Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Souttar
Born: 11 February 1840
Died: 22 April 1922
Bio Notes: 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 :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 5Gothenburg, SwedenPrivate18631863 
Item 2 of 515, Barnhustradgardsgatan, Stockholm, SwedenPrivate18631866 
Item 3 of 56, Beaconsfield Place, Aberdeen, ScotlandPrivate(?)1898 *  
Item 4 of 542, Union Street, Aberdeen, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1898After 1910 
Item 5 of 51, Fairhaven Villas, Eskbank, Aberdeen, ScotlandPrivate1922 *  

* 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 5Mackenzie & Matthews1852October 1854Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5James MatthewsOctober 18541860Apprentice 
Item 3 of 5Matthew Digby Wyatt18601863Assistant 
Item 4 of 5Thomas Leverton DonaldsonAfter 18601863AssistantTeaching assistant
Item 5 of 5James Souttar & Son18971898Senior 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 5Adolph Emil Melander18661871Assistant 
Item 2 of 5James Augustus Souttar18821887Apprentice 
Item 3 of 5James Augustus Souttar18871890Draughtsman 
Item 4 of 5James Augustus Souttar1893(?)1897ClerkClerk of Works
Item 5 of 5Alexander Clark Meston18971902Apprentice 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Thomas Leverton Donaldson3 April 1865for Associateship
Item 2 of 6John Honeyman6 June 1898for Fellowship
Item 3 of 6John Keppie6 June 1898for Fellowship
Item 4 of 6Robert Kerr3 April 1865for Associateship
Item 5 of 6John Murray Robertson6 June 1898for Fellowship
Item 6 of 6Matthew Digby Wyatt3 April 1865for Associateship

RIBA Proposals

This proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1James Augustus SouttarLate 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 771864Belmont Congregational Chapel  AberdeenScotlandProvided designs - executed by William Leslie (who was a member of the congregation)
Item 2 of 771864Church of St Peter and St Sigfrid  StockholmSweden 
Item 3 of 771864Free Masons OrphanageKristineberg StockholmSweden 
Item 4 of 771865Design for replanning of town  KarlstadSwedenUnsuccessful competition design
Item 5 of 771866Design for a Country House   Sweden 
Item 6 of 77After 1866Battlehill House  AberdeenScotland 
Item 7 of 77After 1866Building for Aberdeen Lime Company  AberdeenScotland 
Item 8 of 77After 1866Building for B Reid & Co  AberdeenScotland 
Item 9 of 77After 1866Building for Milne & Pledge  AberdeenScotland 
Item 10 of 77After 1866Burnett's BuildingFraserburgh AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 11 of 77After 1866Exchange Buildings  AberdeenScotland 
Item 12 of 77After 1866Fernielea  AberdeenScotland 
Item 13 of 77After 1866Forest Lodge  AberdeenScotland 
Item 14 of 77After 1866GymnasiumOld Aberdeen AberdeenScotland 
Item 15 of 77After 1866Northern Hotel (1)  AberdeenScotland 
Item 16 of 771868East Free ChurchPeterhead AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 17 of 771868Farm servants' houses   Scotland 
Item 18 of 771868Farm servants' housesFettercairn KincardineshireScotland 
Item 19 of 771868Queen Street Established ChurchPeterhead AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 20 of 771868Stonehaven Free ChurchStonehaven KincardineshireScotland 
Item 21 of 771869Belmont Street UP Church  AberdeenScotland 
Item 22 of 771869Douglas Hotel  AberdeenScotlandAdditions
Item 23 of 771869Imperial Hotel  AberdeenScotland 
Item 24 of 771869Lilybank HouseKittybrewster AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 25 of 771869Moss-sidePitsligo AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 26 of 771870Crown Street Baptist Church  AberdeenScotland 
Item 27 of 771870Fraserburgh AcademyFraserburgh AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 28 of 771870Tyrie SchoolhouseTyrie AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 29 of 77c. 1870Town and County BankMontrose AngusScotland 
Item 30 of 77c. 1870Town and County BankPeterhead AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 31 of 77c. 1870Town and County BankWhitehouse, Forfar AngusScotland 
Item 32 of 771872Crown Terrace Wesleyan Church  AberdeenScotland 
Item 33 of 77Before 1872Alford Free ChurchAlford AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 34 of 77Before 1872Grant's Building  AberdeenScotland 
Item 35 of 77Before 1872Kent's Building  AberdeenScotland 
Item 36 of 771873Two Houses on Ashley Place  AberdeenScotland 
Item 37 of 771873Villa at HuntlyHuntly AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 38 of 771879Banchory Free ChurchBanchory KincardineshireScotland 
Item 39 of 771880Fraserburgh Baptist ChurchFraserburgh AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 40 of 771880Three Houses near Calsayseat  AberdeenScotland 
Item 41 of 77c. 1880Glasgow Municipal Buildings  GlasgowScotlandCompetition design entered under the Glasgow Coat of Arms logo
Item 42 of 771881Imperial Hotel  AberdeenScotlandLarge addition
Item 43 of 771881Nellfield Cemetery, gatelodge  AberdeenScotland 
Item 44 of 771881Nellfield Lodge  AberdeenScotland 
Item 45 of 771881Union Place Arcade  AberdeenScotland 
Item 46 of 771881Villas at GordondaleGordondale AberdeenScotland 
Item 47 of 771882House for Mrs Stewart Dyer, Leadside Road  AberdeenScotland 
Item 48 of 771882House on Holburn Road  AberdeenScotlandFor himself
Item 49 of 771882Two Houses on Wellington Street  AberdeenScotland 
Item 50 of 77After 1882Free ChurchDufftown BanffshireScotland 
Item 51 of 77After 1882Town and County BankBervie KincardineshireScotland 
Item 52 of 771883Rosemount Public School  AberdeenScotland 
Item 53 of 7718849 Bon Accord Square  AberdeenScotlandAdditions
Item 54 of 771884Commercial Building, 4-6 Schoolhill  AberdeenScotland 
Item 55 of 771884House for Alexander Walker on Backhill Road  AberdeenScotland 
Item 56 of 77188554 Gallowgate  AberdeenScotland 
Item 57 of 771885House for Mrs Douglas on South EsplanadeTorry AberdeenScotland 
Item 58 of 771885House for Mrs Douglas on Victoria RoadTorry AberdeenScotland 
Item 59 of 771885Tillymaud  AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 60 of 77188789-93 George Street  AberdeenScotlandRebuilding
Item 61 of 771887Buildings on Rosemount Viaduct between Baker Street and Gilcomston Park  AberdeenScotland 
Item 62 of 77c. 1887TillymaudCruden Bay AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 63 of 771888Waverley Hotel  AberdeenScotlandAlterations
Item 64 of 771893Salvation Army Citadel  AberdeenScotland 
Item 65 of 771894Two Houses for Mrs Willox on Desswood Place  AberdeenScotland 
Item 66 of 771895Aberdeen Municipal Buildings and Tolbooth  AberdeenScotlandFirst premiated design in competition for reconstruction (50 premium); unclear whether any of the work was carried out
Item 67 of 771895The Sailors' Home  AberdeenScotland 
Item 68 of 771896Corporation Lodging House, East North Street  AberdeenScotlandSecond premiated competition design (25 guineas)
Item 69 of 771897Episcopal SchoolStonehaven KincardineshireScotlandInvolvement unclear. In partnership?
Item 70 of 771897House for W Sinclair on Leslie Terrace  AberdeenScotland 
Item 71 of 771897Lodging HouseStonehaven KincardineshireScotlandWon in competition
Item 72 of 771897MaxieburnStonehaven KincardineshireScotland 
Item 73 of 771897 or 1898The HeughStonehaven KincardineshireScotland 
Item 74 of 771898Fetteresso LodgeStonehaven KincardineshireScotland 
Item 75 of 771898House for J McRobb on Orchard Street  AberdeenScotland 
Item 76 of 771898Two Houses for G Greig on Stanley Street  AberdeenScotland 
Item 77 of 771903Torr HallStrathgryffe RenfrewshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 4Ajkay, Anna von1991James Souttar in Sweden Architectural Heritage 2: Scottish Architects Abroad, ed D Howard, pp84-90 (Edinburgh Univ Press) 
Item 2 of 4Architects Engineers and Building Trades Directory1868Architect's, Engineer's and Building Trades' Directory London, Wyman 
Item 3 of 4British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 4 of 4Walker, Frank Arneil1986South Clyde Estuary: An Illustrated Architectural Guide to Inverclyde and Renfrew  p87

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Builder10 May 1952  James Augustus Soutar

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3Courtesy of Tom BurnhamInformation via DSA website Sent 12 August 2009
Item 2 of 3Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Information from gravestone
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A v3 p263 (microfiche 8/E5); F v13 p3 (microfiche 117/D1)