Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Bryan Nisbet
Born: 1862
Died: 18 January 1930
Bio Notes: John Bryan Nisbet was born in Kilmaurs, Ayrshire in 1862. He was articled to Sutherland & Walker of Edinburgh from 1876 until 1881, during which period he attended Heriot-Watt College and Edinburgh School of Art and spent his holidays measuring and sketching cathedrals and abbeys of Scotland, and also visited Bruges, Antwerp, Ghent and Brussels. At the end of his apprenticeship he obtained a place as an assistant with Kinnear & Peddie. Thereafter he moved to the office of Clarke & Bell in Glasgow for three years and spent a further three years (probably 1890-1893) in the office of John McLachlan in Edinburgh before becoming an assistant in the office of Robert Morham, Edinburgh City Architect for five years (the record in his LRIBA nomination paper appears to be incomplete and precise dates cannot be established). He commenced practice on his own account in Edinburgh in 1905, his business being chiefly concerned with domestic buildings, shops and structural alterations to existing properties.

Nisbet was admitted LRIBA in the mass intake of 20 July 1911, proposed by James Bow Dunn and the Edinburgh Architectural Association, which he had recently joined. At that date his house and office was at 110 Polwarth Gardens, although he had moved to 50 Montpelier Park by 1914. In the words of his RIBA Obituary, 'he began to build up a business of his own but the outbreak of the Great War for the time being blotted out his prospects and he became a Supervisor under the war office. When peace came he undertook the supervision of the erection of several of the housing schemes under the East Lothian County Council. Resuming the threads of the connection he had been building up before the War, he acquired the business of an old, well-known Edinburgh firm, Messrs. Cousin, Ormiston and Taylor. Physical disability finally necessitated the disposal of such business as he had acquired. He died on 18 January 1930, at the age of 67.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 7130, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1889 *c. 1898Problem
Item 2 of 7158, Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1891  
Item 3 of 786, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1892c. 1895 
Item 4 of 719, Young Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1899  
Item 5 of 7110, Polwarth Gardens, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1902c. 1910 
Item 6 of 750, Montpelier Park, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/businessc. 1911c. 1914 
Item 7 of 728, West Savile Terrace, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1915c. 1929 

* 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 7Sutherland & Walker18761881Apprentice 
Item 2 of 7Kinnear & Peddie1881c. 1887Assistant 
Item 3 of 7Clarke & Bellc. 1887(?)c. 1890(?)Chief Assistant 
Item 4 of 7John McLachlanc. 1890(?)c. 1893(?)Chief Assistant 
Item 5 of 7Edinburgh City Architect's Department (Edinburgh Corporation)c. 1898(?)c. 1903(?)Assistantunder Robert Morham, Edinburgh City Architect
Item 6 of 7Robert Morhamc. 1898(?)c. 1903(?)Assistant 
Item 7 of 7War Office Architects Departmentc. 1914c. 1919Supervisor 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1James Bow Dunn20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as president of the Edinburgh Architectural Association

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 10After 1881Public wash houses   ScotlandProbably as assistant to Robert Morham, City Architect
Item 2 of 101888Quarrier's Homes, Mount Zion ChurchBridge of Weir RenfrewshireScotlandAs assistant to Clarke & Bell
Item 3 of 10c. 1889Terrace of houses, 2-60 Murrayfield Avenue  EdinburghScotland 
Item 4 of 101890National Bank of Scotland, High Street  EdinburghScotlandNew bank office and tenement - as assistant to John McLachlan
Item 5 of 10c. 1890(?)Schools  GlasgowScotland 
Item 6 of 101898Portobello Public BathsPortobello EdinburghScotlandAs assistant to Robert Morham, City Architect
Item 7 of 10189912-15 Glenisla Gardens  EdinburghScotland 
Item 8 of 1018996-11 Glenisla Gardens  EdinburghScotland 
Item 9 of 101899McDonald Road Electricity Generating Station and former printing works  EdinburghScotlandExtensions - as assistant to Robert Morham, City Architect
Item 10 of 101900Edinburgh City Chambers  EdinburghScotlandArcaded screen - as assistant to Robert Morham, City Architect


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 3British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 2 of 3Post Office Directories     
Item 3 of 3Who's Who in Architecture1914    

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Journal24 May 1930 London: Royal Institute of British ArchitectsObituary p525

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v19 no1484