Basic Biographical Details

Name: Victor Daniel Horsburgh
Designation: Architect
Born: 1866
Died: 12 September 1947
Bio Notes: Victor Daniel Horsburgh was born in Edinburgh in 1866, the son of John Horsburgh, artist, but whether his father was the etcher, then aged seventy-six ot the studio photographer who produced portraits in oil on a photographic base from 131 Princes Street has yet to be established. He was articled to Robert Rowand Anderson from 1883 to 1888 (initially in the firm of Wardrop, Anderson & Browne and then of Wardrop & Anderson), remaining as assistant for a further six years after completing his apprenticeship to work on the McEwan Hall at Edinburgh University. Between 1885 and 1890 he spent several months studying medieval and Renaissance buildings in Scotland, and in 1893 he made a three-month study in the South Kensington Museum. In 1894, the year in which he left Anderson's office, he made an exhaustive study of old buildings in Cambridge. In March that year he passed the qualifying exam, and that summer he settled in London where he joined George Lethbridge as chief assistant.

He was admitted ARIBA on 2 March 1896, his proposers being Sir William Emerson, Allan Graham and John Slater, all Londoners with whom he had no known connection. He returned to Edinburgh to commence practice on his own account later that year, and attempted to establish a reputation in open competitions. He shared an office at 63 Frederick Street and then at 23 Rutland Square with Francis William Deas but had very few clients. He was a brilliant draughtsman and made a living chiefly from work farmed out to him by Deas and Lorimer. He won the RIBA Silver Medal essay prize at the late age of forty-one in 1907, perhaps as part of building up a CV for a salaried post.

In 1910 he moved to Toronto and was appointed architect to the Dominion Realty Company Ltd, a subsidiary of the Canadian Bank of Commerce and over the ensuing years he designed numerous branch offices for the company. He was admitted FRIBA on 2 December 1912, his proposers being Thomas Tolmie Paterson, also from Anderson's office, Deas and Hipployte Jean Blanc for whom he had probably also undertaken work at peak periods.

Horsburgh retired to Victoria in 1933 and was briefly in private practice there. He died on 12 September 1947. For the last two years of his life he was cared for by his niece. He was remembered as a 'kindly, courteous and scholarly gentlemen'.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 847, Bernard Street, London WC, EnglandPrivate1895 *  
Item 2 of 863, Frederick Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1899c. 1902Shared with Francis William Deas
Item 3 of 823, Rutland Square, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1903c. 1909Shared with Francis William Deas
Item 4 of 837, Frederick Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1903c. 1909 
Item 5 of 821, King Street West, Toronto, CanadaBusiness1912 *  
Item 6 of 831, St George Mansion, Toronto, CanadaPrivate1912 *  
Item 7 of 811, Jordan Street, Toronto, CanadaBusiness1930 or 1931 *  
Item 8 of 831, Colin Avenue, Toronto, CanadaBusiness1933 *1939 or 1940(?) 

* 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 4Wardrop, Anderson & Browne1 October 18831885Apprentice 
Item 2 of 4Wardrop & Anderson18851888Apprentice 
Item 3 of 4Wardrop & Anderson18891894Assistant 
Item 4 of 4George Lethbridge18941896Assistant 

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 1David Smith1900Late 1900Draughtsman 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Hippolyte Jean Blanc2 December 1912for Fellowship
Item 2 of 6Francis William Deas2 December 1912for Fellowship
Item 3 of 6(Sir) William EmersonEarly 1896for Associateship
Item 4 of 6Alexander GrahamEarly 1896for Associateship
Item 5 of 6Thomas Tolmie Paterson2 December 1912for Fellowship
Item 6 of 6John SlaterEarly 1896for Associateship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Alexander Mackintosh3 December 1934for Fellowship
Item 2 of 3Thomas Reid PeacockMid 1921for Fellowship
Item 3 of 3Andrew Sharp3 December 1923for 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 101887University of Edinburgh, Medical School and McEwan Hall  EdinburghScotlandMcEwan Hall - as apprentice and assistant to Robert Rowand Anderson
Item 2 of 101898House for W G AndersonAuchterarder PerthshireScotland 
Item 3 of 101899Midlothian County Council Buildings  EdinburghScotlandPlaced fifth in competition (entered jointly with Thomas Tolmie Paterson)
Item 4 of 101899Residence for Rev Andrew MelvilleComrie PerthshireScotland 
Item 5 of 101900Sheffield House, 30-32 Frederick Street  EdinburghScotlandNew attic and other alterations
Item 6 of 101903Windsor Chambers  EdinburghScotlandReconstruction
Item 7 of 101906House at RoslinRoslin/Rosslyn MidlothianScotlandDesign for proposed house exhibited
Item 8 of 101909Miners Cottages at BannockburnBannockburn StirlingshireScotlandCompetition design exhibited
Item 9 of 101935Canadian Bank Commerce branch  MontrealCanadaDesign exhibited
Item 10 of 101935House, Dunvegan Road  TorontoCanadaDesign exhibited


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1Post Office Directories     

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Builder3 October 1947  Obituary
Item 2 of 2Journal of the Royal Architectural Inst of Canada1947v24 p447

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 A v13 p100 (microfiche 62/C7); F v21 no1473 (microfilm reel 13)