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Thomas Leverton Donaldson

Thomas Leverton Donaldson was a teacher, scholar and architect active in the 19th century.

He was born on 19 October 1795 at 8 Bloomsbury Square, London and is generally regarded as the founding father of the Institute of British Architects (later the Royal Institute of British Architects) in 1834.

He was the first professor of architecture at University College, London, a post to which he was elected in 1842, as well as a prolific author and traveller.

In 1851 he was awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects royal gold medal for the promotion of architecture. He was president of the Institute from 1863 to 1864.

Donaldson died at his home, 21 Upper Bedford Place, Bloomsbury, London, on 1 August 1885. He was buried at Brompton cemetery, London.


Colvin, Howard, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, 3rd edition (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1995), pp. 315-316.

Fagan, L.A., ‘Donaldson, Thomas Leverton (1795–1885)’, rev. Anne Pimlott Baker, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004) < > [accessed 14 January 2008]

National Archives, National Register of Archives, Person Details, 'Donaldson, Thomas Leverton (1795-1885) Architect Antiquary and Archaeologist, GB/NNAF/P141650' < > [accessed 14 January 2008]

National Portrait Gallery, Search the Collection, 'Thomas Leverton Donaldson (1795-1885), Architect' < > [accessed 07 August 2008]

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