Basic Biographical Details

Name: David Robertson
Designation: Architect
Born: 1834
Died: 25 February 1925
Bio Notes: David Robertson was born in 1834, the son of D J Robertson, 12 Gilmore Place, Edinburgh. He was articled to David Cousin in 1850 and entered the Trustees' Academy (later the School of Design) on 10 April 1852 on his recommendation, remaining there until 12 July 1855. On completion of his apprenticeship he remained with Cousin for some years as an assistant before seeking wider experience in other offices, first in Liverpool and later back in Edinburgh. His last position as an employee was as chief assistant to John Lessels, whom he left in 1865 to commence practice on his own account, initially in Picardy Place, moving to 12 Queen Street in the 1870s.

He began exhibiting at the RSA in 1878 and was elected Associate in 1893. In 1883 he moved to 117 George Street and around 1890 to 4 Maitland Street, later 19 Shandwick Place. At some point he became architect in the East of Scotland for the United Presbyterian Church for which 'he designed and supervised many churches, church halls and manses'. He was admitted FRIBA on 3 December 1906, his proposers being the London architect Thomas Arnold, an old colleague from Cousin's office, Hippolyte Jean Blanc and Robert Rowand Anderson. At that time he was President of the Scottish Arts Club and had been three times president of the Edinburgh Architectural Association. In addition to his known works, his nomination paper states that he had carried out commercial works and farm buildings, although none of these has been identified.

Robertson who was predeceased by his wife, Jessie Beith, died on 20 February 1925 and was buried at Dean Cemetery.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1216, Picardy Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1868c. 1874 
Item 2 of 1212, Queen Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1875c. 1881 
Item 3 of 1219, Morningside Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/businessc. 1882 House and office
Item 4 of 12117, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1882 or 1883c. 1887 
Item 5 of 1219, Morningside Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1884  
Item 6 of 1213, South Charlotte Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1888c. 1890 
Item 7 of 1216, Pentland Terrace, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivatec. 1889  
Item 8 of 124, Maitland Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1890c. 1898 
Item 9 of 1225, Braidburn Crescent, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)1897 *  
Item 10 of 1219, Shandwick Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1899c. 1920 
Item 11 of 1223, St Ronan's Terrace, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 19031925 
Item 12 of 1223, St Monans Terrace, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1906 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 3David Cousin18501855Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3David Cousin1855Before 1865Assistant 
Item 3 of 3John LesselsAfter 18551865Chief Assistant 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 1Antoine William Roques18841887Apprentice 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3(Sir) Robert Rowand Anderson3 December 1905for Fellowship
Item 2 of 3Thomas Arnold3 December 1905for Fellowship
Item 3 of 3Hippolyte Jean Blanc3 December 1905for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 2Thomas Smith Peace (junior)20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 2George Wilson2 December 1907for Fellowship

Buildings and Designs

This architect was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 22After 1865Rose Street UP Church  EdinburghScotlandAlterations and/or additions, probably after 1875 when the majority of the congregation moved to the new church in Palmerston Place
Item 2 of 221868(?)North Richmond Street UP Church  EdinburghScotlandAlterations and additions - mentioned in his FRIBA nomination papers (ie carried out between 1895 and 1906), probably referring to the alterations in 1868 to accommodate the union with the Henderson Street congregation
Item 3 of 22After 1872Palmerston Place UP Church  EdinburghScotlandDecoration etc
Item 4 of 221876Inchdrewer HouseColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 5 of 221878CaerleeInnerleithen PeeblesshireScotlandAdditions to the west
Item 6 of 221878Gillespie Memorial HallKippen StirlingshireScotland 
Item 7 of 221878Kippen Parish ChurchKippen StirlingshireScotlandInterior recast
Item 8 of 221879Morningside UP ChurchMorningside EdinburghScotland 
Item 9 of 221879Unidentified Villa at ColintonColinton EdinburghScotlandDesign exhibited.
Item 10 of 221879Unidentified Villa at GrangeGrange EdinburghScotland 
Item 11 of 221880Villa, 54 St Alban's Road  EdinburghScotland 
Item 12 of 221882Danevale Park  KirkcudbrightshireScotland 
Item 13 of 221883Arthur Street UP Church and adjoining tenement  EdinburghScotlandAlterations - work presumably included the adjoining tenement, built to provide rental income
Item 14 of 221885Greenside Parish Church  EdinburghScotlandFlanking gallery stair halls added
Item 15 of 221885Warrender Park Free Church (temporary)  EdinburghScotland 
Item 16 of 221887Little Church in the FieldGorgie/Dalry EdinburghScotland 
Item 17 of 221892John Ker Memorial ChurchPolwarth EdinburghScotland 
Item 18 of 2218931-12 London Road  EdinburghScotland 
Item 19 of 221893Arbroath Parish ChurchArbroath AngusScotlandCompetition design for rebuilding - placed third
Item 20 of 221896Gorgie UP Church and hallGorgie EdinburghScotlandHall
Item 21 of 221900Burntisland UP ChurchBurntisland FifeScotlandUnsuccessful designs, though would appear from Building News and British Architect 5 April 1901 that Robertson got as far as tendering his design.
Item 22 of 221911Edgar HallStenhouse EdinburghScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2Post Office Directories     
Item 2 of 2Scotlands People Website Wills & Testaments  Edinburgh Sheriff Court Wills (of his wife) Sc70/4/300 and Inventories Sc70/1/362

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Journal25 April 1925 London: Royal Institute of British ArchitectsObituary p399

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers F v18 p7 no1178 (microfilm reel 12)