John Williamson Whittaker (I)

Place of Birth

  • Birth date            18 May 1801
  • Married (1)         Jane Whittaker
  • Married (2)         25 June 1937 to Susannah Lowe at Prestwich
  • Death date          16 December 1885
  • Burial                     22 December 1885 at Heaton-Norris, Lancashire

 John Williamson Whittaker was born at Worsley on 16 May 1801, the son of Ellis and Alice Whittaker and the brother of James Whittaker, architect, Bolton (qv). He may have initially worked as a spinner. The Edinburgh Gazette of 6 May 1836 records the bankruptcy of John Williamson Whittaker of Bolton, flax spinner).  Like his brother he was practising as an architect in Bolton in the late 1840s and early 1850s when he took George Woodhouse into partnership.

George Woodhouse had first been articled to James Whittaker but when he accepted the post of advising architect and engineer under Messrs Ormrod & Hardcastle “Mr WOODHOUSE was transferred to his brother Mr John Williamson WHITTAKER. who also carried on the business of architect in the town. With his new master he soon made himself a great favourite, and such was his ability even then that, for fear of losing his services Mr WHITTAKER made him a partner before the expiry of his articles.” The partnership was dissolved on 4 September 1852, after which George Woodhouse set up independent practice in Bolton.

John Williamson Whittaker continued to practice alone but the lack of known commissions makes it difficult to determine the level of his success. Like his brother hr diversified into cotton spinning and in 1868               a patent for the invention of “improvements in carding engines,” was granted to John Williamson Whittaker Carlisle Villa Great Lever near Bolton-le-Moors. Here he is described as Architect and Cotton Spinner but records his occupation as cotton spinner in 1871.

Towards the end of his life he retired to Heaton Norris, south of Manchester, where he died on 22 December 1885.

1849        John Whittaker, architect, Bullock Street, Bolton (MC 22 December 1849 page 8]
1868        Carlisle Villa Great Lever near Bolton-le-Moors (London Gazette)
1869        Carlisle Villa Moses Gate, near Bolton-le-Moors (London Gazette


Name Designation Formed Dissolved Location
Whittaker and Woodhouse Architectural practice 1851 1852 Bolton