Basic Biographical Details

Name: Frank Matcham
Designation: Architect
Born: 22 November 1854
Died: 17 May 1920
Bio Notes: Frank Matcham was born on 22 November 1854 at Newton Abbot, Devon, the second child of Charles Matcham, brewery manager, and his wife Elizabeth. The family moved shortly afterwards to Mary Bridgeman's Torquay Brewery and Frank was educated at Babbacombe School. Around 1868 he was articled to George Soudon Bridgeman, architect and civil engineer in Torquay, but he moved to London to re-commence his apprenticeship, this time as a quantity surveyor. He then returned to Bridgeman as a senior assistant. Sometime in 1876 or early 1877 he returned to London to work for the theatre architect Jethro Thomas Robinson, theatre consultant to the Lord Chamberlain. On 9 July 1877 he married Robinson's younger daughter Maria, and when Robinson died suddenly a year later Matcham inherited his practice.

Matcham built up the largest theatre practice in Britain but never joined the RIBA. He died at Southend, Essex on 17 May 1920.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 3Torquay, Devon, EnglandPrivate   
Item 2 of 3Southend, Essex, EnglandPrivate 1920 
Item 3 of 3London, EnglandBusinessc. 1877  

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 2George Soudon Bridgemanc. 1868 ApprenticeReturned as senior assistant
Item 2 of 2Jethro Thomas Robinson1876 or 18771878Assistant 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 3Robert Alexander Briggs  Engineer 
Item 2 of 3William George Robert Sprague18791883Apprentice 
Item 3 of 3Frederick Arthur WalkerAfter 1902Before 1913Assistant 


RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1Eric Kingdon Rowe24 November 1935For Licentiateship

Buildings and Designs

This architect 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 141879Royalty Theatre and Commercial Premises  GlasgowScotlandDesigned theatre
Item 2 of 141880Gaiety Theatre  GlasgowScotlandRenovation and redecoration
Item 3 of 141885Hengler's Grand Cirque  GlasgowScotland 
Item 4 of 14c. 1890Empire Palace Theatre  EdinburghScotlandEmpire Palace
Item 5 of 14Before 189329 Moray Place  EdinburghScotlandNew library and recasting of interior of drawingroom
Item 6 of 141897Empire Theatre  GlasgowScotland 
Item 7 of 141897Her Majesty's Theatre  AberdeenScotlandDesign for reconstruction of interior
Item 8 of 141897Victoria PavilionMorecambe LancashireEnglandConsultant to Mangnall and Littlewoods
Item 9 of 141903His Majesty's Theatre  AberdeenScotlandDesigned new building
Item 10 of 14c. 1903Coliseum Theatre  GlasgowScotland 
Item 11 of 141904King's Theatre  GlasgowScotlandOriginal theatre
Item 12 of 141906HippodromePaisley RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 13 of 141909Her Majesty's Theatre  AberdeenScotlandFurther work
Item 14 of 141910Olympia Theatre of VarietiesBridgeton GlasgowScotlandIn association with George Arthur & Son


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1Walker, Brian Frank Matcham Theatre Architect