E. C. Morgan & Son

Artificers, masons, joiners, plasterers and plumbers

Edwin Charles Morgan (born Devon, c. 1835–1916) and his sons, Edwin Francis (c. 1860–1947), Harry (c. 1867–1924), Arthur Herbert (b. 1870), and Herbert Charles Morgan (c. 1874–1958), 1 were variously clerks of works and contractors for architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, and his successors, J. Oldrid Scott & Son. 2

E. C. Morgan accompanied George Gilbert Scott to Edinburgh in the mid-1870s to work on the Scotts' St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, and from 1878, collaborated with J. Oldrid Scott on the Bute and Randolph Halls at Glasgow University. 3 From around 1884 until 1888, Morgan was clerk of works on Glasgow's 'new municipal buildings, George Square', 4 and then opened 'Morgan & Sons, wrights and builders', to capitalise on his reputation. 5

The Scotts and Morgans returned to Edinburgh to erect St Mary's octagonal, vaulted Chapter House in 1890, while the Morgans were also working on the West Fife (Cottage) Hospital, Dunfermline (Sydney Mitchell & Wilson, 1893–4). 6 The firm became 'E. C. Morgan & Sons' around 1897; E. F. Morgan retired in 1909, and A. H. Morgan in 1911. 7

In 1913, when St Mary's twin steeples were finally begun, E. C. Morgan Senior, 'purposely kept his estimate low', in order to 'have a hand in finishing the fabric'. 8 Although he commenced 'with rare enthusiasm ... the outbreak of the war hindered the progress of work, and he died before the steeples were completed. 9 The spires, funded by subscription, were about 209 feet high, but Morgan's low initial contract price contributed to the firm's eventual bankruptcy in 1917. 10

Notes:

1: Census information, www.ancestry.co.uk; statutory death registration, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [both accessed 23 February 2013].

2: 'J. Oldrid Scott & Son', Dictionary of Scottish Architects, 1840–1980, www.scottisharchitects.org.uk [accessed 23 February 2013]; Scotsman, 6 March 1917, p. 4.

3: Scotsman, 4 November 1878, p. 4; 7 June 1879, p. 8; A. L. Brown and M. Moss, The University of Glasgow 1451–1996, Edinburgh: University Press, 1996, p. 48–9.

4: Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1884–5, p. 454.

5: Glasgow Post Office directories, 1880–1910.

6: Scotsman, 27 June 1890, p. 4; 2 November 1891, p. 10.

7: Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1897–8, p. 421; Edinburgh Gazette, 10 December 1909, p. 1364; 19 December 1911, p. 1343.

8: Scotsman, 6 May 1913, p. 8; 11 June 1913, p. 12; 6 May 1917, p. 4.

9: Scotsman, 6 March 1917, p. 4; 2 February 1917, p. 7.

10: Scotsman, 2 September 1913, p. 7; 26 November 1915, p. 4; 2 February 1917, p. 7; Edinburgh Gazette, 23 March 1917, p. 621; 15 May 1917, p. 943; 25 December 1917, p. 2651.