ROBERTSON, JAMES GEORGE
- Born: 1816 Died: 1899
Architect and antiquary, of Kilkenny. James George Robertson was born in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire on 2 April 1816. He appears to have come to Ireland in about 1828, when he was still a young boy, to join his relative WILLIAM ROBERTSON who was practising as an architect in Kilkenny. He remained in Kilkenny for sixty years. Like William Robertson he practised as an architect - he was very probably William Robertson's pupil and assistant - but only one work by him, a school, is recorded in the Irish Builder.(1) He held the post of diocesan architect for the United Diocese of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin until the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland in 1869, but when a new diocesan architect was appointed after disestablishment, he was displaced by RICHARD LANGRISHE. (2)
James George Robertson was much better known as an antiquarian than as an architect. He probably derived his interest in antiquities from William Robertson, who had formed a collection of material in preparation for a work on Kilkenny antiquities. This material was edited and published by James George Robertson in 1851, as The Antiquities and Scenery of the County of Kilkenny. He was actively engaged in the Kilkenny Archaeological Society (later the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland), which he joined shortly after its foundation in 1849, and made a number of contributions to the society's journal.(3) He was instrumental in establishing the Kilkenny Museum, of which he was the curator for many years. His work on an illustrated catalogue of the collection was brought to an end by his departure from Kilkenny, which took place in 1888 as the result of 'family bereavements'.(4) He died in Dublin on 30 November 1899.
RIAI: elected member, 28 Nov 1878, having been proposed by GEORGE CARLISLE HENDERSON , ALBERT EDWARD. MURRAY and THOMAS DREW. (5)
RSAI: elected member, 6 March 1850;(6) elected fellow, 1870; hon. treasurer, 1886-1888; hon. fellow, 1888; presented with illuminated address, January 1889.(7)
Addresses: William Street, Kilkenny, 1858;(8) Patrick Street, 1884;(9) 74 Stephen's Green, Dublin, 1889 ->=1894;(10) 36 Sandford Road at time of death.(11)
All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the obituary of Robertson in JRSAI 30 (1900), 379, which is accompanied by a portrait photograph, 380.
(1) IB 14, 15 Oct 1872, 276.
(2) IB 14, 1 Jul 1872, 191.
(3) Robinson's contributions to JRSAI and to The Irish Builder on antiquarian matters are not included in the Bibliography.
(4) JRSAI 20 (1889), 16.
(5) RIAI council meeting minutes, 13 Nov 1878, 214.
(6) JRSAI 2(1852-53), 180.
(7) See note 3, above.
(8) Jones, source not given but probably JRSAI 5 (1858-59).
(9) George Henry Bassett, Kilkenny City and County (1884), 123;
(10) Lists of members in JRSAI 19 (1889)and JRSAI 24 (1894).
(11) Post Office Directory (1900).
2 work entries listed in chronological order for ROBERTSON, JAMES GEORGE
|Building:||CO. KILKENNY, KILKENNY, ORMONDE ROAD, VOCATIONAL SCHOOL|
|Nature:||New school in cut stone.
|Refs:||St Patrick's, Kilkenny: gravestone inscriptions (Kilkenny Archaeological Society, n.d.),49.|
|Building:||CO. KILKENNY, KILKENNY, SCHOOL (RC)|
|Nature:||New school to be erected to designs of 'Mr Robertson' in parish of St John. FS laid Oct 1872. Builder: James Connell.|
|Refs:||IB 14, 15 Oct 1872, 276|