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Richard Roskell Bayne was born in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire on 7 July 1837 to Richard Bayne (1801-1878) and Ann Turnill (1803-1940), who had married 19 October 1834. Richard Roskell has an older sister Ann, a younger brother Robert Turnill, and younger sister Mary. His brother Robert (1837-1915) became a prominent stained glass artist with the firm Heaton, Butler, and Bayne. Richard received his first training in architecture from his father. In 1858, Bayne worked in the office of the architect Charles Barry while attending classes at University College, University of London. By 1859 he was studying at the South Kensington School of Design in London, and in 1860 was awarded the Queen's Prize by that institution. After completing a year of travel in Europe, Bayne returned to London where he worked in the office of architect Digby Wyatt. In 1864, he passed the Royal Institute of British Architects Voluntary Architectural Examination, and was also awarded the RIBA Soane Medal. This prize enabled Bayne to make an extensive sketching tour in Europe in 1864-1865. Bayne entered the service of the East India Railway Company on 20 March 1866 and moved to Calcutta. By the time he retired from the Company on 30 April 1890, he had earned the rank of district engineer. Bayne’s major projects in India were:
- Sir Stuart Hogg Market (Kolkata, 1874)
- Thornhill and Mayne Memorial Library (Allahabad, 1878)
- Mayo Memorial Hall (Allahabad, 1879)
- East India Railway Offices aka Fairlie Place (Kolkata, 1881)
- Husainabad Clock Tower (Lucknow, 1881)
On 13 March 1866 Bayne married Eleanor Sparkes in Woolbridge, Suffolk. They had four children who survived into adulthood: Stanley Richard Sparkes (1866-1933), Percy Robert Clitherall (1870-19??), Talbot Harold Knights (1872-1951), and Digby Mason Septimus (1878-1967). They also had three children who died in infancy: Sybil (d. 1872), Douglas (d. 1873), and Lennox (d. 1875). Eleanor died 4 April 1882 at age 39 in Kurseong, India. Bayne later remarried to his sister-in-law, Daisy Sparkes, 30 years his junior. In 1890 she gave birth to a daughter. Several of Bayne’s children had immigrated to Canada and settled on Vancouver Island. After his retirement Bayne and his family moved to Victoria, British Columbia, where he opened an architectural office in May 1891. In 1898 he entered the Asylum for the Insane in New Westminster. He died there of a seizure on 4 December 1901 at age 73, and is buried in the Ross Bay Cemetery in Victoria.
For more information see the paper “Building for the Raj: Richard Roskell Bayne” by Anthony Welch, Martin Segger, and Nicholas DeCaro in Canadian Art Review 34.2 (2009).