Basic Biographical Details

Name: Robert Burns Robertson
Designation: Architect, Clerk of Works
Died: July 1938
Bio Notes: Robert Burns Robertson was born in Bridge of Allan. Details of his training are not yet known but he first found employment in the shipyards of John Elder and Company, Glasgow where he worked on the construction of the RMS Umbria and RMS Etruria, launched in 1884 and 1885 respectively. Built for the Cunard Line and used on the prestigious Liverpool to New York route, these were the largest liners then in service. He subsequently moved to His Majesty's Office of Works, Edinburgh where he was appointed as a junior clerk of works in November 1899 and promoted to the position of first-class clerk of works in April 1910.

In 1912 he was appointed resident architect at Windsor Castle and Chapter Surveyor to the Dean and Canons of St Georges Chapel, in succession to A V Nutt. There he supervised many of the alterations made to the castle early in the reign of George V, including the restoration of parts of the Round Tower. As Chapter Surveyor, he also acted as clerk of works on the major restoration of St George’s Chapel (architect Harold Brakspear) between 1922 and 1930.

Robert Burns Robertson retired from his role as Chapter Surveyor at the end of August 1936 and moved to the United States where he had relatives. He died in New York in July 1938.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect, clerk of works:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 3Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness   
Item 2 of 3Windsor, EnglandBusiness19121936Resident Architect and Chapter Surveyor. Windsor Castle
Item 3 of 3New York, United States of AmericaPrivate19361938Retirement

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect, clerk of works (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 1H M Office of Works (later Ministry of Works, Department of the Environment and Property Services Agency)November 1899 * Clerk of WorksIn Edinburgh office

* earliest date known from documented sources.


Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect, clerk of works:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 6Argus16 February 1924 MelbournePage 6 Lecture by R B Robertson - the opening of King Charles I coffin

Item 2 of 6Builder17 May 1912  p720 - appointment
Item 3 of 6The Times3 July 1926  Page 16 - Kings Birthday Honours
Member of Royal Victorian Order (4th Class)
Item 4 of 6The Times3 November 1930  Page 13 Column G - Restoration of St George’s Chapel
Item 5 of 6The Times17 August 1936  Page 13 - retirement
Item 6 of 6The Times14 July 1938  p16 Col B - Obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect, clerk of works:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1Public Record OfficeOffice of Works Records