James Maxwell

Place of Birth
Bury Manchester

  • Born: 14 June 1838
  • Married: 21 May 1862 Elizabeth Barbara Thorburn (1839–1917) at Bury
  • Died 28 September 1893 at Bury

James Maxwell was born on 14 June 1838 at George Street, Haslingden, Lancashire, the only child of Thomas Maxwell (1798–1871), builder, plumber, and glazier, and his second wife, Mary (1799–1858), daughter of Henry and Judith Holden. James Maxwell was educated at Whalley Grammar School before being articled to the architect Thomas Holmes of Bury from 1852 until 1857.

In December 1857 James Maxwell commenced independent practice in Bury. His early works included Bury baths and offices for the Bury Times, both built in 1862. This was also the year of his marriage to Elizabeth Barbara Thorburn (1839–1917), daughter of William Reid Thorburn, congregational minister, which took place on 21 May 1862 at the Bethel Congregational Chapel, Bury. The couple had one daughter and three sons, one of whom, Francis William (qv) later joined his father's firm. The years after his marriage saw Maxwell's practice continue to prosper and in 1864 he was placed third in the design competition for Rochdale Town Hall. In 1865 he took Charles Tuke into employment and two years later into partnership. This partnership would continue until the deaths of both men in 1893. He had been elected a Fellow of the RIBA on 17 December 1888, proposed by J. Holden, L Booth and Charles Clegg. He was also a Fellow of the Surveyors' Institution and a prominent member of Manchester Society of Architects. With Charles Tuke, James Maxwell was one of the pioneers of St Anne’s-on-the-Sea. He was among the first to foresee the possibilities of that growing town and had been a director of the St Anne’s Land and Building Company from its commencement.

On 28 September 1893, James Maxwell died from cerebritis at his home, The Hollies, 179 Manchester Road, Bury. Maxwell, who was survived by his wife and four children, had been an alderman of Bury and a justice of the peace, as well as being a prominent Congregationalist. His death came on the same day as the flagstaff was placed in position at the top of Blackpool Tower and six months after that of Charles Tuke.

1859        James Maxwell architect & surveyor 1(or3) Broad Street Bury (MG 14 May 1859)
1859        James Maxwell architect & surveyor 2 Haymarket Street Bury (MG 21 May 1859)
1860        James Maxwell architect & surveyor 2 Haymarket Street Bury (MG Jan 1860)
1861        George (sic) Maxwell architect & surveyor 2 Haymarket Street Bury

Death Notice:  Manchester Guardian Saturday 30 September 1893 Page 5 (Deaths)
Obituary: RIBA Journal v1 1894 Page 116
Obituary: Manchester Courier 30 September 1893 Page 8 column 5
Obituary :Blackpool Gazette and News 29 September 1893


Buildings and Designs

Building Name District Town/City County Country
Six Stone Houses, Marsden Square/Hargreaves Street Haslingden   Haslingden  Lancashire  England
Mechanics Institution, Higher Deardengate, Haslingden   Haslingden  Lancashire  England
Manchester Assize Courts Strangeways  Manchester  GMCA  England
Gentleman’s House, Edge Side, near Newchurch Edge Side  Newchurch  Lancashire  England
Chapel, Walmersley Road, Bury,   Bury  GMCA  England
Derby Arms (Hotel) Bury New Road, Whitefield   Whitefield  GMCA  England
Four Cottages, Whitefield   Whitefield  GMCA  England
Weaving Shed, Hargreaves Street, Haslingden   Haslingden  Lancashire  England
Weaving Shed, Fernhill, Bury Fernhill  Bury  GMCA  England
Acre Cotton Mill. “The Acre,” near Haslingden The Acre  Haslingden  Lancashire  England
Dye House Radcliffe Radcliffe  Bury  GMCA  England
Mill, Radcliffe Radcliffe  Bury  GMCA  England
Public Baths, St Marie's Place, Bury   Bury  GMCA  England
Rochdale Town Hall (Competition)   Rochdale  GMCA  England
Church of St Stephen Grane near Haslingden Grane  Haslingden  Lancashire  England
Congregational Schools in connection with New Road Chapel, Clough Street, Bury   Bury  GMCA  England
Congregational Church and Schools, Stubbins, Ramsbottom Stubbins  Ramsbittom  Lancashire  England
Independent Chapel Edgworth Edgworth  near Bolton  Lancashire  England
Primitive Methodist Chapel Walmersley Road, Bury   Bury  GMCA  England
Congregational Chapel and Schools, Heywood   Heywood  GMCA  England
Bridge Hall Paper Mills near Bury   Bury  GMCA  England
Mill Engine House, Warehouse etc, Fountain Street, Bury   Bury  GMCA  England
Warehouse, Knowsley Street, Bury   Bury  GMCA  England
Dwelling House, Duckworth Fold, near Bury   Bury  GMCA  England
Dwelling House and Farm Buildings, Hound Hill, Haslingden Hound Hill  Haslingden  Lancashire  England
Photographer’s Shop and Premises Broad Street Bury   Bury  GMCA  England
Congregational Schools Radcliffe   Radcliffe  GMCA  England
Congregational Sunday Schools and Chapel House, Chapelfield, near Stand Stand  Whitefield  GMCA  England
Schools in connection with the Congregational Chapel, Park, Walmersley Walmersley  Bury  GMCA  England
Co-operative Hall and Store, School Street, Darwen   Darwen  Lancashire  England
Proposed Weaving Shed. Radcliffe   Radcliffe  GMCA  England
Semi-detached Villas, Bamford Bamford  Rochdale  GMCA  England
Three Houses, Manchester Road, Bury   Bury  GMCA  England
Branch Co-operative Stores, Pit o’th’ Moor, Moorgate and Elton, Bury Pit o’th’ Moor , Moorgate and Elton  Bury  GMCA  England


Name Designation Formed Dissolved Location
Maxwell and Tuke Architectural practice 1867 1893 Bury Manchester
Maxwell Tuke and Hurst Architectural practice 1876 1885 Southport
Maxwell Tuke and Maxwell Architectural practice 1891 Blackburn