Edward Simpkin

Place of Birth
Cape Town, South Africa

  • Birth date            July-Sept 1853 at Bury, Lancashire
  • Marriage              to Clara Louise (nee Gardner) at Cape Town Cathedral, date unknown
  • Death date          21 June 1919 at Rondebosch Cottage Hospital
  • Burial                  Maitland Cemetery, City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality, Western Cape, SA

Edward Simpkin was born in Bury in 1853, the son of Thomas Simpkin, engine fitter and millwright, and his wife Mary. He was the nephew of Edmund Simpkin,(qv) consultant engineer and architect of Bury, who may have provided some of his training. Few details of his early life have been found. He is included in the 1871 census, living with his parents in Bury, his occupation being given as sailor, seaman at this time, but does not appear in the 1881 census. However, Edward Simpkin, architect and surveyor, is listed in the Bury directories in the period 1883-1888, latterly in partnership with Thomas Robinson. He has not been found in the 1891 census.

About 1890(?) he emigrated to South Africa where he set up practice in Cape Town. Initially he appears to have found work designing terraced house for speculators and may have worked for a time in the mid-1890s for Charles Freeman in Cape Town.  In 1896 he won competitions for Riebeeck College and the Harbour Board Offices, Cape Town. He was a founder member of the South African Society of Architects in 1902.

1883    Edward Simpkin, architect and surveyor 23 Parson’s Lane, Bury
1888    Robinson and Simpkin architect and surveyors, 23 Parson’s Lane, Bury (Slater)
1888    Edward Simpkin (Robinson and Simpkin) 13 Openshaw Street, Bury (Slater)
1888    Thomas Robinson architect (Robinson and Simpkin) 27 Chester Street (Slater)