Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Milne
Born: c. 1778
Died: 1850s
Bio Notes: James Milne was born about 1778. He practised in Edinburgh between at least 1809 and 1834. He was almost certainly the James Milne who was admitted a burgess of Edinburgh in 1809. He wrote 'The Elements of Architecture' published in 1812, the proposed second volume of which was never published. In 1818 it is certain that he was living in James Street as at that date a servant stole money from his house and the case was reported in the Caledonian Mercury. He wrote a book entitled ‘Theory of the Earth’ which was published in 1821. He was employed in the Dean area of Edinburgh and designed a large number of houses there. He also designed a church in Lerwick.

In 1832 Milne exhibited his newly invented and patented stone hewing engine before members of the Society of Arts at his yard in Fountainbridge in Edinburgh. The machine was steam driven and said to be very quick and very precise. The machine clearly was highly regarded as newspapers throughout Britain reported the invention. The following year a Mr James Milne of Edinburgh invented an ‘apparatus for roasting and boiling by gas’.

Milne moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the early 1830s to build the Westgate Union Poorhouse. It is possible that he had secured this commission by competition but this has yet to be confirmed by documentary evidence. In 1840 after the completion of this commission he delivered a series of twelve lectures at the Gunner Tower in Forth Lane, Newcastle. The topics covered were as follows: Ancient Egyptian, Grecian, Roman and Gothic architecture; the Principles of Beauty, Perspective, the Laws of Motion, Composition and Resolution of Forces, Theory of Arches, Strength and Strain of Timber and Mechanical Powers etc.

In 1841 he was living at 18 Elsrick Terrace with his wife Jane, his son Thomas, aged 30, a draughtsman, and twins aged 25 James, a law stationer(?), and Mary Ann, a governess. At that date he is described as architect and engineer. It is clear that he remained alert and active in the later 1840s as a report of a letter sent to the Newcastle Guardian & Tyne Mercury on the theory of the formation of coal was mentioned in the issue of 23 January 1848. By 1851 Milne was a widower living with his daughter at 58 Westgate House in Newcastle.

His death date is as yet uncertain but there is no record of him in the 1861 census.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 8Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessBefore 18091834 
Item 2 of 83, James Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate18101811 
Item 3 of 89, James Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1815 *1816 
Item 4 of 82, Northumberland Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1825 *  
Item 5 of 8Newcastle upon Tyne, EnglandPrivate/business1834  
Item 6 of 85, Blenheim Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, EnglandBusiness1838  
Item 7 of 818, Elswick Terrace, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, EgyptPrivate1839 *After 1841 
Item 8 of 858, Westgate House, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, EnglandPrivate1851 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

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 33181544 Ann Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 2 of 3318161-6 Upper Dean Terrace  EdinburghScotland 
Item 3 of 33181615-41 Ann Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 4 of 33181616-42 Ann Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 5 of 33181643 Ann Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 6 of 33181645, 47 Ann Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 7 of 33181646-48 Ann Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 8 of 3318188 Alloway PlaceAyr AyrshireScotlandProvided feuing plan
Item 9 of 33Before 1818Houses, 3-5 Northumberland Place  EdinburghScotland 
Item 10 of 331819Feuing plan of ground at LeithLeith EdinburghScotlandFeuing plan drawn up. Elevations of houses and shops.
Item 11 of 3318203-22 Lynedoch Place  EdinburghScotland 
Item 12 of 33c. 1820Peatloan, Northfield, House for Mr WilliamsonTrinity EdinburghScotlandAddition to house, dining room flat
Item 13 of 3318221-8 Saxe Coburg Place  EdinburghScotlandNumbers 1-8
Item 14 of 33182225-32 Saxe Coburg Place  EdinburghScotland 
Item 15 of 331823St Cuthbert's Chapel of Ease  EdinburghScotland 
Item 16 of 33182411-15A Dean Terrace and 1, 1A Carlton Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 17 of 33182414 St Bernard's Crescent and 36,38 Danube Street  EdinburghScotlandBegun 1824
Item 18 of 33182416-21 Dean Terrace  EdinburghScotland 
Item 19 of 3318241A Upper Dean Terrace and 2 Danube Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 20 of 3318242 St Bernard's Crescent and 18 Carlton Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 21 of 3318243-13 Carlton Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 22 of 3318243-23 Danube Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 23 of 3318243-35 St Bernard's Crescent and 50-58 Dean Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 24 of 3318244-10A St Bernard's Crescent  EdinburghScotland 
Item 25 of 3318244-16 Carlton Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 26 of 3318244-34A Danube Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 27 of 331824Deanhaugh Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 28 of 331824St Bernard's Bridge  EdinburghScotland 
Item 29 of 331825Ground belonging to the Gas CompanyTanfield EdinburghScotlandFeuing plan drawn up
Item 30 of 3318263-13 Ann Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 31 of 3318264-14 Ann Street  EdinburghScotland 
Item 32 of 331826Parish ChurchLerwickMainlandShetlandScotland 
Item 33 of 331837Union Workhouse  Newcastle-upon-TyneEngland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 1Colvin, Howard2008A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 London: YUP. 4th edition 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 6Caledonian Mercury15 January 1818   
Item 2 of 6Fife Herald29 March 1832   
Item 3 of 6Newcastle Courant24 August 1833   
Item 4 of 6Newcastle Guardian and Tyne Mercury23 December 1848   
Item 5 of 6Northern Liberator24 October 1840   
Item 6 of 6Scots Magazine1 July 1821