Basic Biographical Details

Name: Burnett Napier Henderson Orphoot
Born: 1880
Died: 8 April 1964
Bio Notes: Burnett Napier Henderson Orphoot ('Phootie') was born at 'The Priory' in Eastgate, Peebles in 1880. He was the son of Thomas Henderson Orphoot, Sheriff Substitute of Lothian and Peebles and his wife Edith Carmichael Smythe Burnett, and the grandson of James Burnett of Barns. Educated at Rugby and the University of Edinburgh, he was articled to Dick Peddie & Washington Browne from 1900 to 1903, during which period he attended the Edinburgh School of Applied Art. On completing his apprenticeship he spent six months as assistant to Robert Rowand Anderson before leaving for Paris, where he found a place in the atelier of Gustave Umbdenstock and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. After six months he undertook a study tour of France and England before returning to Umbdenstock's office for a further twenty-one months. He then moved back to Britain and joined the office of Mewes & Davis in London, moving after a year and a half to that of Collcutt & Hamp.

Orphoot returned to Edinburgh and commenced independent practice at 25 Queensferry Street in 1910, and had an office in London at 16 Great James Street, Bedford Row by 1911. He was admitted LRIBA in the mass intake of 20 July that year, his proposers being Thomas Edward Collcutt, Stanley Hamp and Charles Henry Gage. He was commissioned in the Royal Engineers in the First World War, and while on active service he married in 1915 Marjorie Harriet White, daughter of the Reverend J B White, Instow House, North Devon, where he already had connections, having designed the Clovelly Hotel before the War.

The Queensferry Street office was re-opened after the War, but in 1922 the practice moved to 21 Alva Street and that summer he formed the partnership of Orphoot & Whiting; in the following year it became Orphoot Whiting & Bryce. Of his two partners Frank Edward Whiting was born in 1883 and articled to the London architect Alfred Conder c.1901, thereafter becoming assistant to Detmar Blow and Henry Walter Sarel. By 1914 he was in practice at 30 Bedford Row prior to war service. Whiting was rarely in the Edinburgh office and was based mainly at 21 High Street, Bideford where he held the office of Warden of the Long Bridge. His second partner, William Theodore Percival Bryce, was born on 30 January 1892 and trained with Burnet, Son & Dick and at the Glasgow School of Art and Royal Technical College, later joining Mewes & Davis for a brief spell, before taking charge of an office in Paris for Orphoot and Whiting in summer 1922, and joining them in partnership later that year.

Orphoot was elected FRIBA on 28 March 1927, his proposers being Oswald P Milne, Arthur Joseph Davis and Charles Henry Gage. He was a member of the Council of the Edinburgh Architectural Association from c.1930. His practice consisted mainly of large suburban houses and country house work. His clientele was not extensive but tended to be extremely well-off.

Bryce left the practice in 1932 and went into partnership with his wife, Helen Mary Bryce. He was replaced as third partner in 1933 by Ian Gordon Lindsay, who had had his own practice at 5 Castle Street since 1931. George Hay joined the practice as assistant three years later.

The outbreak of the Second World War, with Lindsay and Hay called up for military service, brought about the dissolution of the partnership with Whiting and the closure of the Alva Street office in 1940, Orphoot continuing the practice from his house in Easter Belmont Road where he lived with his sister Miss E Orphoot, until the end of the war, exhibiting earlier projects thereafter to maintain his associateship of the Royal Scottish Academy to which he had been elected in 1934. On his return from the war in November 1945, Lindsay re-opened the practice from the basement of Houston House, Uphall, which he had bought from the Shairp family in that year, Orphoot retaining most of his own office records at Easter Belmont Road and continuing to practise from there in a very small way.

The partnership of Orphoot and Lindsay was finally dissolved in 1952 when Orphoot retired completely. He died on 8 April 1964.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 725, Queensferry Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1909c. 1922After 1922 Orphoot Whiting & Bryce address
Item 2 of 73, Rothesay Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1909c. 1920Perhaps house and office initially and later until 1920s house
Item 3 of 716, Great James Street, Bedford, London, EnglandBusiness1911 *  
Item 4 of 721, Alva Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 19221940Initially Orphoot Whiting & Bryce and after c.1927
Item 5 of 728, Newbattle Terrace, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1927 *  
Item 6 of 7Instow House, North Devon, EnglandPrivate1927 *  
Item 7 of 7Well House, Easter Belmont Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate19311964 

* 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 9Peddie & Washington Browne19001903Apprentice 
Item 2 of 9Rowand Anderson & Paul19031904Assistant 
Item 3 of 9Gustave Umbdenstock19041904Apprentice(?) 
Item 4 of 9Gustave Umbdenstockc. 1905c. 1906Assistant 
Item 5 of 9Mewes & Davis19061908Assistant 
Item 6 of 9Collcutt & Hamp19081910Assistant 
Item 7 of 9Orphoot, Whiting & BryceMid 19221932Partner 
Item 8 of 9Orphoot, Whiting & Lindsay19331940Partner 
Item 9 of 9Orphoot & Lindsay19451952Partner 

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 1Robert McDowall Symonds19111913AssistantWithin this period of time.


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Thomas Edward Collcutt20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 6Arthur Joseph Davis28 March 1927for Fellowship
Item 3 of 6Charles Henry Gage20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 4 of 6Charles Henry Gage28 March 1927for Fellowship
Item 5 of 6Stanley Hinge Hamp20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 6 of 6Oswald Partridge Milne28 March 1927for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 5Guy Davis17 November 1942for Associateship
Item 2 of 5John Michael Fox6 December 1937for Associateship
Item 3 of 5Margaret Johnston James5 March 1934for Associateship
Item 4 of 5(Sir) Matthew Montgomerie OchterlonyLate 1932 or early 1933for Fellowship
Item 5 of 5Walter Schomberg Hepburne Scott18 October 1937for Associateship

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 39 Sylbie HouseAlyth PerthshireScotland 
Item 2 of 391902North British and Mercantile Offices  EdinburghScotlandDesigns for new building, or alterations to old? - as apprentice to Peddie & Washington Browne; commission was secured in 1904, after Orphoot had left
Item 3 of 39c. 1903Scottish Provident Institution  GlasgowScotlandAs apprentice to Peddie & Washington Browne
Item 4 of 39c. 1905Imprimerie Wellhoff-et-Roche  ParisFranceAs assistant to Gustave Umbdenstock
Item 5 of 39c. 1905Lycee, Rue de Sevres  ParisFranceAs assistant to Gustave Umbdenstock
Item 6 of 391908Automobile ClubSt James's LondonEnglandAs assistant to Mewes & Davis
Item 7 of 391908Cavalry ClubPiccadilly LondonEnglandAs assistant to Mewes & Davis
Item 8 of 391910Savoy Hotel  LondonEnglandRemodelling of river frontage - as assistant to Collcutt & Hamp
Item 9 of 39After 1911Princess Theatre  EdinburghScotland 
Item 10 of 39After 1911Tapley ParkInstow DevonEnglandAlterations/additions
Item 11 of 39After 1911Work for Lloyds Bank  London?England 
Item 12 of 39January 1915Working class houses for the Dunfermline Carnegie TrustDuynfermline FifeScotlandWon competition
Item 13 of 391919Peebles War MemorialPeebles PeeblesshireScotlandWon competition and secured job
Item 14 of 39c. 1920Glenprosen ChurchPitcarity/Glenprosen AngusScotlandN porch added
Item 15 of 39After 192221 Glencairn Crescent  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 16 of 39After 192247 Midlothian Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 17 of 39After 19227 Gloucester Place  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 18 of 39After 1922Birnie House  PerthshireScotland 
Item 19 of 39After 1922Clovelly CourtClovelly DevonEngland 
Item 20 of 39After 1922Finavon Castle  AngusScotlandAlterations and/or additions
Item 21 of 39After 1922Garrows House  PerthshireScotland 
Item 22 of 39After 1922Leithfield House  KincardineshireScotlandBryce responsible - though this job is mentioned in Orphoot's obituary
Item 23 of 39After 1922Lethendry  EdinburghScotland 
Item 24 of 39After 1922Trearne HouseBeith AyrshireScotlandAlterations
Item 25 of 39After 1922Wharf HouseMontrose AngusScotlandAlterations
Item 26 of 39c. 1922Scottish Garden City Housing Association SchemeBonnyrigg MidlothianScotland 
Item 27 of 391924Dutch HouseBudleigh Salterton DevonEngland 
Item 28 of 391925Haystoun HousePeebles (near) PeeblesshireScotlandRestoration
Item 29 of 391926House in Devon  DevonEngland 
Item 30 of 391928Cuill  EdinburghScotland 
Item 31 of 391928GreybieldPeebles PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 32 of 391928Well House  EdinburghScotland 
Item 33 of 391930Holy Trinity Episcopal ChurchHaddington East LothianScotlandNew chancel
Item 34 of 391932Bruce Hill  EdinburghScotland 
Item 35 of 391936Arisaig HouseArisaig Inverness-shireScotlandRebuilding after fire - designs by Ian B M Hamilton, executed by Orphoot, Whiting & Lindsay
Item 36 of 391937Regal CinemaBarnstaple DevonEngland 
Item 37 of 39c. 1939Harrow InnPeebles PeeblesshireScotlandRemodelling
Item 38 of 391940Commercial Bank of ScotlandKilmarnock AyrshireScotlandDesign exhibited
Item 39 of 391949St Ninian's RC ChurchTynet MorayshireScotlandRestoration


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 2RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 2 of 2Scottish Biographies1938  E J Thurston (pub.) 

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 no1494; F no2489 (box 7)