Robert William Edis

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"Architecture Militant": caricature of R W Edis by "Spy"

Colonel Sir Robert William Edis KBE CB DL (13 June 1839 – 23 June 1927) was a British architect.[1] [2]

Born in Huntingdon, Edis was educated at Huntingdon Grammar School and Aldenham School before being articled to William Gilbee Habershon and Edward Habershon, architects, in London.[2] [1] He became chief assistant to Anthony Salvin, and joined the Architectural Association in 1859.[1] He was admitted an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1862 and a fellow of the association in 1867.[1]

Although his early work was Gothic, Edis later became a proponent of the Queen Anne Style of baroque revival architecture. He worked mostly on private houses and public buildings, although he did design a few churches.[3]

He later became involved in the Aesthetic Movement of decorative arts and in furniture design, and delivered a series of Cantor lectures on the subject at the Royal Society of Arts. These formed the basis of two books: Decoration and Furniture of Town Houses (1881) and Healthy Furniture and Decoration (1884).[1] [4]

Edis had a long association with the Volunteer Force and its successor the Territorial Force. In 1868 he received a commission in the Artists Rifles.[5] He went on to be the regiment's commanding officer in 1883, and held the office of honorary colonel from 1909 until his death.[6] [7] [2] In January 1889 he was elected a member of the first London County Council, representing St Pancras South for three years as a member of the Conservative-backed Moderate Party.[8]

Edis had homes at Ormesby Old Hall, Great Ormesby, Norfolk and Regent's Park, London.[9] He was a justice of the peace and a Deputy Lieutenant for Norfolk from 1901.[2][10] He was created a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1919 for his military services.[11]

Edis died suddenly at his Norfolk home in 1927, aged 88.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e Clerkin, Paul. "Edis, Sir Robert William (1839-1927)". Archiseek. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Obituary: Sir R. W. Edis". The Times. 25 June 1927. p. 14.
  3. ^ "Architects and Artists D-E". Sussex Parish Churches. A primary source of information on churches in East and West Sussex. Archived from the original on 2011-11-08.
  4. ^ "Robert William Edis". Designer Biographies. Haslam and Whiteway. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  5. ^ "No. 23346". The London Gazette. 24 January 1868. p. 340.
  6. ^ "No. 25251". The London Gazette. 17 July 1883. p. 3588.
  7. ^ "No. 28287". The London Gazette. 10 September 1909. p. 6815.
  8. ^ "The County Councils - London Polls". The Times. 18 January 1889. p. 9.
  9. ^ Brodie, Antonia (2001). Directory of British Architects 1834-1914: A-K. p. 588. ISBN 9780826455130.
  10. ^ "No. 27323". The London Gazette. 14 June 1901. p. 4005.
  11. ^ "No. 31395". The London Gazette. 16 June 1919. p. 7426.