Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Irish architect active in Singapore from 1826 until 1841. George Coleman, a son of James Coleman, merchant of Drogheda, who had married into the Co. Louth merchant family of Dromgold, was born circa 1795. He may possibly have been articled to FRANCIS JOHNSTON FRANCIS JOHNSTON . In 1815 he emigrated to Calcutta, thence to Java, and in 1822 briefly to Singapore. After a further period in Java, he returned to Singapore in January 1826, where he soon afterwards obtained the post of surveyor of grants in the Land Revenue Department. In October 1833, he was appointed the first government superintendent of public works. For reasons of health he returned to Europe in 1841 and in London on 1 September 1842 married Maria Frances, youngest daughter of George Vernon, of Clontarf Castle, near Dublin. In 1843 the couple returned to Singapore, where a son was born on 27 December 1843.

Coleman died on 27 March 1844 and was buried in Fort Canning Cemetery, Singapore. His buildings in Singapore included his own house at No. 3 Coleman Street, a house for G.D. Caldwell (later the Singapore Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus), the Armenian Church of St Gregory and the Singapore Institution, all except the Caldwell residence now demolished.


All information in this entry is from T.H.H. Hancock, Coleman's Singapore (Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Monograph No. 15, 1986). An article by Hancock, 'Coleman of Singapore' was published in Architectural Review 117 (Mar 1955), 168-179.