Basic Biographical Details

Name: (Professor) William James Smith
Born: 15 January 1893
Died: 25 March 1979
Bio Notes: William James Smith ('Smithy' to his students) was born on 15 January 1893 and commenced his apprenticeship with G N Beattie & Morton of Glasgow in October 1908, remaining with John Gibb Morton after the dissolution of the partnership the following year. This apprenticeship was cut short in late 1910 or early 1911 when Morton, who was engaged to be married but was in some difficulty financially, emigrated to Canada, leaving his father to pay the rent and provide money for Smith to redeem the office equipment from the pawnbroker. Smith transferred to John Hamilton & Son to complete his training, becoming a close friend of Hamilton's son Arthur and virtually an adopted member of the family, frequently spending weekends with them in Rothesay. Throughout this period he attended the diploma course at the Glasgow School of Architecture under Eugène Bourdon, to whom he became much attached. In 1913 Smith was awarded the Franco-Scottish Travelling Scholarship and later the National Art Survey Scholarship and the Haldane Day Bursary (for full-time study).

In 1914 Smith moved to the office of McKellar & Gunn as the Hamiltons had little work in hand, and in the same year he spent four weeks studying in France with the aid of a travelling bursary. From 1915 to 1919 he was on active war service with the Royal Engineers, during the course of which he obtained special leave to visit Cairo, Gizeh, Luxor, Jerusalem, France and Belgium. On his return to Glasgow in 1919 he rejoined John Hamilton & Son as a prospective partner, Arthur Hamilton having been killed in the war, and began to teach at the Glasgow School of Architecture. He was admitted ARIBA under the war exemption scheme at the end of the following year, his proposers being Hamilton, William Brown Whitie and Henry Edward Clifford.

Smith left the Hamilton practice in January 1921 to commence practice on his own account, but continued teaching thereafter, becoming Professor of Architecture at the School in succession to Thomas Harold Hughes in 1942. He was small and slim with a brisk manner and a lively mind: he contributed various articles and reviews to journals including 'Architectural Review', 'Architect's Journal', 'RIAS Quarterly' and 'RIBA Journal'.

He was admitted FRIBA in late 1930, his proposers being John Watson, Thomas Harold Hughes and George Andrew Paterson. In 1933 he was the Athens Bursar. At about that time his office was at 227 Bath Street, Glasgow and he was living at 3 Ferngrove Avenue, Kelvindale. His nomination papers fail to mention his time with Morton, presumably through embarrassment at the association. In addition to the specific works cited, his job list mentions 'numerous smaller domestic dwellings in Glasgow suburbs' which have yet to be identified.

Smith died on 25 March 1979. He was predeceased by his wife and in his later years spent Christmas and part of the winter in Malta, of which he was very fond.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 45, Rhannan Road, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1920 *  
Item 2 of 43, Ferngrove Avenue, Kelvindale, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1926After 1930 
Item 3 of 4227, Bath Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1929After 1930 
Item 4 of 4248, West George Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1937 *1939 or 1940(?) 

* 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 5G N Beattie & Morton12 October 19081909Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5John Gibb Morton19091910Apprentice 
Item 3 of 5John Hamilton & Son191012 October 1913Apprentice 
Item 4 of 5McKellar & Gunn19141914Assistant 
Item 5 of 5John Hamilton & Son1919January 1921 Prospective partner

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 1Walter Neil Wilson RamsayLate 1930s AssistantDates uncertain


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Henry Edward CliffordLate 1920for Associateship
Item 2 of 6John H HamiltonLate 1920for Associateship
Item 3 of 6Thomas Harold HughesLate 1930for Fellowship
Item 4 of 6George Andrew PatersonLate 1930for Fellowship
Item 5 of 6John WatsonLate 1930for Fellowship
Item 6 of 6William Brown WhitieLate 1920for Associateship

RIBA Proposals

This proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 111William AdamLate 1931for Associateship
Item 2 of 111Robert Aitchison1 December 1946For Associateship
Item 3 of 111James Paterson Allison10 December 1946For Associateship
Item 4 of 111Donald Forbes Armstrong25 June 1946For Associateship
Item 5 of 111George Arthur9 March 1936for Associateship
Item 6 of 111Thomas Barr7 May 1946For Associateship
Item 7 of 111Thomas Johnston Beveridge6 March 1939for Fellowship
Item 8 of 111Gordon Buchanan Biggar12 September 1938For Associateship
Item 9 of 111Gordon Buchanan Biggar31 March 1953For Fellowship
Item 10 of 111James Milne Munro Billing6 March 1939for Associateship
Item 11 of 111Sidney Wesley Birnage8 March 1937for Associateship
Item 12 of 111James Black9 October 1939for Associateship
Item 13 of 111Peter Lamont Burnside Borthwick27 November 1949for Associateship
Item 14 of 111John Alexander Browning5 March 1934for Associateship
Item 15 of 111Robert Bryden21 October 1941for Associateship
Item 16 of 111James Brown CairnsLate 1931 or early 1932for Associateship
Item 17 of 111Alexander Buchanan Campbell6 December 1937for Associateship
Item 18 of 111James Andrew Carrick13 October 1953For Fellowship
Item 19 of 111Robert McMillan Clive13 February 1945for Licentiateship
Item 20 of 111John Peter Coia15 April 1944for Associateship
Item 21 of 111Albert Dick Cordiner10 April 1956For Fellowship
Item 22 of 111James Macneil Cowie12 December 1939for Associateship
Item 23 of 111James Henderson DavidsonEarly 1956For Fellowship
Item 24 of 111Richard Rudolphe Chitham De'AthJanuary 1953for Associateship
Item 25 of 111James Docherty14 December 1943for Associateship
Item 26 of 111John Easton2 December 1935for Licentiateship
Item 27 of 111Eric Doig Ellison15 June 1954for Associateship
Item 28 of 111William John FairweatherLate 1932for Associateship
Item 29 of 111William John Fairweather5 June 1968For Fellowship
Item 30 of 111Thomas Loudon Fleming11 February 1947For Associateship
Item 31 of 111James Paton Fulton19 June 1956For Licentiateship
Item 32 of 111George Gibson11 December 1945for Licentiateship
Item 33 of 111Thomas Gibson8 July 1958For Associateship
Item 34 of 111(Miss) Janet Craig Stewart Gilfillan22 April 1941for Associateship
Item 35 of 111Walter Henderson Gillespie14 November 1944for Licentiateship
Item 36 of 111Alexander Graham (junior)Early 1956For Fellowship
Item 37 of 111Thomas Oswald White Gratton30 November 1936for Associateship
Item 38 of 111George Douglas Hamilton3 April 1939for Associateship
Item 39 of 111Horace James Dick Hamilton4 March 1941for Associateship
Item 40 of 111Ernest Ronald Harrison5 December 1938for Associateship
Item 41 of 111James Macgregor Harvey7 May 1946for Licentiateship
Item 42 of 111Catherine Mary Helen Henderson (Mrs Lambert)9 January 1939for Associateship
Item 43 of 111John Grenfell Hird (or Hurd)9 January 1940For Associateship
Item 44 of 111James Maclaren Honeyman8 July 1947for Fellowship
Item 45 of 111James Houston3 April 1939for Fellowship
Item 46 of 111Thomas Howarth9 January 1940For Associateship
Item 47 of 111Thomas Jack13 January 1945for Licentiateship
Item 48 of 111David Watson Jackson15 January 1946For Associateship
Item 49 of 111Agnes Freeland Johnston (Mrs Gratton)6 December 1937for Associateship
Item 50 of 111Ninian Rutherford Jamieson Johnston3 December 1934for Associateship
Item 51 of 111Robert Ferguson Kennedy12 December 1939For Associateship
Item 52 of 111Elizabeth Stevenson King (Mrs Ghuman)Early 1932for Associateship
Item 53 of 111James Smith Kirkwood5 December 1938for Associateship
Item 54 of 111Gavin Strathearn Allan Lennox6 March 1939for Associateship
Item 55 of 111Archibald Thomas Lindsay13 December 1939For Associateship
Item 56 of 111Margaret Jean Sutherland Love (Mrs Gardner)10 January 1938for Associateship
Item 57 of 111Thomas Findlay Lyon (Professor)16 April 1940For Associateship
Item 58 of 111Daniel MacKay (or McKay)10 April 1945for Licentiateship
Item 59 of 111James MaitlandEarly 1931for Associateship
Item 60 of 111Hugh Stewart Mark19 June 1939for Associateship
Item 61 of 111Alexander McAnally (sometimes misspelt McNally or Macannally)15 June 1943for Licentiateship
Item 62 of 111Alexander McAnally (sometimes misspelt McNally or Macannally)20 December 1950for Fellowship
Item 63 of 111John McClure6 December 1937for Associateship
Item 64 of 111Samuel McColl (sometimes misspelt MacColl)5 March 1934for Associateship
Item 65 of 111William McCrea22 September 1942for Fellowship
Item 66 of 111Duncan McCulloch (junior)16 December 1943for Licentiateship
Item 67 of 111(Miss) Bessie McDowall 25 June 1946For Associateship
Item 68 of 111Thomas McGarrigle14 November 1944for Licentiateship
Item 69 of 111Andrew McGraw4 April 1938for Fellowship
Item 70 of 111Joseph McKay1936For Associateship
Item 71 of 111James Tyre McNeill1932for Licentiateship
Item 72 of 111Alexander MillerEarly 1933for Associateship
Item 73 of 111James MillerEarly 1933for Associateship
Item 74 of 111Joseph Charles Miller7 February 1938for Fellowship
Item 75 of 111William Porter Mitchell12 December 1944for Associateship
Item 76 of 111Geoffrey James MonroEarly 1932for Associateship
Item 77 of 111Margaret (Margot) Florence Muirhead8 March 1937for Associateship
Item 78 of 111David Stuart PatersonLate 1931for Associateship
Item 79 of 111Lennox Dundas Paterson6 February 1939for Fellowship
Item 80 of 111Larmont Douglas Penman (junior)9 September 1942for Associateship
Item 81 of 111Walter Neil Wilson Ramsay6 May 1947For Associateship
Item 82 of 111Robert Barr Rankin6 January 1953For Associateship
Item 83 of 111John Tweedie Reid9 January 1940For Associateship
Item 84 of 111James Robin6 December 1937for Associateship
Item 85 of 111Robert William Kelly Cupples Rogerson5 August 1948For Associateship
Item 86 of 111William Ross7 March 1938for Fellowship
Item 87 of 111Jeffrey Rowbotham15 January 1946For Associateship
Item 88 of 111James Robert Clunie Rowell9 January 1940For Associateship
Item 89 of 111John Donaldson Samuel30 November 1936for Associateship
Item 90 of 111William Hamilton Sanders6 March 1939for Associateship
Item 91 of 111Elizabeth Spittal (Mrs Edmonds)19 January 1943for Associateship
Item 92 of 111John Steel16 April 1940For Associateship
Item 93 of 111Diarmad Ronald Steele3 December 1934for Associateship
Item 94 of 111William Ferguson Stewart16 May 1944for Associateship
Item 95 of 111Alexander Strang11 December 1940for Associateship
Item 96 of 111Alasdair Cameron Sutherland3 December 1934for Associateship
Item 97 of 111Robert Sutherland7 May 1946For Associateship
Item 98 of 111Peter Tinto6 March 1939for Associateship
Item 99 of 111John Tonner13 March 1945for Licentiateship
Item 100 of 111Robert George Haddon Turnbull24 June 1947For Associateship
Item 101 of 111Walter Underwood11 March 1947for Fellowship
Item 102 of 111Alastair Frew Wallace (or Alexander Frew Wallace)Mid 1933for Associateship
Item 103 of 111William Ramsay Wark6 May 1947For Associateship
Item 104 of 111Adam Elliot Watson14 January 1935for Associateship
Item 105 of 111John Watson (junior)16 November 1943for Fellowship
Item 106 of 111Richard Alan Webber16 February 1943for Licentiateship
Item 107 of 111(Sir) Harry Anthony Wheeler (or simply Sir Anthony Wheeler)14 December 1948for Associateship
Item 108 of 111Alistair Robertson Whitelaw (or Alexander Robertson Whitelaw)8 July 1947For Associateship
Item 109 of 111Annie Crawford Woodrow (Mrs Woodrow Barclay)10 January 1938for Associateship
Item 110 of 111James Wright6 December 1937for Associateship
Item 111 of 111Ronald McPherson Watson Young9 March 1936for Associateship

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 22 Picture House and Tea RoomsDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandAssistant 1914
Item 2 of 22c. 1920Marlborough HouseShawlands GlasgowScotlandPartly designed
Item 3 of 22After 1921Bonded Store for Messrs Gordon & Blair Ltd  GlasgowScotland 
Item 4 of 22After 1921Carlisle Picture HouseCarlisle CumberlandEnglandAlterations and additions
Item 5 of 22After 1921Conversion of houses into flats, Huntly Gardens  GlasgowScotland 
Item 6 of 22After 1921Conversion of houses into flats, Windsor Terrace  GlasgowScotland 
Item 7 of 22After 1921Flatted villasRiddrie GlasgowScotland 
Item 8 of 22After 1921More's Hotel  GlasgowScotlandAdditions
Item 9 of 22After 1921(?)Parkhead Picture PalaceParkhead GlasgowScotlandFaçade etc
Item 10 of 22After 1921Pavilion Picture HouseDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandAlterations - possibly c.1927 prior to change of name to Rialto Cinema
Item 11 of 22After 1921Salvation Army HallRutherglen LanarkshireScotland 
Item 12 of 22After 1921Shop for Messrs Manfields  GlasgowScotland 
Item 13 of 22After 1921St Paul's Outer High Church, memorial to Dr Smith  GlasgowScotland 
Item 14 of 22After 1921Thomson HomeRothesayButeButeScotland 
Item 15 of 22After 1921Westbourne Terrace  GlasgowScotlandConversion of houses into flats
Item 16 of 221925Competition design for Canadian National War Memorial  OttawaCanada 
Item 17 of 22After 1926St Paul's Outer High Church, memorial to Professor Charles Gourlay  GlasgowScotland 
Item 18 of 22Late 1920sKilmacolm HydropathicKilmacolm/Kilmalcolm RenfrewshireScotlandAdditions and alterations, including extension to lounge
Item 19 of 22Late 1920sOverton, gate lodges and garageKilmacolm/Kilmalcolm RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 20 of 221937Proposed golf clubhouse  Glasgow (near)Scotland 
Item 21 of 221945Barnasheen and Fernlea  GlasgowScotlandAlterations and additions to nos 5 and 7
Item 22 of 221955Barnasheen and Fernlea  GlasgowScotlandAlterations and additions to nos 5 and 7 for conversion to hall of residence


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 3RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 2 of 3RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 3 of 3Who's Who in Architecture1923    

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 from Professor William James Smith
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no3108 (microfilm reel 25); F no2827 (box 12)