Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||Robert Black |
|Designation: ||Architect |
|Born: ||1800 |
|Died: ||6 December 1869 |
|Bio Notes: ||Robert Black was born at Shotts in 1800, the son of John Black, tailor and Janet Strathern. There is no record of his training but his early work, particularly the Bank in Stirling, is very close in style to the later work of David Hamilton. As he named his youngest son Hamilton just after that architect’s death, some association with him, whether as apprentice or assistant, can be inferred. |
Black commenced practice in Glasgow in the late 1820s. In 1837 he would seem to have been involved in a speculative venture. An area of houses, warehouses, shops and building ground had been acquired through the 'London Street Lottery' by a group of individuals including Robert Black. These were offered for sale in that year. It is possible however that Black was simply acting as an agent for others.
By 1838 Black had become architect to the Union Bank. In 1843 he formed a partnership with James Salmon (born 1805), who had obtained an apprenticeship with John Brash and commenced practice in Glasgow, reputedly in a Trongate basement, c.1825.
Black lost his Union Bank position to William Railton of Kilmarnock in 1852, and his partnership with Salmon was dissolved in or about the following year. Thereafter Black entered a short-lived partnership with civil engineer Alexander George Thomson. In 1856 he advertised for a draughtsman so he must have continued to have sufficient work to employ one at this date.
Black remained in practice until his death from paralysis and bronchial problems on 6 December 1869 at 116 Sauchiehall Street which was both house and office. He was buried at Glasgow Necropolis, Omega lair 17. His wife Violet Woodrow had predeceased him on 24 February 1852, aged 40. They had six children, Violet, John who emigrated to Australia, Janet (usually known as Jessie), Robert who died aged 1 year, Robert (named after his deceased sibling) and Hamilton who died 9 November 1919. 'The Architect's Engineer's and Building Trades Directory' (1868) recorded him as having designed 'upwards of twenty churches', of which only six have been identified.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|2, Royal Exchange Court, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1839 *|| || |
|2, Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1841 *|| || |
|15, West George Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1844||1845|| |
|1, Dundas Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1851 *|| || |
|146, Buchanan Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1853 *|| || |
|141, Moore Place, West George Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1853||1854||In partnership with Alexander George Thomson|
|16, Grafton Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1856 *|| || |
|57, West Nile Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1860 *|| || |
|114, West Nile Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1862 *|| || |
|116, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Private/business||1865||1869|| |
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Employment and Training
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architect:|
|APSD|| ||The Dictionary of Architecture||ed Wyatt Papworth||The Architectural Publication Society (8v 1852-1892)|| |
|Architects Engineers and Building Trades Directory||1868||Architect's, Engineer's and Building Trades' Directory|| ||London, Wyman|| |
|Colvin, H M||1995||A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840||3rd edition||New Haven and London: Yale University Press|| |
|Gildard, Thomas||1895||An Old Glasgow Architect on some Older Ones||XXVI||Proceedings of the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow|| |
|Pagan, J||1847||Sketch of the History of Glasgow|| || ||p186|
|The following periodicals contain references to this architect:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Glasgow Herald||28 January 1856|| || || |
|London Standard||22 November 1837|| || || |
|The following archives hold material relating to this architect:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|Bank of Scotland Archives||Union Bank Board Minutes|| || |
|David Cain||Information per Fiona Sinclair courtesy of David Cain, great-grandson of the second Robert|| || |