Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Thomson, James (1800-1883)

739850Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 56 — Thomson, James (1800-1883)1898Campbell Dodgson

THOMSON, JAMES (1800–1883), architect, son of D. Thomson of Melrose, was born on 22 April 1800. From 1814 to 1821 he was a pupil of John (Buonarotti) Papworth [q. v.]; between 1827 and 1854 he designed Cumberland Terrace and Cumberland Place, Regent's Park; in 1838 the Royal Polytechnic Institute, Regent Street, and in 1848 the theatre adjoining it. He also designed the new buildings at Clement's Inn, and the Polygraphic Hall, King William Street, Strand. In 1845 he restored Alderton church, and in 1848 Leigh Delamere church, both in Wiltshire, and built the public hall and market-place at Chippenham. He made alterations in the Derbyshire bank, Derby, in 1850; planned the laying out of Mr. Roy's estate at Notting Hill; built (1851–4) Grittleton House, Wiltshire, the residence of Joseph Neeld; and in 1863 designed the Russian chapel, Welbeck Street, for the Russian embassy. In 1870 he designed the grand staircase and other additions to Charing Cross Hospital. He died on 16 May 1883, and was buried at Finchley.

Thomson read the following papers before the Royal Institute of British Architects, of which he was a fellow:

  1. ‘Composition in Architecture, Sir J. Vanbrugh,’ 15 June 1840.
  2. ‘National Advantages of Fresco Painting,’ 6 March 1843.
  3. ‘Hagioscope at Alderton Church,’ 28 April 1845.
  4. ‘Leigh Delamere Church,’ 15 May 1848.

He published ‘Retreats: Designs for Cottages, Villas, &c,’ 1827, 1833, 1840, and ‘School Houses,’ 1842.

[Builder, 1883, xliv. 705; Dict. of Architecture.]

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