Scots architect, he made designs for many town-and country-houses throughout the UK. One of his most resplendent interventions was at Robert Adam's Gosford House, near Longniddry, East Lothian, Scotland (completed 1891), while at Elveden Hall, Suffolk, he enlarged the already extravagant house in a lavish Italianate Baroque style (1899–1903). He is remembered primarily for the Glasgow Municipal Chambers, George Square (1883–9), an opulent pile of French, Flemish, Venetian, and Spanish Renaissance styles, with a bewildering array of eclectic influences from Sansovino to ‘Greek’ Thomson. This building made his reputation, and he was commissioned to design the New (now Old) War Office, Whitehall, London (1899–1906), a confident amalgam in which Palladian, Mannerist, and Baroque styles were evident, with corner cupolas, the whole reminiscent of the work of Wren. The ensemble made such an impression at the time that it was virtually copied by Samuel Stevenson (1859–1924) for the exterior of the Belfast College of Technology (1900–7), and was a good example of the Wrenaissance style. The War Office was completed by Young's son, Clyde Francis Young (1871–1948), after William's early death. William Young was responsible for the proposal to create Kingsway and Aldwych to connect The Strand to Holborn, London. He published several books, including Town and Country Mansions and Suburban Houses (1879).
Dixon & Muthesius (1985);A. S. Gray (1985);McWilliam (1978);Pe: BoE, Suffolk (1974);Service (1977);Jane Turner (1996);Williamson, Riches, & Higgs (1990)