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BYRD, Arthur Hemsworth

Born: 1849
Died: 1902

Architect


In 1881 Byrd was mentioned as an architect connected with St Margaret's Church, Liverpool (Schoeman 1982:80). According to Schoeman (1982:80) he was brought out by the architect J HILDER to work on the extensions for the Anglican cathedral in Bloemfontein. The extensions proposed by Byrd modified Hilder's initial design but were still ambitious, the overall plan was based on principles 'affected by the late Mr Street' (GE Street, the Victorian Gothic Revival architect 'worshipped by countless young architects during the 1870s', according to Service (1979:129), but had to be simplified to fit in with the budget. Byrd was also responsible for the design of the 'very fine building' (Schoeman 1982: 82) for the Mechanics' Institute, later the St George's Club, near the Cathedral (1882). In 1883 Byrd joined St Augustine's Brotherhood at Modderpoort in the eastern Free State and was known thereafter as Brother Arthur. It is tempting to assume that Byrd was responsible for the design of buildings, particularly the well-designed little church by the mission house. A brass plaque in this church records his brother's donation of encaustic tiles to the church as a memorial to Brother Arthur. His life after he became a missionary in Basutoland (Lesotho) is obscure; he is buried in the small cemetery at at St Augustine's, Modderpoort.

(Schoeman 1982:80-82, 137, 141; CPSA Records UWits AB 764f; Quarterly Papers of the Orange Free State Mission, later the Bloemfontein Mission)

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.