Allan Ramsay Macbeth

Architect; JHKM employee

Allan Ramsay Macbeth (1885–1927), apprentice architect with Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh, was born in Glasgow. His mother, Jean M. Lamb was the daughter of the prosperous Greenock builder, ship's carpenter, timber merchant and saw-miller William L. Lamb, who employed 260 men in 1871. 1 The family had strong artistic connections. His grandfather was Norman Macbeth (b. Greenock, 1821–1888), a French-trained portraitist, and his uncle was Robert Walker Macbeth R.A., (1848–1910), watercolourist and illustrator for The Graphic magazine. 2 Other uncles included Henry Macbeth-Raeburn R.A. (1860–1947), painter and mezzotint engraver, and James Walker Macbeth (1847–1891), illustrator, genre and landscape artist, who were both well known and highly respected in their day. 3 'Glasgow Girl' Ann Macbeth (1875–1948), head of embroidery at Glasgow School of Art from c. 1911 until 1928 , and the actress Lydia Bilbrook[e] (1888–1990) were his first cousins. 4 Macbeth's father was Allan Macbeth (1856–1910), the first principal of both the Glasgow Athenaeum School of Music, and the Glasgow College of Music (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), a German-trained composer, opera-producer, and popular Glasgow choirmaster and church organist. 5

Macbeth began a five-year apprenticeship in the office of Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh in September 1903. His first payment is not recorded until December 1904. 6 He enrolled at the Glasgow School of Art in the session 1903–4. 7 He was last paid in December 1905, after which he seems to have left the architectural profession, without completing his five years. Instead, the 1911 Census and record of his marriage show he became an actor, having a moderately successful career as a touring repertory actor through the 1920s. 8 He died in London on 18 July 1927. 9

Notes:

1: Census information, www.ancestry.co.uk; 1871 Census, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [accessed 29 April 2014]; Greenock Post Office Directory, 1880–1, pp. 94, 245, 254.

2: Aberdeen Journal, 3 November 1910, p. 6; ‘Macbeth, Norman (1821–1888)’, and ‘Macbeth, Robert Walker (1848–1910)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford: University Press, online edn, 2008, www.oxforddnb.com [accessed 29 April 2014].

3: Glasgow Herald, 8 December 1947, p. 3; Scotsman, 8 December 1947, p. 4; ‘Raeburn, Henry Raeburn Macbeth’, Who Was Who, Bloomsbury Publishing, online edn, 2014, www.ukwhoswho.com; ‘Macbeth, Norman (1821–1888)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford: University Press, online edn, 2008, www.oxforddnb.com [accessed 29 April 2014].

4: Jude Burkhauser, ed., Glasgow Girls: Women in Art and Design, 1880–1920, Edinburgh: Canongate, 1997, p. 153; ‘Glasgow Girls (act. 1880–1920)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford: University Press, 2010, online edn, www.oxforddnb.com; (Bilbrooke was also reputedly the daughter of H. Beerbohm Tree), 'Lydia Bilbrooke (née Phillis Macbeth)', National Portrait Gallery, online catalogue, 'Phyllis Lydia Macbeth', Statutory Marriage Certificate 1909, 'Locke Family Tree' (owner: Steve Locke), www.ancestry.co.uk [both accessed 29 April 2014].

5: Glasgow Herald, 26 August 1910, pp. 1, 6; G. Matchett, F. Spedding, Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama: The First 150 Years, Glasgow: R.S.A.M.D., 1997, pp. 20–2; 'Allan Macbeth', in George Eyre-Todd, ed., Who's Who in Glasgow in 1909, Glasgow: Gowans & Gray, 1909, p. 119.

6: The Hunterian, University of Glasgow: John Honeyman & Keppie / Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh / Keppie Henderson cash book 1889–1917, GLAHA 53079, pp. 79, 88.

7: Student Registers, information kindly provided by the Glasgow School of Art Archives, August 2013.

8: The Hunterian, University of Glasgow: John Honeyman & Keppie / Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh / Keppie Henderson cash book 1889–1917, GLAHA 53079, p.96; Census 1911, London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754–1921, online resources, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 30 April 2014].

9: Glasgow Herald, 20 July 1927, p. 1; England & Wales, National Probate Calendar, 1858–1966, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 29 April 2014].