old buildings
Item 16 of 171898Tenement of four housesDysart FifeScotland 
Item 17 of 171898Thistle Golf ClubLeven FifeScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 5Bailey, Rebecca M1996Scottish architects' papers: a source book Edinburgh: The Rutland Pressp112
Item 2 of 5  Accessed May 2013
Item 3 of 5Post Office Directories     
Item 4 of Website of artefacts, for the recording of South African buildingsAccessed April 2014.
Item 5 of Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints: Website 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 6Builder28 March 1863  p227
Item 2 of 6Dundee Advertiser31 October 1890   
Item 3 of 6Dundee Courier20 October 1902   
Item 4 of 6Edinburgh Evening News3 October 1890   
Item 5 of 6Glasgow Herald10 March 1891   
Item 6 of 6RIBA Journal9 July 1932 London: Royal Institute of British ArchitectsObituary of Alexander Cumming Dewar p722