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CLAYTON, Harry

Born: 1864 03 13
Died: 1938

Architect


Year registered: 1927

TPIA (1927); ISAA (1927).

Clayton's sketches of early Johannesburg are now better known than any of his buildings, several of which can be seen among his sketches, recently published under the editorship of AH Smith. Clayton was born in England and trained in Nottingham in the office of the architect IW Keating, where he was first a pupil and then an assistant, the period in the office totalling six years. In 1885 he arrived in South Africa and seems to have gone first to Natal where he worked on drawings for the new Legislative Council buildings in Pietermaritzburg. In 1886 he joined the Barberton gold rush and by 1889 was in Johannesburg, advertising as architect and surveyor and was among the pioneer architects in Johannesburg. It is from this period that his sketches survive, of Johannesburg the mining camp in its early days. In 1890 he married Ida Stone. In about 1887/1889 he won first premium in the competition for the Presbyterian Church, Bree St, his first major work in Johannesburg. Clayton entered into partnership with A WILLIAMS in about 1892 (cf CLAYTON & WILLIAMS), currently few buildings by the partners have been identified; the partnership ended in November 1894. During the Anglo-Boer War Clayton left Johannesburg for Durban but returned to Johannesburg after the war. In 1904 he travelled to England. During his absence his affairs were administered by RH GRAHAM who subsequently administered Clayton's business 'every time he was away after this date ... and handled his estate on his death' (Smith 1972:21). He was the Honorary Treasurer to the Society of Architects (South African branch) from 1907 to 1908 and from 1908 to 1909; a member of the Provisional Council for the Registration of Architects, 1909 and was elected to the Council of the Association of Transvaal Architects in 1910. Subsequent to 1902 Clayton practised as an architect on the Rand for most of the rest of his career with a ten-year break overseas from about 1910 until he returned in 1920, time partly spent in France on active service during the First World War. He recommenced practice after the war and continued to draw and to paint, holding a one-man exhibition at the Herbert Evans Gallery in Johannesburg in 1929. Clayton exhibited regularly at the South African Academy [of Arts] Exhibitions held annually at the Selborne Hall in Johannesburg. After the death of his wife in 1932 he returned to England where he lived at The Warren, Market Deeping, Lincolnshire. He died in the British Hospital, Paris after a holiday in Italy and is buried at Market Deeping.

(Afr Archt Jun 1911:21; Building Jun 1918:158; Building Mar 1920:351 Edward's gen dir Jhb 1890; Norwich 1985; ISAA mem list; Leyds 1964; Longland's Tvl and Rhod dir 1903; Smith 1972).

Publ: An architect in war, Jnl ATA Jun 1917:79-80.

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 by CLAYTON

Stone, Ida Mae & Clayton, Harry. 1976. Sketches : published on the occasion of Johannesburg's ninetieth birthday. Johannesburg: Published for the Africana Museum by Ad. Donker

Books citing CLAYTON

Chipkin, Clive M. 1993. Johannesburg Style - Architecture & Society 1880s - 1960s. Cape Town: David Phillip. pp 14

ISAA. 1927. Register of Members the Institute of South African Architects. Johannesburg: ISAA (Unpublished Record). pp C8

van der Waal, Gerhard-Mark. 1987. From Mining Camp to Metropolis - The buildings of Johannesburg 1886-1940. Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council. pp 41