National Records of Scotland

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Alexander 'Greek' Thomson (1817-1875)

Alexander 'Greek' Thomson (1817-1875)

Architect

Alexander Thomson (or Greek Thomson) started his career as an apprentice draughtsman. He set up his own practice in 1848 - initially with his brother-in-law, John Baird - and developed a unique style based on greek architecture. Most of the firm's commissions were for buildings and terraces in and around Glasgow. Examples of his work are the double villa at Langside, Holmwood House in Cathcart, Great Western Terrace and St Vincent Street United Presbyterian Church.

Birth in 1817

Alexander (abbreviated as Alexr) Thomson was born on 9 April 1817, the son of John Thomson, clerk at Ballindalloch Cotton Works and Elisabeth Cooper. The entry in the Old Parish Register (OPR) of births and baptism for Balfron in Stirlingshire gives the date of baptism as 14 April.

Birth and baptism entry for Alexander 'Greek' Thomson

Birth and baptism entry for Alexander 'Greek' Thomson (13 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 472/1, page 89

1841 census

In 1841 Alexander Thomson, 24, architect draughtsman was staying at 28 Eglinton Street (recorded as 28 Eglin) in the parish of Gorbals with his sister, Amelia, and brother, George. The census schedule shows that none of them were born in the county of Lanarkshire.

1841 census record for Alexander 'Greek' Thomson

1841 census record for Alexander 'Greek' Thomson (32 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1841/644-2/21, page 9

Marriage in 1847

Alexander Thomson married Jane Nicholson on 21 September 1847. The entry in the Old Parish Register for Govan gives the date they were 'booked' for proclamation of banns as 3 September and shows that they were both from the parish. They were married at the same time as the future partner in his architectural practice, John Baird, and Jane's sister Jessie.

Marriage entry for Alexander 'Greek' Thomson

Marriage entry for Alexander 'Greek' Thomson (14 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 646/3, page 270

1861 and 1871 censuses

In 1861 Alexander Thomson, 43, architect in Glasgow, was living with family at 3 Darnley Terrace, Shawlands, in the parish of Eastwood. The census schedule shows that he was the employer of two draughtsmen and four apprentices. It continues on the next page where it lists his son, two servants and a boarder, his sister-in-law Nancy.

1861 census record for Alexander 'Greek' Thomson

1861 census record for Alexander 'Greek' Thomson (30 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1861/562/9, page 3

In 1871 Alexander Thomson, 53, architect was living at 1 Moray Place, Strathbungo - one of the buildings he had designed himself - in the district of Park. The household included his wife and children, a visitor and two servants.

1871 census record for Alexander 'Greek' Thomson (49 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1871/646-2/3, page 38

Death in 1875

Alexander Thomson, architect, died on 22 March 1875. He was 57 years old. The entry in the statutory register of deaths gives the place of death as his home at 1 Moray Place, Regent Park, Strathbungo.

Death entry for Alexander 'Greek' Thomson

Death entry for Alexander 'Greek' Thomson (29 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1875/644-14/213