Basic Biographical Details

Name: Thomas Greenshields Leadbetter
Born: 21 October 1859
Died: 12 February 1931
Bio Notes: Thomas Greenshields Leadbetter was born on 21 October 1859, the son of James Greenshields Leadbetter (1827-1897) of Stobieside, Lanarkshire and Margaret Macpherson, daughter of Hugh Macpherson of Blantyreferme. The Leadbetters were Glasgow merchants and metal workers

Leadbetter commenced independent practice in 1885, renting chambers at 122 George Street, an address which suggests some kind of link with Peddie and Kinnear as Peddie owned it: there may also have been a connection with Charles Kinnear whose mother Christian Greenshields also came from a Glasgow merchant family. Information on his training is as yet lacking but the precocious neo-Tudor vernacular of Dundhu, comparable with W L Carruthers's early houses at Inverness suggests a similar London background as do his RA exhibits. On 28 August 1890 Leadbetter married Mary Anne Usher of Norton and Wells, substantially extending the family connections which were the basis of the practice. Although some commentators have found his work bland his understated and predominantly unturreted early-17th-century Scots style reflected J J Stevenson's advocacy of such an idiom in 'House Architecture' (1880) and paralleled Rowand Anderson's Allermuir and Glencoe.

In 1895 Leadbetter took into partnership James McLellan Fairley. Fairley had been born in 1860, the son of Captain Alexander Fairley of the US Army and served his apprenticeship with Hippolyte Jean Blanc from 1875, subsequently working in the offices of Wardrop & Reid, Archibald Macpherson, Walter Wood Robertson of the Office of Works and Arthur George Sydney Mitchell, before founding his practice c. 1885. He passed the qualifying exam in 1886 and was admitted ARIBA on 21 June of that year his proposers being Arthur Cates, George Washington Browne, John Kinross, ___ Berry (?) and, rather oddly, Leadbetter who does not seem to have been a fellow of the institute: his inclusion suggests that he had already been assisting Leadbetter's practice for some time.

Leadbetter inherited Stobieside from his father in 1897 and some time thereafter came into possession of Spittal Tower, Hawick. His house at 2 Magdala Place was given up in 1903, and the Leadbetters seem to have lived chiefly at Spittal Tower thereafter, but his name appears in the directories along with the firm at 17 Young Street until 1909, and he continued to be responsible for projects in which he had a personal interest beyond that date, notably the restoration of Bedrule Church and the complete rebuilding of his own Spittal Tower in 1914.

Leadbetter died on 12 February 1931. He was buried at Dean Cemetery on 14 February 1931. In his later years his surnames were hyphenated. He had three sons - James Greenshields Greenshields Leadbetter WS (born 11 August 1891), John Usher Leadbetter (born 12 September 1893, died 21 September 1908) and Major Alan Edmonstone Leadbetter (born 28 August 1896, killed in action 4 August 1917) - and two unmarried daughters, Mary Balmer Leadbetter and Jean Gillespie Leadbetter.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 526, Coates Gardens, Wester Coates, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1885 *  
Item 2 of 5122, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1885c. 1891 
Item 3 of 52, Magdala Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 18901903 
Item 4 of 517, Young Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1892 On his own until c1895, then with Fairley in 1895 and from 1909 also with Reid
Item 5 of 5Spittal Tower, Hawick, Roxburghshire, ScotlandPrivateAfter 1897  

* 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 2Leadbetter & Fairley1895After 1903PartnerLeadbetter semi-retired in 1903 but was still involved in some projects thereafter
Item 2 of 2Leadbetter, Fairley & Reid1909c. 1921PartnerInvolved in some projects whilst semi-retired.

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 6William FinlaysonAfter 1888c. 1890Assistant 
Item 2 of 6John Daniel Swanstonc. 1889c. 1890Assistant(Given as 'Leadbetter & Fairley' on Swanston's RIBA nomination papers)
Item 3 of 6James McLellan FairleyBefore 18901895 It appears that Fairley worked in Leadbetter's office before being taken into partnership (the RIBA nomination papers of some other architects state that they worked for 'Leadbetter & Fairley' in the early 1890s)
Item 4 of 6Thomas Forbes Maclennanc. 1893c. 1894Draughtsman(Given as 'Leadbetter & Fairley' on Maclennan's RIBA nomination papers)
Item 5 of 6Robert Raeburn Grieve18941895Apprentice 
Item 6 of 6Thomas Sinclairc. 1894c. 1895Apprentice 


RIBA Proposals

This proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1James McLellan Fairley21 June 1886for 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 98188519 Eglinton Crescent  EdinburghScotlandDesign for new interiors exhibited
Item 2 of 981885Clifton HallNewbridge MidlothianScotlandDesign for billiard room exhibited
Item 3 of 981885Feuing at Ravelston  EdinburghScotlandFeuing plan
Item 4 of 981886DundhuLoch Ard, Aberfoyle PerthshireScotlandDesign exhibited (also 1890)
Item 5 of 981886Feuing plans for Morningside CollegeMorningside EdinburghScotlandFeuing plans
Item 6 of 981886Morningside Hydropathic HotelMorningside EdinburghScotlandFeuing plan
Item 7 of 981887Bothwell Parish Council ChambersBellshill LanarkshireScotlandDesign exhibited
Item 8 of 981887Cottage near AberfoyleAberfoyle PerthshireScotlandDesign exhibited
Item 9 of 981887Polmood LodgePeebles PeeblesshireScotlandDesign exhibited
Item 10 of 981888Library for Solicitors to the Supreme Courts of Scotland  EdinburghScotlandCompetition design (by invitation) - not successful
Item 11 of 9818894-8 Castle Street  EdinburghScotlandRemodelled
Item 12 of 9818896 Charlotte Square  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 13 of 981889Bent Road SchoolHamilton LanarkshireScotlandCompetition design - unsuccessful
Item 14 of 981889Blairston FarmBothwell LanarkshireScotlandDesign exhibited
Item 15 of 981889Christ Church Episcopal Church  EdinburghScotlandAddition of north aisle
Item 16 of 981889Village in Ayrshire  AyrshireScotlandDesign exhibited 'in course of erection'
Item 17 of 98189020 Murrayfield Gardens  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 18 of 981890Tulloch Castle, Caisteal GorachDingwall Ross and CromartyScotlandRestoration/alterations? (Or were these to Tulloch Castle itself rather than this folly?)
Item 19 of 98c. 1890137-141 George Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 20 of 98c. 1890Stronachullin LodgeArdrishaig ArgyllScotlandPlan and perspectives - were these unexecuted?
Item 21 of 98189126-27 Queen Street  EdinburghScotlandInternal remodelling of existing house as home of Society of Accountants of Edinburgh
Item 22 of 981891Cessnock Castle  AyrshireScotlandDesign for reconstruction exhibited
Item 23 of 981891Feuing plans for Basket Lands, CalderwoodEast Kilbride LanarkshireScotlandFeuing plans (unexecuted)
Item 24 of 981891Mansion house  PeeblesshireScotlandDesign exhibited for addition
Item 25 of 98c. 1891Craigcrook Castle  EdinburghScotlandAdditions (billiard room etc)
Item 26 of 9818924 Moray Place  EdinburghScotlandSubdivision of house into three flats
Item 27 of 981892Blair HouseDalry AyrshireScotlandNorth wing and re-fronting of east range, west wing and raising of roof of east wing. Also interior work
Item 28 of 981892Grandtully Castle  PerthshireScotlandDesign exhibited for large addition, which was executed. Restoration
Item 29 of 98c. 1892Murthly CastleMurthly PerthshireScotlandPartial rebuilding and repairs
Item 30 of 98189452 Garscube Terrace  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 31 of 981894Baird Memorial CottagesStitchel/Stichill/Stichel RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 32 of 981894Bank and bank manager's houseNorth Berwick East LothianScotland 
Item 33 of 981894DunalistairFortingall PerthshireScotlandTower Lodge and gateway
Item 34 of 9818956 Wester Coates Avenue  EdinburghScotland 
Item 35 of 981895Airlie Lodge  EdinburghScotland 
Item 36 of 981895Ardwall  KirkcudbrightshireScotlandDesign for additions exhibited
Item 37 of 981895Carnegie Public LibraryWick CaithnessScotlandDrew up design - with Sinclair MacDonald as executant architect
Item 38 of 981895JohnstounburnHaddington East LothianScotlandImproved garden front
Item 39 of 981895Sandeman Public LibraryPerth PerthshireScotlandCompetition design - unplaced
Item 40 of 981895St Kentigern's ChurchInversnaid StirlingshireScotlandDesign exhibited
Item 41 of 981895The HolmesSt Boswells RoxburghshireScotlandDesigns exhibited (before partnership with Fairley)
Item 42 of 981896Airlie Lodge  AngusScotlandAlterations
Item 43 of 981896Arthur Lodge  EdinburghScotlandAdditions and alterations
Item 44 of 981896Balbirnie House, including walled garden and stablesMarkinch FifeScotlandProposed additions
Item 45 of 981896Coach house and stables for John UsherRoseburn EdinburghScotland 
Item 46 of 981896HillhouseBarassie AyrshireScotlandDesign for additions exhibited
Item 47 of 981896Rowallan Castle and Rowallan HouseKilmaurs AyrshireScotlandRebuilding and additions -'proposed addition to old Scots mansion' - not executed
Item 48 of 981897Broxburn Public SchoolBroxburn West LothianScotlandAdditions and alterations
Item 49 of 98189822 Belgrave CrescentDean EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 50 of 981898Border mansion house   ScotlandDesign exhibited
Item 51 of 981898Chapel of St Kentigern  ArgyllScotland 
Item 52 of 981898Eccles House  BerwickshireScotland 
Item 53 of 981898Edinburgh Academy, Library  EdinburghScotlandCentre block
Item 54 of 9818994 Belford Park  EdinburghScotlandConversion of stables to flats
Item 55 of 981899Burntisland Golf ClubhouseBurntisland FifeScotlandDesign exhibited
Item 56 of 981899Fitzgerald Memorial HallTorphichen West LothianScotlandDesign exhibited
Item 57 of 981899Lodge and gates    Design exhibited
Item 58 of 981899SummerhillKirkcudbright KirkcudbrightshireScotlandDesign exhibited
Item 59 of 981900Blairhoyle House  PerthshireScotlandAlterations
Item 60 of 981900Edinburgh Academy, Library  EdinburghScotlandDrawing for carved panel dated
Item 61 of 981900Edinburgh Academy, Main Building  EdinburghScotlandSite plan showing arrangement of covered ways
Item 62 of 981900ParkhillDalry AyrshireScotlandAddition of wings
Item 63 of 98c. 190022 Moray Place  EdinburghScotlandLight installed
Item 64 of 981901Bonded StoreQueen's Park, St Leonard's EdinburghScotland 
Item 65 of 981901Mansion houseSlateford EdinburghScotland 
Item 66 of 981901(?)University of Edinburgh, John Usher Institute of Public Health  EdinburghScotland 
Item 67 of 98190216 Gillespie RoadColinton EdinburghScotlandAdditions
Item 68 of 98c. 19027-8 Moray Place  EdinburghScotlandAlterations and subdivision into 5 dwellings
Item 69 of 981903New Parish Church (St Paul's)Milngavie DunbartonshireScotlandWon competition to secure job
Item 70 of 981904DalveahLoch Ard, Aberfoyle PerthshireScotlandDesign exhibited
Item 71 of 981904Lee CastleCarnwath LanarkshireScotlandNew lodge, gate, large dairy
Item 72 of 98c. 1904GlenparkBalerno MidlothianScotlandNew build/alterations? (Plans dated)
Item 73 of 9819059 Lennox Street Lane  EdinburghScotlandConversion of stable and coachhouse to garage
Item 74 of 981905Carlung HouseWest Kilbride AyrshireScotlandDesign for rebuilding after fire (not executed)
Item 75 of 981905QueenshillRingford (near), Kirkcudbright KirkcudbrightshireScotlandDesign exhibited
Item 76 of 981905Swinton ManseSwinton BerwickshireScotlandAlterations? Repairs?
Item 77 of 981905Swinton Parish ChurchSwinton BerwickshireScotlandAlterations?
Item 78 of 98c. 1905Simprin Church and Manse  BerwickshireScotland 
Item 79 of 981906Wells House  RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 80 of 981907Low Drumclog  LanarkshireScotlandHS Attribution
Item 81 of 981908StobiesideDrumclog LanarkshireScotland 
Item 82 of 98c. 1908Dean Cemetery, Leadbetter MemorialDean EdinburghScotland 
Item 83 of 981909The AbbeyNorth Berwick East LothianScotlandDesign exhibited
Item 84 of 981911Edinburgh Academy, cricket ground and pavilion  EdinburghScotland 
Item 85 of 981911HillhouseBarassie AyrshireScotlandAdditions made
Item 86 of 981913Bedrule Parish ChurchBedrule RoxburghshireScotlandRestoration
Item 87 of 981913Fernielaw HouseColinton EdinburghScotlandAdditions and alterations
Item 88 of 98191426-27 Queen Street  EdinburghScotlandPlans (unexecuted) for new Hall and Library on ground occupied by garden, cost estimate: £5,000
Item 89 of 981914Duddingston Forge  EdinburghScotland 
Item 90 of 981914House at the crossroads of Duddingston Road  EdinburghScotland 
Item 91 of 981914Spittal TowerHawick RoxburghshireScotlandAlterations - involved though no longer officially practising with the partnership
Item 92 of 981914Tenement, Duddingston Mills  EdinburghScotland 
Item 93 of 981917Lord Roberts Memorial Workshops, Greenside Row  EdinburghScotlandAlterations (continued by practice after Fairley retired in 1938)
Item 94 of 981919War MemorialBedrule RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 95 of 981919War MemorialBedrule RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 96 of 981920s17-18 Moray Place  EdinburghScotlandPlans - presumably for alterations?
Item 97 of 981920Bedrule Parish ChurchBedrule RoxburghshireScotlandWar memorial
Item 98 of 98c. 1920AthelstanefordColinton EdinburghScotlandWar memorial


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 5British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 2 of 5Burke, ____ (Mosley, Charles, ed) Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage: Clan Chiefs, Scottish Feudal Barons107th EditionWilmington, Delaware: Burke's Peerage & Gentry LLC 
Item 3 of 5Glendinning, M, MacInnes, R and MacKechnie, A1996A History of Scottish Architecture   
Item 4 of 5Graves, Algernon1905The Royal Academy of Arts: a complete dictionary of exhibitors and their works…1905-6London: Graves and Bell 
Item 5 of 5Post Office Directories     

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Border Telegraph17 February 1931   
Item 2 of 2Scotsman14 February 1931  Death notice

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1DMW ArchiveSmall, G P: The Leadbetters' Victorian Legacy, Unpublished paper, 21 September 1994 Research by Sam Small