Basic Biographical Details

Name: Charles Edward Whitelaw
Designation: Architect
Born: 2 November 1869
Died: 17 November 1939
Bio Notes: Charles Edward Whitelaw was born in Bath Street, Glasgow on 2 November 1869, the son of James Thomas Whitelaw, merchant, who had married Elizabeth Rodgers in Liverpool in February of the same year. The family background was in cotton manufacturing. Charles was articled to Campbell Douglas & Sellars from 1887 to 1888 and on Sellars's death followed John Keppie to the newly formed partnership of Honeyman & Keppie to complete his apprenticeship. Throughout this period he studied at Glasgow School of Art. He then enrolled at the Atelier Pascal with an introduction from Keppie, spending about fifteen months there and travelling in France, Italy, Germany and Austria for some seven months. On his return he became head draughtsman first to Thomas Lennox Watson and then to Alexander Nisbet Paterson, also formerly of Pascal's atelier. He commenced practice in Glasgow in January 1900, merging it with that of Henry Mitchell in 1902 whilst pursuing a further year's study at the School of Art, 1902-3.

The Mitchell & Whitelaw partnership was moderately successful, mainly through Whitelaw family connections (although it is not clear what connections these were) and ship interior work, and had Vernon Constable as assistant. Some part-time assistance was also provided by Alexander Wright. The partnership lasted until about 1908 or 1909 when Thomas Lennox Watson, with whom Mitchell had worked briefly on the interiors of the Steam Yacht Margarita and on competition designs for the Glasgow Royal Infirmary and the Glasgow & West of Scotland Technical College at the beginning of the century, offered Mitchell a partnership.

Whitelaw was admitted LRIBA in the mass intake of 20 July 1911, proposed by John Bennie Wilson and the Glasgow Institute of Architects. His nomination papers contain self-contradictory information regarding the dates and timeframes of his assistantships; and they contain no mention of the partnership, despite citing works carried out whilst it was in existence. He remained in practice in Glasgow until 1914, living in some grandeur at Southpark House, Hillhead and acting as a member of the local committee assisting the Scottish National Monuments Commission. He was a member of the Institute of Architects and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He was also President of the Provandís Lordship Club and took an active interest in the conservation of this building. He married (Leila) Graham Callander on 21 December 1921 in Tibbermore, Perthshire. They had one son James H Whitelaw (born 16 February 1923) and one daughter, Elizabeth Graham Whitelaw, (born 11 November 1928). Shortly after the birth of their son, the Whitelaw family moved to ĎThe Laurelsí, Bridge of Weir, though it is not clear if this was rented or purchased. In 1926 or 1927 they moved to 22 Midmar Gardens, Edinburgh.

Whitelaw died of coronary thrombosis and chronic myocarditis on 17 November 1939, leaving moveable estate of £1,858 8s 5d. His widow remained at 22 Midmar Gardens until 1954.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 6168, Bath Street, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1887After 1902 
Item 2 of 6219, St Vincent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1904After 1915 
Item 3 of 6Southpark House, Ann Street, Hillhead, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1911After 1914 
Item 4 of 6141, Bath Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1919 *  
Item 5 of 6The Laurels, Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire, ScotlandPrivate1924 *  
Item 6 of 622, Midmar Gardens, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)1930 or 1931 *1940s 

* 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 5Campbell Douglas & Sellars1887Late 1888 or early 1889Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5Honeyman & KeppieLate 1888 or early 1889c. 1892Apprentice 
Item 3 of 5Thomas Lennox Watsonc. 1894c. 1896Chief Draughtsman 
Item 4 of 5Alexander Nisbet Patersonc. 1896December 1899Chief Draughtsman 
Item 5 of 5Mitchell & Whitelaw19021908 or 1909Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1John Bennie Wilson20 July 1911for Licentiateship - as President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects

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 121902Dun EaglaisKippen StirlingshireScotland 
Item 2 of 12After 1902Anchor Line steamship California, interior     
Item 3 of 121903ClydeviewHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotlandExtension
Item 4 of 121903EasterhillHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 5 of 121906Allan Line steamship Virginian, interior     
Item 6 of 121906Beulah LodgeHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotlandExtension
Item 7 of 121906OakburnHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotlandStable
Item 8 of 121907Six Villas, Easterhill RoadHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 9 of 121908Business premises for J T Whitelaw's Trust  GlasgowScotlandOriginal retail warehouse
Item 10 of 121908Helensburgh Golf ClubhouseHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 11 of 121910116 West King StreetHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotlandRear extension
Item 12 of 121913Two detached villas, Lennox Drive EastHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 5Courtesy of Charles Whitelaw's son, James.Information sent via DSA website Sent June/July 2009
Item 2 of 5National Records of Scotland (formerly SRO, later NAS)Ministry of Works filesMW1/848 
Item 3 of 5New Register HouseWills and Testaments  
Item 4 of 5Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal information from Alexander Wright; research on family and death date from Iain Paterson
Item 5 of 5RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v21 no1672