John Matthew

1875 - 1955

Architect. Born in Edinburgh, the son of a tailor, Matthew was educated at James Gillespie's School. His skills in drawing and model-making came to the attention of Robert Lorimer (1864 - 1929) who, in 1893, employed Matthew as an apprentice. His education was extended through classes at the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt College. By 1899, he was running Lorimer's office and by 1908 was effectively a partner. He served with distinction in the Royal Corp of Signals during the First World War, returning to his architectural practice just as they became overrun with commissions for war memorials. Matthew settled in the Newington district of Edinburgh, and worked with Lorimer on the Scottish National War Memorial, the stress of which damaged his health. He worked on a series of private houses and public buildings in conjunction with Lorimer, but was entirely responsible for the Kings Buildings development for the University of Edinburgh (1927-29). After Lorimer's death Matthew was involved in numerous projects including further houses, memorials, developments at Loretto School, several new branches for the Union Bank of Scotland and the Robin Chapel, together with several commissions in England.

Matthew was a resident of South Queensferry by the time he died. His son was Sir Robert Matthew (1906-75), who became Professor of Architecture at the University of Edinburgh in 1953 and went on to develop an architectural practice of international repute.

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