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James, John

James, John (c.1672–1746). English architect. He was joint Clerk of the Works at Greenwich with Hawksmoor, and in 1715 became Assistant Surveyor to Wren at St Paul's Cathedral, London, succeeding to the Surveyorship on Wren's death (1723). In 1716 he became Hawksmoor's colleague as Surveyor to the Commissioners for Building Fifty New Churches when Gibbs was dismissed, and James designed St George's, Hanover Square, London (1720–5), with its handsome Corinthian portico that was the precedent for Gibbs's St Martin-in-the-Fields. With Hawskmoor he designed St Luke's, Old Street, London, with its very original obelisk-spire (1727–33— converted into a Music Centre for the London Symphony Orchestra to designs by Levitt, Bernstein, & Associates 1999–2003), and St John's, Horselydown, Southwark (1727–33—demolished). On Hawksmoor's death (1736) James became Surveyor to the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, and completed the western towers of Westminster Abbey to Hawksmoor's designs. He also added the not entirely satisfactory steeple to Hawksmoor's otherwise robust Church of St Alphege, Greenwich (1730). He published several works, including Rules and Examples of Perspective (1707 and 1725) translated from Pozzo's original (1693) and A Treatise on the Five Orders of Columns (1708) from Perrault's original (1683).


Colvin (1995);
J. Curl (2002a);
Downes (1966, 1980);
GGJ (1994), 4–10;
E. Harris (ed.)(1990);
Lees-Milne (1970);
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004);
Summerson (ed.) (1993);

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