- Born: 1828 at London
- Married (I) : October 1873 Charlotte of Carlotta Marian Montgarry at Liverpool. Divorced 1870
- Married (II) : 29 September 1877 Gertrude Bruce Roberts at Strand Registry Office, London
- Died: 12 May 1906
- Funeral : Manchester Crematorium
Edward Salomons was born in London in 1828, the youngest son of Henry Moses Salomons, a German Jewish cotton merchant and his English wife Priscilla Lucas. The family moved to Manchester when he was nine. He was educated by tutors and was for a time in his father’s warehouse. Edward Salomons was bought up in the Jewish faith, his father a leading member of the Reform Jewish Congregation. Nonetheless, and probably from as early as 1846 Salomons was employed as a draughtsman in the office of the church architects Henry Bowman and Joseph Stretch Crowther and worked on the drawings for 'Churches of the Middle Ages', which appeared in two-monthly intervals from May 1849 until July 1852 and was published in book form in 1853. In 1850-51 or 1851-52 Salomons spent one year in the office of the Scottish architect John Edgar Gregan in Manchester. By 1850 he was also enrolled at the Manchester School of Design and on 28 April 1851 he was admitted ARIBA. As his nomination paper is missing, the circumstances of this very early election are not known. He was already an exceptionally fine draughtsman and colourist. Following the visit of Queen Victoria to Manchester in 1851, Salomons published a print of the royal procession in Piccadilly.
In 1852 Salomons commenced independent practice, working from his parents’ home in Plymouth Grove. In 1863 he moved to an office in King Street, Manchester. He was first employed by the Committee for the New Free Trade Hall and early in 1853 details of his provisional scheme for the new building were published in the Manchester Guardian. Concerned that the design of so important a building should be entrusted to so inexperienced an architect, the committee organised a competition, won by Edward Walters with Salomons awarded the second premium (by way of reward?). Three years later, in 1856, he won the competition for the masonry shell of Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition Building of 1857. He was admitted FRIBA on 19 March 1860.
Although Salomons was primarily based in Manchester. He had an unusually complex series of professional relationships in both Manchester and London where his business was at least partly related to his friends and clients, the Manchester art dealers Thomas and William Agnew who had opened a London gallery in 1860. In 1863 he designed the Bayswater synagogue in association with the newly established London architect Nathan Solomon Joseph. In 1870 he merged his practice with that of the London architect John Philpot Jones who had commenced business in 1857. Both the Manchester and London offices continued to operate. From 1871 the two men were associated with William Henry Crossland in the competition for and subsequent building of Royal Holloway Sanatorium at Virginia Water, mainly the work of Crossland;
John Philpot Jones died in 1873, aged 43, Ralph Selden Wornum becoming chief assistant in charge of the London office. in the same year John Ely became chief assistant in the Manchester office and in 1875 Manchester partner, the practice title becoming Salomons & Ely. In London Wornum was taken into partnership in 1877 and continued running the London practice as Salomons & Wornum in parallel with that in Manchester. The partnership with Ely ended in 1886 and that with Wornum in 1888, both practising in their own names thereafter. The parting with Ely must have been amicable as Ely appears to have been in the office fairly frequently in 1890-91, Salomons’s assistant Stanley Davenport Adshead remembering Salomons and Ely as ‘delightful people’. By that date Salomons had entered into a final partnership with the Stuttgart-trained architect Alfred Steinthal who had joined him from William Young’s office in 1888. By the late 1890s Salomons had all but retired, his practice in Manchester being continued by Steinthal.
Salomons had a very large practice which extended beyond the German and Jewish communities through the family’s business connections and numerous club memberships which ranged from theatre to bridge. Although one of the most original architects of the mid to late Victorian times, he had no great success in competitions, his one major win being the Manchester Reform Club in 1869. But in his earlier years he designed several synagogues and theatres and throughout the 1860s and early 1870s, he had a great many commissions in Manchester for warehouses and commercial buildings, mostly in a free early Italian Renaissance or Romanesque manner, his later buildings for Agnew’s in London (1876) and Liverpool (1877) being reputedly Queen Anne and a very distinctive free classic. Although his commercial practice declined in the 1880s, his domestic practice grew, extending as far as Amsterdam, Brussels and Biarritz. Much of it followed ‘Old English’ patterns in half-timber and tile.
Salomons was as much artist as architect, exhibiting pictures as well as buildings at the Royal Academy, while others were illustrated in the Builder. In London he was a member of Lord Leighton’s circle, and of the Savage Club. He was twice President of the Manchester Society of Architects (1871-3 and 1892-4). A prominent member of the Royal Institution and for twenty years its Honorary Secretary. Member of the City Art Gallery Committee and for many years on the Committee of the School of Art.
In October 1863 at the registry office in Liverpool Edward Salomons married Charlotte of Carlotta Marian Montgarry, of whom little is known. The union produced three children, two of whom pre-deceased their father, while the eldest (whose birth appears to pre-date the marriage) emigrated to Australia. However, after 1867 the marriage became increasingly strained. Taking advantage of new legislation, Edward Salomons divorced Charlotte on the grounds of adultery in February 1870. He next married Gertrude Bruce Roberts on 29 September 1877 at Strand Registry Office. The birth of Ernest followed in 1878, Dorothy Netta in 1880 and Gerald in 1882. Gertrude was not Jewish, and by this time Salomons faith had also lapsed.
Edward Salomons died at Ireton Bank, Platt Lane, Rusholme, Manchester on 12 May 1906, and was cremated at the Manchester Crematorium which he and Steinthal had designed in 1891-92.
Following his death his widow, Netta and Gerald took the unusual step of changing their surname, adopting Gerald’s second fore-name, Sanville. In September 1906, four months after his father’s death, Gerald wrote "I have now changed my name of Salomons; so my proper name is now Gerald Sanville, and not Gerald Sanville Salomons” [Building News 21 September 1906 Page 399]. Reasons for this decision are unclear but strongly suggest a skeleton in Salomons cupboard – possibly his divorce – sufficient for the family to effectively disown him.
1851-2 Plymouth Grove Manchester
1853 63 King Street Manchester- (Manchester Guardian. not listed in Whelan Directory under architects)
1856 61 King Street Manchester (advert M G)
1863 63 King Street Manchester
1866 63 King Street Manchester
1876 Salomons & Ely, MSA 31 South King Street
1877 Edward Salomons MSA (Salomons & Ely) 31 South King Street
1879 Edward Salomons MSA (Salomons & Ely) 31 South King Street
1880 Salomons & Ely, 31 South King Street. (BA Directory of Architects 2 July 1880)
1883 Edward Salomons FRIBA MSA (Salomons & Ely) 31 South King Street
1886 Edward Salomons FRIBA MSA (Salomons & Ely) 31 South King Street
1895 Edward Salomons FRIBA FMSA (Salomons & Steinthal) 31 South King Street
1903 Edward Salomons FRIBA FMSA (Salomons & Steinthal) Prudential Buildings 78 King Street
1870 21 Whitehall Place
1883 Bond Street
1884-6 39a Old Bond Street London.
1863 64 Plymouth Grove
1870 “Woodville,” 170 Wilmslow Road, Fallowfield
1876 “Woodville,” 170 Wilmslow Road, Fallowfield
1879 “Woodville” 170 Wilmslow Road, Fallowfield
1881 “Woodville” 170 Wilmslow Road, Fallowfield (Census return)
1881 The Cottage, 68, Daisy Bank Road, Victoria Park rate book
1883 The Cottage, 68, Daisy Bank Road, Victoria Park
1885 The Gables, Hope Road, Victoria Park Rusholme
1906 Ireton Bank, Platt Lane Rusholme
1889 8 Buckingham Street St Martin in the Fields London (Westminster Rate Book)
Buildings and Designs
|Salomons and Ely||Architectural practice||1875||1886||Manchester|
|Salomons and Jones||Architectural practice||1870||1873||Manchester London|
|Salomons and Steinthal||Architectural practice||1888||1897||Manchester|
|Salomons and Wornum||Architectural practice||1877||1888||London|