J. H. White [& Son]

Masons and brickwork contractors

James Henry White (born Portsmouth, Hampshire c. 1834–1919) was a clerk of works and latterly a building contractor, who moved frequently due to work commitments, before opening 'J. H. White & Sons' in Glasgow around 1901. 1 White left Bristol for Edinburgh around 1874 where he worked as a builder's foreman and manager. By 1881, he was an 'inspector of building works', living at Windsor Cottage outside Rothesay, 2 on the estate of the third Marquess of Bute, for whom Robert Rowand Anderson was rebuilding Mount Stuart in Gothic style after a fire in 1877. 3 His second son, James Junior (1862–1950) and two boarders were all working as 'stonecutters', presumably on the new mansion. 4

Census and birth records suggest the widespread locations of the family's building projects. James Junior was working in Govan in 1885, possibly on Rowand Anderson's Govan Old Parish Church. 5 White Senior was again living in Edinburgh and working under his own name by 1890. He moved to Glasgow about five years later. 6 He advertised as 'James H. White, mason and building contractor, 87 Forth Street, Pollokshields' from 1895. 7 White Senior opened a works yard at 'Muirhouse Street, Pollokshaws Road', changing the style to '& Sons', c. 1901, since at least five of his children had, by now, entered the building industry. 8

James Junior spent the early 1890s in Edinburgh, later working around Kirkcaldy (1894–5) and Newport, Fife, and then in Campbeltown, Argyll in 1897. 9 Stonemasons Charles Bolton (1873–1952) and Ranald (not Ronald) Macpherson White (b. Edinburgh, 1875–1961) were also in Campbeltown that year for what must have been a sizeable contract. 10

In 1901, both James Junior and Charles were working in Brechin, Ranald was in Rhu on the Clyde, and their other brother Benjamin Francis (c. 1870–1925) was a joiner and foreman with their father in Glasgow. 11 That year, the firm won the contract, which lasted until 1904, for the stonework on Mount Melville house, St Andrews, for the brewer James Younger, and subsequently restored Holy Trinity Church, St Andrews, with P. Macgregor Chalmers (1907–9). 12 In 1907, the original firm was formally disssolved, to be continued by Benjamin at 133 Albert Road, Glasgow, in conjunction with James Junior, who both moved to St Andrews and concentrated on their building operations in Fife. 13 The Whites closed their Glasgow office after 1912, and after a brief spell selling coal and gravel, Charles and Ranald emigrated to Canada in the late 1900s. 14 J. H. White Senior died at Kilcreggan, Argyll in 1919, at which point James Junior was apparently again living in Glasgow. 15

J. H. White & Sons, of St Andrews, also worked on All Saints Episcopal Church, St Andrews (Minshall & Douglas, 1906–9) where the clients for the 1919–24 nave (by M. T. & P. Waterhouse), were again the Youngers of Mount Melville. 16 Other works included St James R. C. Church, St Andrews (R. Fairlie, 1909–10), St Leonards School, the University Chapel interior, and several war memorials in St Andrews in the early 1920s. 17 The firm also operated the famous Cullaloe sandstone quarry at Kinghorn, and a brother-in-law ran the separate Glasgow building firm of Dick & Benzies. 18

Notes:

1: Census Data, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 30 July 2013]; Glasgow Post Office Directory 1901–2, p. 645.

2: Census Data, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 30 July 2013].

3: Rosemanry Hannah, The Grand Designer: The Third Marquess of Bute, Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2013, pp. 137–8, 184–90.

4: Death Date, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk; Census Data, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 30 July 2013]; Glasgow Herald, 29 April 1950, p. 1.

5: Statutory Births (M. C. White, 1885), www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [accessed 4 August 2013]; E. Williamson, A. Riches and M. Higgs, The Buildings of Scotland: Glasgow, London: Penguin, 1990, pp. 586–7.

6: Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1890–1, p. 318; 1894–5, p. 539; 'J. H. White', Edinburgh Valuation Roll 1895, VR100/173/120, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [accessed 4 August 2013]; Glasgow Post Office Directory 1895–6, p. 575.

7: Glasgow Post Office Directory 1895–6, p. 575; 1898–9, p. 620.

8: Glasgow Post Office Directory 1901–2, p. 645; 1906–7, p. 743.

9: 'J. H. White', Kirkcaldy Valuation Roll 1895, VR50/18/531, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [accessed 4 August 2013]; Census Data, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 28 July 2013].

10: Census Data, www.ancestry.co.uk; Statutory Births (E. B. White and J. H. B. White, 1897), www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [accessed 4 August 2013].

11: Census Data, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 4 August 2013].

12: Dundee Courier, 9 October 1901, p. 4; 23 April 1904, p. 10; 18 February 1925, p. 3; Evening Telegraph, 17 February 1925, p. 1; Scotsman, 18 February 1925, p. 7; Glasgow Herald, 18 February 1925, p. 9; 'Holy Trinity, Building Report', Dictionary of Scottish Architects, www.scottisharchitects.org.uk [accessed 4 August 2013].

13: Edinburgh Gazette, 19 March 1907, p. 288; Glasgow Post Office Directory 1908–9, p. 706; Statutory Marriages (1909 White-White), www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [accessed 4 August 2013].

14: Glasgow Post Office Directory 1908–9, p. 706; 1912–13, p. 696; R. M. White's emigration in J. H. White, 1919 Inventory SC65/35/26/928, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk; C. B. White emigration 1907, U.K. Outward Passenger Lists 1890–1960, online database, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 4 August 2013].

15: Glasgow Herald, 11 April 1919, p. 1; J. H. White, 1919 Inventory SC65/35/26/927–9, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [accessed 4 August 2013].

16: 'Building Report', Dictionary of Scottish Architects, www.scottisharchitects.org.uk [accessed 4 August 2013]; Dundee Courier, 18 February 1925, p. 3; Evening Telegraph, 17 February 1925, p. 1; Scotsman, 18 February 1925, p. 7.

17: 'St James, Building Report', Dictionary of Scottish Architects, www.scottisharchitects.org.uk [accessed 4 August 2013]; Dundee Courier, 18 February 1925, p. 3; Evening Telegraph, 17 February 1925, p. 1; Scotsman, 18 February 1925, p. 7; Glasgow Herald, 18 February 1925, p. 9.

18: Dundee Courier, 18 February 1925, p. 3; Evening Telegraph, 17 February 1925, p. 1; Scotsman, 18 February 1925, p. 7; J. H. White, 1919 Inventory SC65/35/26/927–9, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [accessed 4 August 2013]; Glasgow Post Office Directory 1923–4, pp. 106, 707.