Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement/Cates, Arthur

CATES, ARTHUR (1829–1901), architect, son of James Cates by his wife Susan, daughter of John Rose, was born at 38 Alfred Street, Bedford Square, London, on 29 April 1829. After education at King's College School he entered as pupil the office of Sydney Smirke, R.A. [q. v.], in 1846. Cates's executed works were few, but in 1870 he succeeded Sir James Pennethorne [q. v.] as architect to the land revenues of the crown under the commissioners of woods and forests. In that capacity and as a promoter of architectural education he rendered English architecture important services. As architect to the commissioners Cates exercised large powers of critical censorship, and though on occasion his brother architects may have resented aesthetic interference, his artistic control over the architecture of the crown estates in London was advantageous.

Cates, who joined the Architectural Association in 1847, became an associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1856, a fellow in 1874, and a member of the council in 1879; he served as vice-president from 1888 to 1892. Cates long controlled the examination system of the institute. From 1882 to 1896 he was chairman of its board of examiners, and under his guidance the progressive examinations (preliminary, intermediate, and final) were initiated and carried into effect. He made a point of coming personally into contact with the candidates. He bequeathed an annual prize bearing his name, which has, since his death, been awarded in connection with these examinations. He was also a fellow of the Surveyors' Institution. From 1859 to 1892 Cates acted as hon. secretary of the Architectural Publication Society, and assisted in the compilation of the 'Architectural Dictionary,' which his friend Wyatt Papworth [q. v.] edited. He wrote for the Dictionary of National Biography memoirs of Wyatt Papworth, his father and brother. As surveyor to the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple he designed in 1887 the archway and gatehouse leading from Tudor Street to King's Bench Walk. When in 1894 the tribunal of appeal under the London Building Act was appointed, Cates was elected the first chairman, and was re-elected in 1900 for a further term of five years. He formed a good architectural library, and many of his books were given or bequeathed to the library of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He died at his residence, 12 York Terrace, Regent's Park, on 15 May 1901, and was buried at Woking.

Cates married in 1881 Rosa, daughter of William Rose, who survived him. There was no issue of the marriage.

[Journal R.I.B.A., 3rd series, viii. 353; the Builder, 1901, lxxx. 494; information from Mrs. Cates.]

P. W.