Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||Morris & Hunter |
|Designation: ||Architectural practice |
|Started: ||May 1885 |
|Ended: ||1896 |
|Bio Notes: ||James Archibald Morris was born in Ayr on 14 January 1857, the younger child of Archibald Morris and his wife Anne Watson; his father was a well-off ship master trading between Ayr and Liverpool. Morris was educated at Ayr Academy and articled to A Lindsay Miller in Glasgow 1873-78. While there he attended the Haldane Academy, later absorbed into Glasgow School of Art and at the end of the apprenticeship spent two years studying 'ancient remains' in Scotland and France which laid the foundations for the conservation aspect of the practice. On his return he settled in London, enrolled at the Slade School to study art under Alphonse Legros and at the Royal Academy Schools under Phené Spiers to advance his architectural education, classes also being taken at University College. |
Morris set up practice on his own account at 46 Newmarket, Ayr at the early age of twenty-three in September 1880 and was elected ARIBA on 23 May of the following year, his proposers being John Baird, James Salmon and the elder George Bell; the first year of practice was concerned with feuing his property at Savoy Park Ayr and it was not until 1882 that any other significant commissions came in, the earliest being the photographer Ambrose Bara's house in Citadel Place (1882-83) - photography was one of the great interests of Morris's life - and the UP Church in Prestwick (1884).
In 1883 or 1884 Morris married Elizabeth Forgan, the daughter of Captain Charles Forgan of Towerhill, Kilmaurs, and in May of the former year took on as an assistant James Kennedy Hunter. Hunter was born in Ayr in 1863, the son of Andrew Hunter, a prosperous builder and Ayr Town Councillor. He had spent two years training as a land-surveyor combined with three years attending drawing and watercolour classes before entering into a shortened apprenticeship with the Ayr architect John Mercer in August 1880. His RIBA nomination paper records that he spent part of the summer sketching in Scotland and England in those years.
Around the time Hunter joined the firm, Morris set up a London office at 6 Delahay Street, Westminster. He was soon spending much of his time there and began entering major national competitions, the designs for which were exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy. Hunter consequently gained exceptional responsibility almost immediately, and in May 1885 he became partner-in-charge at Ayr as Morris & Hunter.
No actual building designed by the London practice has yet been identified, but it must have had more than an agency role as in 1891 Morris merged it with that of the Frenchman Alfred Chastel de Boinville. In or about 1896 Morris withdrew from this partnership and returned to Ayr; and in May of the same year the Ayr partnership of Morris & Hunter was dissolved by mutual consent, Hunter setting up practice on his own in Sandgate.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|6, Delahay Street, Westminster, London, England||Business||1892 *|| || |
|51, Sandgate, Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland||Business||Before 1892||1896|| |
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Employment and Training
Employees or Pupils
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architectural practice:|
|Close, Robert||1988||Attainable ideals: James A Morris 1857-1942|| ||Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society Newsletter, Spring 1988, pp5-7|| |
|Muthesius, Herman||1904||Das Englische Haus|| ||See translation by Denis Sharp and Janet Seligman 1979|| |
|Nicol||1908||Domestic Architecture in Scotland|| || || |
|Royal Society||1920||Royal Society of Edinburgh Year Book|| || || |
|Scottish Biographies||1938|| || ||E J Thurston (pub.)|| |
|The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Architect and Building News||4 December 1942|| || ||Obituary of Morris|
|Builder||27 November 1942|| || ||Obituary of Morris|
|RIBA Journal||January 1943|| ||London: Royal Institute of British Architects||Obituary of Morris p68|