Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, of Dublin and Belfast.  Thomas Pettit Wardrop, son of William Wardrop, a builder, and his wife, Annie Maria Jeffcott , was born in Monaghan on 14 November 1867.(1)  It is not known where he received his architectural training, but his addresses for the years 1890 to 1900, as they appear in the lists of RIAI probationers, suggest that he was working in the office of WILLIAM KAYE PARRY  WILLIAM KAYE PARRY at that time.(2)  It would seem that he then became a temporary civil draughtsman under the War Department,(3) posted first to Devonport - where he had arrived by the time of the English census of 1901 and where he met and married his wife, Emma Louisa Rundle - and then to Hong Kong.  When his work in Hong Kong came to an end in about 1907, he returned to England but was unable to find employment.   With a wife and four children to support, he then moved to Belfast, where he found work for a while in the office of JAMES ST JOHN PHILLIPS JAMES ST JOHN PHILLIPS , who kept him on, according to the obituary in the Irish Builder, 'for some time after he required his services'.  He then attempted to practice privately but without success.   On 30 December 1913, when his wife was expecting their fifth child, he committed suicide by throwing himself from a fourth-floor window in the Scottish Provident Building in Belfast to Wellington Place below.  A relief fund was set up by Phillips and HENRY SEAVER  HENRY SEAVER for the support of his widow and children. As the family were Presbyterians, £700 of the sum collected was handed in trust to the Presbyterian Orphan Society, which was to provide a weekly payment of £1.5s per week to the widow until the youngest child reached the age of eighteen.  The posthumous child, William George, was sent away to live with another family.  The Irish Builder relates Wardrop's sad story as 'an excellent example of the folly of accepting temporary employment under the Crown', sagely observing that foreign service is 'the crowning folly for a temporary employee, since it accustoms him to conditions unfitting him for the resumption of his calling at home'.

RIAI: probationer, 1890-1900.
RIBA: passed preliminary examination, 1889.(4)

Addresses: 42 Dame Street, 1890-1896; 35 Dame Street, 1897-99; 34 Dame Street, 1900;  10 Landseer Street, Belfast, <=1911 until death.


All information in this entry is from the 1911 census http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai001482771/ (last visited Jan 2009), from the items about Wardop's death in Irish Times, 1 Jan 1914, Weekly Irish Times, 21 Feb 1914, IB 56, 3,17 Jan, 28 Feb 1914, 8,38,127, and Freeman's Journal, 31 Dec 1913, 2 Jan 1914, and from Thomas Pettit Wardrop's grandson, Martin Wardrop.

(1) www.familysearch.org.   He may have been the grandson of a Scottish  mining engineer and contractor named Thomas Wardrop who was active in Dublin in the 1860s and 1870s.
(2) Wardrop's addresses are given as 42 Dame Street from 1890 to 1896, 35 Dame Street from 1897 to 1899 and 34 Dame Street in 1900,  Kaye-Parry's as 42 Dame Street in 1890 and 1891 and 35 Dame Street from 1892 to 1898.
(3) According to IB 56, 17 Jan 1914, 38, he was in temporary Crown employment for seventeen years.
(4) RIAI council meeting minutes, 2 Dec 1889, 278.