Fletcher, Banister (DNB01)

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FLETCHER, BANISTER (1833–1899), architect and surveyor, born in 1833, was the second son of Thomas Fletcher. He was privately educated, and began to practise as an architect at Newcastle-on-Tyne at the age of twenty. He designed and erected numerous wharves, warehouses, and other buildings there. In 1860 he was elected an associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects, and in 1876 a fellow. About 1870 he came to London, and in the following year published a work on 'Model Houses for the Industrial Classes' (London, 8vo), in which he reviewed the defects of existing model lodging houses. In 1875 he was appointed district surveyor of West Newington and part of Lambeth, and he was also one of the surveyors to the board of trade. His practice as a surveyor was very extensive, and his services were in constant demand as witness, arbitrator, and umpire. Fletcher sat in parliament in the liberal interest for north-west Wiltshire from 1885 to 1886. In later life his sons, Mr. Banister Flight Fletcher and Mr. Herbert Phillips Fletcher, were associated with him in his architectural practice. Alone or in conjunction with them he erected numerous chapels, schools, restaurants, shops, factories, flats, and model dwellings. In 1890 he was appointed professor of architecture and building construction at King's College, London, and in 1891 he was elected a fellow. He secured considerable support from the Carpenters' Company, of which he was master in 1889, obtaining casts, models, drawings, and photographs for the benefit of the students. Partly at his own expense he fitted up an architectural and building construction reference museum at the college, in which he placed his own collection of large architectural photographs of the principal buildings of the world. In 1894 he was president of the tenth section of the international congress of hygiene and demography at Buda-Pesth, and of the engineering and building construction section of the British Association in the same year.

Fletcher was a member of the common council of the city of London, and a deputy lieutenant and justice of the peace for the county of London. He died at Hampstead on 5 July 1899. In 1864 he married May, only daughter of Charles Phillips. By her he had two sons.

Besides the works already mentioned Fletcher was the author of:

  1. 'Dilapidations : a Text-Book for Architects and Surveyors in tabulated form,' 1872, 8vo; 5th edit. 1899.
  2. 'Compensations: a Text-Book for Surveyors in tabulated form,' London, 1874, 8vo : new edit, with additional chapters on 'Valuation,' 1893.
  3. 'Arbitrations: a Text-Book for Surveyors in tabulated form,' London, 1875, 8vo; 2nd edit. 1893.
  4. 'Quantities : a Text-Book for Surveyors in tabulated form,' London, 1877, 8vo; 5th edit. 1888.
  5. 'Light and Air: a Text-Book for Architects and Surveyors,' London, 1879, 8vo; 3rd edit. 1895.
  6. 'The Metropolitan Building Acts,' London, 1882, 8vo.
  7. 'The London Building Act,' London, 1895, 8vo; 2nd edit. 1896.
  8. (with Mr. B. F. Fletcher). 'A History of Architecture,' London, 1896, 8vo; 3rd edit. 1897.

[Journal of the Royal Institute of British Architects, 1898-9, 3rd series, vi. 523-5; Men and Women of the Time, 1899; Builder, 1899, lxxvii. 46, 68.]

E. I. C.