Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Hamilton & Son
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1877
Ended: 1907
Bio Notes: James Hamilton was born c.1826 the son of John Hamilton, manager of St Rollox Chemical Works and his wife Jane McKay. By his own account in the 'Architects, Engineers and Building Trades Directory' of 1868, he was articled to Alexander Kirkland with whom he remained several years as an assistant, setting up on his own account in 1857. While at Kirkland's he designed in his own name several monuments in the Glasgow Necropolis including the boldly theatrical one to J H Alexander. Thomas Gildard (ms p.20) is careful to emphasise that he was not related in any way to David Hamilton or his son James. From what the late Professor William James Smith learned when with the Hamiltons in the early twentieth century, Hamilton was largely responsible for the design of Kirkland's Venetian Tillie & Henderson Building, 37-51 Miller Street, and Eagle Buildings on Bothwell Street. Tillie & Henderson was a Londonderry company and it was in Ireland that Hamilton made his name by winning the elevations competition for the Ulster Bank in 1857 with elevations related to Tillie & Henderson's; he also designed several branches for that bank. Hamilton also established himself as an expert in the design of baths buildings, his Directory entry recording essays on heating, ventilation and acoustics. In 1861 Kirkland took Hamilton into partnership (his previous partnership with James Russell having ended in 1856) with an office in West Nile Street, but Kirkland abruptly withdrew at the end of 1861, leaving for London to recommence practice as a civil engineer only on 19 February 1862. Their apprentice Thomas Ross (1839-1930), later of MacGibbon and Ross then left for the office of Charles Wilson. James Hamilton continued the Glasgow practice alone with the assistance of James Sellars from 1864-67. To manage the Belfast office he entered into a partnership with Frank Stirrat who had supervised the building of the Ulster Bank, an arrangement that lasted from 1863 until 1866.

James Hamilton's son John H, born in 1851, was educated at Glasgow High School and Glasgow School of Art and completed his articles with his father 1867-1873. Thereafter he gained five years experience in unspecified offices, and at some stage travelled on the continent. He was taken into formal partnership as James Hamilton & Son in 1877. However father and son disagreed c. 1884 and John practised independently until a few months before his father died in 1894 when a reconciliation took place and the partnership was reformed. The name James Hamilton & Son was then used from this date until 1907 when it was dropped in preparation for John's son Arthur Donaldson Hamilton being taken into partnership, the firm becoming John Hamilton & Son in 1910. Arthur was born on 25 January 1882 and articled to his father 1899 to 1905, attending Glasgow School of Art and the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College. In 1905 he was placed with John Archibald Campbell for experience, returning to his father's practice as an assistant before being taken into partnership. Much of the work of the practice was valuation, notably for the Glasgow City and District Railway and the Caledonian Railway, and arbitration, notably for the Glasgow Corporation Sewage Scheme.

All three generations of Hamiltons were closely associated with Rothesay, where they had weekend houses. They built many villas there and in the surrounding area.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2132, West Regent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness18821883 
Item 2 of 2212, St Vincent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1904 *  

* 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 7James Hamilton1877c. 1884Partner 
Item 2 of 7John H Hamilton1877c. 1884PartnerResumed partnership in 1893
Item 3 of 7James Hoey Craigie18851890ApprenticeUnder James Hamilton
Item 4 of 7James Hamiltonc. 18931894Partner 
Item 5 of 7John H Hamiltonc. 18931907Partner 
Item 6 of 7Arthur Donald Hamilton1 August 18991905Apprentice 
Item 7 of 7Hugh Aitken Hutchison WalkerJune 1907June 1912Apprentice 

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 36After 1868(?)MoorhouseBarrhead RenfrewshireScotlandUnclear whether by John Hamilton alone or in partnership
Item 2 of 361877Corner tenement with shop, Russell Street and Mill StreetRothesayButeButeScotlandHS suggestion
Item 3 of 361877Duncan HallsRothesayButeButeScotland 
Item 4 of 361884Baths, Leslie StreetPollokshields GlasgowScotlandWon competition and secured job
Item 5 of 361893Shawlands AcademyShawlands GlasgowScotland 
Item 6 of 361893(?)St Rollox UP ChurchSt Rollox GlasgowScotland 
Item 7 of 361894Drill Hall, Rumford StreetBridgeton GlasgowScotland 
Item 8 of 361895Gorbals Grain MillsGorbals GlasgowScotlandSecond section
Item 9 of 361896Shawlands AcademyShawlands GlasgowScotlandExtension
Item 10 of 361898Battlefield East ChurchBattlefield GlasgowScotlandHall
Item 11 of 361898Church hall and vestry, Moss Road  GlasgowScotland 
Item 12 of 361898New Cathcart Free Church and HallCathcart GlasgowScotlandHall only; commission for main church lost to J B Wilson
Item 13 of 361898School and janitor's housePollokshaws GlasgowScotland 
Item 14 of 361898Shawlands Free Church HallShawlands Cross GlasgowScotland 
Item 15 of 36After 1899Salvation Army Halls and business premisesAnderston GlasgowScotland 
Item 16 of 36After 1899Shawlands AcademyShawlands GlasgowScotlandAdditions
Item 17 of 361900House for Thomas Pollock  GlasgowScotland 
Item 18 of 361900Store and Stables, Martyr StreetTownhead GlasgowScotland 
Item 19 of 361902Premises for Allsopp & Sons  GlasgowScotlandDesign exhibited
Item 20 of 361902Tenements in Helenvale Street  GlasgowScotlandJames dead by then but firm name retained
Item 21 of 361903Church, Springburn Road and Fountainhall Road  GlasgowScotland 
Item 22 of 361903Copper Works, Woodville Street  GlasgowScotlandWest block of the offices
Item 23 of 361903Dental Hospital  GlasgowScotlandConversion from house into hospital?
Item 24 of 361903Hayfield Public School  GlasgowScotlandJames Hamilton dead by then but firm name retained
Item 25 of 361903Salvation Army HallGovan GlasgowScotland 
Item 26 of 361904Salvation Army CitadelPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 27 of 36c. 1904Swanstonhill ButeButeScotlandAdditions at various dates to hydropathic, incorporating house by J T Rochead. Perhaps submitted competition design for reconstruction?
Item 28 of 361905Hayfield School, accommodation for special instructionGorbals GlasgowScotlandBlock added to orginal Hayfield School
Item 29 of 361905Salvation Army HallAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 30 of 361906Salvation Army HallGovan GlasgowScotlandEnlargement of Junior Hall
Item 31 of 36Before 1906(?)Mansion house for James OsborneThorntonhall LanarkshireScotlandUnclear whether by John Hamilton alone or in partnership
Item 32 of 36Before 1906(?)Mansion House for Robert Mowat EsqLongcroft StirlingshireScotlandUnclear whether by John Hamilton alone or in partnership
Item 33 of 36Before 1906(?)Residence of J L Menzies EsqMansewood GlasgowScotlandAlterations and additions - unclear whether by John Hamilton alone or in partnership
Item 34 of 36Before 1906(?)School for Special Instruction  GlasgowScotlandUnclear whether by John Hamilton alone or in partnership
Item 35 of 36Before 1906Sir John Stirling Maxwell SchoolPollokshaws GlasgowScotland 
Item 36 of 36Before 1907(?)Tenements (?) at Shawlands Junction  GlasgowScotlandDate unknown; unclear whether by John Hamilton alone or in partnership

References

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Journal9 November 1935v43London: Royal Institute of British Architectsp38 - obituary of John Hamilton

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architectural practice:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Mitchell LibraryGildard's 'Some Old Glasgow Architects' supplementary manuscript  
Item 2 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Information from personal recollections of the late Professor William James Smith