Basic Biographical Details

Name: Campbell Douglas & Stevenson
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1860
Ended: 1868
Bio Notes: In the autumn of 1860 Campbell Douglas took into partnership John James Stevenson, an Edinburgh branch office being opened shortly thereafter ay 24 George Street.

Stevenson was born in Glasgow on 24 August 1831, the sixth of ten surviving children of James Stevenson and his wife Jane Stewart Shannan. Douglas had known Stevenson since about 1852, Stevenson and Douglas’s brother Carstairs Douglas having shared a flat as divinity students. In August 1856 Stevenson, then still pursuing his parents’ wish that he should become a Free Church minister, had invited Douglas to Augsburg where the principle of a partnership was agreed once Stevenson had completed an articled apprenticeship. From Douglas’s point of view this unusual proposition held considerable promise as the Stevensons were wealthy and had close business links with the even wealthier Tennants. Born in Glasgow on 24 August 1831 Stevenson was the sixth of the ten children of James Stevenson, then a Glasgow cotton trader. James had moved to Jarrow in 1843 to found the Jarrow Chemical Works in which the Tennants were minority shareholders. His sons James Cochrane, Alexander and Archibald had joined him in the business, taking over its management when their father retired to Edinburgh in 1854. John James had been intended for the church from his early years and he had been sent to the University of Glasgow in 1845-48 in preparation for Edinburgh’s Free College in 1851-54. That had included study in Tubinhen in 1853 and followed by further study in France, Sardinia and Italy. Throughout his continental studies Stevenson had pursued a parallel interest in architecture and with his father’s consent he had begun a two year apprenticeship with David Bryce in January 1857, followed by a further two years’ experience in George Gilbert Scott’s office in London.

Although the Briggate and North Leith Church, and still more excellent Scots Baronial Hartfield showed that Campbell Douglas had real ability he was content to take on a more managerial and job-getting role in his partnership with Stevenson. Stevenson's first-hand knowledge of Italy made a big impact on the Glasgow scene with his Italian Gothic Kelvinside Free Church, quickly followed by Townhead Church on Garngad Hill where the spire was of French inspiration, a development which may have been related to the arrival in the office (c.1862) of William Leiper who had travelled in France and had had experience in the office of John Loughborough Pearson and William White in London. Another outstanding draughtsman, John McKean Bryden joined the practice in the following year (1863) and remained until 1866 when he left for William Eden Nesfield's in London.

John James Stevenson inherited a substantial shareholding in the Jarrow Chemical Company on his father's death in 1866. Two years later he withdrew from his partnership with Douglas for what he described as 'an interval in the practice of my profession' travelling and writing the book eventually published as 'House Architecture' in 1880. At the end of it he settled in London in 1870, and late in the following year he formed a partnership with Edward Robert Robson, whom he had known in Scott's office and who had also grown up in County Durham. The break with Douglas was wholly amicable and relations remained close, Stevenson's office becoming the stepping-stone to London for many of the most promising assistants from Campbell Douglas's office throughout the 1870s and 1880s, most notably George Washington Browne, John Marjoribanks McLaren, William Wallace, William Flockhart and Francis William Troup. Together Douglas and Stevenson formed one of the greatest teaching partnerships of mid Victorian times. Like Leiper's and J J Burnet's later, the office at 226 St Vincent Street was a studio rather than just a drawing office and as Campbell Douglas and his wife Elizabeth Menzies lived upstairs it had a family atmosphere, William Flockhart recollecting 'the musical At homes to which his assistants were always asked … the staff was in turn treated but as a larger family'.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 324, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1860  
Item 2 of 3157, Hope Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessc. 1861c. 1867 
Item 3 of 3266, St Vincent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1868 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architectural practice (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 8John Rhind1860c. 1863Assistant 
Item 2 of 8Campbell Douglas18601868Partner 
Item 3 of 8William WallaceAfter 1860Before 1868Apprentice 
Item 4 of 8John James StevensonLate 18601868Partner 
Item 5 of 8John McKean Brydon1863May 1866Draughtsman 
Item 6 of 8William Leiperc. 1863Late 1863 or early 1864Assistant 
Item 7 of 8William Harvey Ross18651868Apprentice 
Item 8 of 8Duncan McNaughtan18681868Assistant 

Buildings and Designs

This architectural practice 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 271860Westerlea House  EdinburghScotland 
Item 2 of 271861Barclay ChurchBruntsfield EdinburghScotlandFirst premium in competition, but Pilkington got commission
Item 3 of 271861Corn ExchangeCupar FifeScotland 
Item 4 of 271861Free Church Normal SeminaryCowcaddens GlasgowScotlandAdditions and alterations
Item 5 of 271861McDonald Mission ChurchCowcaddens GlasgowScotland 
Item 6 of 271861St Peter's Mission Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 7 of 27c. 1861Auchenheglish and lodgeLoch Lomond DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 8 of 271862Kelvinside Free ChurchKelvinside GlasgowScotland 
Item 9 of 271863Campsie Free ChurchCampsie StirlingshireScotland 
Item 10 of 271863Clola Free ChurchClola AberdeenshireScotland 
Item 11 of 271863Kilbarchan Girls' SchoolKilbarchan RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 12 of 271863Moulin (Pitlochry) Free ChurchPitlochry PerthshireScotland 
Item 13 of 27c. 1863Reformed Presbyterian Church  LondonderryNorthern Ireland 
Item 14 of 271864Ralston House and lodgesPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandAdditions for Orr
Item 15 of 271864WestoeSouth Shields County DurhamEngland 
Item 16 of 271865Campbeltown Town HouseCampbeltown ArgyllScotlandInternal reconstruction
Item 17 of 271865Townhead ChurchGarngad GlasgowScotland 
Item 18 of 27186667-79 St Vincent Street  GlasgowScotland 
Item 19 of 271866Greyfriars ChurchDumfries DumfriesshireScotlandCompetition design
Item 20 of 271866St John's Presbyterian ChurchKensington LondonEnglandConsulted about alterations to pulpit and accoustics
Item 21 of 271867Cove CastleCove ArgyllScotland 
Item 22 of 271867Dunoon Pier and OfficesDunoon ArgyllScotland 
Item 23 of 271867Episcopal ChurchCampbeltown ArgyllScotland 
Item 24 of 271867Kilarrow Parish Manse IslayArgyllScotlandHS says it is 'thought to be by' Campbell Douglas
Item 25 of 271867Kirkland  EdinburghScotlandBegun in partnership; completed by Campbell Douglas alone
Item 26 of 271868English Free ChurchCampbeltown ArgyllScotland 
Item 27 of 27Before 1868Keil HouseCampbeltown ArgyllScotlandOriginal part


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 2Post Office Directories     
Item 2 of 2Stevenson, Hew2009Jobs for the Boys: the story of a family in Britain's Imperial Heyday Dove Books