Sir Edward Guy Dawber (1861-1938)

Edward Guy Dawber was born at King’s Lynn in 1861, the son of a merchant there. He was articled to William Adams in the same town about 1877 and then moved to Dublin as assistant to Sir Thomas Newenham Deane, but in 1882 the Land League riots brought all building work to a close and he had to return to England.

The quality of his draughtsmanship secured him a place in the office of Ernest George and admission to the Royal Academy Schools, but in 1877 trouble with his eyesight resulted in him being sent as clerk of works to Batsford Park, then building for the diplomat and politician, Algernon Bertram Freeman Mitford, later (1902) Lord Redesdale. This enabled him to study the vernacular architecture of the Cotswolds, sometimes in the company of Herbert Baker who was then George & Peto’s chief assistant. He passed the qualifying exam in 1889 and was admitted ARIBA on 3 June 1889 his proposers being George, Sir William Emerson and John Belcher. With the support of Freeman Mitford, Dawber commenced independent practice at Bourton-on-the-Hill in 1890, returning to London to rent an office at 22 Buckingham Street, Strand, where he became an active member of the Art Work’s Guild.