Basic Biographical Details

Name: Rutherford & Syme
Born: January 1927
Died: 1939
Bio Notes: John Stuart Syme was born in 1872 and was articled to Robert Rowand Anderson in 1888, attending Heriot-Watt College and, briefly, the Edinburgh School of Applied Art before moving to the office of William Henry Thorp of Leeds in 1896. In 1898 he moved to London to work for James Glen Sivewright Gibson, returning to Anderson's practice, by then Anderson, Simon & Crawford, in 1899. On the dissolution of that partnership in 1902 he joined the office of the Edinburgh School Board architect John Alexander Carfrae, leaving for Liverpool in 1905 to be briefly assistant to Frank Worthington Simon of Matear & Simon. In the same year he moved again to York as assistant to Walter Henry Brierley. The connection with Brierley was presumably through James Hervey Rutherford (born 1874), Brierley's chief assistant since 1901, who had been a fellow apprentice with Syme in Anderson's office from 1893 and had similarly attended classes at the Edinburgh School of Applied Art and Heriot-Watt College. In 1899 he had moved to London to work for John Belcher, moving in 1900 to the office of Leonard Stokes and in 1901 to that of William Douglas Caröe. During that period he had attended the RA Schools and won a number of prizes and scholarships, including the Pugin Studentship in 1899 and the Owen Jones in 1901. The latter had enabled him to spend six months of 1902 travelling in Spain, Sicily and Italy.

Surprisingly Rutherford either never sat or failed to pass the qualifying exam and so did not seek membership of the RIBA until early 1911 when he was admitted LRIBA, proposed by Samuel Needham, president of the York & Yorkshire Architectural Society. Syme was admitted LRIBA on 20 March the same year, proposed by Sydney Decimus Kitson and the Leeds & Yorkshire Architectural Society.

Brierley took Rutherford into partnership in 1918, and was one of Rutherford's proposers for election as FRIBA on 30 November 1925, his other proposers being William Alfred Pite and John Stewart. Rutherford continued the practice after Brierley's death in August 1926, and in January the following year took Syme into partnership as Rutherford & Syme. Syme was elevated to FRIBA in mid-1928, his proposers being Simon, Rutherford and Edward **CHECK**. At that time he was President of the York & East Yorkshire Architectural Society. His nomination papers state that he had spent at least a fortnight each year since 1893 in travelling and studying, and had visited Belgium, France and Italy as well as touring England and Scotland extensively.

The Rutherford & Syme partnership was dissolved in 1939; Rutherford continued the Brierley practice until his death in 1946, and Syme practised alone until 1943 when he merged his business with that of Cecil Leckenby, whose son David became a partner in 1954. They were joined by John K Keighley in 1956. By that date Syme was eighty-four and must have been almost completely retired. Syme died on 12 December 1958.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 113, Lendal, York, Yorkshire, EnglandBusiness1926After 1928 

Employment and Training

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 2James Hervey RutherfordJanuary 19271939Partner 
Item 2 of 2John Stuart SymeJanuary 19271939Partner 


Currently, there are no references for this . The information has been derived from: the British Architectural Library / RIBA Directory of British Architects 1834-1914; Post Office Directories; and/or any sources listed under this individual's works.