Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Black Fulton
Born: 11 August 1875
Died: 11 April 1922
Bio Notes: James Black Fulton was born at Fenwick on 11 August 1875, the son of Robert Fulton, journeyman shoemaker and his wife Janet Black. He was related to John Fulton (1803-1853), inventor of the Orrery who also started life as a shoemaker in Fenwick and may have been his great uncle.

James Black Fulton was first noticed for the quality of his draughtsmanship when he made measured drawings of the woodwork screens in King's College in Aberdeen. Educated at Fenwick and Bearsden, he was articled to William Forsyth McGibbon from February 1890 to 1895, and attended Glasgow School of Art and the Glasgow & West of Scotland Technical College. Thereafter he was with Honeyman & Keppie for two years, moving to London to work first for Niven & Wigglesworth and then for John McKean Brydon, during which period he studied at the RA Schools under Phene Spiers. On Brydon's death in 1901 he moved to the offices of James Glen Sivewright Gibson and then to Aston Webb's. He passed the qualifying exam in 1906 having won the Tite Prize in 1899, the RIBA Drawings Prize in 1900, the Soane Medallion in 1902, the Grissell Medal in 1903, and the Royal Academy Travelling Scholarship, which enabled him to spend two years studying in Greece, Turkey, Italy, France, Germany and Spain, becoming one of the finest architectural draughtsmen of his generation. He was admitted ARIBA on 3 December 1906, his proposers being Webb, Gibson and Henry Thomas Hare.

In or about 1906 he commenced practice at 14 Bedford Row, London where he carried out 'a considerable quantity of private work' and designed the Palace of British Applied Arts and other buildings buildings for the Franco British Exhibition of 1908. He also submitted an exceptionally fine design for the Palace of Peace at the Hague.

During the First World War he enlisted in the Royal Engineers, although over-age and declined a commission. He does not seem to have served abroad and he was discharged with a disability pension due to aortic heart disease.

Having taught under Beresford Pite at the LCC School of Construction for many years, he was appointed Director of Studies at the Glasgow School of Architecture and Professor of Architectural Design at Glasgow School of Art in 1920 where he was briefly a 'good teacher but a hopeless administrator' (W J Smith). Following a routine medical check-up he collapsed in the street outside the Royal College and died shortly afterwards on 11 April 1922 at Bellahouston Hospital. His moveable estate amounted to only 294 10 8d. He was survived by his wife Jessie Bisset Valentine.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 514, Bedford Row, London WC, EnglandBusiness19031920 
Item 2 of 592, Solar (Salon?) Road, Brixton, London, EnglandPrivate1906 *  
Item 3 of 5153, Amesbury Avenue, Streatham Hill, London, EnglandPrivateAfter 19061920 
Item 4 of 5Glasgow School of Architecture/167, Renfrew Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness19201922 
Item 5 of 517, Claremont Gardens, Milngavie, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate19211922 

* 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 6William Forsyth McGibbonFebruary 18901895Apprentice 
Item 2 of 6Honeyman & Keppie18951897Assistant 
Item 3 of 6Niven & Wigglesworth1897Before 1901Assistant 
Item 4 of 6John McKean BrydonAfter 18971901Assistant 
Item 5 of 6James Glen Sivewright GibsonAfter 1901Before 1903Assistant 
Item 6 of 6Aston WebbAfter 1901Before 1903Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6James Glen Sivewright Gibson3 December 1906for Associateship
Item 2 of 6Henry Thomas Hare3 December 1906for Associateship
Item 3 of 6Henry Thomas HareEarly 1921for Fellowship
Item 4 of 6Nathaniel William HarrisonEarly 1921for Fellowship
Item 5 of 6Aston Webb3 December 1906for Associateship
Item 6 of 6Aston WebbEarly 1921for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 4Leslie Dowie1910for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 4John Forsyth McIlwraith22 April 1912for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 4John Shanks4 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 4 of 4John Forrest Steel (or John Forrester Steel?)4 July 1910for 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 17After 1903Buildings for Kilmarnock Co-operative SocietyKilmarnock AyrshireScotland 
Item 2 of 17After 1903Edgecombe HallWimbledon LondonEnglandAlterations
Item 3 of 17After 1903FactoryBarrhead RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 4 of 17After 1903HouseGiffnock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 5 of 17After 1903House for F H GibsonGerrard's Cross BuckinghamshireEngland 
Item 6 of 17After 1903House for Mr BoydKilmaurs AyrshireScotland 
Item 7 of 17After 1903House for R RowleyGanwick HertfordshireEngland 
Item 8 of 171904Buildings for Hurlford Co-operative SocietyHurlford AyrshireScotland 
Item 9 of 171905Picture and sculpture gallery    Design
Item 10 of 171907London County Hall  LondonEnglandCompetition design - unsuccessful
Item 11 of 171908Franco-British Exhibition, Administrative OfficesWhite City LondonEngland 
Item 12 of 171908Franco-British Exhibition, Messrs Muratti & Co KioskWhite City LondonEngland 
Item 13 of 171908Franco-British Exhibition, Messrs Reddaways BuildingWhite City LondonEngland 
Item 14 of 171908Franco-British Exhibition, Messrs Webb & Sons Glass WorksWhite City LondonEngland 
Item 15 of 171908Franco-British Exhibition, Palace of British Applied ArtsWhite City LondonEngland 
Item 16 of 171910National Library of WalesAberystwyth  WalesCompetition design
Item 17 of 171913Board of Trade Offices  LondonEnglandCompetition design (invited to enter) - not successful


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 2Ferguson, H C S Glasgow School of Art: the history  p138
Item 2 of 2Gray, A Stuart1985Edwardian Architecture: A Biographical Dictionary   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 4Builder12 May 1922   
Item 2 of 4Glasgow Herald13 April 1922   
Item 3 of 4RIAS Quarterly1923SpringRoyal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS)Obituary by John Keppie p24
Item 4 of 4RIBA Journal22 April 1922 London: Royal Institute of British ArchitectsObituary p412 Main obituary by Beresford Pite and postscript by Edward G Wylie

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A v17 p11 (microfilm reel 19); F no1735 (microfilm reel 14)