Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Forbes Smith
Born: 1876
Died: 25 December 1957
Bio Notes: James Forbes Smith was born in 1876, the son of James Smith, plumber, and his wife Mary Ann Forbes. He was articled to George Beattie & Son in 1891. He obtained a place in Rowand Anderson's office at the end of his articles and spent three years with him, concurrently taking classes at Anderson's Edinburgh School of Applied Art under Professor Frank Worthington Simon, Stewart Henbest Capper and John Watson. In or around 1897 he joined the office of Peddie & Washington Browne as an assistant, and whilst there he distinguished himself by winning the Pugin Silver Medal in 1900, enabling him to travel.

The Peddie & Washington Browne partnership was dissolved in 1907 and after some two years as sole partner, Peddie took Forbes Smith into partnership in 1909. Although Peddie never sought admission to the RIBA - he was a member of the Society of Architects - Smith applied for Licentiateship in January 1911, his proposers being John Watson, Ramsay Traquair and Alexander Hunter Crawford. He was admitted in March of that year, his home address then being 3 Hope Park Terrace. By that date he had travelled in France, Belgium, Holland and Italy.

The partnership of Peddie & Forbes Smith was dissolved in 1917. The reasons have not been recorded but at that date the practice had little or no business and high overheads retaining the office at Albyn Place. Smith continued in practice on his own account for a few years, apparently unsuccessfully. He died aged 82 of a cerebral thrombosis at 22 Queens Crescent Edinburgh, on Christmas Day 1957. His death was reported by his niece. He had never married.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 48, Albyn Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 18971917With Dick Peddie from 1909
Item 2 of 43, Hope Park Terrace, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1911c. 1912 
Item 3 of 433, Manor Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1917c. 1919 
Item 4 of 47, Ainslie Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/businessc. 1926 *1957(?)Living at this address within Reginald Fairlie's house from about 1936 to 1939 but not described as architect. Continued at this address until his death.

* 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 5George Beattie & Son1891c. 1896Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5Wardrop & Andersonc. 1896c. 1897Assistant 
Item 3 of 5Peddie & Washington Brownec. 18971907Assistant 
Item 4 of 5John More Dick Peddie19071909Assistant 
Item 5 of 5J M Dick Peddie & Forbes Smith19091917Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Alexander Hunter Crawfordc. February 1911for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 3Ramsay Traquairc. February 1911for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 3John Watsonc. February 1911for Licentiateship

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 601893Jenners Buildings  EdinburghScotlandAs apprentice to George Beattie & Son
Item 2 of 601895North British Railway Hotel  EdinburghScotlandAs apprentice to George Beattie & Son - worked on winning competition design
Item 3 of 60c. 1896(?)Inchinnan Parish ChurchInchinnan RenfrewshireScotlandAs assistant to Robert Rowand Anderson
Item 4 of 60c. 1896Mount StuartRothesay (near)ButeButeScotlandAs assistant to Robert Rowand Anderson - rebuilding for 3rd Marquess of Bute
Item 5 of 60c. 1896National Portrait Gallery and Museum of Antiquities  EdinburghScotlandAs assistant to Robert Rowand Anderson; probably on work related to sculpture
Item 6 of 60c. 1897Standard Life Assurance Co  EdinburghScotlandAs assistant to Peddie & Washington Browne
Item 7 of 601898Caledonian Hotel  EdinburghScotlandFormation of hotel over station, incorporating Kinnear & Peddie's Caledonian Station - as assistant to Peddie & Washington Browne
Item 8 of 601898National Bank of Scotland  GlasgowScotlandAs assistant to Peddie & Washington Browne on winning competition design
Item 9 of 601900North British and Mercantile Insurance Office BuildingLeeds YorkshireEnglandAs assistant to Peddie & Washington Browne
Item 10 of 601901Town Hall and Public LibraryBo'ness / Borrowstouness West LothianScotlandAs assistant to Peddie & Washington Browne
Item 11 of 601902North British and Mercantile Company building  DublinEireAs assistant to Peddie & Washington Browne
Item 12 of 601902North British and Mercantile Offices  EdinburghScotlandAs assistant to Peddie & Washington Browne
Item 13 of 60Before 1903Scottish Provident Institution  GlasgowScotlandAs assistant to Peddie & Washington Browne
Item 14 of 601906Edinburgh Municipal Art College  EdinburghScotlandAs assistant to John More Dick Peddie
Item 15 of 601907Edinburgh Life Assurance Company Building  EdinburghScotlandCompletely new building - as assistant to John More Dick Peddie
Item 16 of 601909Melrose Parish ChurchMelrose RoxburghshireScotlandPeddie won competition and secured job for reconstruction; Forbes Smith possibly also involved
Item 17 of 601909Royal Bank of ScotlandAlloa ClackmannanshireScotland 
Item 18 of 60After 1909Royal Bank of ScotlandPortobello EdinburghScotlandFurnishings
Item 19 of 60After 1909St Paul's Episcopal Church  EdinburghScotlandFurnishings
Item 20 of 601910Coldstones, house, cottage and formal gardenGullane East LothianScotland 
Item 21 of 601910Corner tenement with shops, 1-2 Lynedoch Place and 2-4 Drumsheugh Place  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 22 of 601910Raeshaw HouseHeriot MidlothianScotland 
Item 23 of 601910St Germains HouseLongniddry East LothianScotlandAlterations
Item 24 of 601910WelbentNorth Berwick East LothianScotland 
Item 25 of 60c. 1910Carnsalloch HouseKirkmahoe DumfriesshireScotlandMinor alterations
Item 26 of 60c. 1910North British and Mercantile Building  BelfastNorthern IrelandAlterations
Item 27 of 60c. 1910Premises for the East Edinburgh Unionist Club  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 28 of 60191120-22 Castle StreetDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandUnspecified work
Item 29 of 60191146 Castle Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 30 of 601911Dumfries County BuildingsDumfries DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 31 of 601911Dumfries Post OfficeDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandSurvey plans made
Item 32 of 601911GribdaeNorth Berwick East LothianScotlandAdditions
Item 33 of 601911House for Hon Percy ThesingerGullane East LothianScotland 
Item 34 of 601911House in Water of Leith Village  EdinburghScotland 
Item 35 of 601911Polkemmet House  West LothianScotland 
Item 36 of 601911St Christopher'sNorth Berwick East LothianScotland 
Item 37 of 601911St George's Free Church hallDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandSurvey plans made
Item 38 of 6019124 Rothesay Mews  EdinburghScotland 
Item 39 of 6019127-8 Moray Place  EdinburghScotlandAlterations to no 8
Item 40 of 601912Newton of BalcanquhalGlenfarg PerthshireScotland 
Item 41 of 6019135 Glencairn Crescent  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 42 of 601913CapenochPenpont DumfriesshireScotlandAlterations
Item 43 of 601913CardneyDunkeld PerthshireScotlandComplete reconstruction and lodge
Item 44 of 601913Moat HostelDumfries DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 45 of 601913Rowchester House  BerwickshireScotlandAdditional storey and garden terraces
Item 46 of 601913Stracathro HouseBrechin (near) AngusScotlandAlterations (attic at rear?)
Item 47 of 601913The Binns  West LothianScotlandAlterations
Item 48 of 60191466 St Mary's Street  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 49 of 601914County BuildingsHaddington East LothianScotlandAddition
Item 50 of 601914Kailzie HouseTraquair/Kirkburn PeeblesshireScotlandAlterations
Item 51 of 601914Kelly CastleArbroath AngusScotlandAlterations
Item 52 of 601914Lismore ManseLorn ArgyllScotlandAlterations
Item 53 of 601914Lowood HouseMelrose RoxburghshireScotlandAlterations
Item 54 of 601914St John's Episcopal Church  EdinburghScotlandVestry hall added
Item 55 of 6019157-8 Moray Place  EdinburghScotlandAlterations to nos 7 & 8
Item 56 of 601915Burnside HouseForfar AngusScotlandFurther work
Item 57 of 601915Villa, 16 Blackford Road  Edinburgh?ScotlandAlterations
Item 58 of 601916Garroch HouseNew Galloway KirkcudbrightshireScotlandAlterations
Item 59 of 601917Royal Navy HouseNorth Queensferry FifeScotland 
Item 60 of 60c. 1912Kersewell HouseCarnwath LanarkshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 3Post Office Directories     
Item 2 of 3RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 3 of 3Who's Who in Architecture1914    

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v11 no656 (microfilm reel 33)