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British Industrial History

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Philip Hardwick

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Philip Hardwick (1792-1870)

1824 Philip Hardwick, Marlborough Street, Architect and Engineer, became a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.[1]


1872 Obituary [2]

MR. PHILIP HARDWICK, R.A., was born on the 15th of June, 1792, in London, and was the son of Mr. Thomas Hardwick (a pupil of Sir W. Chambers), the architect of Marylebone Church and Christ Church, in that parish.

He began his professional life with great advantage as his father’s pupil and successor, and gave considerable attention to what may be called the business part of the profession.

He became a student in the Royal Academy in 1808, and subsequently spent a short time in Italy.

In 1815 he was at Paris when the Allied Armies occupied the city, and in the following year obtained the first of a long series of appointments of a profitable kind, on being chosen architect to Bethlehem and Bridewell Hospitals.

In the autumn of 1818 he returned to England, and began to practice independently of his father.

Soon after, he married the daughter of Mr. John Shaw, an architect of some reputation. Mr. Hardwick was the architect of the St. Katherine’s dock-house and warehouses, the successful construction of which on difficult ground, in 1826, spread his reputation far and wide.

Soon afterwards he was appointed architect to the Goldsmiths’ Company, and erected their new Hall, which was opened in the year 1836. Few modern architects have left a better monument of their skill than this building, in which the distribution of the rooms is at once magnificent and picturesque, while the exterior presents a breadth and simplicity as strikingly characteristic of the man as they are architectural qualities appropriate to the use and position of the building.

His next work of public importance was the entrance portico to the Euston Station of the then London and Birmingham railway. It is of the Doric style of architecture, and was finished in the year 1838.

He also built the Globe Insurance Office and the City Club, and carried out large additions to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital.

In the year 1842 he commenced a new hall and library for the Society of Lincoln’s Inn ; but failing health compelled him to place the works in the hands of his son, Mr. P. C. Hardwick.

Mr. Hardwick was singularly well fitted to fill situations of trust. Besides the surveyorship to the Goldsmiths’ Company, he held the post, of surveyor to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, the Charterhonse, the Westminster Bridge Estates, Greenwich Hospital, and some other trusts. He was the private architect to the Duke of Wellington, and managed the large London estates of Lord Portman.

The Victoria and Euston Hotels at the Euston terminus were planned and carried out by him. He designed many private residences in this country; among them Babraham, near Cambridge, for Mr. H. J. Adeane; and he made alterations in the Bishop’s Palace at Hereford.

In the year 1844 his health failed so completely, that he was compelled to confine himself to such practice as could be followed in his own room; but he was still enabled, though with much pain, and in constant bodily suffering, to attend committees ; and at none was he so regular as at the meetings of the Royal Academy.

He was elected A.R.A. in 1839, R.A. in 1841, and in 1860 was appointed to succeed Sir Robert Smirke as treasurer and trustee of that body; but he was compelled, by increasing infirmities, to resign in the year 1861, and to withdraw from all participation in the practice of his profession, as well as from the society of his friends.

He was elected a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 13th of April, 1824, a fellow of the Royal Society in 1828, and served for some time on the council of the latter body; and he took much interest in the labours of the Geological, Antiquarian, and other societies.

Mr. Hardwick was one of the founders of the Royal Institute of British Architects, and received the Queen’s gold medal in 1854.

After upwards of twenty years of bodily suffering from a complaint in the spine, and weakness resulting from an extensive disease of the heart, he went to reside at Wimbledon, where he lived for the last five years of his life, gradually becoming more feeble, and died on the 28th of December, 1870, in the 79th year of his age.

Mr. Hardwick was active and energetic, had a generous nature, and was a man who personally merited the confidence which was placed in him by persons of all stations; and his cultivated intelligence, his high sense of honour, and his straightforward conduct reflected credit upon the profession to which he belonged.



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