Ferriday, P., Lord Grimthorpe 1816-1905 (John Murray, London, 1957), p. 70.
Eastlake, C. L., A History of the Gothic Revival (Longmans, Green and Co., London 1872), p. .
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 59 [c].
Muthesius, S., The High Victorian Movement in Architecture, 1850-70 (Routledge & Kegan Paul Books, London and Boston, 1972), p. 239.
We drove down to the Isle of Hayling near Portsmouth to witness the arrival of the French fleet. While there our next Son [after Albert], Alwyne, was suddenly seized with violent feaver. Caught, as we thought, from passing through the hospital of the French Ship Solferino. His attack was tremendous but by Gods mercy he recovered after a stay there of 6 weeks.Scott decided to stay with Caroline and Alwyne at ‘a small seaside hotel’, while Alwyne was nursed back to health. However, Scott was incapable of forgetting about work and this enforced stay, in the comparative isolation of Hayling Island, was an ideal opportunity for him to throw himself into designing St Pancras. He said that:
I completely worked out the whole design then making elevations etc to a large scale with details. It was in the same style wh. [sic] I had almost originated several years earlier for the Government offices but divested of the Italian element. The great shed roof had been already designed by the Engineer Mr Barlow & as if by anticipation its section was a pointed arch.Scott was still sore from the Government Offices affair, and ‘having been disappointed through Lord Palmerston of my ardent hope of carrying out My style in the Government offices’, he was glad to be able ‘to erect one building in that style in London’. In July 1865, Palmerston won another General Election, and Scott may have hoped to confront the old Premier with a building in the style that he had rejected, but as Scott was finalising his design, Palmerston died on 18 October 1865, two days short of his eighty-first birthday.
The Midland front is inconsistent in its style, and meretricious in detail, a piece of common art manufacture that makes the Great Northern front appear by contrast positively charming. There is no relief or quiet in any part of the work; the eye is constantly troubled and tormented, and the mechanical patterns follow one another with such rapidity and perseverance, that the mind becomes irritated where it ought to be gratified, and goaded to criticism where it should be led calmly to approve. There is here a complete travesty of noble associations, and not the slightest care to save these from a sordid contact; an elaboration that might be suitable for a Chapter-house, or a Cathedral choir, is used as an "advertising medium" for bagmen's bedrooms and the costly discomforts of a terminus hotel; and the architect is thus a mere expensive rival of the company's head cook, in catering for the low enjoyments of the travelling crowd.Scott read this onslaught but he had no idea who was the author and, three months later in his Recollections, says that St. Pancras: ‘has been spoken of by one of the revilers of my profession with abject contempt but I have set off against this the too excessive praise I receive of it from other quarters it being often spoken of to me as the finest building in London.’ Although referring to the author of The Quarterly Review article as ‘one of the revilers’ of his profession, it does seem strange that, according to Jackson, Scott then decided that he was the author. Even Scott could hardly have thought that an architect such as Jackson would write such a withering attack on his own profession, while his magnificent perspective of the Coffee Room proves that Jackson was a faithful interpreter of Scott's personal style.
Scott’s Recollections, III 96, 231-3, 234, 235. Scott’s ‘excellent friend’ was clearly Joshia Lewis of Edge Hill, Derby, who died 11 June 1869 (Derby Mercury 16 June 1869, p. 5, col. 2). In his Recollections, Scott refers to ‘Joseph Lewis’. There was no director of this name on the Midland board at that time. High Victorian secular Gothic was a style Scott had already used for Preston Town Hall, Kelham and Beckett’s Bank.
Fawcett, J. (ed.), Seven Victorian Architects (Thames and Hudson, London, 1976), p. 151.
The often quoted phrase that St Pancras is ‘possibly too good for its purpose’, was an elaboration by George Gilbert junior in the published Recollections - Scott, G. G., Scott, G. (ed.), Personal and Professional Recollections (Sampson Low, Murston, Searle & Rivington, London, 1879), p. 271.
Simmons, J., St. Pancras Station (Allen and Unwin, London, 1968) pp. 21, 30-4, 35-6, 38-42, 45-8, n.9, 52-7, 59-61, 93, 95, 101, 103.
Chadwick, G. F., The Works of Sir Joseph Paxton 1803-1865 (Architectural Press, London, 1961), pp. 188, 192, 240.
Building News, XIII, 12 January 1866, p. 30.
Pevsner, N., London except the Cities of London and Westminster, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1952), p. 368.
Directory of British Architects 1834-1914, 2 volumes (Continium, London, 2001), pp. 233, 449.
Biddle, G., and Nock, O. S., The Railway Heritage of Britain (Sheldrake Press, 1983), pp. 62, 74.
http://sarahjyoung.com/site/2011/05/25/crystal-palace-guidebooks-and-descriptions/ and see the Illustrated Exhibitor.
Grinling, C. H., The History of the Great Northern Railway (Allen and Unwin, 1966), pp. 9, 17, 20, 90, 124.
Dixon, R., and Muthesius, S., Victorian Architecture (Thames and Hudson, London, 1978), p. 256
Pevsner, N., and Cherry, B., London 4: North (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1998), pp. 97, 253, 362-4.
Barnes, E. G., The Rise of the Midland Railway, 1844-1874 (Allen and Unwin, 1966), pp. 30-1, 141, 144, 164, 171, 185, 193-4, 202, 205, 233, 255-6, 258, 265.
Denford, S. L. J., Agar Town, The Life and Death of a Victorian ‘Slum’ (Camden History Society, London, 1995), pp. 14, 16, 23-24.
Hunter, M., and Thonne, R., (eds), Change at King’s Cross: From 1800 to the Present (Historical Publications, London, 1990), pp. 60, 66, 82-3.
Ridley, J., Lord Palmerston (Constable, London, 1970), pp. 779, 782.
Muthesius, S., The High Victorian Movement in Architecture, 1850-70 (Routledge & Kegan Paul Books, London and Boston, 1972), p. 179.
Building News, 12 February 1869, LXVI, p. 141.
Summerson, J., Victorian Architecture, Four Studies in Evaluation (Columbia University, New York and London, 1970), p. 42.
Physick, J., and Darby, M., ‘Marble Halls’, Drawings and Models for Victorian Secular Buildings (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1973), p. 182.
The Builder, XXIII, 16 February 1865, p. 896.
The Builder, XXIV, 13 January 1866, pp. 33, 68.
The Builder, XXIV, 10 February 1866, p. 105.
Darley, G., Villages of Vison (Granada, 1978), p. 280.
Beatty, C. J. P., Thomas Hardy’s Career in Architecture (1856-1872) (Dorchester, 1978), p. 6.
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 24 [a], 61 [a].
Spencer-Silver, P., Pugin's Builder: The Life and Work of George Myers (University of Hull Press, Hull, 1993), pp. 14, 83.
The Builder, XXVI, 3 October 1868, p. 738.
The Builder, XXX, 31 August 1872, p. 682.
Murray’s Handbook Advertiser (May 1875), p. 61.
The Builder, XXX, 21 August 1872, p. 682.
Building News, XXVI, 17 April 1874, p. 437.
S. W. Soros (ed.), E. W. Godwin, Aesthetic Movement Architect and Designer (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1999), p. 205.
Building News, XXVI, 22 May 1874, pp. 558-9.
Houghton, W. E. (ed.), The Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, 1824-1900 (Toronto and London), vol. I, pp. 700, 888, vol. IV, p. 628.
Emmett, J. T., Six Essays on ... architecture ... urban leaseholds ... religious art (Unwin, London, 1891), p. 10.
Jackson, Sir T. G., Bt. R. A., Recollections, The Life and Travels of a Victorian Architect (Unicorn Press, London, 2003), p. 153.
Building News, XXXI, 22 May 1874, p. 554.
Jackson, A.A., London’s Termini (David and Charles, 1985), p. 69.
Sorby’s successes included Bromley Town Hall to the south of London, which was being built at the time of the St Pancras competition. He was a pupil of Charles Reeves, and when Reeves retired in 1867, he succeeded to Reeves's various surveyor ships including that of the Metropolitan Police building the Police Station at Islington and a magistrates' court at Lambeth. But in the light of a letter that he wrote to the directors of the Midland, he seems to have had a prickly nature and, presumably frustrated that his early successes had not brought him the recognition that he felt he deserved, he resigned from the Institute in 1872, and in 1883, moved to Canada. See Harper, R. H., Victorian Architectural Competitions, An Index to British and Irish Architectural Competitions in The Builder 1843-1900 (Mansell, London, 1983), p. 296; Pevsner, N., and Cherry, B., London 4: North (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1998), p. xiv; Simmons, J., St. Pancras Station (Allen and Unwin, London, 1968) p. 49; Directory of British Architects 1834-1914, 2 volumes (Continium, London, 2001), p. 861.
James Allport (1811-1892).
Wanstead Congregational Church, founded in 1864, bought St Luke's, Euston Road and re-erected it, with a shortened nave, at Grosvenor Road, Wanstead. The church opened in 1867. See Victoria County History for Essex, VI (1973), p. 335. Also Survey of London, Parish of St Pancras, volume XXIX, part IV, (London, 1952), p. 143.
Waring and Company of Lancaster became Waring and Gillow in 1903. See Banham, J., (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Interior Design (London & Chicago, 1997, I) pp. 501-4.
John T. Emmett seems to have been the shadowy John Thomas Emmett (1828-98) who built churches in London and Glasgow, including the impressive Bath Street Chapel in Glasgow in 1849, but his best-known work was a Congregational College in London, which he won in a competition in 1849. Scott must have known of this building, if not its architect, as it was at Swiss Cottage, only a short walk north from his house in Avenue Road. The Builder, VII, p. 370 (4 August 1849), IX, p. 781 (13 December 1851); Glasgow, in Buildings of Scotland (1990) pp. 204, 295; Directory of British Architects 1834-1914, 2 volumes (Continium, London, 2001), p. 292; Harper, R. H., Victorian Architectural Competitions, An Index to British and Irish Architectural Competitions in The Builder 1843-1900 (Mansell, London, 1983), p. 217; Spencer-Silver, P., Pugin's Builder: The Life and Work of George Myers (University of Hull Press, Hull, 1993), p. 264.
Bumpus, T. F., London Churches: Ancient and Modern (T. Werner Laurie, London, 1883), pp. 229-37, 245.
Pevsner, N., and Cherry, B., London 3: North West, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, London, 1991), p. 142.
Watkin, D., The Life and Work of C. R. Cockerell (Zwemmer, London, 1974), p. 135.
I am not fond of the Gothic, but, having been applied to lay the stone of a Gothic library, the plan of which was approved by the proper authorities, which was in harmony with a Gothic chapel close to which it was to be placed, and also in keeping with old John Lyon's school-house, I waived my objection to the Gothic style in attending on that occasion.Palmerston's loyalty to his old school was paramount. On 4 July 1861, the seventy-six year old Prime Minister rode the ten miles from London to Harrow, laid the foundation stone of the Vaughan Library and returned, all in pouring rain ‘without changing his wet clothes or eating his lunch’. He knew that Scott was intending to build ‘a Gothic library’, but it is not clear if he realised that it would be in the style that he had rejected for the Foreign Office. In fact the only concession that Scott made to ‘old John Lyon's school-house’, which was built in the early seventeenth century, was to use red bricks. But Scott was well established at Harrow and the work that he had already carried out there, was clearly liked.
Crook, J. M. (ed.), The Strange Genius of William Burges, ‘Art Architect’, 1827-1881 (National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, 1981), p. 245.
Hansard, 8 July 1861, column 517.
Hansard, 8 July 1861, column 540.
Ridley, J., Lord Palmerston (Constable, London, 1970), p. 683.
J. G. C. Minchie, Old Harrow Boys, cited, Chaplin, E., The Book of Harrow (Staples Press, London, 1948), p. 71.
Pevsner, N., and Cherry, B., London 3: North West, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, London, 1991), p. 266.
Scott's Drawing Collection, RIBA, p. 59 (b).
Royal Commission for Historic Monuments, Middlesex, p. 13.
the cheap-church rage over-came me, and as I had not then awakened to the viciousness of shams, I was unconscious of the abyss into which I had fallen. These days of abject degradation only lasted for about two years or little more, but alas what a mass of horrors was perpetuated during that short interval!!
Clunn, H., The Face of the Home Counties etc. (Simpkin Marshall, London, 1936), p. 428.
Port, M. H., Six Hundred New Churches, A Study of the Church Building Commission, 1818-1856 and its Church Building Activities ( S.P.C.K., London, 1961), p. 157.
Pevsner, N., and Cherry, B., London 3: North West in the Buildings of England (Penguin Books, London, 1991), p. 392.
Scott’s Recollections, I 298.
Barney, M., The Archdeacon and the Architect (Privately published, 1972), pp. 5, 7.
Summerson, J., The Unromantic Castle and other Essays (Thames and Hudson, London, 1990), pp. 180. 183.
Toplis, I., The Foreign Office, an Architectural History (Mansell Publishing, London and New York, 1987), p. 189.
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 52, 93.
Pevsner, N., and Cherry, B., London 3: North West, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, London, 1991), p. 460.
Rowles, R., St Mary Abbots: The Parish Church of Kensington (Pitkin Pictorials, Andover, 1992), pp. 5, 8.
Rowles, R., St Mary Abbots: The Parish Church of Kensington (Pitkin Pictorials, Andover, 1992), p. 5.
Colvin, H., A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1995), p. 710.
Read, B., Victorian Sculpture (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1984), p. 267.
Clarke, B. F. L., Church Builders of the Nineteenth Century, A Study of the Gothic Revival in England (David and Charles, Newton Abbot, 1969), p. 244.
Hyde, R., Fisher, J., and Sato, T. (eds.), Getting London into Perspective (Barbican Art Gallery, London, 1984), pp. 46-7.
Metcalf, P., The Halls of the Fishmonger’s Company, an Architectural History of a Riverside Site (Phillimore, Chichester and London, 1977), pp. 134, 139, 141-2.
Colvin, H., A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1995), pp. 593, 876.
Scott’s Recollections, I 257.
Scott’s Recollections, I 309-10.
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 17 b.
Colvin, H., A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1995), p. 81.
Scott’s Recollections, I 309, 311, 313-15, II 282.
Pevsner, N., and Cherry, B., London 2: South, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1983), pp. 169, 614.
Eastlake, C. L., A History of the Gothic Revival (Longmans, Green and Co., London 1872), pp. 221, 707.
Hobhouse, H., Thomas Cubitt, Master Builder (Management Books, Didcot, 2000), p. 401.
Crook, J. Mordaunt, and Port, M. H., The History of the King’s Works, Volume VI 1782-1851 (Her Majesty’s Stationary Office, London, 1973), p. 292.
Pevsner, N., London except the Cities of London and Westminster, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1952), p. 76.
Ruskin, J., Praeterita (Everyman, London, 2005), p. 353.
Brooks, M. W., John Ruskin and Victorian Architecture (Thames and Hudson, London, 1989), pp. 55-60.
The Builder, 1854, p. 363.
Muthesius, S., The High Victorian Movement in Architecture, 1850-70 (Routledge & Kegan Paul Books, London and Boston, 1972), p. 170.
Scott’s Recollections, I 262
Colvin, H., A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1995), p. 505.
Curl, J. S., The Life and Works of Henry Roberts, 1803-76, Architect (Phillimore & Co Ltd, 1983), p. 16.
Thompson, P., William Butterfield, Victorian Architect (Routledge and Keegan Paul, London, 1971), plate 297, p. 328.
I restored to its place the beautiful iron grille to Queen Eleanor's Monument, wh_[sic] had been removed in 1823. I also restored the grille of the tomb of King Henry V which had been broken up into a thousand pieces & lay scattered in "the old Revestry".In 1861, Gleanings from Westminster Abbey was published by Parker with Scott as main contributor. Here he states that both grilles were removed for the coronation of King George IV, but his date is wrong as this event took place on 19 July 1821, and what he calls "the old Revestry" is today known as the chapel of St. Faith, which fills the awkward space between the Chapter House and the south transept. He describes it as a beautiful vaulted room, but little known to visitors.
I had almost immediately after my appointment as architect to the Abbey devoted a great amount of time to investigating & making measured sketches of the Chapter House then occupied as a Record office.This was quite irregular. Scott was employed by the Dean and Chapter to look after their buildings, which did not include the Chapter House and the adjacent Pyx Chapel. These are the property of the Government and in those days they were administered by the Office of Works as relics from the Middle Ages, when the buildings of the King's Palace of Westminster extended as far west as the Abbey. An early photograph, taken from the newly completed Victoria Tower of the Houses of Parliament, shows the sorry state of the Chapter House before Scott restored it. It looks like an octagonal shed, of no particular architectural interest, imbedded in a mass of Abbey buildings and hardly visible at all to the general public.
I was one day on the top of one of these presses, and on venturing to pull away an arris fillet which closed the crevice between it and the wall, I perceived the top of an arched recess in the wall behind the press, and on looking down into it I saw some round object of stone in the recess below. My curiosity being excited, I let down into it by a string a small bull's-eye lantern, when, to my extreme delight, I saw that the mysterious object was the head of a beautiful full-sized statue in a niche. Permission was speedily obtained for the removal of the press.To look at the details of the doorway of the Chapter House, he had to:
creep on to a mass of parchments and dust ten feet deep, and, after taking out the boarding at the back of the cases, to examine and draw, by the help of the little bull's-eye lantern before mentioned; a most laborious operation, and giving one more the look of a master chimney-sweeper than an architect.Scott then produced perspective views of the interior of the Chapter House and its approaches, showing it as a magnificent medieval monument. He exhibited a view at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition of 1850, and five views were later reproduced in the Gleanings when it was published over ten years later.
My communications with Lord John Thynne have always been of the most agreeable kind, and I believe I may number him among my best friends. Through him I have had works placed in my hands by the Duke of Buccleuch, & The Earls of Cawdor & Harewood besides others.Scott tries to make something of these aristocratic connections, but in reality the work stemming from these noblemen seems rather meagre in relation to his massive practice. Having been brought up in the shadow of the Ducal power-base of Stowe, Scott, in spite of occasional radical-sounding comments probably stemming from his evangelical background, fully appreciated the importance of the nobility in the fabric of his own society.
the new choir-pulpit, the enclosure of the choir from the transepts, wh_ [sic] had been left open when the choir was refitted under Blore. The iron sanctuary screen & altar-rail, some ameliorations in the lantern above, the stained-glass in the South clerestory of the choir & in the north transept …Although the Chapter House and the Pyx Chamber were not Scott's responsibility, the approaches to the Chapter House from the Cloisters certainly were. A staircase had been inserted into the Outer Vestibule to gain access to the library above, and this was divided from the entrance by a brick wall, which completely spoilt the appearance of the vaulting above. Buckland gave Scott permission to investigate the chamber immediately to the south of the Vestibule which, to his delight, he found had been the old access to the library so he was able to restore the Vestibule to its original glory by returning the library stair to its old position. When he had first entered the chamber he discovered that he was standing on a large heap of parchment rolls. He was, apparently, so excited by this discovery, that he describes in the Gleanings, how his resulting carelessness led to an unfortunate incident and an official censure:
I happened suddenly to be called for a few minutes from this newly-discovered record office, and forgetting to lock the door, a party of Westminster school-boys got in, and, ... made free with the parchments. A little disturbance ensued, a fresh padlock was shortly afterwards put to the door, and I have been excluded for ten long years from my treasury…With this great Gothic building now in his care, it seems that Scott would seize every opportunity to leave the office and go down to the Abbey. Not only did he make the theoretical reconstruction of the Chapter House, he also carried out similar exercises on the Abbey itself, by using his knowledge of medieval architecture, structure and materials, which with his imagination he combined to reproduce the forms of the past. How he thought these detailed studies would help him to design better modern buildings is not clear. It is perhaps significant that no important new commissions came into the office in 1850, and yet he seems to have been too busy to go to Hamburg that year and was apparently spending most of his spare daylight hours at the Abbey.
we cannot venture to touch it before the operation is performed. We therefore merely blow away the dust with a pair of bellows, with a long flexible tube and nozzle, and inject the solution with a syringe perforated with a number of small holes, so as not to disturb the crumbling surface, which, after the operation, becomes quite hard and rigid.He regarded this process as ‘most satisfactory’ and went on to liberally squirt the solution on many other interior surfaces of the Abbey, including the wall arcading and the triforium. But he also applied it to the grand carved tympanum in the cloisters, over the entrance to the Chapter House. Here the semi-external conditions led him to express doubts about the effectiveness of the treatment in this type of position. Certainly today the whole thing is badly decayed and there is no indication that it was ‘exquisitely decorated with scroll-work’ as he describes in the Gleanings. The effect of Scott's application of this wonder-potion was to give everything a rather unpleasantly hard varnished appearance, which probably in the long-run accelerated the deterioration of the stone rather than preserved it. He fortunately does not appear to have used it on any of the other buildings entrusted to his care.
The mosaic pavement has been restored where it had been shortened eastward the old matrices having been found and refilled … The Reredos which I found in plaster has been restored in alabaster & marble with great care & precision. The 5 central canopies were found to be modern & to occupy the space of a recess intended no doubt for a rich retabulum. This has been restored.Scott's work was carried out in 1867, with the large mosaic panel, or retabulum, over the altar designed by Clayton and Bell and made by Salviati, representing The Last Supper. All the figures were added later by Henry Hugh Armstead.
Toplis, I., The Foreign Office, an Architectural History (Mansell Publishing, London and New York, 1987), p. 24.
Colvin, H., A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1995), pp. 79, 756.
Scott’s Recollections, II 34, 95-102, 104, 136, III 282, 285-9, IV 36, 41-2.
Cole, D., The Work of Sir Gilbert Scott (The Architectural Press, London, 1980), pp. 50, 191.
Scott, G. G., Gleanings from Westminster Abbey (John Henry and James Parker, London and Oxford, 1863, 2nd edition), pp. 1-15, 39, 41-5, 47, 49, 51, 67.
Rigold, S. E., The Chapter House and Pyx Chamber, Westminster Abbey (Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England, London, 1985), pp. 6, 8-9.
Briggs, M. S., Goths and Vandals, A study of the destruction, neglect and preservation of historical buildings in England (Constable, London, 1952), p. 185.
Scott’s Bible, I.
Tarn, J. N., Working-class Housing in 19th-century Britain (Lund Humphries, London, 1971), p. 7.
Strang, C. A., Borders and Berwick, An Illustrated Architectural Guide to the Scottish Borders and the Tweed Valley (The Rutland Press, Edinburgh, 1994), p. 138.
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 61 b & c, 84 [c], fig. 14.
Clarke, B. F. L., Anglican Cathedrals Outside the British Isles (SPCK, London, 1958), p. 101.
Brett, C., Buildings of Belfast 1700-1914 (Littlehampton Book Services, Littlehampton, 1967), p. 57.
Bury, S., and Physick, J., Victorian Church Art (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1971), pp. 62, 57.
Stanley, A. P., Historical Memorials of Westminster Abbey (John Murray, London, 1869), pp. xv, xviii; n. 2.
Pevsner, N., London I, The Cities of London and Westminster, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1957), pp. 362-3.
Physick, J., and Darby, M., ‘Marble Halls’, Drawings and Models for Victorian Secular Buildings (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1973), p. 51.
Hyde, R., Fisher, J., and Sato, T. (eds.), Getting London into Perspective (Barbican Art Gallery, London, 1984), p. 90.
Summerson, J., The Unromantic Castle and other Essays (Thames and Hudson, London, 1990), p. 180.
Clunn, H., The Face of the Home Counties etc. (Simpkin Marshall, London, 1936), pp. 210, 214-15.
Dyos, H. J. and Wolff, M. (eds.), The Victorian City, Image and Realities (Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1973), vol. II, pp. 317, 365.
Pevsner, N., and Bradley, S., London 6: Westminster, Buildings of England (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2003), p. 277 note.
Scott's Drawing Collection, RIBA
Port, M. H., Six Hundred New Churches, A Study of the Church Building Commission, 1818-1856 and its Church Building Activities ( S.P.C.K., London, 1961), p. 157.
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 17.
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 52 (a).
Cole, D., The Work of Sir Gilbert Scott (The Architectural Press, London, 1980), p. 58.
Bumpus, T. F., London Churches: Ancient and Modern (T. Werner Laurie, London, 1908), pp. 227-9.
Pevsner, N., and Bradley, S., London 6: Westminster, Buildings of England (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2003), p. 420.
The Builder, 1858, p. 694.
Companion to the Almanac or Year Book of General Information of 1861 (Knight and Co., London, 1861), p. 225.
Pevsner, N., and Bradley, S., London 6: Westminster, Buildings of England (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2003), p. 277.
Companion to the Almanac or Year Book of General Information of 1862 (Knight and Co., London, 1862), p. 271.
The great competition, then, found me rather in a prepared state of mind. I was not however content with this but, long before the programme came out I set to work to put myself systematically through my facings. My family being as was usual in the latter part of summer in the Isle of Wight I retired to great extent from active engagements & set myself to design the elements which I thought best suited to a public building I designed windows suited to all positions & of all varieties of size form & grouping, doorways cornices parapets & imaginary combinations of all these carefully studying to make them all thoroughly by practical & suited to the class of building I did not aim at making my style ‘Italian Gothic’ my ideas ran much more upon the French to which for some years I had devoted my chief study.And he was given the opportunity to try-out these ideas when Akroyd commissioned the design for Halifax Town Hall.
we may safely say that nothing so remarkable as the scene of Westminster-Hall during the first three days of this week, had been ever known of by architects. On Monday last, when the designs were first displayed to the public, it is believed that 10,000 persons visited the exhibition . . . The body of London architects seemed each day transported en masse to Westminster.By June 1857, The House of Commons was pressing Hall for the result of the competition, so the Judges, in contrast to their earlier mood, met every day between 22 and 26 June, but for various reasons their numbers rapidly dwindled. In the end their report, which came out on 27 June 1857, was entirely the work of Stirling, Burn and Brunel. Scott felt that the judges:
were not Gothicly disposed & though they awarded premiums to all the best Gothic designs they took care not to put any of them high enough to have much chance. First for the Foreign Office was a flash affair by my old pupil Coe - the first for the War Office not a bad one by any means by Garling Barry & Banks came second for the F.O. & I third. Barrys far from very good as I think.The Barry that Scott refers to here was Sir Charles Barry's eldest son, also Charles Barry (1823-1900), who had been in partnership with Robert Richardson Banks (1813-72) since 1847. The Gothic designs did amazingly well. There were eighteen submissions described as Gothic, of which the Saturday thought that only four were good enough to be deemed proper Gothic. These four were by Scott, Street, Deane and Woodward, and Prichard and Seddon. There was also another Gothic scheme by an amateur architect and M. P., Charles Buxton which, for no apparent reason, was also awarded a prize. The judges clearly liked the French Renaissance style of the Second Empire, as out of the fourteen awards they made for the office designs, half, including the two winners, were in this style. Coe and Hofland's winning Foreign Office, which Scott dismisses as ‘a flash affair’, was also hardly liked by anybody else and the probable reason for its success was that Hofland, who planned it, was scrupulous in his adherence to the conditions, although Coe's superb draughtsmanship could well have helped. Garling's winning War Office, which owed much to the Hotel de Ville in Paris, was considered to be a much better design than Coe's effort, but Banks and Barry's second placed Foreign Office evoked little enthusiasm. Scott claims that ‘I did not fret myself at the disappointment’, and went on the trip to Manchester and returned via Lichfield.
that Lord Palmerston had coolly set aside the entire results of the competition & was about to appoint Pennethorne, a non-competitor, - I thought myself at liberty to stir. A meeting took place Mr. Beresford Hope at which Charles Barry, myself, & Digby Wyatt were present & if I remember rightly, it was agreed to stir up the Institute. To the best of my memory the Government had just changed & Lord John Manners had taken the Office of Works when a deputation from the Institute laid the matter before him.What made Scott think that he was ‘at liberty to stir’ is not clear, as he was unlikely to have obtained the work even if the new Government had reverted to the competition. Although his was the highest placed of the Gothic entries, he was only third on the Foreign Office list, and there were four other schemes, including Barry's, better placed than his.
while the first prize for the Foreign Office was awarded to Messrs. Coe and Hofland, yet they did not compete for the War Office again, while in the opinion of Mr. Burn and that of the assessors, Messrs. Banks and Barry stood first in merit for the Foreign Office; yet, according to the same opinion, they were unsuccessful for the War Office, while Mr. Scott stood second both for one and the other.Hope dominated the Committee and ensured that the question of style remained in the forefront of its members minds. Tite gave a disappointing performance but, as a classicist, he was clearly irritated by Hope's chairmanship and seems to have been anxious to use his technical knowledge to counter-balance Hope's stylistic bias. When it came to Scott's design, although the Committee had no brief to discuss the War Office, this did not stop it from raising him to a higher position because of an unofficial list that Burn had made of the War Office entries. Nothing happened after the Committee’s report was published on 17 July 1858 until 25 September 1858, when Hope in the Saturday, called for a ‘Palace of Administration of the revived national style - a style so characteristic of our own age it is beginning to be called Victorian’. Still nothing happened. Eventually, on 12 November, Manners wrote to the Treasury saying that as the Select Committee had recommended that one of the successful competitors should be employed in the erection of the new Foreign Office, the Government was proposing to employ Scott as architect.
I really think that any unprejudiced person would come to the conclusion that, if compared with the Post-office, the Museum, the Palace, or even the Board of Trade or Whitehall Chapel, my design would carry the palm…and ‘friends and foes have agreed in praising’ his design.
Professor Donaldson was so irate at my letter in The Times, which he considered to reflect on English architects in general, that he proposed moving the Institute to reverse the recommendation of their council to award me the annual Royal Medal of the Institute, & was only dissuaded from attempting to inflict that gratuitous dishonour upon me by strong remonstrances.Donaldson's motion is not even mentioned in the minutes of the meeting, but his second thoughts, and that is probably all they were, about awarding the medal to Scott badly upset the ultra-sensitive Scott. Donaldson, as the upholder of professionalism, must have been concerned over Scott's disparaging remarks about other living architects. The first letter was an appalling error, although Scott later describes it as ‘vigorous’.
It was comforting under these dejecting circumstances to observe how generously a certain select number of persons of influence rallied round me & cheered me in the conflict. Not only was I warmly & vigorously aided by the Saturday Review, The Ecclesiologist & by the Gothic party pretty generally but a number of members of Parliament stuck nobly by me.One of these was Akroyd, who certainly helped Scott at the Select Committee in 1858, but gave him no further support in the chamber of the House before he lost his seat in the 1859 General Election. Scott's most vocal supporter after Hope stood down at the General Election the following April, was the anti-reform Whig, Francis Wemyss-Charteris (1818-1914), the son of the Earl of Wemyss and March, who was known in the House of Commons, where he sat as M.P. for Haddingtonshire, by the courtesy title of Lord Elcho. He was considered to be clever but lacked tact and discretion. He had been a junior minister in Lord Aberdeen’s Government in 1853 and, although he was an M. P. for another twenty-eight years, he never held office again. He had supported Scott in the Select Committee and was to play an important part in the subsequent discussions in the House on the style of the new Foreign Office.
It was a considerable time before a Commissioner of Public Works was nominated & I lived upon the slender hope that he might be favourably inclined. At length Mr. Fitzroy took the office, and personally he actually was on my side, but was nevertheless sworn to uphold Lord P's views.Fitzroy was pressed by Tite to adhere to Manners promise to exhibit Scott's design and, although Scott and his office were working hard to complete the drawings, it was not until 20 July 1859 that the designs of both offices appeared in the library of the House of Commons. 120 drawings were displayed, along with a model by Heburn Salter of Hammersmith. Thirteen builders sent in tenders the following week, of which the lowest, at £232,024, was submitted by John Kelk of South Street, Grosvenor Square, London. Hunt introduced this method, which although widely used in private work, was the first time that general contractors for government building projects had been asked to submit a firm price for which they would carry out all necessary works. Gladstone, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was delighted that he was able to accurately forecast the actual cost of the building.
Lord Palmerston sent for me and told me in a jaunty way that he would have nothing to do with this Gothic style & that though he did not want to disturb my appointment he must insist on my making a design in the Italian style which he felt sure I could do as well as the other. That he heard I was so tremendously successful in the Gothic style that if he let me alone I should Gothicize the whole country &c., &c., &c.Although hardly unexpected, Scott was so taken aback by the suddenness and vigour of Palmerston's attack, that words seem to have failed him in the presence of the great man and he retreated to Spring Gardens to write a twenty-page letter, ‘placing the case more formally before you and stating my views in a more consecutive manner than I was able to do in conversation’. He sets down the arguments in favour of the Gothic Revival. There was, in some, a desire for ‘the introduction of some new style especially marking our own age, in others in the wish to see the Architecture which so especially belongs to our own and immediately neighbouring Countries’ and there was ‘the adaptability of this noble style of architecture to all the requirements, materials inventions and arts of our own day’. ‘… on hearing of the probability of the Competition, and feeling that the genius loci of the proposed site was peculiarly favourable to the development of my views I, long before the publication of the programme, withdrew myself in a great degree from ordinary business to devote my undisturbed attention to studying the subject’. Hall had assured ‘the leading Architects in London’, of which he was one, that there would be no bias towards any particular style and the Select Committee had no stylistic preference.
Mr. Tite talked nonsense and some fair speeches were made especially by Lord John Manners & Lord Elcho on my side & the matter was left an open question to be decided the next session, when I was to exhibit designs in both styles.Elcho declared that Scott’s design would be ‘a great ornament to the metropolis’. Coningham restated his dislike of Scott's scheme and congratulated Palmerston ‘on his spirited resistance to any further invasion of the Goths and Vandals’. Stirling and Buxton also spoke in defence of Scott, with Buxton enthusiastically declaring that Scott's design ‘would be one of the most beautiful buildings in the country’. After a long speech from Palmerston, in which, as Scott says, he repeated his second-hand arguments, Manners, so the Saturday reported, ‘was more than a match’ for Palmerston. He said he would ‘be extremely sorry to obey his edicts on matters of taste’ and, if they were to follow him blindly, they ‘might as well give up talking about science and art and the beautification of the metropolis’. Sir Joseph Paxton made his only contribution to the controversy with a short speech stating that ‘Mr. Scott was at the head of his art in Europe’, and had designed ‘a beautiful building’. It was three o'clock on the Friday morning when the great debate was finally wound-up with the money being voted. Scott, who noted that he used to attend parliamentary debates, was no doubt in the gallery and heard that he had been given six months to produce a new design.
About the middle of August I heard that a Deputation of architects was going up to Lord Palmerston to pat him on the back & encourage him in his determination to overthrow the work of his predecessors. I was foolish enough on hearing it to call on Donaldson to protest against it. He professed innocence of all privity to the scheme but told me that if asked he should not decline to join it.Scott seemed to think that there was nothing wrong in M.P.’s lobbying Palmerston on his behalf, but was upset at the idea of his fellow architects supporting Palmerston's classical stance. He obviously thought that he knew Donaldson well enough that he could discuss his problems with him and was shocked to discover the extent of Donaldson's role in the campaign against him.
On returning from fishing with my Sons - I found a message from Mr. Burn, who to my surprise I found to be laid up with a severe illness in the same Hotel, saying that he had just seen my name in the visitors book and wished I would call on him.During Burn’s long professional career, according to Donaldson who knew him well, he was involved in over 700 buildings in England and Scotland. He had a much publicised aversion to entering competitions, which may have been one of the reasons that he was selected as a judge in the competition. When Scott went to see Burn on the following Monday, he said that Donaldson had been to see him the previous day and he had said to Donaldson, ‘“I don't know who it is that backs Palmerston up but I'm convinced, by what he says that there's some idle fellow in our profession who keeps prompting from behind the scenes.”’ Donaldson had had enough of it and departed!’ It is indicative of Scott's state of mind over the whole affair that he quotes verbatim a conversation at which he was not even present, some five years after it happened, and yet he acknowledges that he fails to remember the sequence of important events. Scott at last realised that Donaldson was always going to be hostile to him.
a great regard for Mr. Scott, and highly appreciated his talents as a Gothic architect; but he felt that the true interests of his profession demanded that every exertion should be made to resist the attempts of a certain set of mediaeval dilettanti, to force on us their thirteenth-century style, which, however picturesque, and however well suited to ecclesiastical purposes, was clearly unfit for the architecture of public offices.He asked for the Gothic style for the Foreign office to be resisted as:
it would necessarily follow that the whole of the contemplated pile of public buildings occupying great part of Westminster, would be in the same streaky gable-ended style; and if such should unfortunately be the case, he would predict that hereafter the architecture of England would become the laughing-stock of Europe.Donaldson wanted to uphold the competition and blamed the dilettanti for trying to reverse its decisions and thought that Manners was at fault for accepting their ideas. He could see no reason for adopting Gothic, as the new Foreign Office ‘if in contiguity with anything’, it was the Banqueting House. Conningham again attacked Gothic as a retrograde step like pre-Raphaelitism. Palmerston replied that he was glad to have the assurance of ‘trained men of science and judgement’, and the proceedings closed with Garling, and Banks and Barry, being introduced to Palmerston as leading prizemen.
I have not, after nearly five years interval ceased to feel that the conduct of these Architects was in highest degree discreditable - I am happy however to say that I have never permitted any such feeling to shew itself in any intercourse with them or to cause any personal breach.The Saturday condemned the delegation as ‘unprofessional, unartistic, and, we nearly said, ungentlemanly’. It became the centre of some heated correspondence in the journals, which raged for several weeks. Sir Henry Cole had a simple solution; Scott should remodel his design on the lines of Inigo Jones's scheme for Whitehall Palace. Street, as a disappointed competitor, generously stood by Scott and said that nothing would be gained from changing architects and that Scott should be allowed to proceed with the Gothic design. Ruskin publically stayed aloof, but the day after the delegation he wrote in a private letter, ‘What a goose poor Scott (who will get his liver fit for pate de Strasburg with vexation) must be, not to say at once he’ll build anything’.
I tried to get up a counter address but the Gothic Architects did not come forward in sufficient force to make it worth while. This cold-heartedness was the greatest damper I had met with.However, he did get the promise of support from his former assistant William White, Joseph Clarke and Ewan Christian, who worked with him at the Architectural Museum, and his friends Ferrey, Pearson and Burges. An astonishing omission is Street. Perhaps the real reason that Scott dropped the counter deputation was not so much the ‘cold-heartedness’ of his colleagues but that events were moving too swiftly for him to organise anything that would be effective.
… seating himself down before me in the most cosy fatherly way said, ‘I want to talk to you quietly Mr. Scott about this business. I have been thinking a great deal about it & I really think there was much force in what your friends said’ - I was delighted at his supposed conversion! - ‘I really do think that there is a degree of inconsistency in compelling a Gothic architect to erect a classic building; and so I have thinking of appointing you a coajutor, who would in fact make the design’! I was thrown to the earth again - & began at once to bring arguments against it but the blow was too sudden to allow me to do justice to my case viva voce So on my return I immediately wrote a strongly & firmly worded letter - stating my having been regularly appointed … My position as an architect, my having won two European Competitions, my being an A R A gold medallist of the Institute, a lecturer on architecture at the Academy, &c. & I ended with firmly declining any such arrangement.Scott later discovered, presumably through Hunt, that it was Garling that Palmerston had in mind when he suggested a collaborator. But Scott must have appeared so upset at Palmerston's suggestion that old Premier immediately withdrew his proposal. After the interview, Scott again sent a letter to Palmerston. This is shorter and much better organised than the previous one that he dashed off a month earlier. Apart from the promise to prepare a new design using his knowledge of classical architecture, the old Prime Minister must have found most of it rather irritating and irrelevant, particularly where he again tells him about his status in the profession. Scott had been defeated. He may have been able to get difficult boards of guardians and awkward church committees to come round to his way of thinking, but the old statesman was an entirely new class of opponent for him. Never before had he faced anyone whose displeasure had quelled nations. Poor Scott was completely out of his depth and his bleatings must have been, at best, no more than a minor irritant to the great man. There is not the slightest doubt that Palmerston would get his way and it is yet another example of Scott's amazing naivety that he thought he could persuade Palmerston to change his mind.
I was thoroughly out of health through the badgering anxiety and bitter disappointment I have gone through and for the first time since commencing practice 24 years before I gave myself a quasi holiday of two months, with sea air & a course of quinine. During this time however besides the work sent down to me from time to time from Town. I was busying myself in preparing for the next campaign - I saw that with Lord Palmerston Gothic would have no chance & I had agreed to prepare an Italian design. … To resign would be to give up a sort of property which Providence had placed in the hands of my family & would be simply rewarding C. Barry for his attempt to wrest a work from the hands of a brother architect after he had not only been regularly appointed, but had commenced & even made siteworks drawings & received tenders.The retreat to Scarborough, at the end of August 1859, was to escape from this and give himself a chance to quietly think out how he could evolve a new design for the Foreign Office, which would satisfy Palmerston and yet square with his own carefully worked-out ideas on secular architecture. The fact that he intended to give the design his sole and undivided attention for two months shows how important he considered it to be.
The course I determined on was to prepare a design in a variety of Italian as little inconsistent with my antecedents as possible. I had in dealing with Lord Hill's chapel at Hawkstone and with St. Michaels church Cornhill, attempted a sort of Early Basilican style to give a tone to the existing classic architecture & it struck me that not wholly alien to this was the Byzantine of the Early Venetian palaces & that the earliest renaissance of Venice … I therefore conceived the idea of generating what would be strictly an Italian style out these two sets of examples …It is difficult to be too certain about what Scott actually did at Hawkstone as this fine Georgian house, twelve miles north-east of Shrewsbury, has been considerably altered since Scott’s time. With praise like this, from where he most wanted it, it is not surprising that Scott turned to St. Michael's Cornhill as a possible solution to his problems over a style for the Foreign Office.
I worked these ideas out into new designs for both buildings and not as I think without considerable success - The designs were both original & pleasing in effect, indeed Lord Elcho to whom I shewed them before laying them before the authorities thought them better than the Gothic design and rejoiced that good was likely to come out of evil …The design shows the Foreign and India Offices grouped in a similar form to the Gothic scheme with regular facades three stories high with ranges of round-headed windows on each floor. A particularly Venetian feature is the grouping together round-headed windows behind projecting balconies.
Left to himself he would I believe like Mr. Fitzroy have preferred the Gothic design & now I equally believe he liked the Byzantinesque one, but being a mere puppet, so far as this question went, in the hands of a strong Master he only hummed & hawed & said civil things which could not be made any use …Cowper said that he would arrange another meeting with Palmerston. But nothing happened for several weeks, during which Scott heard from other sources, presumably Hunt, that Garling was preparing a design. Scott assumed that Palmerston had asked Garling to produce a design ‘so that he might have “two strings to his bow”’, and thought the delay was because of this. In fact, Palmerston was dealing with a major constitutional crisis arising from Gladstone's budget. When Scott was eventually summoned, ‘he kept me waiting two hours & a half in his back room (during a part of which I heard him very deliberately going through his Luncheon in the next room) & then sent me away unseen’. This is another example of Scott's paranoia and unworldliness. Actually, he had done rather well as Palmerston was notorious for keeping everybody waiting, however eminent. The Belgian Minister claimed that he had read the whole of Richardson's five-volume novel, Clarissa, while waiting in Palmerston's anteroom, and in a particularly well-publicised incident, the Russian Ambassador was furious and regarded it an insult that Palmerston had kept him waiting for two hours. Eventually Scott showed him the design.
He was very civil & I thought liked it, indeed I believe he did, but I suppose thought it hardly consistent with his professions & instructions. After this I saw Mr. Cowper & told him that I thought Ld P was favourably impressed, having occasion to go at once to Hamburg I left the matter as I thought in a tolerably satisfactory position …
But he could hardly have been surprised that while he was at Hamburg: I received a letter from Mr. C. saying that I was mistaken in my impression as to Lord P's feelings, & saying I must modify the design to make it much more like modern architecture. This led on my return, to a number of futile attempts, & in the midst of them I heard by a side wind that Garling had not only made a design but that it was actually at the Office of Works & under consideration!
entered a decided protest against the course thus secretly taken. This protest I sent to Mr. Cowper, and told my supporters in the House of Commons of what had been done. This seems to have quashed the project and shortly afterwards I was directed to make some modifications in my semy Bysantine design to meet views half way & then the design was referred to the joint opinion of Messrs. Cockerell, Burn, & Fergusson …It was on 6 July 1860 that Cowper wrote to these three architects asking them to form a ‘Committee of Reference’ to examine both of Scott's schemes. This was presumably the first that the architects had heard of Scott's so-called ‘Italian’ design, and must have been surprised when they were confronted with the ‘semy Bysantine’ effort.
in listening to Lord Palmerston's ignorant dictation on a matter of art, Mr. Scott compromised his own artistic principles, and that, consenting to work under such inspiration, he was foregoing a high moral position.Scott knew that he had betrayed the trust of his friends and supporters in submitting to Palmerston, but delaying the news of his climb-down to avoid their wrath, probably only increased their outrage. If he felt badly hurt by the actions of his professional opponents, now he had lost the respect of his allies, which he never fully regained.
I had frequent interviews with these three gentlemen and I have every reason to be grateful for the kind consideration with which I was treated by them. Mr. Cockerell being a pure classicist had the greatest difficulty in swallowing my new style. He lectured me for hours together on the beauties of the true classic going over book after book with me & pouring forth extatic eulogys on his beloved style of art.Cockerell, now seventy-two, was the doyen of Scott's profession. It would have been completely uncharacteristic of Scott to argue against such a venerable figure, particularly if he felt that Cockerell genuinely wanted to help him. But Cockerell was so unimpressed with Scott's much vaunted knowledge of classical architecture, that a year later when Scott embarked on his classical Foreign Office, Cockerell offered him the services of a colleague of thirty years to help him with the design.
he told me that he did not wish to disturb my position, but that he would have nothing to do with Gothic & as to the style of my recent design it, was ‘neither one thing nor t'other - a regular mongrel affair & he would have nothing to do with it: That he must insist in my making a design in the ordinary Italian & that though he had no wish to displace me he nevertheless if I refused must cancel my appointment.Palmerston's version of the interview is typically more robust. He said that he told Scott, ‘I know you are capable of excelling in any style; now for Heaven's sake go and bring me something in the Italian style.’ Poor Scott was thrown into a state of shock, but before he could gather his thoughts for a reply, Palmerston told him about the new site arrangements. The State Paper Office, immediately to the west of the site, would be demolished, allowing the new offices to ‘project irregularly into the park, leaving the King Street front as a future work.’ Scott says that he came away from the meeting ‘thunderstruck and in sore perplexity’, and while walking back from Palmerston's house in Piccadilly to the office, contemplating whether to ‘resign or swallow the bitter pill’, he unexpectedly, so he believed, met Hunt in Pall Mall. Hunt would have known about Scott's appointment with Palmerston and, from what we know about Hunt, it seems quite likely that he engineered this apparently chance encounter. Scott said:
I at once told him what had transpired & he in turn told me what had given rise to the advice which, a few days earlier he had kindly volunteered. He had been consulted by Mr. Cowper as to whether they could not fairly get rid of me (as I suppose a troublesome contumacious fellow). He Mr. Hunt had put the case in this way. That I was regularly appointed by his (Mr. C's) predecessor & had performed without fault the duties committed to me; that it was no fault of mine that a change of masters had taken place whose tastes were different & that it would be a very serious injury to me to displace me & one for which no pecuniary compensation would make amends. On the other hand that employers had an undoubted right to prescribe the style of the building they desired to erect and that as in the case of an heir succeeding to an estate after a new mansion had been designed though good feeling suggested the continuance of the same Architect it was a fair condition that he should on his part should be willing to conform to the views of his new employer. By these arguments alone he had quieted the impatience of my employers now stirred up to a climax & he now conjured me to act in conformity with the views which he had suggested, he urged the claims of my family whom I had no right to deprive of what had become their right as much as my own for a mere individual preference on a question of taste &c &c.If Hunt had paved the way for his friend to receive the commission in the first place by organising the competition and his evidence to Hope's committee, he was hardly likely to allow Scott to let it slip away over the mere question of style and could have told Cowper that he would ensure that Scott would change his mind. Hunt knew Scott well enough to deploy all the right arguments to bring this about. There is no doubt about Scott's deep devotion for his wife and children but, as a compulsive worker, he was only too aware that he did not see enough of her and the youngest boys and, by way of compensation, tried to ensure the financial stability which would give them a comfortable life. As events surrounding Moffatt's dismissal seem to show, Caroline's own finances were inextricably linked with those of Scott's own practice and, because of this, he would not have done anything which would have deprived them of a very substantial income.
I say disinterestedly for had I resigned he would beyond a doubt have had the whole of the India Office instead of a half of it committed to his hands. I was in a terrible state of mental perturbation - but I made up my mind – went straight in for Digby Wyatts bought some costly works on Italian Architecture & set vigorously to work to rub up what though I had once understood pretty intimately I had allowed to grow rusty by 20 years neglect.With the two offices now linked together, it was inconceivable that they could be designed by separate architects. Wyatt was a different sort of architect to Scott. He was as much a theoretician and writer as a practising architect. He did not have Scott's massive office back up and may have quailed at the prospect of being engulfed by the enormous quantity of work for many years to come.
My designs were beautifully got up in outline. The figures I put in myself & even composed the groups for though I have no skill in that way I was so determined to shew myself not behind hand with the classicists that I seemed to have more power than usual. The India Office was wholly my design though I had adopted an idea as to its grouping & outline suggested by a sketch of Wyatt's & which I thought very excellent …Although Wyatt suggested the irregular grouping of the park front, Scott seems to have been responsible for all the detailed design and one of his sketch books shows how the massing of this part of the design evolved from its Byzantine predecessor.
Allow me to congratulate you, and that most heartily, in the effect of your ability and perseverance in this glorious approachment to the new Foreign Office - I trust that there is no longer doubt - and that you and your family rejoice in the attainment of your honourable ambition. So gratifying to your noble aspirations.Scott must have been delighted with such praise from the man acknowledged to be greatest classical architect of his day. His particular triumph is on the park side, where he used the irregularity of the site to produce a masterly composition. Here he retained a tall central tower from his earlier schemes but used it as a pivot from which to project the front forward with a quadrant towards the park. Scott appreciated the picturesque character of this part of his site in relation to the park and designed the building, like the country houses that he was working on at the time, as an informal composition with an irregular roof line of towers and chimneys to be seen across the lake and between the trees. It has a vitality and exuberance which most of the classical architects of the day were unable to produce and is undoubtedly the best design that he produced throughout his career. Away from the park front the building is less exciting. It retains the old layout from the competition design, with the offices forming the three sides of a quadrangle but with the entrances in the side wings. Here is the most obvious outcome of the trip to Paris, with pavilions in the centre of each side of the quadrangle, looking very much like parts of the Louvre. Scott later described the style he used as Italian although he ‘took some liberties with the style and used some decorations which are not exactly Italian’, and there was also ‘a slight infusion of Greek’ into the ornamentation.
My shame & sorrow were for a time extreme but to my surprise, the public seemed to understand my position & to feel for it, & I never received any annoying & painful rebuke ... even Ruskin told me that I had done quite right …The defeat of the Liberal Government in June 1866 brought the Conservatives back to power with Scott’s ally, Lord John Manners, as First Commissioner again. Although it was far too late for any important design changes to the Foreign Office, Scott was able to nominate some of his favourite Gothic craftsmen, particularly Clayton and Bell as decorators, and Skidmore to carry out the gas fitting. For the rest of Scott’s life, his great classical building, so close to Spring Gardens, was a constant reminder of his ignominious climb-down in the face of Palmerston’s attack. Nevertheless, during its twelve year construction period, the Government Offices, including the Home and Colonial Offices, earned him about £24,000 in fees, while his very public fight with Palmerston made him the champion of the use of Gothic for secular buildings.
Toplis, I., The Foreign Office, an Architectural History (Mansell Publishing, London and New York, 1987), pp. 16, 24, 30, 35-8, 53, 63-5, 68, 75-6, 80, 84, 87-90, 92, 97, 100, 103, 112, 114-15, 120-1, 123-4, 126, 128, 131, 133-4, 137-9, 142, 144, 218, 231.
Scott’s Recollections, II 172, 175-9, 184-6, 189-90, 192-5, 199-204, 206-16, 218-36, 238, 324, III 112.
The Builder, XV, 1857, p. 37.
Parliamentary Papers, 1857-8, (417.) q 1068.
Broadlands Papers, GC/SC/18/1-6.
The Builder, 6 August, 1857, p. 517.
Fawcett, J. (ed.), Seven Victorian Architects (Thames and Hudson, London, 1976), p. 31.
The Builder, 27 August 1859, pp. 562-3.
Scott, G. G., Personal and Professional Recollections, Stamp, G. (ed.), (Paul Watkins, Stamford, 1995), p. 190.
Broadlands Papers, GC/SC/20.
McBride, D., A History of Hawkstone (Dennis McBride,1993), p. 12.
Scott, G. G., Remarks on Secular and Domestic Architecture, Present and Future (John Murray,London, 2nd ed. 1858), p. 191.
Ridley, J., Lord Palmerston (Constable, London, 1970), pp. 163-4.
PRO Works, 6/307, 13.
Jackson, Sir T. G., Bt. R. A., Recollections, The Life and Travels of a Victorian Architect (Unicorn Press, London, 2003), pp. 73-4.
The Saturday, X, 28 July 1860, p. 111 [a].
Sotheby’s Catalogue, 15 May 1972, p. 23.
The Builder, XXX, 1873, p. 802.
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 85 [b].
Parliamentary Papers, 1877, (312) XV 295, qq 708-10.
Graves, A., The Royal Academy of Arts: A Complete Dictionary of Contributors and their Work from its Foundation in 1767 to 1904 (Graves and Bell, London, 1906), VII, p. 57.
PRO Works, 6/307/pp. 22, 35.
PRO Works, 6/307/50.
Hall had been M.P. for Marylebone since 1837 and was appointed First Commissioner in Palmerston's Liberal Government in July 1855.
Assuming Scott’s fees were 5% of the total cost, excluding the India Office, of £485,991 (Parl. Papers 1877 (312.) XV, 295, appendix No. 6, Letter from John S. Lee to Sir Gilbert Scott, 27 June 1877). Today this is about the equivalent of £1,380,828 for Scott’s fees and £27,961,260 for the cost of the building.
It was impossible that so great an architect could be thoroughly satisfied with any plans so concocted; and the Government will have done wisely, if, as is understood, they have put the whole matter entirely into his hands.On 25 February 1868, Scott was appointed ‘architect of the proposed new offices for the Home and Colonial Departments’, but he had to await the publication of the commissioner’s report before he could commence work. This did not take place until May 1868. He then acted quickly. He drew up plans for a building containing both offices but separated by a carriageway leading from Whitehall into a recess, which was an extension to the large quadrangle beyond. On 30 July 1868, Smith’s signed a contract to construct the foundations for this building for £20,709. Anxious to proceed quickly with the superstructure, Scott consulted heads of the departments and based his design on their requirements. But this was a period of political uncertainty and it was not until after a new Liberal Government under Gladstone was formed in December 1868 that he was able to submit his plans to the Office of Works.
My design has been greatly impoverished for economy’s sake The great damage done has been the striking off of two corner towers, needed to relieve the monotony of so vast a group I live in hopes of their restitution!This never happened and the great block remains today a very public monument to Scott’s unfulfilled aspirations.
Toplis, I., The Foreign Office, an Architectural History (Mansell Publishing, London and New York, 1987), pp. 155-6, 159-160, 176-9, 181-4, 186-7, 189-90, 192-3.
Scott’s Recollections, II 228, III 242.
Parliamentary Papers, 1867-8 (281) LVIII, 257.q. 257, 261, 268, 406.
Physick, J., and Darby, M., ‘Marble Halls’, Drawings and Models for Victorian Secular Buildings (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1973), pp. 44-5.
The Builder, XXVII, 16 March 1869, p. 181.
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 56.
Handbook to the Prince Consort National Memorial (John Murray, London, 1924, 25th ed.), p. 11.
Brownlee, D. B., The Law Courts, The Architecture of George Edmund Street (M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Mass. and London, 1984), p. 209.
The Builder, XXXI, 20 June 1874, p. 523.
Handley-Read, L., ‘Whitehall Sculpture’, The Architectural Review, vol. CXLVIII, November 1970, p. 278.
I have not hesitated to adopt in my design the style at once the most congenial with my own feelings, and that of the most touching monuments ever erected in this country to a Royal Consort – the exquisite ‘Eleanor Crosses’.But as the written explanations were published well before the design was illustrated, this confused everyone. It was assumed by many that the author of the Martyrs’ Memorial was producing another Eleanor Cross for Albert. This led to an argument in the press as to the suitability of an Eleanor Cross for the Memorial, which was not at all what Scott had intended.
May be described as a colossal statue of the Prince placed beneath a vast and magnificent shrine or tabernacle, and surrounded by works of sculpture illustrating those arts and sciences which he fostered, and the great undertakings which he had originated.He particularly emphasised his idea that the precious character of the Prince could be expressed by the richness of his shrine and he would:
Erect a kind of Ciborium to protect [the] statue of the Prince & its special characteristic was that the Ciborium was designed in some degree on the principles of ancient shrines. These shrines were models of imaginary buildings such as had never in reality been erected My idea was to realize one of these imaginary structures, with its precious materials its inlaying its enamels etc., etc.After it had been pointed out to him that there was a strong resemblance between his design and some of the very real structures over the altars of Early Christian basilicas he claimed that:
I do not recollect that this idea consciously resulted from the ciboria which canopy the Altars of Basilicas, though the form is the same but it came to me rather in the abstract as the form suited to the object …Scott should have remembered his visit to Verona in the autumn of 1851 where he would have seen the tombs of the Scaligers in the centre of the city, one of which bears a close resemblance to his design. He must also have seen Pugin’s The Glossary of Ecclesiastical Ornament and Costume, published in 1846, where Pugin provides an illustration of an imaginary altar covered by a ciborium which bears an even closer resemblance to the Albert Memorial. In reality canopied monuments were already well known in Britain, the most famous example being the monument to Sir Walter Scott in Princes Street Edinburgh, which was designed by George Meikle Kemp and built between 1840 and 1846. Scott would have seen the Edinburgh monument on one of his trips to Scotland but he is unlikely to have seen the designs for another canopied monument which Thomas Worthington designed as Manchester’s memorial to the Prince. Very soon after the Prince’s death Worthington produced his design, which the Queen approved, saying that nothing more beautiful or appropriate could be imagined. It was erected between 1863 and 1867 and became the centre-piece on the newly formed and appropriately named Albert Square.
The same beaten metal work – the same filigree the same plaques of enamel the same jewelling the same figure-work in metal & each with the very same mode of artistic treatment which we find in the shrines of the Three Kings at Cologne, of Notre Dame at Aix la Chapelle, of St Elizabeth at Marburg …But this application of rich decoration made Scott’s proposals very expensive. He contended that the £60,000 allocated for both the hall and the memorial, in the summer of 1862, was insufficient and assumed that the funds would be concentrated on one or the other. He said that his memorial alone would cost at least £70,000. The advisory committee passed the designs to the Queen and, in February 1863, she viewed them at Windsor accompanied by Eastlake and her second daughter, Princess Alice, but she had to await the arrival of the Crown Princess from Prussia before a decision could be made. At first the Queen thought that there were only two appropriate designs and only one of these was realizable. One was Hardwick’s, which could enable both the hall and the memorial to be provided within the available funds. The other design was Scott’s. In spite of being the only architect out of the seven competitors who believed that a Gothic scheme would be appropriate, Scott, for several reasons, had the edge over his rivals. He was already working for the Queen on the Wolsey Chapel so she knew him and presumably approved of his work. He had had a number of contacts with Albert so he knew something of Albert’s character, which the Queen would have liked. And although Albert favoured classical architecture Scott was able to show that he was not dogmatic and on various occasions he found Gothic acceptable.
I cannot mention this building without noticing the wonderful ciborium, altar, and altar enclosure it contains: one of the most splendid works of its kind in existence, decorated with sculpture, inlaid marble, coloured glass, and almost every kind of enrichment.In February 1863, Scott had the cost of his design properly worked out and discovered that it would come to at least £110,000, or £50,000 more than the funds available. The Queen had been indignant when, in the previous May, Palmerston had suggested to Parliament that a vote of only £20,000 would be sufficient. With Scott’s design as her favourite, she now asked Parliament for the extra £50,000. Lord Derby, in his capacity as the Leader of the Opposition, backed the vote and, after the design was exhibited in the House of Commons, the vote was approved in April 1863. Palmerston and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gladstone, remained opposed to any increase over £30,000. The other architects heard about the Queen’s choice by reading a leak in The Times on 28 March 1863, much to the annoyance of her advisory committee as the wording of its report was still being finalised. It was not formally submitted to the Queen until 21 April 1863 and Scott was duly appointed to carry out the work the following day.
The whole of the granite was worked on the spot, admirable machinery having been erected by Mr. Kelk for the various processes of polishing; and it is probably that, while some parts of the work are such as have never in our time been worked in polished granite, no other work in that material has surpassed …Kelk used travelling gantries, as were being used on the Foreign Office, to move the huge blocks of masonry around the site. At the top of the four arches of the canopy, Scott laid a great iron cruciform box-girder to transfer the weight of the fleche across to the corner columns. The girder is over three feet in depth and was designed by Scott’s friend Francis Shields. The fleche and the canopy roofs were constructed entirely of metal by Skidmore. Vaulting under the canopy and the gables over the arches is in perforated brickwork, to give a secure key for the applied mosaic work and, also incidentally, to decrease the loading on the structure. In increasing the scale of a small object, like a tomb, into a large structure, meant that Scott had to sacrifice structural truthfulness in design: the arches are not structural arches as in medieval work, while the fleche could only be supported by the hidden iron girder.
I believe I shall have to bear the brunt of criticisms on this work of a character peculiar I fancy to this country I mean criticism premeditated & Predetermined wholly irrespective of the merits of the case – I have some years since had one great attack made upon me of this kind. I believe that Mr Beresford Hope though nominally friendly is only too glad to promote these attacks … I am told that I have to expect another probably this week in the Saturday Review.
I must trust in God & take Courage.
warmest congratulations upon the great success which has been achieved. It is a magnificent monument which will be an honour to the country and to you … Of course there will be adverse criticisms – the most perfect work in the world would not escape them – but they are not worthy of notice and will be forgotten in a very short time. Those who have anything to do with the Press know from when these criticisms generally come and can trace the motives for them.
In this case they represent the opinions of one prejudiced and unfriendly man opposed to the judgement and taste of the million …
Pound, R., Albert, A Biography of the Prince Consort (Simon and Schuster, London, 1974).
Newsome, D., A History of Wellington College 1859-1959 (Wellington College, Wellington, 1984), pp. 112-3.
The Builder, XXI, 18 April 1863, p. 276.
Scott, G. G., Remarks on Secular and Domestic Architecture, Present and Future (John Murray, London, 2nd ed. 1858), p. 289.
The Builder, XXI, 7 March 1863, p. 167.
Brooks, C., The Albert Memorial (English Heritage, London, 1995), p. 25.
Darby, E., and Smith, N., The Cult of the Prince Consort (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1983), pp. 25, 43-7, 108, n. 9, 12.
Bonython, E., King Cole: Picture Portrait of Sir Henry Cole, K.C.B., 1808-82 (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1983), pp. 2, 58.
Sheppard, F. H. (ed.), Survey of London, The Museums Area of South Kensington and Westminster, volume XXXVIII (Athlone Press, London 1975), pp. 139, 141, 149-55, 158, 160-7, 169-71,174-6, plate 40b.
The Builder, XX, 17 May 1862, pp. 348, 422, 547-8.
Scott’s Recollections, II 312-14, III 199-201, 203-5, 207-14, 216-22, 224, 230, 360, IV 17.
Bayley, S., The Albert Memorial, The Monument in Its Social and Architectural Context (Scolar, 1981), pp. 30, 42, 45-6, 50-4, 66, 69, 73, 150.
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 34 [c], 51, 70 [b & c], 81 (sketch book 27).
Pevsner, N., Studies in Art, Architecture and Design, Victorian and After (Thames and Hudson, London, 1968), p. 267.
Hyde, R., Fisher, J., and Sato, T. (eds.), Getting London into Perspective (Barbican Art Gallery, London, 1984), p. 74.
Tyack, G., Sir James Pennethorne and the Making of Victorian London (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1992), pp. 272-5.
McFadzean, R., The Life and Work of Alexander Thomson (Routledge Keegan Paul, London, 1979), pp. 139-41.
Pugin, A. W., Glossary of Ecclesiastical Ornament and Costume (Bernard Quaritch, London, 1863), p. 73, see https://archive.org/stream/cu31924020490383#page/n95/mode/2up
Gifford, J., McWilliam, C. and Walker, D., Edinburgh, Buildings of Scotland (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1984), p. 314.
Colvin, H., A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1995), p. 575.
Dixon, R., and Muthesius, S., Victorian Architecture (Thames and Hudson, London, 1978), p. 43.
Handbook to the Prince Consort National Memorial (John Murray, London, 1924), pp. 7, 10- 11, 14, 16-19, 25-6, 32.
The Builder, XXI, 23 May 1863, p. 371.
Physick, J., and Darby, M., ‘Marble Halls’, Drawings and Models for Victorian Secular Buildings (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1973), p. 213.
Read, B., Victorian Sculpture (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1984), pp. 59, 100, 261.
Illustrated Exhibitor, XI, pp. 182, 184.
Toplis, I., The Foreign Office, an Architectural History (Mansell Publishing, London and New York, 1987), pp. 177, 181-2.
Gunnis, R., Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851 (The Abbey Library, London, 1964), pp. 153-4, 235, 249, 256, 393, 418.
Brooks, M. W., John Ruskin and Victorian Architecture (Thames and Hudson, London, 1989), pp. 48-9, 54.
Girouard, M., Sweetness and Light, The ‘Queen Anne’ Movement, 1860-1900 (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1977), p. 49.
Sheppard, F. H. (ed.), Survey of London, The Museums Area of South Kensington and Westminster, volume XXXVIII (Athlone Press, London 1975), pp. 178-9, 185, 190-1.
Scott’s Recollections, III 265-6.
Royal Commission for Historic Monuments (South), Scott Notebook, MSS 104p.
Scott, G., Sir, Lectures on the Rise and Development of Medieval Architecture delivered at the Royal Academy (John Murray, London, 1879), vol. I, p. 76, vol. II, p. 250.
Sheppard, F. H. (ed.), Survey of London, The Museums Area of South Kensington and Westminster, volume XXXVIII (Athlone Press, London 1975), pp. 179-83.
Scott’s Recollections, III 263-4.
Bayley, S., The Albert Memorial, The Monument in Its Social and Architectural Context (Scolar, 1981), p. 30.
The instructions were beyond all precedents in voluminousness and the arrangements were beyond all conception complicated and difficult - which was enhanced by the insufficiency of the site. Every conceivable department of law had to be studied & its officers consulted over & over again.Scott was elected by the other competitors to be their chairman and to speak to the Government on their behalf. It is a clear indication of the status enjoyed by Scott in his profession that some of its most eminent practitioners should chose him to be their leader. He was very much the elder statesman of the group. In fact, at fifty-four years old, he was the oldest, apart from Abraham. Several of the group, such as Street and Burges were his personal friends, while he must have known others, such as Barry and Seddon through either the Institute or the Royal Academy. Waterhouse, although personally not so well known to Scott, was an admirer and disciple of his work and studied and sketched his buildings. The panel of judges changed dramatically, on 26 June 1866, when the Liberal Government resigned over the Reform Bill. Gladstone, Cowper and Palmer were out of office, and Manners returned as First Commissioner of Works in Derby's new Government. Cowper remained as chairman of the judges, but Scott's position was given a considerable boost with his old champion, Manners, back at the Office of Works.
I think it took me from April to September to get up my information & throw it into anything like a shape - and at length I succeeded in packing together in what I had reason to think a good form every room required to the amount I should think of some thousands - We were told that arrangement alone was to settle the competition so I neglected the architectural work till a late period.Scott may have had something of an advantage over most of his fellow competitors by having produced the Lincoln's Inn design but this was outweighed by the advantage that Abraham held from having produced a preliminary design which was considered so important that a copy was sent to the competitors. However, it was probably Waterhouse who held the greatest advantage. Not only had he been chosen because of his Manchester Assize Courts, but as Architectural Clerk to the Royal Commission, he had prepared the list of accommodation requirements for the Law Courts. Inevitably he had to resign as Clerk, after less than one month, so that he could enter the competition.
If its height is limited to what looks thoroughly well from within, it is so low in its external aspect as to have little artistic value; while, if raised so high as to be an important external feature, it is only seen by a painful effort from within.Here he regarded ‘the noblest of all forms by which a space can be covered’ as an internal feature and made no attempt to give it external prominence. Scott says that Layard, who was working with him on the sculpture of the Albert Memorial at the time, thought that Scott's design for the Law Courts was ‘one of the finest things he had ever seen’, but in reality it was hardly one of his best efforts. As he says, he was so overwhelmed by the planning conditions that he neglected the architectural work. The result lacks much of the flair of his earlier designs, and with the ‘noble simplicity’ of the Strand facade seeming close to dullness, he introduced an extensive amount of sculpture to relieve the ‘unadorned wall-face’. The Building News acidly commented that he must have been secretly assured of the result or he would not have entered the competition, as he ‘must surely feel by this time that his work has not kept pace with many of his confreres in quality’. Although the cards were certainly stacked in Scott's favour, and in spite of the amount of time that he devoted to his effort, he failed to produce a really worthy building in the style that he had devised for such an occasion. He failed exactly where he had been expected to succeed.
unable to select any one of the designs as best in all respects; but they are of the opinion that the design of Mr. Barry is best in regard to plan and distribution of the interior, and that the design of Mr. Street is the best in regard to merit as an architectural composition; and they recommend that an offer be made to those two architects to act conjointly in the preparation of the final plan …How this extraordinary decision was reached remains a mystery and the Treasury were so dismayed with the judges’ decision that, without waiting for the official notification, it immediately asked the judges to reconsider. Scott said:
I at once protested against this as a palpable departure from their conditions which were not to take the sum of two men's merits & weigh them against the single merits of others but to weigh each man's merits one against another.The Builder on 17 August was almost incredulous at the result and that rumour, ‘always busy when facts are held back’, suggests that the Treasury feels that the judges were not competent to name two architects, and it urged the Treasury to insist that the judges name one architect. It went on to assert that Scott had also protested to the Treasury. It said that ‘his plan cannot, even at the worst, be considered as less than second to Mr. Barry's, while his architecture is superior, and therefore in fairness he ought to have the award’, instead of the judges naming two. This was an appalling assertion, and Scott immediately wrote back with the disclaimer that:
The opinion said to have been offered by me as to my own claims and to my position in the competition would have been most unbecoming as proceeding from me, and I need hardly add was not expressed.It is impossible to discover the source of what seems to have been an outrageous statement, but its effect was to force Scott to withdraw any claims about his own work and to throw his weight behind his friend Street, who had been upset by Scott's criticism of the award. Scott then wrote to the Government saying that ‘if the judges re-affirmed their decision I would abide by it’. The judges had all disappeared on their various holidays and it was not until 22 November 1867 that they could reassemble in London. They then reaffirmed their decision and Scott withdrew, promising not to re-enter the competition if it was reopened. So that was the end of the Law Courts for Scott.
If it would have been my lot (had I succeeded) to have suffered the bullying and abuse heaped upon Street I cannot regret my want of success. That which I had suffered 8 years before in respect of the Government offices was quite as much as I could then bear.
Scott’s Recollections, II 189, III 216, 242-5, 247-8, 252-4.
Brownlee, D., The Law Courts. The Architecture of George Edmund Street (M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Mass. and London, 1984), pp. 51, 63-4, 78, 80, 82, 84-6, 88, 90, 98-100, 102, 138, 152-4, 156-8, 161, 164, 289, 297, 364, 385.
Lincoln’s Inn, Black Book V, p. 75.
House of Lords Session Papers, 1859, Sess 1, Vol III, p. 119.
Ferriday, P., Lord Grimthorpe 1816-1905 (John Murray, London, 1957), pp. 69, 128.
Royal Commission for Historic Monuments (East), London West (1925), p. 48.
Cunningham, P., Handbook for London (John Murray, 1849), p. 482.
Tyack, G., Sir James Pennethorne and the Making of Victorian London (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1992), p. 282.
New Law Courts 1865-70 (B.A.L.), pp. 258, 265, 292, 397.
Pritchard, T. W., St Deniols Church, Harwarden (Much Wenlock, 1997), p. 9.
The Builder, XXIV, 24 February 1866, p. 135.
Port, M. H., ‘The New Law Courts Competition 1866-67’, Architectural History, 11, 1968, pp. 82-5, 87, 90.
Cunningham, C., and Waterhouse, P., Alfred Waterhouse, 1830-1905: Biography of a Practice (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1992), pp. 31, 189, plates 9-10.
Magnus, P., Gladstone, a Biography (Murray, London, 1963), p. 181.
The Builder, XXV, 30 March 1867, p. 223.
The Builder, XXV, 2 February 1867, p. 70.
Scott, T. (ed.) ‘The Chronicles of Eight Men’ (unpublished family history, n.d. circa 1992, Aylesbury Local Studies Collection), p. 85.
Scott, G. G., Remarks on Secular and Domestic Architecture, Present and Future (John Murray, London, 2nd ed. 1858), p. 206.
Scott, G., Sir, Lectures on the Rise and Development of Medieval Architecture delivered at the Royal Academy (John Murray, London, 1879), Vol. II, pp. 229, 246.
The Builder, XXV, 17 August 1867, p. 607.
The Builder, XXV, 24 August 1867, p. 630.
Scott Papers, Royal Commission for Historic Monuments (South) Edinburgh, MS 28 Box IX.
Dixon, R., and Muthesius, S., Victorian Architecture (Thames and Hudson, London, 1978), p. 172.
As early as 1862, Cowper had prepared a book of instructions, which evolved into a massive Instructions for Competing Architects with fifty-seven paragraphs, sixty-six schedules, along with the Commission's minutes, several special reports, including one from the Fire Department, copies of the relevant Acts of Parliament, the reports of seven parliamentary investigations, and an undertaking that existing courts would be made available for inspection. All this was revised five times and eventually settled on 17 April 1866. The much quoted ‘The instructions were unprecedented in voluminousness’, is a amendment by George Gilbert junior in the published Recollections (p. 273).
Scott’s Recollections, I 213, 240, 248, 250-3.
Physick, J., and Darby, M., ‘Marble Halls’, Drawings and Models for Victorian Secular Buildings (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1973), p. 26.
Shepherd, T., London in the Nineteenth Century (Bracken Books, London 1983), p. 52.
Architectural Magazine, Vol. I, 6 April 1834, pp. 53-6.
Architectural Magazine, Vol. V, July 1838, p. 309.
Murray, [King, R. J.], Handbook to the Cathedrals of England, Southern Division Part I, Winchester, Salisbury, Exeter, Wells (John Murray, London, 1861), p. 402.
Clunn, H., The Face of the Home Counties etc. (Simpkin Marshall, London, 1936), pp. 116-17.
Hansard, 1857, Vol. 145, 3rd Series, Column 299, Lord Stanley of Alderney, House of Lords, in reply to Lord Montague, Friday 15 May, 1857.
Brownlee, D. B., The Law Courts, The Architecture of George Edmund Street (M.I.T. Press, Cambridge Mass. and London, 1984), pp. 51, 64.
Lincoln’s Inn, Black Book V, p. 75.
House of Lords Session Papers, 1859, Sess 1, Vol III, p. 119.
Ferriday, P., Lord Grimthorpe 1816-1905 (John Murray, London, 1957), pp. 69, 128.
Cunningham, P., Handbook for London (Murray, 1849), p. 482.
Royal Commission for Historic Monuments (East), London West (1925), p. 48.