John Loughborough Pearson: Wikis

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John Loughborough Pearson
John Loughborough Pearson by Walter William Ouless.jpg
Personal information
Name John Loughborough Pearson
Nationality English
Birth date 15 July 1817
Birth place Brussels, Belgium
Date of death 11 December 1897
Work
Buildings Truro Cathedral
Projects St Margaret's, Westminster

Bristol Cathedral

Awards RIBA Gold Medal, 1880

John Loughborough Pearson was a Gothic Revival architect renowned for his work on churches and cathedrals. Pearson revived and practised largely the art of vaulting, and acquired in it a proficiency unrivalled in his generation.

Contents

Early life and education

He was son of William Pearson, etcher, of Durham, and was brought up there. At the age of fourteen he was articled to Ignatius Bonomi, architect, of Durham, whose clergy clientele helped stimulate Pearson's long association with religious architecture, particularly of the Gothic style.

He soon moved to London, where another tutor was Philip Hardwick (1792-1870), architect of the old Euston Arch and Lincoln's Inn. Pearson lived in central London at 13 Mansfield Street (where a blue plaque commemorates him), and was awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 1880.

Career

From the erection of his first church at Ellerker, in Yorkshire, in 1843, to that of St Peter's, Vauxhall, in 1864, his buildings are geometrical in manner and exhibit a close adherence to precedent, but elegance of proportion and refinement of detail lift them out of the commonplace of mere imitation. Holy Trinity, Westminster (1848), and St Mary's, Dalton Holme (1858), are notable examples of this phase.

St Mary's Dalton Holme

St Peter's, Vauxhall (1864), was his first groined church, and the first of a series of buildings which brought Pearson to the forefront among his contemporaries. In these he applied the Early English style to modern needs and modern economy with unrivalled success. St. Augustine's, Kilburn (1871), St John's, Red Lion Square, London (1874), St Alban's, Conybere Street, Birmingham (1880), St Michael's, Croydon (1880), St John's, Norwood (1881), St Stephen's, Bournemouth (1889), and All Saints', Hove (1889), are characteristic examples of his mature work.

Truro Cathedral

He is best known for Truro Cathedral (1880), which has a special interest in its apt incorporation of the south aisle of the ancient church. Pearson's conservative spirit fitted him for the repair of ancient buildings, and among cathedrals and other historic buildings placed under his care were Lincoln, Chichester, Peterborough, Bristol and Exeter Cathedrals, St George's Chapel, Windsor, Westminster Hall, and Westminster Abbey, in the surveyorship of which he succeeded Sir George Gilbert Scott. He re-faced the north transept of Westminster Abbey, except for the porches (which are the work of Scott), and also designed the vigorous organ cases. In his handling of ancient buildings he was repeatedly opposed by the anti-restorers of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (as in the case of the west front of Peterborough Cathedral in 1896), but he generally proved the soundness of his judgment by his executed work.

Pearson's practice was not confined to church building. Treberfydd (1850), Quar Wood (1858), Lechlade Manor, an Elizabethan house (1873), Westwood House, Sydenham, in the French Renaissance style (1880), the Astor estate offices (1892) upon the Victoria Embankment, London, the remodelling of the interiors of Cliveden House (1893) and No. 18 Carlton House Terrace (1894), with many parsonages, show his aptitude for domestic architecture. In general design he first aimed at form, embracing both proportion and contour; and his work may be recognized by accurate scholarship coupled with harmonious detail. Its keynotes are cautiousness and refinement rather than boldness.

He is buried in the nave of Westminster Abbey, where his grave is marked by the appropriate motto Sustinuit et abstinuit. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1874, becoming a full member in 1880. He was also a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and a fellow and member of the Council of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

In 1862 Pearson married Jemima Christian, a cousin of his friend Ewan Christian, a Manxman and architect to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. Their son Frank Loughborough Pearson was born in 1864, but to Pearson's great sorrow Jemima died the following year of typhoid fever. Frank followed in his father's footsteps completing much of his work before embarking on his own original designs.

Notable buildings

Bristol Cathedral West front
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Some of Pearson's other important works

Back view of St John's Cathedral taken from Adelaide Street, Brisbane, Australia, ca. 1910

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

Y

PEARSON, JOHN LOUGHBOROUGH (1817-1897), English architect, son of William Pearson, etcher, of Durham, was born in Brussels on the 5th of July 1817. He was articled at the age of fourteen to Ignatius Bonomi, architect, of Durham, but soon removed to London, and worked under the elder Hardwicke. He revived and practised largely the art of vaulting, and acquired in it a proficiency unrivalled in his generation. He was, however, by no means a Gothic purist, and was also fond of Renaissance and thoroughly grounded in classical architecture. From the erection of his first church of Ellerker, in Yorkshire, in 1843, to that of St Peter's, Vauxhall, in 1864, his buildings are Geometrical in manner and exhibit a close adherence to precedent, but elegance of proportion and refinement of detail lift them out of the commonplace of mere imitation. Holy Trinity, Westminster (1848), and St Mary's, Dalton Holme (1858), are notable examples of thisphase. St Peter's, Vauxhall (1864), his first groined church, was also the first of a series of buildings which brought Pearson to the forefront among his contemporaries. In these he applied the Early English style to modern needs and modern economy with unrivalled success. St Augustine's, Kilburn (1871), St John's, Red Lion Square, London (1874), St Alban's, Birmingham (1880), St Michael's, Croydon (1880), St John's, Norwood (1881), St Stephen's, Bournemouth (1889), and All Saints', Hove (1889), are characteristic examples of his matured work. He is best known by Truro Cathedral (1880), which has a special interest in its apt incorporation of the south aisle of the ancient church. Pearson's conservative spirit fitted him for the reparation of ancient edifices, and among cathedrals and other historical buildings placed under his care were Lincoln, Chichester, Peterborough, Bristol and Exeter Cathedrals, St George's Chapel, Windsor, Westminster Hall and Westminster Abbey, in the surveyorship of which last he succeeded Sir G. G. Scott. Except as to the porches, the work of Scott, he re-faced the north transept of Westminster Abbey, and also designed the vigorous organ cases. In his handling of ancient buildings he was repeatedly opposed by the ultra anti-restorers (as in the case of the west front of Peterborough Cathedral in 1896), but he generally proved the soundness of his judgment by his executed work. Pearson's practice was not confined to church building. Treberfydd House (1850), Quar Wood (1858), Lechlade Manor, an Elizabethan house (1873), Westwood House, Sydenham, in the French Renaissance style (1880), the Astor estate offices (1892) upon the Victoria Embankment, London, the remodelling of the interiors of Clieveden House (1893) and No. 18 Carlton House Terrace (1894), with many parsonages, show his aptitude for domestic architecture. In general design he first aimed at form, embracing both proportion and contour; and his work may be recognized by accurate scholarship coupled with harmonious detail. Its keynotes are cautiousness and refinement rather than boldness. He died on the 11th of December 1897, and was buried in the nave of Westminster Abbey, where his grave is marked by the appropriate motto Sustinuit et abstinuit. He was elected A.R.A. in 1874, R.A. in 1880, was a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and a fellow and member of the Council of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

The following are some of Pearson's more important works, not already named: Ferriby church (1846); Stow, Lincolnshire (restoration, 1850) Weybridge, St James's (1853); Freeland church, parsonage and schools (1866); Kilburn, St Peter's Home (1868); Wentworth church (1872); Horsforth church (1874); Cullercoats, St George's (1882); Chiswick, St Michael's (restoration, 1882); Great Yarmouth church (restoration, 1883); Liverpool, St Agnes' (1883); Woking Convalescent Home (1884); Headingley church (1884); Torquay, All Saints (1884); Maidstone, All Saints (restoration, 1885); Shrewsbury Abbey (1886); Ayr, Holy Trinity (1886); Hythe church (restoration, 1887); Oxford, New College, reredos (completion, 1889); Cambridge University Library (additions, 1889); Friern Barnet, St John's (1890); Cambridge, Sidney Sussex College (additions, 1890); Middlesex Hospital chapel (1890); Bishopsgate, St Helen's (restoration, 1891); Maida Hill (Irvingite) church (1891); Barking, All Hallows (restoration, 1893); Cambridge, Emmanuel College (additions, 1893); Ledbury, St Michael's (restoration, 1894); Malta, Memorial church (1894); Port Talbot church (1895).

(W. D. C.)


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