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Mr Mervyn Edmund Macartney

Sir Mervyn Edmund Macartney worked as the architect to the Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral from 1906 to 1931.

He became a Fellow of the Society of Arts and an Honorary Corresponding Member of the American Institute of Architects, was a founder member of the Art Workers' Guild, and edited the Architectural Review from 1906 to 1920. He served as consulting architect to Durham Cathedral, and as Surveyor to the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral from 1906 to 1931.

Mervyn Edmund Macartney was born the son of a doctor in London, England on 16 September 1853. He spent his youth in Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland, and was educated privately before studying at Lincoln College, Oxford (1873-77). He was then articled to Richard Norman Shaw (1831-1912) in 1877. After travelling in France, Italy and Germany, Macartney established his own independent practice in London in 1882. [Note: the date is given as 1877 in his entry in Who's Who in Architecture 1914] He was admitted FRIBA on 11 March 1889, proposed by John Belcher, Ernest George, and John Dando Sedding, but resigned his membership two years later during the dispute over registration. He was re-elected FRIBA on 8 January 1906, his proposers being Belcher, Aston Webb and John Taylor.

Architectural projects by Macartney included the Guinness Trust Buildings on Marlborough Road and Vauxhall Square, London; alterations to Swaylands in Kent; Angley Park in Kent; 'Welders' in Chalfont St. Peters, Buckinghamshire (1900-01); Bussock Wood in Newbury (1906-07); 1-7 Egerton Place, London; 169 Queen's Gate, London; 'Kent Hatch' in Westerham, Kent; alterations to 'Mariners' in Westerham, Kent; 'The White Cottage in Westerham, Kent; 'Shandon' in Tunbridge Wells, Kent; 'Frithwood House' in Northwood, near Pinner; 'Minsted' in Midhurst, Sussex (1907); several houses in Surrey including 'Court Hayes' in Oxted, 'Lombarden' in Limpsfield (1907), and The Red House' in Limpsfield (1907); The Court in Woolhampton (1908); the public library in Islington, London (1916); new reredos, altar rail, etc. in the Chapel of Saints Michael and George in St. Paul's Cathedral, London; repairs to St. Margaret's Church in Lothbury; St. Leonard's in Shoreditch; St. James in Garlickhythe; and Egglescliffe Church in Durham.

Macartney was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (FRIBA) in 1889 and was a Fellow of the Society of Architects (FSA) and an Hon. Corresponding Member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) He was Surveyor to the Fabric of St. Paul's Cathedral in London from 1906 to 1931, and Consulting Architect to Durham Cathedral.

In addition to his work as an architect, Macartney also designed furniture, and in October 1890, together with William Lethaby, Ernest Gimson, Reginald Blomfield and Sidney Barnsley, was co-founder of the short-lived furniture firm Kenton & Co., which had workshops in Kenton Street, Bloomsbury, London. Undercapitalised, the venture was disbanded in 1892. A mahogany sideboard designed by Macartney for Morris & Co. is illustrated in 'The Studio Yearbook of Decorative Art' 1909 (p.17), and an Italian walnut cabinet designed by him for Morris & Co. is illustrated in 'The Studio Yearbook of Decorative Art' 1910 (p.89). Two photographs of a Serpentine macassar ebony secretaire designed by him for the Barnard's Inn in Holborn, London, and shown in an exhibition of work by Kenton & Co. in 1891 are also illustrated in 'Art and Crafts Furniture' by John Andrews (Woodbridge, Suffolk, England: Antique Collectors' Club, 2005 pp.94, 95).

Macartney was a founder member of the Art Workers Guild (AWG) in 1884 and was a Master of the AWG in 1899. He was also one of the founders of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1884. Macartney was editor of the 'Architectural Review' from 1906 to 1920. He was the author of 'Later Renaissance Architecture in England' (London: B.T. Batsford, 1901), 'English Houses & Gardens in the 17th & 18th Centuries' (London: B.T. Batsford, 1908), and 'The Practical Exemplar of Architecture' (London: The Architectural Press, 7 series, 1908-27). He exhibited at the Royal Academy in London and the Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts between 1882 and 1927.

Macartney was knighted for services to architecture in 1930. He lived in London, where he died on 28 October 1932.

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