Edward Welch

Place of Birth

  • Born                      1806       Overton, Flintshire.
  • Died                       3 August 1868 at Russell Square, London

Edward Welch was born in 1806 at Overton, Flintshire, and worked in the office of John Oates in Halifax before entering into partnership with Joseph Aloysius Hansom, who had been a fellow assistant in Oates's office, in 1828. The partnership worked first in York, and then in Liverpool. Initially the partnership was highly successful with a string of commissions in Yorkshire, Liverpool, and North Wales, including the renovation of Bodelwyddan Castle in Denbighshire and King William College and other works on the Isle of Man. They built St. John’s Church, Toxteth Park, Liverpool; the Beaumaris County Gaol; the Terrace and the Bulkeley Arms Hotel, Beaumaris; a church in Hull; and the Dispensary, York. Their major commission was Birmingham Town Hall, won in competition in 1830, for which they unwisely stood surety for the builders. Their sureties, or rather the sureties of the builders, Kendall & Thomas, lost all the money they had advanced to assist the building, amounting to something like £4,000 or £5,000. In addition. Edward Welch’s father, as another of the sureties, was compelled to pay a further sum of £1,000 rid himself of his responsibility. In 1834, the same year that Hansom invented and patented the Hansom safety cab, the partnership was dissolved.

Edward Welch returned to Liverpool (Pigot's trade directory for 1837 gives his address as 26 Renshaw Street), where he practised as an architect from 1837 until 1849. He designed the Northern Hospital, Liverpool;  the Monk’s Ferry Hotel, Birkenhead andb in the early 1840s designed a number of churches in Liverpool, Manchester and North Wales, all still pre-archaeological, and some in the briefly fashionable Norman style, submitting an unsuccessful design for St John's in 1845.

Probably in 1849 but certainly by 1852, Edward Welch had moved to London. Here he prepared a scheme for Wyld's Great Globe, in Leicester Square. Proposed by James Wyld (1812-1887), a map-maker and sometime Member of Parliament for Bodmin. This attraction was to contain a sphere 60 feet in diameter with a map of the globe on its inside face. Welch submitted his first set of plans in January 1851, but was ultimately replaced by the architect H R Abraham who saw a modified scheme through to completion. During his time in London, Welch took out a number of patents; in 1852 for an “improved cart or vehicle” with Mr Bird of Birmingham, and in this and subsequent years for improvements in the design of fireplaces and flues. In the London Gazette notices, he is described variously as architect, of Penge Surrey and Gentleman of Portman Square

Edward Welch died at his residence, Russell Square, London, on 3 August 1868.

c1828    Hansom and Welch. York
1837     Edward Welch 26 Renshaw Street, Liverpool (Pigot's trade directory)
1847     Edward Welch 7 Castle Street Liverpool

1852-1860    Edward Welch, architect, Penge Surrey (London Gazette)
1855        Edward Welch, gentleman, 50 George Street, Portman Square  (London Gazette)
1855        Edward Welch, gentleman, 50 George Street, Portman Square  (London Gazette)
1862        Edward Welch, gentleman, 50 George Street, Portman Square  (London Gazette)

Reference    A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600 1840 3rd Ed, H. Colvin; Yale University Press 1995
Obituary:        Builder 1868 v26   page 863
Death Notice    Manchester Guardian 6 August 1868 page 8 - Deaths
Harris, Penelope : The Architectural Achievement of Joseph Aloysius Hansom (1803 1882): Designer of the Hansom Cab, Birmingham Town Hall, and Churches of the Catholic Revival.



Name Designation Formed Dissolved Location
Hansom and Welch Architectural practice 1828 1834 York Liverpool