Basic Biographical Details

Name: Francis Mackison
Born: 1822
Died: 13 February 1884
Bio Notes: Francis Mackison was born at Norrieston, Thornhill, in 1822, the son of William Mackison, farmer, and his wife Catherine Jenkins and younger brother of William Mackison, lawyer and later prison governor of Dundee Prison. He was educated at the parish school and then went to Glasgow University where he graduated with honours in civil engineering. He was then articled to James Leslie, Harbour Engineer at Dundee where his elder brother William Mackison senior was prison governor. While with Leslie he worked on the surveys for the original Dundee waterworks, experience which was to prove useful later. When Leslie moved to Edinburgh to commence independent practice, Mackison and several other assistants moved to Edinburgh with him.

In or about 1848 Mackison left Leslie's office to set up his own independent practice in Stirling as civil engineer and architect. His nephew William Mackison junior, born 1833 in Dundee, was articled to him in 1851. Initially Mackison lived in lodgings in Murray Place, but on 30 April 1855 he married Jessie McLachlan, then aged 28, in a Free Church ceremony in St Ninian's, and set up house at 23 King Street. A daughter, Mary Miller Mackison, was born on 5 May 1857, but Jessie developed an unspecified disease of the chest and died on 10 August.
At that date the family was living at 3 Allan Park and William Mackison junior was lodging with them.

In the following year William Mackison junior was taken into partnership. William Mackison senior left the prison service in 1862, the year of his marriage, and returned to Stirling as a photographer with a house at Allan Park. This seems not to have been a success as he was described as an 'architect's assistant,' presumably in the Mackison office, when he died at Maxwell Place on 2 May 1868. In the same year William Mackison junior withdrew from the partnership to
accept the post of burgh engineer in Dundee, a move whih may have been precipitated by the termination of his appointment as Master of Work, Burgh Surveyor and Town's Architect of Stirling. The census returns for 1861 show that the Stirling office was a relatively small practice with one adult assistant and two apprentices.

Two years before William Mackison junior's departure, on 31 July 1866, Francis Mackison married Margaret Glover in Kensington. The census returns show that she was born at Newton Stewart c. 1834 and that her widowed mother Margaret, who came north to live with them, was from Lancashire. The Lancashire connection was reflected in the name of the house built for them at Bridge of Allan, the Villa de Lancaster, and the middle name of the first of their two daughters, Margaret de Lancaster Mackison, born 2 June 1867. The second daughter, Catherine Violet Mackison, was born on 28 September 1869.

From 1868 onwards Francis Mackison practised alone. Despite his modest business premises he had an extensive practice in railway survey work. He designed many villas in Stirling and Bridge of Allan and numerous schools, particularly after the passing of the Education Act of 1872; and despite the practice's loss of office he continued to be responsible for Stirling Water Works and the sewage scheme for Bridge of Allan. He was a prominent volunteer, in 1859 joining the 1st Stirling Burgh Rifle Corps in which he was promoted to Captain; and when he raised both the men and the money for the 2nd Corps he was promoted to Major. He was elected Town Councillor for the Cowane Street Ward in 1878 but having been on the losing side in a major Council dispute in 1879, he lost his seat in the elections of the following year.

In the late 1870s Mackison had a Glasgow office but there is at present no record of any work there to which it could relate. In 1878 he and the local landowner, William Hunter Marshall W.S., promoted the Callander Hydropathic Company, incorporated in Glasgow on 5 September. For this project Mackison obtained the assistance of Peddie & Kinnear, but as early as January 1879 there were problems of unpaid calls for capital as a result of the failure of the City of Glasgow Bank in autumn the previous year. This resulted in the project being
drastically pared down when built in 1880-82. A hydroelectric plant was planned for it but it is unclear whether this was actually carried out.

Sometime during 1883 Mackison became seriously ill, his condition being aggravated if not actually caused by heavy trading losses at the Callander Hydropathic. He recuperated for a time on the continent with his family and returned to resume practice with his 'wonted activity,' the main business being an extension of the Stirling Water Works at Touch. But later in the year his health again deteriorated: although he continued to attend business up to 8 February 1884 he became ill, suffered a stroke on the 12th and died on the 13th. He was survived by his wife and three daughters.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 3Stirling, Stirlingshire, ScotlandBusiness   
Item 2 of 3Villa-de-Lancaster, Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, ScotlandPrivate 1884 
Item 3 of 3101, St Vincent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1878 * Temporary branch office

* 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 1Francis and William Mackison18581868Partner 

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 2William MackisonBefore 1858 Apprentice 
Item 2 of 2William Gilmour WilsonAfter 1877Before 1880Senior 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 331849Free Church SchoolsCallander PerthshireScotland 
Item 2 of 331852Cowane's HospitalStirling StirlingshireScotlandAlterations
Item 3 of 331852Cowane's HospitalStirling StirlingScotlandRemodelling
Item 4 of 33c. 1853Coniston LodgeBridge of Allan StirlingshireScotland 
Item 5 of 331856Spittal Park feuingStirling StirlingshireScotland 
Item 6 of 331858Viewfield UP ChurchStirling StirlingshireScotland 
Item 7 of 3318605-15 Clarendon PlaceStirling StirlingshireScotland 
Item 8 of 331860West UP ChurchLeslie FifeScotland 
Item 9 of 33c. 1860BeechcroftStirling StirlingshireScotland 
Item 10 of 33c. 1860EastwellBridge of Allan StirlingshireScotland'Probably' (HS)
Item 11 of 33c. 1860Mission SchoolStirling StirlingshireScotland 
Item 12 of 33c. 1860Raploch Model Steading and Workmen's housesRaploch StirlingshireScotland 
Item 13 of 33c. 1860Union HallStirling StirlingshireScotland 
Item 14 of 331861Well HouseBridge of Allan StirlingshireScotland 
Item 15 of 3318631 Queen's RoadStirling StirlingshireScotland 
Item 16 of 331864Cambuskenneth AbbeyCambuskenneth StirlingshireScotlandRestoration and excavation
Item 17 of 331864Villa for John ChristieStirling StirlingshireScotland 
Item 18 of 331865Callander LodgeCallander PerthshireScotland 
Item 19 of 331866Old Sauchie farm officesOld Sauchie StirlingshireScotland 
Item 20 of 331867Blair Drummond, factor's house  PerthshireScotlandAddition
Item 21 of 33Before 1868Blooming VillaBridge of Allan StirlingshireScotland 
Item 22 of 33Before 1868Callander WaterworksCallander PerthshireScotland 
Item 23 of 33Before 1868Doune Free ChurchDoune PerthshireScotland 
Item 24 of 33Before 1868Ferniebank HouseBlairforkie, Bridge of Allan? StirlingshireScotland 
Item 25 of 33Before 1868Rednock WaterworksRednock StirlingshireScotland 
Item 26 of 33Before 1868Sauchie WaterworksSauchie StirlingshireScotland 
Item 27 of 33Before 1868Stirling WaterworksTouch Hills StirlingshireScotland 
Item 28 of 33Before 1868Villa de LancasterBridge of Allan StirlingshireScotland 
Item 29 of 33Before 1868VillafrancaBridge of Allan StirlingshireScotland 
Item 30 of 331874BroomhallMenstrie ClackmannanshireScotland 
Item 31 of 331878Callander HydropathicCallander PerthshireScotlandWith Peddie, Kinnear & Peddie
Item 32 of 331878Kippen Free ChurchKippen StirlingshireScotlandAlthough 'Buildings of Scotland' attributes this to 'F McKinnon' the latter cannot be traced in Censuses. It seems very likely that it is an error or misreporting in a newspaper and in fact should be Francis Mackison who designed the church.
Item 33 of 331883Callander Parish ChurchCallander PerthshireScotlandSupervised execution of Robert Baldie's design


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 1Scotlands People Website Wills & Testaments  Stirling Sheriff Court Wills Sc67/36/80 and Inventories Sc67/36/83

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 5Architect23 February 1884  Obituary
Item 2 of 5Dundee AdvertiserFebruary 1884  Obituary
Item 3 of 5Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers*  pp360-1
Item 4 of 5Stirling Journal and Advertiser15 February 1884   
Item 5 of 5Stirling Observer21 February 1884   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Research by Elma Lindsay in census returns and birth, marriage and death registers.
marriage registers