William Henry Playfair


Aged unknown

William Henry Playfair FRSE (15 July 1790 – 19 March 1857) was one of the greatest Scottish architects of the 19th century, designer of many of Edinburgh's neo-classical landmarks in the New Town. He was born on 15 July 1790 in Russell Square, London, to James Playfair and Jessie Graham. Playfair's father was also an architect, and his uncles were John Playfair, the scientist, and William Playfair, an economist and pioneer of information graphics. Two of his finest works are the neo-classical buildings of the National Gallery of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy which are situated in the centre of Edinburgh. The Playfair Project completed in 2004 joined the two historic buildings with an underground link. In the 1830s Playfair is listed as living at 17 Great Stuart Street on the prestigious Moray Estate in Edinburgh's west end. Playfair joined the Free Church following the Disruption of 1843, losing his right to burial in the parish churchyard. Playfair took David Cousin under his wing and was responsible for the latter part of his training. Playfair died in Edinburgh on 19 March 1857, and is buried in the "Lord's Row" on the western wall of Edinburgh's Dean Cemetery, where he designed a number of monuments for others, including Lord Jeffrey.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

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In honour of William Henry Playfair [full inscription unknown]

Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh, United Kingdom where they was