John Begg

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John Begg (20 September 1866 – 23 February 1937) was a Scottish architect, who practised in London, South Africa and India, before returning to Scotland to teach at Edinburgh College of Art from 1922-1933. Friends and colleagues knew him as Jack Begg.


Bombay (now Mumbai) General Post Office
John Begg's grave in the Grange Cemetery, Edinburgh

He was born in Bo'ness the son of John Begg (1826-1878), an ironmonger and JP. He was educated at Edinburgh Academy.

He trained under Hippolyte Blanc and was later employed first by Alfred Waterhouse and later by Sir Robert Edis.

In 1896 he was appointed architect to the Real Estate Company of South Africa and moved to Johannesburg. He returned to Scotland due to the Boer War.

He arrived in India in 1901 as Consulting Architect to Bombay. In 1906 he became Consulting Architect to the Government of India. He, with George Wittet, was responsible for the evolution of the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. Begg's best-known building is the General Post Office in Bombay.

He returned to Scotland in 1921 but never enjoyed the success or scale of projects which he had enjoyed in India.

He died in 1937 and is buried in the Grange Cemetery, near its south-east corner, with an exceptionally modest stone. His wife, Edith Mary Dods Espie (1864-1920) was killed in a fire in their home and is buried with him.

Principal Works[edit]


[[Category::People educated at Edinburgh Academy]]