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Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||Robert Henderson Watherston |
|Designation: ||Architect, Builder |
|Born: ||1869 |
|Died: ||1923 |
|Bio Notes: ||Robert Henderson Watherston was born in 1869, the son of James Watherston, and his wife Janet Henderson. His father was a partner in John Watherston & Sons, builders who had an important architectural office at least 1856. John Watherston, the founder of the firm was born on 2 March 1798. Sometime prior to 1830 he married Elizabeth Millar born 1 April 1802. At least two sons were partners in the business, William married to Cilla Johnston, and Robert Henderson's father James, born 11 April 1831, who married Janet Henderson, born 31 January 1843. |
The Watherstons built large parts of Edinburgh's West End speculatively sometimes to designs specified by the Walker and Heriot Trust estates, sometimes to their own. These were undertaken by the sons, John Watherston himself having died on 11 October 1869. The firm was also much sought after for country house work, again sometimes as architect builders. William Watherston died on 22 November 1895 and James died on 30 September 1907.
Robert Henderson Watherston attended the Edinburgh Collegiate School and was awarded prizes about 1884. He was presumably articled to his father and uncle circa 1887. The sophistication of his best work suggests that he also had gained experience with a leading architectural practice. He retired on 31 December 1918 from the family firm which was in the hands of John Watherston in the 1920s.
Robert Henderson Watherston died in 1923 and was buried in Dean Cemetery. He left a substantial legacy to the University of Edinburgh (£78,889). He was survived by his wife, Catherine Jack (1883-1971), his daughter Marion, and two sons, Robert Henderson junior who married Joan Meares Andrews in 1933 and J G Watherston who married Bethia Dundas Jardine in 1935. Neither joined the family firm. They both went into farming.
Information from gravestones, Dean Cemetery.
Robert Henderson Watherston's library is still in the possession of his granddaughter, Miss Margaret Bryer. Amongst others he had a copy of
Rev Robert Scott Mylne: The Master Masons to the Crown of Scotland. No. 151.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect, builder:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|Queensferry Street, Edinburgh, Scotland||Business|| || || |
|4, Ellersley Road, Edinburgh, Scotland||Private|| ||1923|| |
Employment and Training
|The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect, builder (click on an item to view details):|
| ||Name||Date from||Date to||Position||Notes|
|John Watherston & Sons||Late 1800s||1923||Partner|| |
Buildings and Designs
|The following periodicals contain references to this architect, builder:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Scotsman||26 May 1920|| || ||p1|
|Scotsman||23 June 1923|| || ||p2|
|Scotsman||2 February 1924|| || ||p7|
|Scotsman||10 June 1933|| || ||p12|
|Scotsman||13 June 1935|| || ||p11|
|The following archives hold material relating to this architect, builder:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|Courtesy of R H Watherson's granddaughter, Miss Margaret Bryer||Information via 'Contact Us' on website|| ||Sent November 2011|
|Professor David M Walker personal archive||Professor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material|| ||Personal information from the then principal partner in Watherstons|
© All rights reserved. Robert Henderson Watherston. Courtesy of Susan Bryer, granddaughter of RHW.
© All rights reserved. Catherine Jack, wife of Robert Henderson Watherston with one of their children. Image courtesy of Susan Bryer.
© All rights reserved. The three children of Robert Henderson Watherston, Robert, Marion and Jack. Image courtesy of Susan Bryer.