Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Bruce Merson
Born: 1870
Bio Notes: John Bruce Merson (generally referred to as J Bruce Merson) was born in 1870 and educated at Buckie Public School and Milne's Institution at Fochabers. He was articled to Jenkins & Marr of Aberdeen on 25 October 1886, attending classes at Robert Gordon's College and Gray's School of Art. In January 1891, having completed his apprenticeship, he went to London as assistant to George Joseph Frisch, enabling him to study at King's College, London where he gained a silver medal. At the beginning of the following year he moved to the office of Giles, Gough & Trollope, remaining with them for seven-and-a-half years before leaving for a salaried post with Willesden Urban District Council Architect's Department in 1899.

He commenced practice as a principal in March 1902 by joining an unidentified firm, but when the work there did not live up to his expectations, he set up practice on his own account in February 1904. Business initially proceeded with success but after a few years the severe recession in architectural practice compelled him to take an assistant's post from March to September 1908 with Carshalton District Development Company, followed by another with Alfred Griffin, surveyor to Morden College who had offices in London and Blackheath, in April 1909.

Merson was admitted LRIBA in 1910, his proposers being John Evelyn Trollope, Charles James Dawson, the Barking Surveyor and Leonard Martin, a former colleague in the Giles, Gough & Trollope office. He left Griffin in July 1913 and worked for Ashdown & Price of Sicilian Avenue, London for four months before joining Ilford Urban District Council as an architectural assistant at the beginning of 1914.

He was elected FRIBA on 28 March 1927, Dawson again being one of his proposers but this time accompanied by Frederick George Faunch, also of Ilford, and Alfred Conder. At that time he was still working in the same department, the authority's name having changed to Ilford Borough Council.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 57, High Road, Kilburn, London NW, EnglandBusiness1902 *  
Item 2 of 517, St Swithin's Lane, London EC, EnglandBusiness1908 *  
Item 3 of 517, Ironmonger Lane, London, EnglandBusiness1914 * Merson's address or Griffen's?
Item 4 of 54 Park View, Brisbane Road, Ilford, Essex, EnglandPrivate1914 *  
Item 5 of 59, Lennox Gardens, Ilford, Essex, EnglandPrivate1927 *  

* 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 7Jenkins & Marr28 October 188628 October 1890Apprentice 
Item 2 of 7George Joseph FrischJanuary 1891December 1891Assistant 
Item 3 of 7Giles, Gough & TrollopeJanuary 1892July 1899Assistant 
Item 4 of 7Willesden Urban District Council Architects' DepartmentAugust 1899March 1902Assistant 
Item 5 of 7Alfred GriffinApril 1909July 1913Assistant 
Item 6 of 7Ashdown & PriceAugust 1913November 1913Assistant 
Item 7 of 7Ilford Urban District Council Architect's DepartmentJanuary 1914After 1926Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Alfred Conder28 March 1927for Fellowship
Item 2 of 6Charles James DawsonLate 1910for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 6Charles James Dawson28 March 1927for Fellowship
Item 4 of 6Frederick George Faunch28 March 1927for Fellowship
Item 5 of 6Leonard MartinLate 1910for Licentiateship
Item 6 of 6John Evelyn TrollopeLate 1910for Licentiateship


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 v5 no307 (microfilm reel 30); F no2488 (box 7)