Contact UsOpens new browser window    AccessibilityOpens new browser window    Security & PrivacyOpens new browser window    CopyrightOpens new browser window
Dictionary of
Scottish Architects

Portrait of J Honeyman Portrait of D MacGibbon Portrait of Sir R R Anderson 

Essay Themes

The Architectural Profession in Scotland, 1840-1940: Background to the Biographical Notes

David M Walker

The research carried out for the DSA has significantly widened our understanding of the Scottish architectural profession in the period 1840-1940. This section aims to provide a wider context to the events described in the biographical notes.

The DSA's commencement date of 1840 has been determined by the terminal date of Sir Howard Colvin's Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, but it also marks the founding of the Institute of Architects in Scotland as a counterpart to the Institute of British Architects - from 1866 the Royal Institute (RIBA) - which had been formed six years earlier in 1834. Despite its title the latter was for its first forty years a very English body, William Burn, Thomas Hamilton (both admitted 1835), Archibald Simpson (admitted 1838) and David Bryce (admitted 1845) being the only Fellows to practise in Scotland for the first twenty years of its existence. But the Scottish Institute foundered within a year as a result of an internal power struggle, and was not re-founded until 1850 under the slightly changed title of the Architectural Institute of Scotland. This second Institute attracted virtually all the leading architects in Edinburgh and Glasgow and included lay members (i.e. clients) and associate members (related professors, decorators and tradesmen). Shortly after its inception there was a move - which never came to fruition - to found a chair in architecture so that the profession had a similar standing to law and medicine. Perhaps with that higher status in view a small number of architects had already attended university either prior to or in parallel with the usual five-year articled apprenticeship. This trend was first noticeable in Aberdeen where William Smith and the brothers William and James Henderson attended Marischal College in the 1830s: of the architects who attended university in the 1840s, some at least originally had other professions in view - law in the case of John Dick Peddie and the church in the case of John Honeyman. But in the case of at least two others, David MacGibbon and Charles George Hood Kinnear, university does seem to have been a conscious preparation for a career in architecture, the difference being, perhaps, that both came from extremely well-off families.

Most architects became articled apprentices at the age of fifteen or sixteen. Predictably those in the cities, and particularly those in offices with good libraries, were best placed for their future careers. Part-time classes in applied art had been available at the Trustees' Academy in Edinburgh since 1760. They were provided at the Government Schools of Design from 1844 onwards under the aegis of the Department of Practical Art, the Trustees' Academy becoming one of them in 1845. Their departments of design taught architecture, geometry, perspective, modelling, fresco and encaustic painting, all by a single master with one assistant. In 1858, after the Department of Science and Art took over, the Schools of Design became Schools of Art. These schools also taught drawing, the design of ornament and the decorative arts, and presentation rather than architecture. Classes in the technical aspects of construction and services were available at the numerous mechanics' institutes (the most important being that in Glasgow which taught architecture from 1855-1856 onwards) and at the Edinburgh School of Arts, founded in 1821 and absorbed in 1824 by the Watt Institute which in turn became the Heriot-Watt College in 1885. References to these will be found in the biographical notes for the earlier architects, although only in the case of the Trustees' Academy is the record of those who attended complete.

In early to mid-Victorian times the architectural profession in Scotland was well trained and well read but fairly insular. Most of the leading Scottish architects of that period - David Bryce, David Cousin, Charles Wilson, Thomas Mackenzie, Alexander Thomson, John Dick Peddie and his partner Charles George Hood Kinnear, James Maitland Wardrop, and James Boucher - never sought experience south of the Border. Continental travel, as in the cases of David Rhind (who had some London experience with the elder Pugin), James Hamilton, Wilson, Boucher, and Peddie and Kinnear was seen as the key to professional success. Backed up by very cosmopolitan libraries, they did not feel the need for London experience when the Greek revival work of the previous generation was comparable to the best work then being done in London. They proved excellent teachers for the next generation, not only in Scotland but also in the dominions. William Hay from John Henderson's office settled in Toronto; Thomas Turnbull from David Bryce's in Wellington; Robert Arthur Lawson from John Lessels' and David Ross from Thomas Mackenzie's in Dunedin; Andrew Davidson and George Henderson from John Henderson and David Cousin's in Geelong; and Francis Drummond Greville Stanley from Brown & Wardrop's had an extremely distinguished career in Brisbane.

From the early 1840s there was an increasing trend towards obtaining experience with a leading practice south of the Border - William Burn's London office in the case of David MacGibbon and John Honeyman (the former made a Grand Tour as well); Charles Barry in the case of George Penrose Kennedy; George Gilbert Scott in the case of James Matthews; John Dobson of Newcastle in the case of Campbell Douglas; and William White and John Loughborough Pearson in the case of William Leiper. The main advantage of London experience was a far greater expertise in Gothic design than could be achieved in Scotland, and in the case of Leiper a more fashionable approach to interior work which embraced the Anglo-Japanese. It helped win competitions, particularly for churches, and launched the careers of Honeyman and Leiper very quickly indeed. But for some an important advantage of being in London was the prospect of attending the classes in architecture at University College under Thomas Leverton Donaldson or in construction at King's College under Robert Kerr, who had been a pupil of John Smith in Aberdeen. Successful attendance at these courses resulted in a very few Scots being admitted ARIBA rather than FRIBA, the earliest (1842) being William Smith of Aberdeen, who had taken Donaldson's course. At both Colleges the value of the courses was limited by the ruling that design was not an examinable subject. For that aspect of architecture there was the Department of Practical Art's School of Design, based first at Somerset House from 1837 to 1852 and then at Marlborough House from 1852 to 1857, the architectural instructors being the sculptor Alfred Stevens, the architect Charles James Richardson, and, briefly, the German refugee Gottfried Semper from 1852 until 1855. After the Department of Practical Art was restructured as the Department of Science and Art in 1853, the Schools were moved in 1857 to the South Kensington Museum where they remained until they became the Royal College of Art in 1897. As set out above, the consequent restructuring of the provincial Schools of Design as Schools of Art came a year later in 1858.

While the teaching at South Kensington was perhaps at a higher level than at some of its provincial outposts, it was the subject of a great deal of criticism in the architectural journals, partly because of its close association with the Royal Engineers and partly because the inflexibility of the South Kensington system prevented the Schools of Art from attempting to teach at a higher level. From 1870 the classes at South Kensington were seen as more of a prep school for the Royal Academy School of Architecture where the Ecole des Beaux-Arts-trained Richard Phené Spiers had been appointed master and where the academician architects were visitors. It thus represented a much stronger inducement to get a job in London. As is already well known, many of the Scots in London in the 1870s and 1880s were assistants of Campbell Douglas who found a place with his former partner John James Stevenson; and from Stevenson's a few made their way to the offices of even more distinguished architects, such as William Eden Nesfield in the case of George Washington Browne. Some, like William Flockhart and James MacLaren, stayed in London to seek their fortune there, albeit with predominantly Scottish clients; others, like Browne, came home bringing the Stevenson and Nesfield idiom with them. But Stevenson's was not the only leading office in which the Scots found a place: John More Dick Peddie, like Robert Rowand Anderson and William Forrest Salmon before him, obtained an assistant's post with George Gilbert Scott; Duncan McNaughtan one with Scott's pupil William Henry Crossland; Hew Montgomerie Wardrop one with George Edmund Street; Thomas Lennox Watson one with Alfred Waterhouse; and William Laidlaw Carruthers one with Ernest George. As some distinguished Scottish architects - notably Thomas Leadbetter (who briefly exhibited at the Royal Academy) - never joined the RIBA, the record in the DSA will not be complete. Further research in the records of the Royal Academy Schools is required.

The classes at the Royal Academy Schools were still only an adjunct to experience as an assistant in one of the leading London offices and Spiers had at least some misgivings about exposing his students to the conflicting ideologies of the visiting academicians. In or about 1871 he advised John James Burnet to seek a full-time education at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts as he himself had done. Burnet distinguished himself there and his Diplôme du Gouvernement ensured his admission as ARIBA in 1881. From 1880, beginning with his assistant and future partner John Archibald Campbell, a steady trickle of Scots followed him to the Ecole and to the atelier of Jean-Louis Pascal. Virtually all of them came from well-off families and had a link of some kind with the Burnet office: the only one who had to save up to go there was Robert Douglas Sandilands, the son of a Lesmahagow joiner, who entered the atelier of the Ecole's theorist Julien Guadet rather than Pascal's. Not all of these products of the Ecole had successful careers: the DSA has shown that there were rather more Scots élèves than hitherto realised, and that a few still went to the Ecole long after the reorganisation of architectural education in Scotland under Ecole-trained professors had made a sojourn in Paris less obviously advantageous than it had been.

As late as the early 1870s there were still only two Fellows of the RIBA in Scotland - David Bryce in Edinburgh and William Mackison (admitted 1865), a Stirling architect and engineer who became burgh engineer of Dundee in 1868: it was probably one of the main reasons for his appointment. But in 1874 Robert Rowand Anderson in Edinburgh and John Honeyman in Glasgow were admitted. The latter had retained good connections in London through Burn's nephew John Macvicar Anderson and, as the sole representative of one of the largest provincial institutes in Britain, was made a council member after only two years as a Fellow. Over the next five years (1876-81) he recruited at least one partner from all the leading Glasgow practices, with the single exception of James Boucher's. Anderson did not recruit with the same zeal and the more senior members of the profession, including the City Architect Robert Morham, kept their distance. The Edinburgh members of the RIBA were thus nearly all younger architects who had passed the qualifying exam and had been elected Associates, beginning with Thomas Purves Marwick in 1882-83. These early candidates for the qualifying exam were at least partly influenced by the planned linking of the qualifying exam to the proposed Architects and Surveyors Registration Bill, for which a self-appointed body, the Architects' and Surveyors' Registration Committee, had been campaigning for some years, and which the Society of Architects was founded to promote in 1884. It was a breakaway body of architects dissatisfied with the Institute and the status of Associates in particular: John More Dick Peddie must have agreed with its aims as he joined it.

The Institute's progress towards a professional examination had indeed been slow. It introduced a voluntary professional examination in 1860 but the first candidates did not sit until 1863 and interest in it remained at a low level. Nineteen years later, in 1882, the RIBA passed a byelaw requiring all candidates for Associateship to sit the exam, but this was not embodied in a supplemental charter until 1887. As the exam at first had to be sat in London and lasted a week, it was both expensive and unpopular, but Honeyman later succeeded in making it possible to sit it in Glasgow. Although the number of candidates remained relatively low, the Scottish architects were generally in favour of registration in principle, but after the Registration Bill of 1891 proposed to make the title of architect dependent on passing the qualifying exam, some of the most distinguished architects in Britain, including Richard Norman Shaw and Robert Rowand Anderson, presented a memorial to the RIBA Council stating that the art of architecture could not be assessed by such an examination and that, by setting the same hallmark on the surveyor and the architect, the Institute would further divorce architecture from the arts of painting and sculpture and from the craft of building. Although the much-respected Alfred Waterhouse was then President, the memorialists resigned from the Institute. They published their views in Architecture, a Profession or an Art?, edited by Norman Shaw and Thomas Graham Jackson, but to the provincial architect and civil engineer this divisive issue was, in the words of Charles Ower in Dundee, 'the Practical Architects versus Fancy Men and Faddists'.

The initial willingness of the Scottish architects to contemplate registration with a recommendation that Scotland should be a separate district, was probably influenced by the fact that Scotland no longer had any central institute. In 1858 the Glasgow members of the Architectural Institute made their dissatisfaction plain in a confrontation with the Institute's secretary, their main cause of complaint being that it was too Edinburgh-orientated with its library in David MacGibbon's office. Later that year the Glasgow Architectural Society was founded with the object of establishing an outstanding library in Glasgow, open to draughtsmen and apprentices as well as principals. Although its driving force Alexander Thomson did not intend it to happen, this new Society resulted in the Scottish profession becoming polarised. In December of the same year, 1858, the Edinburgh draughtsmen and apprentices formed the Edinburgh Architectural Association on the model of the London one as a self-help educational body and duly established a work class committee. From 1862 it too began to build up a library separate from that of the Architectural Institute.

These developments caused the members of the Architectural Institute to conclude that a restructuring of the several professional bodies was inevitable. As Glasgow had lost interest in the Institute, resulting in it becoming virtually an Edinburgh-based body, in 1862 David MacGibbon proposed that it be amalgamated with the Edinburgh Architectural Association, a merger duly implemented in March 1863. Although the Edinburgh Association survived in that form as a body for both principals and draughtsmen, the Glasgow society did not. In 1868 the leading Glasgow principals found it necessary to create another body, the Glasgow Institute of Architects, to deal with fee scales and other regulatory matters, its members putting the letters IA after their names on their writing paper and in the Post Office Directories. Two years later, in 1870, the Glasgow Architectural Society became the architectural section of the Glasgow Philosophical Society, its magnificent library surviving intact until the 1960s when it was regrettably sold. In 1884 the Dundee architects formed the Dundee Institute of Architects, the catalyst being the standardisation of schedules of quantities; its original title was the Dundee Institute of Architecture, Science and Art (a very South Kensington concept) and it included the applied sciences, the other Fine Arts, and an associate membership of lay members, very much on the model of the old Architectural Institute. It too began to build up a library and for a time it had its own premises. In 1891 these bodies became 'allied societies' affiliated to the RIBA. Few of the members of these allied societies were also members of the RIBA, but their presidents - if they were Fellows - had an ex officio seat on the RIBA Council, a development which probably hastened the founding of the Aberdeen Society of Architects in 1899. It too became an allied society. Although the Glasgow Institute had unsuccessfully proposed a merger of the Scottish allied societies as a single Scottish Institute in 1897, these developments brought the Scottish profession into a closer relationship with the RIBA and the numbers of well-established architects seeking Fellowship grew after 1900, beginning with Hippolyte Blanc in 1901.

Throughout the 1890s there was a steady stream of Scots seeking either a career or experience in London. The stepping-stone there was no longer Stevenson's but James Glen Sivewright Gibson's and Niven & Wigglesworth's. Gibson and David Barclay Niven had both started their careers in Dundee: Gibson at Ireland & Maclaren's from which he made his way to William Wallace's and Thomas Edward Collcutt's, and Niven at the equally unpromising Charles & Leslie Ower's, followed by a spell in John Murray Robertson's office, from which he eventually found a place with Aston Webb. Despite his name, Herbert Hardy Wigglesworth was an Aberdonian articled to Alexander Marshall Mackenzie who had obtained experience with Ernest George in London and George Browne Post in New York. A few made their way to London from even more provincial offices, notably Archibald Campbell Dickie who commenced his career in John Carver's Forfar office and became Professor of Architecture at Manchester after spells as an assistant with Beeston & Burmester and with Professor Beresford Pite. As in the 1870s and 1880s, most remained in London but a few returned to Scotland to commence independent practice at home, notably John Watson, David Salmond and James Henry Gray who joined forces as Watson Salmond & Gray in Glasgow and Frank Thomson in Dundee, all from Niven & Wigglesworth's office.

In 1903 the RIBA consulted the allied societies on the registration issue and found that the great majority of architects were now in favour of it, at least in principle; and in the following year, 1904, it passed a resolution that candidates for Fellowship as well as Associateship should undergo an examination, the power being reserved of dispensing with it in special cases. That, together with the gradual acceptance of registration, resulted in a massive rally to the Institute, not only of those who had resigned, but also of those who had achieved professional distinction in the years since 1887 and now sought to be treated as 'special cases': hence the very high number of well-established architects admitted Fellows in 1906. As the candidates still had to prove themselves worthy of admission their nomination papers were unusually informative, to the great benefit of the DSA.

In a further supplemental Charter of 1908 the RIBA created a Licentiate class for reputable architects who had not been admitted in 1906 and for one reason or another had preferred not to sit, or, perhaps, had failed the qualifying exam. A great many of these had in fact distinguished themselves at the Academy Schools and in the prize lists. They were mostly admitted en masse in July 1911 with a few stragglers up to 1913 when the Licentiate class was closed. Some of those admitted at that time were senior assistants contemplating independent careers rather than principals. To secure admission the candidates had again to provide a wealth of information, not only on their own practices, but on their careers as assistants, often providing valuable details not to be found in the nomination papers of their employers. Inevitably the Licentiate class was not popular with its more distinguished members who sought elevation to Fellow as quickly as possible.

The creation of the Licentiate class was at least in some degree a preparation for registration now that the principle of it had been agreed, but in the event parliamentary time could not be found for it. But the massive influx of Licentiates to the Institute in 1911 was not unconnected with the threat to the profession represented by Lloyd George's Finance Act of 1909 which introduced an increment tax on property development - in James Salmon's words 'a tax on every shilling's worth of building, a tax on life itself'. Its effect on the architectural profession was catastrophic, even worse than the failure of the City of Glasgow Bank in 1878. At Honeyman Keppie & Mackintosh's it reduced the volume of business by 75% in 1910-11, precipitating the dissolution of the partnership in 1913; at Salmon Son & Gillespie's, also dissolved in that year, it was a major contributory factor; and at Burnet Boston & Carruthers the senior partners retrenched by shedding Carruthers, who had done all the work for the preceding decade and had made the practice's reputation. Throughout the biographical notes for the Edwardian era will be found instances of architects closing their offices to practise from home; seeking employment from the Inland Revenue as valuators to administer the tax; obtaining salaried employment with government departments, harbour boards and the railway companies; and even simply disappearing abroad. A few belatedly sat the qualifying exam as a more secure passport to salaried posts in the dominions than a Licentiateship, Canada being a favourite destination.

Developments in architectural education had in fact led to the Scottish candidates for the arduous qualifying exam becoming ever better prepared. The first serious move came in 1862 when Charles Heath Wilson, Headmaster of Glasgow School of Art, appointed David Thomson architectural master. As D Thomson had been Charles Wilsonís chief assistant for many years with access to his library the students probably had an excellent education, but in the following year the Department of Science and Art terminated Wilsonís appointment as part of its programme of standardisation and Thomsonís classes went with him. In 1869 Wilsonís successor Robert Greenlees succeeded in obtaining his reinstatement as a teacher of Ďarchitectural drawingí rather than architecture. But this did not satisfy the Glasgow Institute of Architects. In 1871 it approached the Trustees of Haldane's Academy to fund evening classes at Glasgow School of Art, and David Thomson was re-appointed teacher of architecture in the same year. Among the other teachers was Alexander Petrie, a pupil of John Thomas Rochead. The position improved after Francis Newbery became headmaster of Glasgow School of Art in 1885 and broke out of the confines of the South Kensington system. In 1887 he reorganised the architectural section under the obscure but able Thomas Smith whom he had inherited from his predecessor, and in 1893 the governors commissioned a series of lectures from the first (1888) Alexander Thomson travelling scholar, William James Anderson, who was appointed head of the architectural section in the following year. As at the Royal Academy Schools in London, the leading Glasgow architects were visitors. At the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College, created out of a number of constituent institutions in 1886, a separate Department of Architecture and Building Construction was set up from the old Mechanics Institute course, its instructor Charles Gourlay being given a Chair in 1892.

In Edinburgh the corresponding instructor at Heriot-Watt College was the very competent James Jerdan from Wardrop Anderson & Browne's office, but his classes were never given the same status as Gourlay's. In 1888 the work class committee of the Edinburgh Architectural Association systematised its classes to meet the requirements of the RIBA Examination Scheme. The committee divided the course under three heads: design under John Watson; construction under John Kennedy; and the history and literature of architecture under Professor Gerard Baldwin Brown of the University of Edinburgh. All of this was a response to the continuing threat of registration and it led directlyto the founding of the Edinburgh School of Applied Art. In 1889, dissatisfied with the teaching at the Edinburgh School of Art, as the Trustees' Academy had become, Rowand Anderson and David MacGibbon resolved to take architectural education in Edinburgh to an altogether higher level. Through the Edinburgh Architectural Association a Memorial was presented to the Board of Manufactures - the body previously responsible for the Trustees' Academy - drawing attention to the lack of instruction in Scotland in the higher branches of applied art. The Board - which was advised by Anderson - then invited the Memorialists to draw up a Memorandum showing how such a school of design might be organised and carried on by the Board. This memorandum was duly drawn up and presented on 30 April 1891. Some thirty wealthy individuals were then persuaded to give or covenant £1,385, which the Association undertook to raise to £2,000, and a committee of the Board, together with representatives of the subscribers, was set up to implement the scheme, classes to be provided in architecture, decoration, sculpture and wood-carving, metal-working, glass-staining, furniture and cabinet work, book-binding and printing. All of these were subjects which had featured at the National Association for the Advancement of Art's 1889 Edinburgh meeting which had been stage-managed as the curtain-raiser for the project. The City of Edinburgh was persuaded to contribute £1,000 out of an Exchequer grant of £4,000 for technical education, and the School of Applied Art was formally opened on 21 October 1892. The architecture section had two Ecole des Beaux-Arts-trained staff, Frank Worthington Simon (who was given the title of Professor) and Stewart Henbest Capper, both products of Pascal's atelier. With them were the brothers John and George Mackie Watson, both from Anderson's office, the elder brother John having long been the mainstay of the Edinburgh Architectural Association's classes; it was however George who was the formally appointed assistant. The School's alumni were hugely successful in securing jobs in London, but the School's existence was to be brief: in 1896 Capper was appointed Professor of Architecture at McGill University in Montreal and in 1897 the pressures of his private practice caused Simon to resign. Predictably the Town Council grant was not maintained and the School of Applied Art began to run into financial problems. In 1899 a joint committee recommended that it should be merged with the School of Art which South Kensington had returned to the Board of Manufactures, the particular characteristics of the School of Applied Art being retained. In the following year it was proposed to set up the new School independently of the Board, managed jointly by the Scotch [sic] Education Department and the Town Council, but eventually the Board of Manufactures had to agree to take over the operations of the School of Applied Art in March 1907. A month later the Board was dissolved and the joint art schools were taken over by a Municipal Provisional Art Committee pending the creation of a Board of Management drawn from the Town Council, the Royal Scottish Academy, and the Edinburgh Architectural Association. These long-drawn-out transitional arrangements account for a certain vagueness in some RIBA nomination papers as to whether the candidate studied at the School of Art as stated or in fact studied at the School of Applied Art.

With the resignations of Capper and Simon the intellectual challenge of the School of Applied Art disappeared, and the teaching was reduced to a slightly dry late Andersonian competence after it had passed to the School's own alumni, comprising the partnership of Alfred Greig, Walter Fairbairn and George Macniven, together with George Traill and the rather more distinguished John Wilson. Once again the initiative passed to Glasgow where Alexander McGibbon had become professor at Glasgow School of Art after William James Anderson's suicide in 1900. He was brilliant on presentation but the Governors decided that more was needed. In January 1904 Burnet, Salmon and Newbery, together with the chairman of the governors James Fleming, visited the art and architecture schools in Paris, Lyons, Roubaix and Lille. In May Eugène Bourdon, a French architect with American experience who had been appointed on Pascal's recommendation, visited the School of Art. He wrote a report and was offered the post of visiting professor in June; and within a year he was offered and had accepted the position of Director of Studies and Professor of Architectural Design, amalgamating the separate courses at Glasgow School of Art and the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College as the Glasgow School of Architecture, the first diplomas being awarded in 1910. In Edinburgh the new College of Art opened in January 1909 with the veteran John Watson as head of school, assisted by Ramsay Traquair who soon followed Capper to McGill. Most of the students were part-time but a very few were full-time. George Washington Browne took over from Watson in 1914, and remained in charge until 1922, by which date he was sixty-nine. Outstanding architect though he was, inevitably the teaching remained much more conservative than it was in Glasgow under Bourdon. Full-time courses were more general in Edinburgh after John Begg, the former architect to the Government of India, succeeded Browne as head of school in the same year. In Dundee a former assistant of Bourdon's, Vernon Constable, reorganised the classes begun by Patrick Hill Thoms in 1898 as a part-time course at the Technical Institute which secured exemption from the RIBA's intermediate examination in 1929.

After the First World War the RIBA recognised the need to make some provision for those who had survived active service. It introduced the War Exemption Scheme in 1919: architects who had a good academic and professional record and who could have passed the qualifying exam had it not been for the war were admitted ARIBA if they could muster sufficiently distinguished proposers. This scheme lasted until 1922 and many took advantage of it. In 1925 the Royal Institute and the Society of Architects at last agreed on reunification and the latter's members were enrolled as members of the RIBA in the appropriate classes, some becoming Licentiates rather than Fellows. But after the Registration Bill began its slow progress through the Houses of Parliament in February 1927 it became apparent that there was still a large body of architects unattached to the RIBA, particularly in Scotland. In 1930 the Licentiate class was again re-opened, these events explaining the long gaps in Licentiate admissions to be found in the DSA. After much amendment the Registration Bill received the Royal Assent on 31 July 1931. The Act came into force on 1 January 1932.

Even after the re-opening of the Licentiate class in 1930 a significant number of Scottish architects saw no need to seek membership of the RIBA. Most of them did, however, join the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland. In November 1916 Sir Rowand Anderson obtained the agreement of the Glasgow Institute and the Edinburgh Architectural Association to the concept of the Scottish Institute originally proposed in 1897, but as a purely professional federal body with five local chapters. In 1919 the Royal Institute stated its opposition to the Scottish Institute obtaining a Royal Charter, fearing that it might deter some Scottish architects from joining the Royal Institute, but Sir John Burnet's diplomacy and friendship with Sir John Simpson, then the RIBA's President, overcame most of the difficulties, the name of the Institute being changed to 'Incorporation' when it received its Royal Charter. Sadly for the DSA the Incorporation was much less demanding than the RIBA in the matter of nomination papers; these have not made any contribution to the DSA, but its Quarterly Journals contain many obituaries and appreciations which have often given a much more personal dimension to the biographical notes.