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MAYO, Ernest Alfred

Born: 1868
Died: 1946 10 16


Mayo was born in Birmingham, England, the son of Samuel and Anne Page (Brierley) Mayo. He served articles 'with Townsend, ARIBA, of Peterboro' for four years' (from 1880 to 1883); this was the well-known architect HM Townsend. Mayo then became an assistant to Redfern & Sawdray (?) of Leicester in 1884. In 1885 and 1886 he was working for Martin & Hardy in Nottingham, and with C Dorman in Nottingham from 1887 to early 1889.

He applied for Associate membership of the RIBA in 1889 while still in England, probably working in Deal, Kent which was his address in his his application papers, he also noted in these papers that his place of business would 'probably be Johannesburg, South Africa'. He passed the RIBA examination in 1889 and his final declaration papers for membership of the RIBA were signed in 1890 in Port Natal where he may have entered the Public Service; his address in 1890 was c/o Mr Butcher, merchant, Durban, Natal. His entry in Who's Who in Chicago (1936) states he spent one year in South Africa. This seems to be confirmed by the evidence so far discovered in South Africa. There is as yet no evidence that he ever went to Johannesburg as he suggested he might.

He seems to have married Ada Mary Pierce in England before he came to Natal; they had one child, Peter. Mayo left for America, settling first in Chicago where he was 'architectural advisor for the construction division of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition and designed several of the administration buildings' (Perkins s.a. :164). He carried out the work under the architect Burnham. In about 1900 he moved to nearby Evanston: 'he set up in Evanston as a domestic architect doing very beautiful 'Free Style' work, but in wood' (Van Zanten 1988) No work by him has yet been recorded in Natal.

ARIBA Durban 1890. (ARIBA nom papers vol 11 Aug 1889-92,no 26; Buchbinder-Green 1988; RIBA Kal 1890/91; Van Zanten 1988)

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.

Books citing MAYO

Brown, SM. 1969. Architects and others: an annotated list of people of South African interest appearing in the RIBA Journal 1880 1925. Johannesburg: Unpublished dissertation, University of the Witwatersrand. pp