James Duncan Diggle

Architect; JHKM employee

James Duncan Diggle (1897–1964), born in Cupar, Fife, was an employee of Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh between late 1912 and 1915. 1 Little information about him has yet been traced. His father, Herbert Diggle, moved to Fife from Lancashire in the 1890s and set up a music shop in Cupar.

Because his grandfather was born in Heywood, Lancashire, James Duncan Diggle was possibly distantly related to three civil engineers also called James Diggle and also from Heywood: James Diggle Senior (1851–1944), his son James Stanley Diggle (1881–1973), and his nephew, James Diggle Junior (born 1870). 2 . Diggle Senior and Junior both had posts as borough engineers and surveyors with local authorities in the Greater Manchester area before 1912, as well as being consulting engineers specialising in dams, municipal waterworks and drainage. James Diggle Senior ran J. Diggle & Son, civil engineers of Westminster, London, and Heywood, Lancashire. 3 J. S. Diggle, the 'Son' in the firm's title, was employed in reservoir-construction and municipal water supply in Burnley, Heywood and other Lancashire boroughs, often in partnership with his father, until the 1930s. 4

In late 1907, Herbert Diggle sold his music business, and moved his family to Glasgow where he became manager of a piano and musical-instrument shop. 5 In 1911, James Duncan Diggle (said to be 13, but actually 14) was living in Strathcona Drive, Anniesland, Glasgow, and in December 1912 he received his first payment from Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh. 6

Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh's largest project at the time was Jordanhill Demonstration School. Diggle appears to have assisted Mackintosh in the initial school designs (presumably as a draughtsman) in 1912–13, and later also witnessed John Keppie's signature on the firm's contract of appointment for Jordanhill School in May 1914. 7 Diggle probably served during the First World War; small payments to him are recorded from John Keppie. After the war, Diggle apparently continued to live with his parents but there is no further information about his professional career. 8


1: Statutory Births, Deaths, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [accessed 29 March 2014].

2: Census information; England & Wales, Death Index, 1916–2007; UK, Civil Engineer Records, 1820–1930, online resources, all www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 16 March 2014]; The Times, 2 June 1944, p. 7.

3: UK, Civil Engineer Records, 1820–1930 and UK, Civil Engineer Lists, 1818–1930, online resources, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 16 March 2014]; Charter and List of Members of the Institution of Civil Engineers, 1908, p. 162.

4: Burnley Gazette, 31 December 1910, p. 5; Burnley News, 7 June 1916, p. 4; 29 September 1923, pp. 9–10; Burnley Express, 4 April 1925, p. 12.

5: Scotsman, 9 October 1907, p. 12.

6: Census 1911, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [accessed 16 March 2014]; The Hunterian, University of Glasgow: John Honeyman & Keppie / Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh / Keppie Henderson cash book, 1889–1917, GLAHA 53079, p. 155.

7: David Stark, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Co., Catrine, Ayrshire: Stenlake Publishing, 2004, pp. 200–1.

8: Valuation Rolls, Statutory Deaths, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [accessed 28 March 2014]; David Stark, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Co., Catrine, Ayrshire: Stenlake Publishing, 2004, p. 217.