Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott Biography

The Architectural Journey of M.H. Baillie Scott

It is difficult for an architect to draw a fixed line between the architecture of a house and its furniture. The conception of the interior must include the furniture to be used in it, leading to the conclusion that the architect should design not just the house, but also the chairs and tables. Every architect who loves their work must have experienced the dampening of enthusiasm by envisioning the hideous furniture that a client may use to fill beautifully designed rooms. M.H. Baillie Scott, 1895, The Studio.

Early Years and Education

Baillie Scott was born on 23 October 1865 at Beards Hill, St. Peter's, near Ramsgate, Kent. In 1883, he was sent to the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, to study "Scientific Farming and Estate Management." Graduating in 1885 with honors in drawing and science, he received the society's silver medal. From 1886-1889, he was articled to Major C.E. Davis, City Architect of Bath, and lodged with Stephen Rawlings, a mason and builder, in Batheaston.

Marriage and Career Beginnings

In 1889, Baillie Scott married Florence Kate Nash, a descendant of Beau Nash, in Batheaston Parish Church. They spent holidays in, and then relocated to, the Isle of Man. Living at 35 Alexander Terrace, Douglas, Baillie Scott initially worked for surveyor Fred Saunderson. His children, Enid Maud and Mackay Hugh, were born in 1889 and 1891, respectively. He attended art classes and, like Archibald Knox, gained an Art Class Teacher's Certificate. From 1889-1899, he exhibited works at the Isle of Man Fine Art and Industrial Guild's annual exhibitions.

Architectural Practice and Major Works

Baillie Scott set up his own practice in 1892 and constructed the Braddan Cemetery Office, Isle of Man. In 1893, he moved to and based his practice in the 'Red House,' which he designed. He regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts from 1894 and formed a partnership with Henry Seton Morris in 1895. His association with Morris floundered around 1897, and he worked on various projects, including decorating and furnishing the Ducal Palace at Darmstadt.

Later Career and Legacy

Baillie Scott continued to flourish in his career, winning prizes and gaining international recognition. He was involved with the Garden City Movement and published his theories on the 'Artistic House.' Tragedy struck in 1911 when 'Fenlake Manor' was destroyed by fire. He continued his practice, focusing on historic structures, and constructed at least 130 buildings before retiring in 1939. Baillie Scott died in 1945 at Elm Grove Hospital, Brighton, and was buried in Edenbridge, Kent.

Researched and written by Tony Geering

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