Basic Biographical Details

Name: Charles Ernest Hay
Born: 17 July 1872
Died: 1 May 1936
Bio Notes: Charles Ernest Hay was born in Edinburgh on 17 July 1872, the son of the architect John Charles Hay and his wife Jane. He was articled to his father and then moved to the office of James Graham Fairley for six years, (in the census of 1891 he is described as a draughtsman) followed by a period as assistant to William Hamilton Beattie. This must have been before 1898 as Beattie died in that year: it is possible that he was simply in the office of George Beattie & Sons in which William Hamilton Beattie was a partner. Before 1901 he moved to Dumfries to a similar post with Frank James Chambers Carruthers.

By 1904 Hay had opened business on his own account in Dumfries in Nith Street, Dumfries. By this date he had married Agnes Turner and the couple had two sons and two daughters. Hay never joined the RIBA but was a Member of the Society of Architects. He continued to work in Dumfries until 1911.

He emigrated to Canada in 1912, apparently sailing on the ‘Empress of Britain’ in February to Saint Johns, New Brunswick. In the Passenger list he is described as a surveyor. His wife and their four children had already sailed in January of that year on the ‘Ionian’ which was bound for Halifax (although their destination was given as Calgary). Hay initially took a post with Lawson & Fordyce in Calgary but later that year commenced independent practice. For the next ten years he continued to practice on his own account with jobs in Alberta and in British Columbia, undertaking a range of work including residential, educational, commercial and ecclesiastical buildings.

In September 1923 Hay left Canada and moved to Seattle in the Unites States to take up a post as senior draughtsman in the of B Marcus Priteca who was a theatre specialist. By 1929 he was the chief designer in the office and appears to have continued as such until after 1932. He died in Seattle on 1 May 1936.

The commission for St Joseph's College (and another RC Church in Canada) suggests that he may have been Roman Catholic.

For jobs in Canada see the the online Dictionary of Architects in Canada.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 217, Jordan Lane, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1892 *  
Item 2 of 210, Gladstone Terrace, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1898 *  

* 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 7John Charles HayLate 1880s Apprentice 
Item 2 of 7James Graham FairleyLate 1880sEarly 1890sApprentice 
Item 3 of 7William Hamilton Beattie1890s Assistant 
Item 4 of 7Francis (Frank) James Chambers CarruthersLate 1890s Assistant 
Item 5 of 7Lawson & Fordyce1912 Assistant 
Item 6 of 7Benjamin Marcus Priteca19231929Assistant 
Item 7 of 7Benjamin Marcus Priteca19291932Chief Assistant 

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 41891Cottages, BlinkbonnyCurrie MidlothianScotland 
Item 2 of 41898PurvesholmGullane East LothianScotlandOriginal house
Item 3 of 41898Sea HouseGullane East LothianScotland 
Item 4 of 41907St Joseph's College and Boarding HouseDumfries DumfriesshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 2  Information per Robert Hill.

'Our main sources of information on this architect came from the autobiography written by his younger brother who, at age 93, recorded his own career, and the career of his brother Charles, the architect. This document is now in the possession of his daughter Mrs. Helen M. Hoyte of Norfolk, England. Her letter to us was sent to us in May 1987. Other information came from the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, and from the Canadian Architectural Archives at the Univ. of Calgary. The daughter of Charles Hay, Mrs. A.M. Sweeney of Santa Rosa, Calif. also provided information to us in 1987.'
Item 2 of 2Post Office Directories