Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Adam Lee: Westminster, London: surveys and designs for the Palace of Westminster, 1808-23 (9)

Purpose

Adam Lee: Westminster, London: surveys and designs for the Palace of Westminster, 1808-23 (9)

Notes

Adam Lee (c.1772-1843) was Labourer in Trust to the Houses of Parliament and Westminster from 1806-32. The Labourer in Trust was responsible for "ordinary repairs" at the Houses of Lords and Commons, Westminster Hall and the Courts of Chancery, King's Bench and Common Pleas, the Stone Building, the Parliament, Journal and Record Offices adjoining Westminster Abbey, and the official houses belonging to "clerks, housekeepers and minor parliamentary officers" (HKW, op. cit., pp. 496-7).

A carpenter by training, Lee assumed his first official position as subordinate clerk of works at Richmond in 1801 before his appointment as Labourer in Trust in 1806. "Lee was an able and energetic man who did not always distinguish sufficiently between initiative and insubordination" (BDBA, op. cit.). His designs for a new library and committee rooms for the House of Commons, catalogued here, may provide evidence for this assertion. He was certainly ambitious, submitting designs for a new House of Commons in 1833 and competing for the new Houses of Parliament in the following year. A "Design for a public building" by Lee was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1838.

Tom Drysdale, November 2014

Literature

J. M. Crook and M. H. Port, The History of the King's Works, VI, 1973
H. M. Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, 4th ed., 2008, p. 639.
M. Galinou, "Adam Lee's drawings of St Stephen's Chapel, Westminster. Antiquarianism and showmanship in early 19th-century London", Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society, 34, 1983, pp. 231-44.

Level

Sub-sub-scheme

Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.

Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).  


Contents of Adam Lee: Westminster, London: surveys and designs for the Palace of Westminster, 1808-23 (9)