Corbett, John

CORBETT, John (c. 1827-1887), born in Ireland and trained as a mason, emigrated to New Brunswick before 1860 and first resided in Memramcook, N.B. before moving to Charlottetown, P.E.I. in 1866. He became the favoured architect of the Roman Catholic Archbishop there who, in 1875, presented him with a gold watch engraved with the inscription 'Presented to John Corbett, Architect, by the Bishop of Charlottetown, as a token of gratitude for his honesty, devotedness and ability in superintending the building of schools, churches and the Episcopal Residence in the Diocese of Charlottetown' (Examiner [Charlottetown], 20 Dec. 1875, 3). He employed a 'pure Gothic' style for his ecclesiastical work, but his public buildings in Prince Edward Island are distinctly his own work, executed in brick or heavy stone masonry in simple rectangular forms with boldly expressed round-arched windows and stone band coursing in a reserved Romanesque Revival style. In 1880 he moved to Ottawa after receiving the appointment of superintendent of lighthouse construction in the Marine Department. Corbett died in Ottawa on 13 April 1887 (obit. Ottawa Free Press, 14 April 1887, 3; Weekly Examiner [Charlottetown], 15 April 1887, 2; biog. H.S. Smith, Historic Houses of Prince Edward Island, 1990, 42)

CHARLOTTETOWN

NOTRE DAME ROMAN CATHOLIC CONVENT, Sydney Street, 1869-70 (Examiner [Charlottetown], 24 May 1869, 2; I. Rogers, Charlottetown, 1983, 287-9, illus.)
QUEEN'S BUILDING, King Street at Queen Street, for Owen & Welsh, 1872; burned 1902; rebuilt by C.B. Chappell and renamed The Riley Building (Island Argus [Charlottetown], 16 July 1872, 2; Charlottetown Guardian, 22 June 1917, 1, descrip.; I. Rogers, Charlottetown, 1983, 223-4, illus.)
PRINCE STREET, shop and dwelling for John Quirk, 'near the Athenaeum', 1872 (Island Argus [Charlottetown], 16 July 1872, 2)
POWNAL STREET, shop and dwelling for Charles McKenna, 1872 (Island Argus [Charlottetown], 16 July 1872, 2; I. Rogers, Charlottetown, 1983, 183-4, illus.)
GREAT GEORGE STREET, the Bishop's Palace, a residence for Bishop Peter McIntyre, 1872-75 (Island Argus [Charlottetown], 16 July 1872, 2; Examiner [Charlottetown], 20 Dec. 1875, 3; I. Rogers, Charlottetown, 1983, 112-15, illus.)

ELSEWHERE

CUMBERLAND, P.E.I., St. Martin's Roman Catholic Church, 1867-68 (H. Smith, Historic Churches of Prince Edward Island, 1986, 103, illus.)
FORT AUGUSTUS, P.E.I., St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, 1870; burned 1897 (Islander [Charlottetown], 16 Dec. 1870, 3, descrip.)
CARDIGAN BRIDGE, P.E.I., Roman Catholic Church, 1874 (Examiner [Charlottetown], 30 March 1874, 3, t.c.)
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I., Court House, Central Street, 1874 (Semi-Weekly Patriot [Charlottetown], 28 May 1874, 2; M. Carter, Early Canadian Court Houses, 1983, 207, illus.)
HOPE RIVER, P.E.I., St. Anne's Roman Catholic Church, 1875; burned 1876; rebuilt to the plan of John Corbett (PAPEI, MSS 2353/246)
RUSTICO, P.E.I., Roman Catholic convent, 1876 (Examiner [Charlottetown], 5 June 1876, 2, t.c.)