Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Robertson
Designation: Architect
Born: 17 September 1907
Died: 24 October 1972
Bio Notes: James Robertson was born on 17 September 1907, the son of James Robertson, cooper, and his wife, Isabella Cormack. He studied at the School of Architecture, Edinburgh College of Art under John Begg from 1928; it is not known if or where he sought office training. In 1932 he entered the office of Sinclair Macdonald & Sons in Thurso, where he spent a year. In 1934 he joined the office of Leslie Grahame-Thomson, and he was still there when he was admitted ARIBA on 13 May 1935, his proposers being Begg, Arthur Forman Balfour Paul and Frank Charles Mears. His nomination papers state that prior to that time he had spent three months travelling and studying abroad; his declaration accepting his admittance was witnessed by fellow architect David Gardiner Hardie of Manse of Cockpen, Bonnyrigg.

He subsequently practised independently, and formed a brief partnership with Esme Gordon in the late 1930s, but had disappeared from Post Office directories before 1940. He was living in Edinburgh (perhaps after a spell elsewhere?) in 1950 when his address is given as 4 Wemyss Place.

He died on 24 October 1972 at the Cottage Hospital, Crieff. He was survived by his wife Margaret Ferenback.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 4St Joseph's Cottage, Comrie, Perthshire, ScotlandPrivate 1972 
Item 2 of 463, North Castle Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1935 *After 1939 
Item 3 of 434, Castle Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1937c. 1940In partnership with Esme Gordon
Item 4 of 44, Wemyss Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1950After 1964 

* 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 2Sinclair Macdonald & Son19321933Assistant 
Item 2 of 2Leslie Grahame Thomson (or Leslie Grahame-Thomson; later Leslie Grahame MacDougall)1934After 1935Assistant 

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 2John Michael FoxAfter 1933Before 1937AssistantGave 'periodical assistance'
Item 2 of 2Kenneth Mathison Young19341935Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3John Begg13 May 1935for Associateship
Item 2 of 3(Sir) Frank Charles Mears13 May 1935for Associateship
Item 3 of 3Arthur Forman Balfour Paul13 May 1935for Associateship

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 11938Tanfield Primary School  EdinburghScotlandCompetition design (unsuccessful) (information provided to DMW by Alexander Esmé Gordon in response to questionnaire in the 1980s)


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 4Municipal Annual1964Scottish Municipal Annual1964-1965  
Item 2 of 4Post Office Directories     
Item 3 of 4RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 4 of 4RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no5753 (combined box 98)