Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Cumming Wynnes
Born: 1875
Died: 20 November 1944
Bio Notes: James Cumming Wynnes, born in 1875, came of an Aberdeen Quaker family but was articled in Glasgow to Burnet Son & Campbell in 1892. He remained with John James Burnet after the dissolution of the partnership in 1897, rising to the position of draughtsman and later chief of the Glasgow branch office. During that period he attended classes at Glasgow School of Art and the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College and spent at least a fortnight every year on sketching tours in England and Scotland, as well as visiting Belgium.

In 1899 he obtained a place as chief draughtsman in the H M Office of Works, Edinburgh, initially under Walter Wood Robertson and from 1904 under William Thomas Oldrieve who recognised his outstanding ability and entrusted him with the design of Aberdeen Post Office; he probably also had a large hand in the similarly styled design for government offices on Calton Hill in Edinburgh. He was admitted LRIBA on 30 January 1911, his proposers being Oldrieve, Burnet and John Girtrig Young, also of the Edinburgh Office of Works. During his time in the Office of Works took further study trips abroad, spending a month in France and a month in Belgium. He was admitted FRIBA in late 1914, his proposers being Burnet, Oldrieve and David Theodore Fyfe.

In his nomination papers he claims that he had commenced independent practice in Edinburgh in 1904, though this must have been done in his spare time as he was still working for the Office of Works as late as 1910. (There is a conflict of information about when worked for the Office of Works and when he started in independent practice. Nomination Papers say he began with the Office of Works in 1899. PO Directories suggest that he was in partnership with Gordon Lorimer Wright from at least 1902; Nomination Papers state that about 1904 he took up a post at the Office of Works. It appears therefore that either he had a break from the Office of Works or that his work in partnership with Wright was in his spare time or his memory was faulty). Later he was Office of Works Architect for China, Japan and the Far East being posted initially to Tokyo in February 1928 as site architect for Sir Richard Allison's Ambassador's Residence, Chancery and other compound buildings, completed in 1932. Wyness received much credit which infuriated Allison. In the later 1930s he was Office of Works architect in Shanghai.

He retired in 1939 and died on 20 November 1944.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 4122, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1902c. 1903In partnership with Gordon Lorimer Wright
Item 2 of 4c/o Office of Works/3, Parliament Square, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1911 *  
Item 3 of 49, Woodburn Terrace, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1911c. 1920 
Item 4 of 421, Castle Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1914 *  

* 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 7Burnet Son & Campbell18921897Apprentice 
Item 2 of 7John Burnet & Son18971899Assistant 
Item 3 of 7H M Office of Works (later Ministry of Works, Department of the Environment and Property Services Agency)1899c. 1902Assistantin Edinburgh office, working initially under Walter Wood Robertson and from 1904 under William Thomas Oldrieve
Item 4 of 7Walter Wood Robertson18991904Assistantin H M Office of Works, Edinburgh
Item 5 of 7William Thomas Oldrieve (sometimes William Thomas Oldgrieve)1904c. 1911Assistantin H M Office of Works, Edinburgh
Item 6 of 7H M Office of Works (later Ministry of Works, Department of the Environment and Property Services Agency)c. 1904c. 1911AssistantEdinburgh office
Item 7 of 7H M Office of Works Far Eastern Division19271928Chief Architect 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6(Sir) John James Burnet30 January 1911for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 6(Sir) John James BurnetLate 1914for Fellowship
Item 3 of 6David Theodore FyfeLate 1914for Fellowship
Item 4 of 6William Thomas Oldrieve (sometimes William Thomas Oldgrieve)30 January 1911for Licentiateship
Item 5 of 6William Thomas Oldrieve (sometimes William Thomas Oldgrieve)Late 1914for Fellowship
Item 6 of 6John Girtrig Young30 January 1911for Licentiateship

RIBA Proposals

This proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 8John Ramsay ArmstrongLate 1916for Associateship
Item 2 of 8Robert Wemyss FergusonLate 1921for Associateship
Item 3 of 8Alexander Allan FooteMid 1919for Associateship
Item 4 of 8Charles Wilson Glass28 March 1927for Associateship
Item 5 of 8Andrew Duncan KellockMid 1919for Associateship
Item 6 of 8John Scott Lawson3 March 1919for Associateship
Item 7 of 8John Mackie Venters1931for Fellowship
Item 8 of 8James WoodMid 1920for 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 22After 1889Western Infirmary  GlasgowScotlandAs draughtsman and chief of branch office with Burnet- additions including nurses' pavilion, steam laundry, pathological institute and operating theatre
Item 2 of 221893Arbroath Parish ChurchArbroath AngusScotlandAs assistant to John James Burnet
Item 3 of 221894Glasgow Savings Bank Headquarters  GlasgowScotlandBanking hall in Ingram Street added - as apprentice to John James Burnet
Item 4 of 221897Dundas UP ChurchGrangemouth StirlingshireScotlandAs assistant to Burnet
Item 5 of 221897Gardner Memorial ChurchBrechin AngusScotlandAs assistant to John James Burnet. Resident draughtsman and inspector
Item 6 of 221897McLaren Memorial church, hall and manseStenhousemuir/Larbert StirlingshireScotlandAs assistant to Sir John James Burnet
Item 7 of 221899Warehouse, offices and shops  GlasgowScotlandAs assistant
Item 8 of 221899Waterloo Chambers  GlasgowScotlandAs assistant to Burnet
Item 9 of 221902Parcel Post Office building  GlasgowScotlandAs assistant to Oldrieve in H M Office of Works
Item 10 of 221904Head Post Office  AberdeenScotlandAs assistant to Oldrieve in H M Office of Works
Item 11 of 221904Large HouseKelso (near) RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 12 of 221905Mitchell Library  GlasgowScotlandCompetition entry - Placed 5th
Item 13 of 221907Carnegie District Library, BaldridgeburnDunfermline FifeScotlandCompetition design - placed 2nd
Item 14 of 221907Post OfficeKilmarnock AyrshireScotlandAs assistant to Oldrieve
Item 15 of 221908Parliament House, Supreme Courts of Scotland  EdinburghScotlandAs assistant to Oldrieve in H M Office of Works - alterations and extensions, including reconstruction of lobby and oak library adjoining court IX
Item 16 of 221908Post OfficeOban ArgyllScotlandAs assistant to Oldrieve in H M Office of Works
Item 17 of 221910Municipal Buildings  KarachiIndiaDesign selected and secured job
Item 18 of 221910Royal Institution  EdinburghScotlandInternal reconstruction and new galleries - as assistant to Oldrieve in H M Office of Works
Item 19 of 22Mid 1912Scottish Office buildingsCalton Hill EdinburghScotlandFirst proposed scheme (unexecuted); detailing identical to Aberdeen Post Office - as chief draughtsman under W T Oldrieve in H M Office of Works
Item 20 of 221914Public Art Gallery and Museum  BelfastNorthern IrelandWon competition but not built because of the war
Item 21 of 22February 1928Ambassador's Residence, Chancery and other compound buildings  TokyoJapanAppointed site architect in 1928 and completed the buildings
Item 22 of 221936Consul General's House  ManilaPhillipines 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 2British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 2 of 2Who's Who in Architecture1914    

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Builder1 December 1944v167 p426 - obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal information from J Fenton Wyness to whom Wynnes was distantly related (despite the difference in spelling of their surnames)
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v9 no516 (microfilm reel 32); F v22 no1562 (microfilm reel 13)