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Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott (1865-1945) - Arts and Crafts Designers

It is difficult for the architect to draw a fixed line between the architecture of the house and the furniture. The conception of the interior must include the furniture which is to be used in it and this naturally leads to the conclusion that the architect should design the chairs and tables as well as the house itself. Every Architect who loves his work must have had his enthusiasm dampened by a prophetic vision of the hideous furniture with which his client may fill his rooms, and which looks all the more incongruous if the rooms themselves are architecturally beautiful. M.H.Ballie Scott 1895 The Studio. 1865 Born 23 October at Beards Hill, St. Peter's, near Ramsgate, Kent. 1883 Sent to the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, in October, to study for a degree in "Scientific Farming and Estate Management".

1885 Graduates, in December, with honours in drawing and science, and awarded the society's silver medal.
1886-1889 Articled to Major C.E. Davis, City Architect of Bath. Lodges for at least 1 year with Stephen Rawlings, a mason and builder, of Athol House, Batheaston.
1889 Marries Florence Kate Nash, a descendent of Beau Nash, at Batheaston Parish Church on 16 February. Holidays in and then relocates to Isle of Man.

1889-1893 Lives at 35 Alexander Terrace, Douglas. Begins by working for Fred Saunderson, a surveyor and land agent, at 7 Athol Street, Douglas. Daughter, Enid Maud Mackay Baillie Scott, born 20 November 1889. Son, Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott III, born 13 May 1891.
1891 Attends classes in geometry and drawing at the Isle of Man School of Art, Douglas and, like Archibald Knox, gains Art Class Teacher's Certificate. Knox later collaborates with Baillie Scott on interior commissions.
1889-1899 Exhibits paintings and other works in the Isle of Man Fine Art and Industrial Guild's annual exhibitions at 'The Palace', Douglas.
1892 Sets up own practice at 23 Athol Street, Douglas. Constructs earliest known built commission, Braddan Cemetery Office, Isle of Man.
1893 Moves to and relocates practice to the 'Red House', built to his own design. Probably funded from fees for his first major commission, 'The MacAndrew House', Onchan, Isle of Man. This last, subsequently converted to 'The Majestic Hotel', is now under threat of demolition.
1894 Publishes "An Ideal Suburban House" in the January issue of The Studio. Realised as Bexton Croft, Knutsford, Cheshire (1894-1896).
1894 Begins to regularly exhibit work in the Architectural Room of the Royal Academy of Arts.
1895 Forms partnership with Henry Seton Morris, thought to have also been a pupil of Davis, who sets up an office in both names at 30 Great James Street, London. Exhibit entrance design for a house, for Manx author Hall Caine, at the Royal Academy.
1897 Association with Morris flounders, possibly following introduction to Wilfred Bond in 1896. Bond was clerk of works on St. Matthew's Church, Douglas for James Loughborough Pearson, until Pearson's death. He then joined Baillie Scott and was his assistant until 1901.
1897 Redecorates and furnishes the dining and drawing rooms of the Ducal Palace at Darmstadt, for the Grand Duke, Ernst-Ludwig of Hesse. C.R. Ashbee's Guild of Handicraft make the furniture, light-fixtures and metalwork to Baillie Scott's designs.
1898 Decorates and furnishes the tree-top, log-cabin retreat, 'Le Nid', for the 23-year old Princess Marie of Rumania.
1901 Wins highest prize with his design, 'Dulce Domum', for the 'Haus eines Kunstfreundes' or 'House for an art lover' competition. C.R. Mackintosh's entry, 'Der Vogel', although disqualified due to an insufficient submission of perspectives, is awarded a purchase prize (posthumously constructed in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, in 1996).
1901 Sells 'The Red House' and returns to England. Combines two cottages, calling them 'Fenlake Manor', on the outskirts of Bedford and practices from 4 Windsor Place, St. Cuthbert Street, Bedford, until 1903 and then from home. New location is near to the 'Pyghtle' works of John P. White, for whom Baillie Scott produces designs for a catalogue of 120 pieces of furniture. These are sold from White's showroom at 134 New Bond Street and through Liberty, to whom it is likely Baillie Scott introduced Archibald Knox.
1904 Commences involvement with the Garden City Movement, subsequently completing structures in Letchworth and Hampstead Garden Suburb.
1905 Employs A.E. Beresford as an assistant, who takes over the financial and technical aspects of the practice. Numerous schemes exhibited, in their joint names, at the annual Royal Academy exhibitions.
1906 Publishes his first volume of work, entitled "Houses and Gardens", expounding his theories on the 'Artistic House'.
1911 Disaster strikes, in March, when 'Fenlake Manor' is destroyed by fire. Most of the drawings and records from this time are lost. Practice recommences from Beresford's home, in St. John's Street, Bedford, where it remains until 1914. After temporary moves, the Baillie Scott's move to 'The Lodge' at Elstow, where they remain until the Autumn of 1912. There follows an unstable period of moves to London, Haslemere in Surrey and elsewhere.
1912 Le Corbusier describes Baillie Scott as one of "les plus grands artists".
1914 The practice finishes for the duration of the First World War and the Baillie Scott's return to Bedford.
1916 Moves to and restores 'The White House', Great Chart, Kent, a fifteenth century Kentish farmhouse.
1918 Returns to London, following a short spell in Bath.
1919 Baillie Scott and Beresford restore their practice , this time as partners, at 8 Grays Inn, Holborn. Baillie Scott's growing fascination with historic structures sees him restore, first, a seventeenth century house at 8 Quarry Street, Guildford, Surrey and then, between 1920 and 1921, 'Oakhams', a modest, fifteenth century farmhouse off Marsh Green Road, Edenbridge, Kent.
1919-1939 The practice flourishes, constructing at least 130 buildings. The practice is only considered to be fully occupied if 25 to 30 individual house designs are going up simultaneously.
1927 On 20 June, elected a Fellow of the RIBA by Council. Serves on the Arts Committee from 1928 to 1930.
1930 Practice relocates to Bedford Row.
1933 Publishes new volume of "Houses and Gardens" with Beresford.
1935 Role in practice diminishes. Prefers to paint.
1939 Outbreak of War and death of wife sees Baillie Scott finally retire.
1941 Wartime bombs destroy the Bedford Row office, destroying those drawings that had survived the fire in Bedford, along with everything executed since.
1942 Sells 'Oakhams' and, under the care of a nurse, spends the next couple of years in various cottages and nursing homes around Devon and Cornwall. He continues to paint.
1944 Relocates to 'Ripley House' in Brighton.
1945 Dies at the Elm Grove Hospital, Brighton, on 10 February. Buried at Edenbridge, Kent.

Researched and written by Tony Geering.

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