Hancock, Herbert

HANCOCK, Herbert (c.1836-1880), son of John W. Hancock, a barrister in Toronto, began his activity in early 1874 and practised alone until February 1876 when he formed a partnership with Samuel H. Townsend. Together they rose to prominence as designers of Equity Chambers (1877), the first building in Toronto (and possibly the province) to incorporate passenger elevators which heralded a new generation of high rise buildings in Canadian cities in the late 19th century. Hancock was also a prolific artist, and regularly exhibited his work at the annual exhibitions of the Ontario Society of Artists from 1874 until 1880. Their firm was dissolved by mutual agreement on 10 January 1879 and Hancock continued to practise alone until his untimely death at age forty-four on 30 December 1880 (death notice in the Globe [Toronto], 31 Dec. 1880, 4; Daily Mail [Toronto], 31 Dec. 1880, 5; G.R. Harper, Early Painters and Engravers in Canada, 1970, 145)


YORKVILLE, addition to the Public School, 1874 (Globe [Toronto], 13 March 1874, 3, t.c.)
YORKVILLE, residence for Henry Wickson, Chesnut Avenue, 1876 (E. McMann, Royal Canadian Academy of Arts: Exhibits & Members 1880-1979, 170)


KING STREET EAST, near Victoria Street, alterations and additions to two stores at 30-32 King Street East, 1876; demol. (Globe [Toronto], 3 April 1876, 3, t.c.)
BROCKVILLE, ONT., Trinity Anglican Church, George Street at Clarissa Street, 1876-77; tower added 1925 (Daily News [Kingston], 17 April 1876, 2, descrip.; Brockville Recorder, 31 May 1877, 2, descrip.; Dominion Churchman [Toronto], 14 Sept. 1876, 65, descrip.; and 14 June 1877, 285, descrip.)
ST. VINCENT STREET, residence for George Hague, 1876 (Globe [Toronto], 20 April 1876, 3, t.c.)
YORKVILLE, Fire Hall No. 10, Yorkville Avenue, 1876 (Mail [Toronto], 2 May 1877, 2)
EQUITY CHAMBERS, Victoria Street at Adelaide Street East, for Robert Carswell, 1877; demol. (Mail [Toronto], 2 May 1877, 2, descrip.; G. Mercer Adam, Toronto Old & New, 1891, 172-3, illus. & descrip. but lacking attribution; Eric Arthur, Toronto - No Mean City, 1964, 178, illus. & descrip., but lacking attribution)
SELBY STREET, pair of houses for A.E. Balfour, 1877 (Mail [Toronto], 2 May 1877, 2)
D'ARCY STREET, residence for Mr. Tulloch, 1877 (Mail [Toronto], 2 May 1877, 2)
EAST YORK, residence at Todmorden for an unidentified client, 1878 (Globe [Toronto], 19 Feb. 1878, 2, t.c.)
TORONTO, six cottages for Frank Turner, 1880 (Telegram [Toronto], 1 June 1880, 3, t.c.)


WOODSTOCK, ONT., St. Paul's Anglican Church, 1876. Hancock & Townsend were among several architects invited to prepare plans, and they exhibited their drawings in Toronto (Ontario Society of Artists Exhibition, 1876). The design by Gordon Lloyd was chosen as the best scheme.
STRATFORD, ONT., High School, 1877. This firm was one of 34 entrants to submit a design for this project (Stratford Beacon, 5 Oct. 1877, 2). Hancock & Townsend were not among the finalists; the First Premium was awarded to McCaw & Lennox.
HAMILTON, ONT., Wentworth County Court House, 1876. Hancock & Townsend submitted an entry but it was not premiated. They later exhibited their scheme in Ottawa in 1880 (E. McMann, Royal Canadian Academy of Arts: Exhibits & Members 1880-1979, 170). The competition was won by Charles Mulligan