Samuel Daukes

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Samuel Whitfield Daukes or Dawkes (1811–1880) was an English architect, based in Gloucester and London.

Life[edit]

He was born in London in 1811, the son of Samuel Whitfield Daukes, a businessman with coal mining and brewery interests, who bought Diglis House, Worcester in 1827. He was articled about 1827 to James Pigott Pritchett of York, and had set himself up in practice in Gloucester by 1834. In 1836 he married Caroline Sarah White of Long Newnton (then Wilts, now Glos) and by 1840 they were apparently living at Barnwood, on the edge of Gloucester. He won the competition for a new building for Sidcot School in Somerset. This was built in 1838 and is the oldest surviving part of the School. A portrait of the Daukes and their five children by A. de Salomé was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1853.

Daukes's practice also extended to Cheltenham, as his name appears in a list of architects working there in 1841, the year he took into partnership John R. Hamilton (architect). From 1839 to 1842 Daukes was architect to the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway, designing clerks’ houses, engine sheds, brakesmen’s cottages and, in 1840, Lansdown station in Cheltenham. He was also architect to the London, Oxford and Cheltenham Railway Company. Between 1842 and 1848, when he started a London office at 14 Whitehall Place, he built up a very large practice in the English midlands. On starting the London office, a move probably prompted by his growing reputation and more specifically by winning the competition to design the 2nd Middlesex County Asylum which became known as the Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum, the Gloucester practice took into partnership James Medland (1808–94), who had been a fellow pupil of Daukes in Pritchett’s office in York, and changed its name to Hamilton & Medland. In about 1850, Hamilton emigrated to New York. Daukes’ pupils included Joseph James (before 1854) and Frederick Hyde Pownall. Daukes died at Beckenham (Kent) in 1880, and was buried in the family vault in Highgate Cemetery. Attached to his will was a list of all the architectural books in his office, an eclectic selection, including Weale’s Quarterly Papers in Architecture as well as all Pugin’s publications, and the transactions of the Cambridge Camden Society; but the charities to which he left money were all low church.

His early practice would appear to have been assisted by his family’s connections, and a link with his future patron, Lord Ward, is provided by his uncle, Richard Davies, who was Lord Ward’s mining agent. His family’s good financial standing no doubt also enabled him to purchase the Park estate in Cheltenham in 1839, and to develop it in the tradition of speculators such as Pearson Thompson and Joseph Pitt. Daukes was a convinced eclecticist, working in all the styles that were fashionable in his day. He was an admirer of Pugin and a long-term member of the Ecclesiological Society, although a low churchman and not wholly in sympathy with the ecclesiological movement, as he designed churches in the neo-Norman and Perpendicular styles. He was able to use these styles and also the Italianate of Abberley Hall, Witley Court and Colney Hatch, with considerable originality and dash, and he comes across as an architect full of self-confidence, with a secure command of the Picturesque elements of a composition. Daukes failed, however, to adapt to the changing stylistic climate of the High Victorian period, and in the 1860s his practice seems to have declined, although he was still building churches in the Midlands.

List of major works[edit]

References[edit]

  • The Builder, 20 Mar. 1880, p. 366 and 22 May 1880, p. 650
  • Country Life, 6–13 Dec. 1973
  • N.W. Kingsley & M. Hill, The country houses of Gloucestershire: volume 3, 1830–2000, 2001
  • D. Verey & A. Brooks, The buildings of England: Gloucestershire 2 – the Vale and the Forest of Dean, 2002