Basic Biographical Details
|11 February 1840
|22 April 1922
|James Souttar was born in London on 11 February 1840, the son of William Souttar, Edenville, Aberdeen. In 1852 he was articled to Mackenzie and Matthews in Aberdeen, remaining with Matthews until 1860, during which period he won the Silver Medal of the Architectural Institute of Scotland for design. In the latter year he secured the post of draughtsman with Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt in London where he remained until 1863, concurrently attending classes in architecture at University College where he became assistant to Professor Thomas Leverton Donaldson. In 1863 he set off on an extended continental tour that embraced Belgium, France, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark and finally Sweden where he became acquainted with the architect Johan August Westerberg, the son of a wealthy Gothenburg shipowner. He became their guest and lived in Sweden for over two years, primarily in Stockholm. According to his RIBA nomination paper he would appear from the reference to 'Congregational Church, Aberdeen' to have designed Belmont Congregational Church (opened August 1865) for its nominal architect, Lord Provost William Leslie. Whether he designed this impressive essay in North European Romanesque before setting out or during his tour is not yet known but it may well have been designed from Sweden as the apse is as close to that of Lund Cathedral as any other. By June 1864 he had settled in Stockholm where he made new designs for the English Church there, an early Gothic design with apse and spire built in 1865-66. He produced a scheme for the Orphanage of Free Masons in Kristineberg in Stockholm (the commission eventually went to J F Abom) and for several country houses, one of which was exhibited at the Academien for de Fria Konsterna in Stockholm in 1866. He engaged a Swedish assistant, A E Melander, and in 1865 married Westerberg' s younger sister, Maria Sophie Georgina Westerberg (born 26 July 1841 at Onsala), his house being at 15 Barnhustradgardsgatan. He published a History of English Gothic Architecture in Swedish and various papers in 'Stockholme Biggnads' ,'Tidskrift' and 'Nya Illustrade Tidmugen' . In 1866 Souttar returned to Aberdeen to commence practice on his own account, bringing back Melander who stayed with him until 1871 when he emigrated to New York. Melander moved in the following year to Boston, where he practised until his return to his native Stockholm in 1875.
Souttar's daughter Wilhelmina Leslie Souttar married Sidney Herbert (1863-1934) in 1891. Herbert was a London stockbroker, specialising in railway shares, who was involved in various financial manoeuvres relating to railway companies in the early 20th century. The Heugh was designed by James Souttar for his son in law. Although Wilhelmina died young, Herbert continued to use The Heugh as his Scottish residence. He remarried Doris Cooper in 1906. He was active in various local organisations in Stonehaven and was prospective Unionist candidate for Kincardineshire for a while. He sold The Heugh in 1919.
In his earlier years of independent practice Souttar was a very individual Gothic and Romanesque designer, his inspiration coming from contemporary London work rather than anything Scottish or Swedish. In 1897-98 he was briefly in partnership with his son James Augustus Souttar. The elder Souttar was admitted FRIBA on 6 June 1898, his proposers being John Murray Robertson, John Honeyman and John James Burnet, but he carried out no significant work in Aberdeen thereafter. He served as first President of the Aberdeen Society of Architects in 1898. He died at 1 Fairhaven Villas, Eskbank, Aberdeen on 22 April 1922, leaving moveable estate of £323 14s 3d.
Souttar's eldest son, James Augustus Souttar, was born on 26 December 1866, educated at Aberdeen Grammar School and articled to his father from 1882 to 1887, remaining for a further three years as a draughtsman and studying for the South Kensington certificates. He then sought experience elsewhere, moving to Wales as chief assistant to Alfred Swash of Newport, Monmouthshire, but in 1892 returned to his father's firm to act as clerk of works on the Salvation Army Citadel in Aberdeen. He was taken into partnership by his father in 1897, as James Souttar & Son, but after the partnership was dissolved, James Augustus moved to London to practise alone. The split was clearly amicable as his father was among his proposers for admittance as LRIBA in late 1910, the others being Arthur Clyne and Arthur Hay Livingstone Mackinnon, also of Aberdeen. His nomination papers state that he had been a member of the Society of Architects since 1901, and his father's statement mentions that James Augustus had travelled in Sweden, France, Germany, Italy and Egypt.
James Augustus subsequently became architect to the British and Foreign School Society and the Cambrian Coast Hotels Company, and was superintending valuator to the War Office Western Command from 1919 to 1925. He was admitted FRIBA in 1925 and died in Elie, Fife on 24 May 1952.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
|15, Barnhustradgardsgatan, Stockholm, Sweden
|6, Beaconsfield Place, Aberdeen, Scotland
|42, Union Street, Aberdeen, Scotland
|1, Fairhaven Villas, Eskbank, Aberdeen, Scotland
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Employment and Training
Employees or Pupils
|This proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
|James Augustus Souttar
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this :
|Ajkay, Anna von
|James Souttar in Sweden
|Architectural Heritage 2: Scottish Architects Abroad, ed D Howard, pp84-90 (Edinburgh Univ Press)
|Architects Engineers and Building Trades Directory
|Architect's, Engineer's and Building Trades' Directory
|British Architectural Library, RIBA
|Directory of British Architects 1834-1914
|Walker, Frank Arneil
|South Clyde Estuary: An Illustrated Architectural Guide to Inverclyde and Renfrew
|The following periodicals contain references to this :
|10 May 1952
|James Augustus Soutar
|The following archives hold material relating to this :
|Source Catalogue No.
|Courtesy of Tom Burnham
|Information via DSA website
|Sent 12 August 2009
|Professor David M Walker personal archive
|Professor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material
|Information from gravestone
|RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert Museum
|RIBA Nomination Papers
|A v3 p263 (microfiche 8/E5); F v13 p3 (microfiche 117/D1)