Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Ferguson
Born: 20 April 1910
Died: 14 January 2004
Bio Notes: James Ferguson was born on 20 April 1910, the son of David Ferguson, public house manager and his wife Mary Collier. He was articled to John Fraser of Dunfermline from 1926 to 1930, gaining varied experience working on housing, farm reconstruction, Miners' Welfare Institutes, new shops, alterations and reconditioning of property and surveying. During this period he attended classes at Heriot Watt College and Edinburgh College of Art.

In 1930 he took a position as chief assistant to William Williamson in Kirkcaldy, moving two years later to a similar post with Alfred Hugh Mottram. He left Mottram after a year to undertake some 'private work' but in 1934 became an assistant with Fife County Council. In 1936 he moved to Edinburgh to become an assistant with Alexander Murray Hardie whose death the following year terminated his employment. He then took a post with the City Architect's Department in Edinburgh where he remained for the following ten years.

In 1947 Ferguson entered the competition promoted by Edinburgh Corporation for the Inch housing development and was placed second. He may have been obliged to leave his post with the Department prior to entering as it was probably considered a conflict of interest for an employee to take part. Whatever the reason, in the same year, 1947, he moved to the Edinburgh office of the Ministry of Works where he remained for only a year. He then took a post with the National Coal Board, Scottish Division, Production Department.

In 1951 he joined M Purdon Smith as chief assistant and became a partner in 1953. From the beginning of his employment with Purdon Smith one of his responsibilities was the design and construction of Dumfries and Galloway Board of Management hospitals.

He was elected LRIBA in 1956, his proposers being William Edward Hollins, John McLintock Bowie (whose name is deleted probably because he was unable to fulfill this request: he died in 1957), Frank Wood and James Alexander Roy McKee. The statement on the form is by Forbes Murison, Chief Architect to the Western Regional Hospital Board.

Ferguson left Purdon Smith in 1957. He was back in Edinburgh in the mid-1960s, and was a partner in the practice Ferguson, Marshall & Morison and was living in Craiglockhart Avenue and later West Castle Road. In the late 1990s he was living in Aberdour in Fife. After the death of his wife Blanche Stockdale McDonald in 1997 he went to live with his son at Stoneheap Farm, Stoneyburn, West Lothian.

Ferguson died at St John's Hospital, Livingston on 14 January 2004.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 5Stoneheap Farm, Stoneyburn , West Lothian, ScotlandPrivate 2004 
Item 2 of 5St Theresa's, Glasgow Road, Dumfries, Dumfriesshire, ScotlandPrivate1950s  
Item 3 of 51, Wardie Avenue, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1953  
Item 4 of 57B, West Castle Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1971  
Item 5 of 5Aberdour, Fife, ScotlandPrivate1990s  

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 11John Fraser19261930Apprentice 
Item 2 of 11William Williamson19301932Chief Assistant 
Item 3 of 11Alfred Hugh Mottram19321933Assistant 
Item 4 of 11Fife County Council19341936Assistant 
Item 5 of 11Alexander Murray Hardie19361937Assistant 
Item 6 of 11Edinburgh City Architect's Department (Edinburgh Corporation)19371947Assistant 
Item 7 of 11H M Office of Works (later Ministry of Works, Department of the Environment and Property Services Agency)19471948Assistant 
Item 8 of 11National Coal Board, Scottish Division19481951Architect 
Item 9 of 11Matthew Purdon Smith19511953Chief Assistant 
Item 10 of 11Matthew Purdon Smith19531957Partner 
Item 11 of 11Ferguson, Marshall & Morisonc. 1964c. 1968Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 4John McLintock Bowie9 October 1956For Licentiateship (name deleted as perhaps unable to give reference)
Item 2 of 4William Edward Hollins9 October 1956For Licentiateship
Item 3 of 4James Alexander Roy McKee9 October 1956For Licentiateship
Item 4 of 4Frank Wood9 October 1956For Licentiateship


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 5Bailey, Rebecca M1996Scottish architects' papers: a source book Edinburgh: The Rutland Pressp107
Item 2 of 5RIBA1960The RIBA Kalendar 1959-19601959-1960  
Item 3 of 5RIBA1964The RIBA Kalendar 1963-64   
Item 4 of 5RIBA1965The RIBA Kalendar   
Item 5 of 5RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   

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 no6754 (Combined Box 158)