Basic Biographical Details

Name: Hamilton More Nisbett
Designation: Architect
Born: 4 January 1868
Died: 24 December 1955
Bio Notes: Hamilton More Nisbett was born on 4 January 1868 the second son of John More Nisbett, 8th of Cairnhill, Ayrshire of the Drum, Gilmerton and his wife Lady Agnes Dalrymple, daughter of the 9th Earl of Stair. He was educated at Wellington. He was articled to John Kinross in 1889, remaining as assistant until 1896. He was the first apprentice known to have trained with Kinross: they remained close friends throughout their lives since as late as 1921 Kinross wrote home from Portugal referring to a chance meeting with a mutual friend, Jamie Kennedy. More Nisbet seems to have spent the final year of his employment with Kinross also working part-time in association with Sydney Tugwell, sharing premises with him at Riddles Court, Edinburgh. In 1896 he moved to London to join Dunn & Watson and in 1897 spent four months measuring and sketching in Norfolk and Suffolk before finding a new appointment in the office of Bucknall & Comper. The following year he embarked on a six-month continental study tour incorporating France, Northern Italy and Switzerland as well as some time in Oxford, Cambridge and Exeter, after which, in 1899, he commenced independent practice at 122 George Street, Edinburgh, the Peddie family office building. He spent a month or two of most subsequent years travelling in France, Belgium, Germany, England and Scotland.

The More Nisbett family entertained members of the Edinburgh Architectural Association on three separate occasions (1886, 1899 and 1905) at the Drum. In the early years of the century More Nisbett trained as a Territorial with the Mounted Blacks. He was interested in beagling and was joint Master of the Edinburgh Foot Harriers of Beagles, but the heart-strain he incurred from this activity saw him reserved as a Special Constable during the First World War.

He was admitted LRIBA in the mass intake of 20 July 1911, proposed by James Bow Dunn and the Edinburgh Architectural Association, which he had joined in 1901. At the date of his RIBA admittance his home was Morton House, Colinton.

Hamilton More Nisbett married Ivegh Marguerite Gladys Bayly Jones, daughter of Commander Frederick William Bayley Jones RN of Dunclutha on 7 November 1905. He succeeded to the family estates as 11th of Cairnhill and 4th of the Drum on the death of his elder brother, North More Nisbett, 5 January 1939. After the outbreak of World War II the practice was moved to the Drum. He was author of several books, 'Drum of the Somervilles', 'Oxenfoord and its owners' and 'Cairnhill'. He died on 24 December 1955. His wife had predeceased him on 15 July 1943.

NB More Nisbett used George Grieve & Sons, builders, Stephen Hare, builder & quarry lessee and Haddo, blacksmith of Haymarket Terrace in many of his projects.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 6122, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1899c. 1920 
Item 2 of 6Morton House, Colinton, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1911After 1914 
Item 3 of 642, Ormidale Terrace, Murrayfield, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateAfter 1914  
Item 4 of 64, Melville Crescent, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1921c. 1936 
Item 5 of 66, Melville Crescent, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1937c. 1939 
Item 6 of 6The Drum, Gilmerton, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/businessc. 19401955 

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 4John Kinross18891894ApprenticeRemained as assistant
Item 2 of 4John Kinross18941896Assistant 
Item 3 of 4Dunn & Watson18961897Assistant 
Item 4 of 4Bucknall & Comper18971898Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 1James Bow Dunn20 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 37 Buildings at CairnhillAirdrie LanarkshireScotlandDate uncertain
Item 2 of 37 Drum Farm, cottageGilmerton EdinburghScotlandDate uncertain
Item 3 of 37 Garvallan, cottages, farms etcGarvallan AyrshireScotlandDate uncertain
Item 4 of 37 House at Cairnmuir Road  EdinburghScotlandDate uncertain
Item 5 of 37After 1889Falkland PalaceFalkland FifeScotlandRestoration - as apprentice/assistant to John Kinross
Item 6 of 371891St Peter's Episcopal ChurchFraserburgh AberdeenshireScotlandAs apprentice to John Kinross
Item 7 of 371895Inch Parish ChurchInch WigtownshireScotlandInterior re-fitted after fire
Item 8 of 371895Manderston House, stablesDuns BerwickshireScotlandProbably involved, as assistant to John Kinross
Item 9 of 371895Thurston HouseInnerwick East LothianScotlandAs assistant to John Kinross
Item 10 of 37c. 1895Manderston House, including service court and motor houseDuns BerwickshireScotlandAs assistant to John Kinross - Refurbishment and major extension of late 18th century house, new entrance front, lavish interior decoration
Item 11 of 371896 or 1897Mount Nelson Hotel  Cape TownSouth AfricaAs assistant to Dunn & Watson
Item 12 of 371897 or 1898Church of St John the Evangelist, New HinkseyOxford OxfordshireEnglandAs assistant to Bucknall & Comper
Item 13 of 37After 1899Dean Cemetery and lodgesDean EdinburghScotlandMonuments
Item 14 of 37After 1899Milne Murray Lodge  EdinburghScotlandAdaptation of old houses to form student residence
Item 15 of 37After 1899St Andrews Cemetery, monumentSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 16 of 371901Cottages, farms and dairyGarallan/Garrallan AyrshireScotland 
Item 17 of 371902St Michael's Church  EdinburghScotlandLady Chapel reredos
Item 18 of 371906Balerno Police StationBalerno MidlothianScotland 
Item 19 of 371907Seaforth Highlanders Memorial   Scotland 
Item 20 of 371908Rathven (Rathvon?) Prospect House   Scotland 
Item 21 of 371908St Roque's Episcopal ChurchBlackscroft DundeeScotlandReredos, colour decoration and furniture
Item 22 of 37After 1908St Paul's Church  DundeeScotlandReredos (by More Nisbett) from St Roque's Episcopal church relocated here
Item 23 of 37c. 1908Royal Maternity and Simpson Memorial Hospital  EdinburghScotlandAlterations - date uncertain
Item 24 of 371909Chapel at DungallanOban ArgyllScotland 
Item 25 of 371910All Saints Episcopal Church  EdinburghScotlandAltarpiece in NW corner of church - imported from St Michael's Hill Square and installed about 1965. Executed by J Gibson and G & H Potts
Item 26 of 371910Cross for Miss Wardrop   Scotland 
Item 27 of 371910Gogar GreenCorstorphine EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 28 of 371910The DrumGilmerton EdinburghScotland 
Item 29 of 371913CottageCocksburnspath BerwickshireScotland 
Item 30 of 371913HallGilmerton EdinburghScotland 
Item 31 of 37191911-12 Ramsay Garden, University Hall  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 32 of 371920St Roque's Episcopal ChurchBlackscroft DundeeScotlandWar memorial
Item 33 of 371928The Drum, gardener's house and bothyGilmerton EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 34 of 371929Cat and Dog Home  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 35 of 371930Gilmerton Junior Friendly Society HallGilmerton EdinburghScotland 
Item 36 of 371935The Drum, Deer Park, Mr Redpath's HouseGilmerton EdinburghScotland 
Item 37 of 371937The Drum, gates on western driveGilmerton EdinburghScotlandGates and railings on western drive


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 5British Architectural Library, RIBA2001Directory of British Architects 1834-1914   
Item 2 of 5Burke, ____ (Mosley, Charles, ed) Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage: Clan Chiefs, Scottish Feudal Barons107th EditionWilmington, Delaware: Burke's Peerage & Gentry LLC 
Item 3 of 5RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 4 of 5RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 5 of 5Who's Who in Architecture1914    

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1RIBA JournalOctober 1956 London: Royal Institute of British ArchitectsObituary p515

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3National Archives of Scotland ( Register of Archives NRA (S) 2408
Item 2 of 3Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Information from D C Mays
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v19 no1485