Basic Biographical Details

Name: Robert Lockhart McCowat
Born: 11 July 1859
Died: 1924
Bio Notes: Robert Lockhart McCowat was born at Thornliebank, Renfrewshire on 11 July 1859, the son of Robert McCowat and Elizabeth Morrison. He was articled to James Thomson of Glasgow from 1874 to 1878, remaining with him for one year as an improver. He moved to Dublin to work for William Hague from 1879 to 1880, thereafter spending brief periods with Andrew Scobie of Dunfermline and William Leiper in Glasgow prior to emigrating to South Africa, where he became assistant borough engineer and surveyor in Durban from 1881. In 1887 he moved to Johannesburg where he entered into partnership with Arthur Henry Reid (previously of Plymouth, Cape Town, Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth) the following year. At some point prior to 1897 McCowat withdrew to enter into partnership with George Arthur Hamilton Dickson who had been articled to George Edmund Street and after Street's death, Arthur Blomfield. McCowat was admitted FRIBA on 5 December 1898, his proposers being Thomson and Dickson. Dickson died in 1918, McCowat himself died in 1924.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 3Durban, South AfricaBusiness18811887 
Item 2 of 3Marshall's Chambers, Fox Street, Johannesburg, South AfricaBusiness1898 *  
Item 3 of 326 Primrose Buildings, Fraser Street, Johannesburg, South AfricaBusiness1910 *  

* 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 7James Thomson18741878Apprentice 
Item 2 of 7James Thomson18781879Improver 
Item 3 of 7William Hague18791880Assistant 
Item 4 of 7Andrew Scobie1880Before 1881Assistant 
Item 5 of 7William LeiperAfter 18801881Assistant 
Item 6 of 7Reid & McCowat1888Before 1897Partner 
Item 7 of 7McCowat & DicksonBefore 18971918(?)Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 2George Arthur Hamilton Dickson5 December 1898for Fellowship
Item 2 of 2James Thomson5 December 1898for Fellowship


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 4British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 2 of 4Seymour, D Picton Victorian buildings in South Africa   
Item 3 of Website of artefacts, for the recording of South African buildingsAccessed February 2017
Item 4 of Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints: Website 

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 F v13 p14 (microfiche 117/E6)