John Runciman (Scottish artist)1

(28 Aug 1744 - bet. 1768 - 1769)
Father*James Runciman (father of the artists)2 (circa Dec 1688 - Mar 1751)
Mother*Mary Smith (circa 1706 - circa Sep 1777)


     John Runciaman was born on 28 Aug 1744 Canongate, Edinburgh, MLN, SCT.2,3 He was baptized on 4 Sep 1744 Canongate, Edinburgh, MLN; entry reads: Jam: Runciaman Architect and his sp had a son born 28 Augt bap 4 Sepr N John Wit: John Jack Slater and late Baillie in Can: and Geo Willson Surgeon and present Baillie there."2
     John Runciman died bet. 1768 - 1769 Naples, Italy; (Wikipedia was updated in Apr 2012 to alter his dth date from 1766 to 1768/9.)4
Although the James born in 1688 to James Runciaman, wright in Bristo would appear to be on the verge of being to old to be the James, wright and architect, known to be the father of artist siblings Alexander and John, it is believed that his wife, Margaret, or Mary, was about 12 years younger than he.
Although there isn't a full paper trail between the siblings shown here there is sufficient evidence to conclude that they are one and the same family.
Alexander's baptism shows his father as James Wright in Edinburgh in his baptism, mother Marg: (sic, ie Margaret). Witnesses: "John Jack Baillie of Canongate And Geo: Willson Chyrurgeon there"
He is apprenticed to Robert NORRIE painter, as son of James wright in Edinburgh.
Eleanora's baptism shows her parents as James RUNCIAMAN, architect, and Mary (sic) SMITH, with witnesses: "John Jack Sclater in Canongate and James Norie Painter in Edinr"
John's baptism unhelpfully doesn't name his mother, but does give his father's occupation as architect, and the witnesses were "John Jack Slater and late Baillie in Can: and Geo Willson Surgeon and present Baillie there"
Between Eleanora and John's baptisms there is a Jean buried, age unknown, but daughter of James wright in Edinburgh, so architect and wright would appear not to be mutually exclusive occupations.
With the lead that Alexander's mother "Marg:" might actually be Mary, Alan found their marriage in Ayr, thank you Alan.
He also found a couple of snippets that show that Alexander did actually have a son - John, a silversmith in London - but was he a RUNCIMAN and what happened to him? Love to hear from anyone with information on this.5,6,2,7

Names/other info

     In 1744 his surname was recorded as Runciaman.2


     For the Wikipedia information on John Runciman click here.8
Last Edited8 Sep 2014


  1. [S16] Lorna Henderson, "RUNCIMAN One Name Study", Added Feb 2010.
  2. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854),, Birth 28 Aug Bap. 4 Sep 1744 John s/o James RUNCIAMAN (architect in Edinr) , Canongate Par, MLN 685/030 0080 0333, copy d/loaded May 2013.
  3. [S3088] Gail Nicholls-Runciman, "RUNCIMAN Correspondence," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, Birth 1744 Dth 1766 John s/o James & Margaret (SMITH) RUNCIMAN, from Family of James & Margaret (SMITH) RUNCIMAN, rcvd Feb 2010.
  4. [S2449] Wikipedia online at, Birth 1744 Dth 1768/9 John RUNCIMAN Dth was 1766, edited Apr 2012 to 1768/9), online at, extracted Feb 2010, rechecked May 2013.
  5. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854),, Birth 13th Bap. 18th Jul 1742 Eleanora d/o James RUNCIAMAN (architect in Canongate) & Mary (sic) SMITH, Canongate Par, MLN 685/030 0080 0307, copy d/loaded May 2013.
  6. [S16] Lorna Henderson, "RUNCIMAN One Name Study", Feb 2010, updated May 2013.
  7. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854),, Birth 15 Aug Bap. 22 Aug 1736 Alexander s/o James RUNCIAMAN (wright in Edinr) & Marg: SMITH, Canongate Par, MLN 685/003 0080 0244, copy d/loaded Feb 2010.
  8. [S2449] Wikipedia online at, John RUNCIMAN (1744 – 1766), online at, extracted Feb 2010.
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