Augustus Welby Pugin helped design the
Houses of Parliament at Westminster.
Fathered eight kids by three women.
Served a spell in gaol for debts. Then
converted to Roman Catholicism. The
greatest English architect of his century,
whose sandstone triumph screams Britain
had a French father. Touché. It’s said that
Pugin didn’t make much money from his
mastery of the Gothic. Most of his best
work torn down, abandoned or changed
while he lived. The bastards wanted to
put plaster where Pugin wanted God.
Except in the church in bloody Ramsgate.
That one he had to pay for himself.
They say his genius was in drawings.
Too much the artist, too little the business
man. Then, as the world opened to him,
he went mad at age 40 and died from
exhaustion, just like that other Gothic
prince, Bram Stoker. Today we think
that quite young. But then we never
laid the cornerstone for the British Empire.