William Jay (architect)

William Jay (1792 or 1793 – 17 April 1837) was an architect. He continued his father's and grandfather's interest in stonemasonry and building design.[1][2]

Jay was born in Bath. His father was also William Jay, who had started working with his father as a stonemason, but became a Congregationalist minister. In 1807 the younger William became an apprentice of the architect and surveyor David Riddall Roper.

Jay's designs for Surrey Chapel Almshouses were exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1814. He designed Dr. Fletcher's Albion Chapel in London, laying the foundation stone the following year. In 1817 he moved to the United States for four years, where he established as an architect in Savannah, Georgia. His American work includes the Owens-Thomas House, the William Scarbrough House, Telfair Academy, and The Savannah Theatre.

When the economy of Georgia collapsed in 1822, Jay returned to England and worked primarily in Cheltenham.[2] Later, he went bankrupt and in 1836 moved with his family to the island of Mauritius, where he was an architect and civil engineer until his death in Port Louis.[1]


In 1827, Jay married Louisa Coulson of Henley-on-Thames. They had three children between 1829 and 1835; the oldest child, also William, died soon after the family's arrival in Mauritius at the age of six. Jay's widow and other two children returned to England after his death.[3]


  1. ^ a b William Jay (c. 1792–1837), The New Georgia Encyclopaedia, published November 1, 2004. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  2. ^ a b Bradbury, Oliver C. William Jay's English Works after 1822: Recent Discoveries, Architectural History: Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, Volume 43, 2000 (archived on JTOR.org). Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  3. ^ Telfair.

Further readingEdit

  • "William Jay". Telfair Museums. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  • "Bill Dawers: New book on architect William Jay has contemporary relevance". savannahnow. Savannah Morning News. Retrieved 27 June 2020.