The Usher Family of Scotland John CUNNINGHAM
John CUNNINGHAM
(1799-1873)

 

Family Links

Spouses/Children:
Agnes USHER

John CUNNINGHAM 1

  • Born: 1799, Leitholm, Berwick
  • Marriage: Agnes USHER in 1833
  • Died: 2 Oct 1873, Edinburgh aged 74

  General Notes:

When Agnes died she was described as "Married to John Cunningham Architect". This may mean that John was still alive [she was then 86] but it could be that he was dead already, and she was just not noted as his wife, not his widow, as was the
norm.

  Noted events in his life were:

• Occupation: architect / engineer: Liverpool, Lancashire. 2

• Obituary, 18 Oct 1873. 3 "THE LATE MR. JOHN CUNNINGHAM, ARCHITECT.
MR. JOHN CUNNINGHAM, whose death at his residence in Edinburgh, on the 2nd inst., is announced, was a man of considerable ability, and erected several important buildings in Liverpool at a time when architects were less plentiful than they are now. Mr. Cunningham was born in 1799, at Leitholm, Berwickshire, and served his apprenticeship with his father, who was a builder there. He afterwards removed to Edinburgh, where he studied and practised as an architectural draughtsman during ten years. In 1833 he married and went to New York, intending to settle there; but the climate did not agree with him, and he returned to Liverpool in 1834, where he got into extensive practice as an architect, and remained till last summer, when he retired and went to reside in Scotland, where some members of his family and a number of his friends were resident. His works in Liverpool and in the neighbourhood are numerous and important. Among others, the Sailors' Home, the Commercial Bank, the Union Bank, and the Orphan's Asylum may be mentioned as being carefully studied specimens of the various styles in which they are designed. The building which obtained for him the most reputation is the Philharmonic Hall in that town, the music-room in which, 135 ft. by 100 ft., was for some time the largest there, and has received high praise from musicians. We are not prepared to record it as a perfect concert-room. It is remarkably free from echo; but, on the other hand, it is not a resonant room, owing to the extensive use of plaster, and the great amount of upholstery, which rather damps the sound than assists it. It was undoubtedly the best room of the time it was built, but there are new experiences since in these matters, and Mr. Cunningham's hall must not be finally ranked as the ne plus ultra in music-rooms. In one respect, in regard to accommodation for the audience in the way of cloak-rooms and entrance and exit, it is a remarkably well-planned establishment. The architect himself had a good opinion of it. An acquaintaince of the writer was complimenting him one day about it, and Cunningham interrupted him by saying, "Well the fact is that for a concert-hall, it is joost perfect!"
The success of this building led to the appointment of Mr. Cunningham as consulting architect along with Mr. Campbell Douglas in the new Assembly Hall now being erected there.
Mr. Cunningham was also architect of many churches, mansion-houses, and public buildings throughout Lancashire, including Ripley Hospital, near Lancaster, and Upton Church, near Birkenhead, and was engineer for several water-works."


John married Agnes USHER, daughter of John USHER of Toftfield and Agnes BLAIKIE, in 1833. (Agnes USHER was born on 19 Oct 1807 at Toftfield, Darnick, Roxburgh 4 5 and died on 24 Dec 1893 in 2 Laverockbank Terrace, Leith 6 7.)


Sources


1 William Neville Usher, "Family Tree Book" (MS, cir 1900), p. p. 99 / 99a; privately held by Leslie Usher, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Edinburgh, 2010;
This is a notebook written by William Neville Usher. It was passed at some point to Charles Howard Usher who seems to have used it to form the base of his research. There is both William Neville Usher's formal and informal handwriting with some additional notes by Charles.

2 William Neville Usher, "Family Tree Book" (MS, cir 1900), p. p. 99; privately held by Leslie Usher, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Edinburgh, 2010;
This is a notebook written by William Neville Usher. It was passed at some point to Charles Howard Usher who seems to have used it to form the base of his research. There is both William Neville Usher's formal and informal handwriting with some additional notes by Charles.

3 The Builder, issue 18th October 1873: p. 821 (probably page in the volume).

4 General Register Office for Scotland, "Births 1538-1854," database / digital images, brightsolid, Scotlands People (http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/), 799/ /4; JOHN USHER/AGNES BLAIKIE FR798.

5 Charles S. Romanes C.A., Melrose parish registers of baptisms, marriages, proclamations of marriages, session minutes (1723-1741) and mortuary rolls: 1642-1820 (Edinburgh: Scottish Record Society, 1913), p. 384;
1806-7(?). John Usher and Agnes Blaikie, twins named Agnes and Mary, born 19th October 1806-7(?).

6 Death Certificate.

7 General Register Office for Scotland, "Deaths 1855-2006," database / digital images, Scotlands People (http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk), 692/1/452.


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