Basic Biographical Details

Name: Robert Macfarlane Cameron
Designation: Architect
Born: 23 July 1860(?)
Died: 12 December 1920
Bio Notes: Robert Macfarlane Cameron was born in Edinburgh on 23 July 1860, and was educated at George Watson's School. He was articled to David and John Bryce on 14 September 1875, remaining there as an assistant after completing his apprenticeship. In 1881 he joined the staff of Robert Matheson at the Office of Works as a temporary draughtsman, moving to the Prison Board Architects' Department in 1882. Probably because of the severe recession in the earlier 1880s he became furniture designer at Victoria Works, Kirkcaldy in 1882 and remained there until October 1885 when he set up practice in Edinburgh. His best work has scholarly refinement, notably the Rowand Anderson-like Warrender Park Free Church.

Cameron's practice seems to have been affected by the Finance Act of 1909 with diminished business as he was practising from his home after that time. Cameron was admitted LRIBA on 20 July 1914, his proposers being the City Architect James Anderson Williamson, Harry Ramsay Taylor and John Watson. He married Margaret Emma Bowman/Burns on 17 June 1916.

Cameron was a Town Baillie, a Magistrate, and Deputy Lieutenant of the City of Edinburgh. He died on 12 December 1920 at 53 Great King Street, Edinburgh, and was buried in Warriston Cemetery. His practice was taken over by Stewart Kaye.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 493, South Back of the Canongate, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)1883  
Item 2 of 420, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness18861890 
Item 3 of 424, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness18911910 
Item 4 of 453, Great King Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/business1911 *1920Records Cameron at Great King Street until 1923 - which is three years after his death

* earliest date known from documented sources.

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 5D & J Bryce14 September 18751880Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5D & J Bryce18801881Assistant 
Item 3 of 5H M Office of Works (later Ministry of Works, Department of the Environment and Property Services Agency)18811882DraughtsmanIn Edinburgh office
Item 4 of 5Robert Matheson18811882Draughtsman 
Item 5 of 5Prison Board Architects' Department1882   

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 6Robert Ernest StewardsonOctober 18941898Apprentice 
Item 2 of 6John Alexander McWilliamMay 18961901Apprentice 
Item 3 of 6Alexander Murray Hardie18981899Assistant 
Item 4 of 6James MacraeAfter 19001904Assistant 
Item 5 of 6Benjamin Marcus Pritecac. 1904Before 1909Apprentice 
Item 6 of 6William Lamb22 March 19201921Apprentice 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Henry ('Harry') Ramsay Taylor20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 3John Watson20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 3James Anderson Williamson20 July 1911for 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 461883Dining room interior   Scotland 
Item 2 of 4618852-24 Viewforth  EdinburghScotland 
Item 3 of 46After 1885Dunbar Public School  East LothianScotland 
Item 4 of 46After 1885Lasswade Public SchoolLasswade MidlothianScotland 
Item 5 of 46After 1885Messrs Lipton's, 56 and 57 Princes Street  EdinburghScotlandReconstruction
Item 6 of 46After 1885Warehouses for Messrs BrickmanLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 7 of 461886Dunfermline Public ParkDunfermline FifeScotlandDonald Drinking Fountain
Item 8 of 461888Donald FountainDunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 9 of 46c. 1890(?)52-54 Inverleith PlaceInverleith EdinburghScotland 
Item 10 of 461891Loanhead Public SchoolLoanhead MidlothianScotland 
Item 11 of 461891Warrender Park Free Church  EdinburghScotlandWon in competition
Item 12 of 461893Alloa Public SchoolSunnyside, Alloa ClackmannanshireScotlandFirst premium in competition, although it appears that the job went to John Bennie Wilson
Item 13 of 461893Falkirk Free ChurchFalkirk StirlingshireScotlandUnsuccessful competition design
Item 14 of 461893Kirkcaldy Public SchoolKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 15 of 461894Dunnikier Primary SchoolPathhead/Dunnikier, Kirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 16 of 461895Guildford Arms  EdinburghScotlandRemodelling
Item 17 of 461895Juniper Green ChurchJuniper Green EdinburghScotland 
Item 18 of 461895Tenements, Holyrood Road and Gullan's Close  EdinburghScotland 
Item 19 of 461896Royal Burgess Golf Club, BarntonCramond EdinburghScotland 
Item 20 of 461896Tenement, 14-16 Holyrood Road  EdinburghScotland 
Item 21 of 461897Edinburgh Burgess Golfing Society ClubhouseBarnton EdinburghScotlandOriginal club-house
Item 22 of 461897Usher Hall  EdinburghScotlandPrepared sketch plans for two sites to a brief prepared by the City Architect as Councillor on Edinburgh Council
Item 23 of 461898Offices and associated warehouses for Pattison, whisky blendersLeith EdinburghScotlandAttributed to Simpson in 'Buildings of Scotland' Edinburgh volume.
Item 24 of 461898Tenement for the MagistratesDunbar East LothianScotlandMay be responsible?
Item 25 of 461898Warehouse for J M Scott & Co, wine merchantsLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 26 of 461899Abbeyhill UP Church  EdinburghScotland 
Item 27 of 461899Golf Tavern, Bruntsfield LinksBruntsfield EdinburghScotland 
Item 28 of 461899Three Tuns Bar  EdinburghScotland 
Item 29 of 461900Gorgie UP Church and hallGorgie EdinburghScotlandChurch
Item 30 of 461903Public House, Howard Place  EdinburghScotland 
Item 31 of 461906Haymarket Inn  EdinburghScotlandRemodelling of ground floor and interior
Item 32 of 461907Forth Bridge HotelSouth Queensferry West LothianScotlandRepairs after fire
Item 33 of 461908Edinburgh Dental Hospital and school  EdinburghScotlandHS List claims that it was 'originally R M Cameron'
Item 34 of 461909Dunbar Parish Church HallsDunbar East LothianScotland 
Item 35 of 461909Dunbar SchoolsDunbar East LothianScotlandfor extension
Item 36 of 461909Roller Skating Rink  DundeeScotland 
Item 37 of 461910Cattle markets for John Swan & Son  EdinburghScotland 
Item 38 of 461910GrandstandPowderhall Grounds EdinburghScotland 
Item 39 of 461910Picture House  EdinburghScotland 
Item 40 of 461911TorwoodColinton EdinburghScotlandService wing extension (attribution)
Item 41 of 461912City PoorhouseCraiglockhart EdinburghScotlandExtension of bedroom accommodation
Item 42 of 461912Princes Cinema  EdinburghScotlandArchitect for original cinema
Item 43 of 461912Royal Hotel and cinema  EdinburghScotlandJoint architect for cinema with Atkinson and Alexander (Building News)
Item 44 of 461912St Cuthbert's Poorhouse, children's homeCraigleith EdinburghScotland 
Item 45 of 461913Palace Cinema  EdinburghScotland 
Item 46 of 461915TorwoodColinton EdinburghScotlandDrawing room extension


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2Laperriere, Charles Baile de (ed.)1991The Royal Scottish Academy Exhibitors 1826-1990   
Item 2 of 2Post Office Directories     

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Scotsman13 December 1920  p2 Death notice

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 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 Ann C H Begbie, a fourth-generation cousin
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v16 no1167