PATON, WILLIAM MORTIMER
- Born: 1867/68 Died: 1943
Architect with the Office of Public Works, 1895-1923. On the evidence of the English census of 1891 and the Irish census of 1911, William Mortimer Paton was born in Liverpool in 1867 or 1868. He was articled to JOHN HENRY FULLERTON of Armagh from 1882 to 1887. During the next seven years he worked as an assistant in various London offices and attended classes at the Architectural Association. The 1891 census records him as a twenty-three-year-old architect, living in Hammersmith with his widowed, Irish-born mother, Florence, who is described as 'living on own means'. In 1895 he joined the architectural staff of the Irish Office of Public Works as an assistant surveyor (second class), based first in Castlerea and then Dublin, and was promoted to surveyor (first class) in 1903. In 1910 he became assistant principal surveyor, a position which was regraded under the staff reorganization of 1921 to that of principal assistant architect. He retired in 1923,(1) following the change of government, and went to live first in London and then in Ryde, where he 'devoted himself to gardening and fruit culture'. He died at home in Ryde in 1943, survived by his widow. According to the 1911 census of Ireland, he had married circa 1904. His wife, Amy Elizabeth, like his mother, came from Co. Down; at the time of the census they had no children.
HARRY ALLBERRY , writer of Paton's obituary in the Irish Builder, remembered the 'wise and helpful preceptor' who had guided him during his own early days with the Board. He recalled the 'tall, rather gaunt figure…familiar and welcome to school teachers and managers, contractors, and coastguard and RIC personnel, whom he met on his rounds of inspection' and celebrated the qualities of 'selflessness, loyalty, courtesy and sound judgment…that he possessed to an unusual degree'.
RIBA: elected , 12 June 1911, proposed by ROBERT COCHRANE , THOMAS JOHN MELLON and JOHN HOWARD PENTLAND .
Addresses:(2) Home: 118 St Stephen's Avenue, Hammersmith, 1891; 6 St Kevin's Park, Upper Rathmines, <=1907-1922.
All information in this entry not otherwise attributed is from the obituary of Paton in IB 85, ? ? 1943, 101, and from Directory of British Architects 1834-1914 (RIBA 2001), II, 328.
(1) IB 65, 21 Apr 1923, 274.
(2) Information from English census of 1891 and Thom's directories.