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ROBARTS, William Emery

Born: 1853
Died: 1903

Architect


Was born at Verulam, Natal where he learnt carpentry and land surveying before leaving to study in England, where he served articles with an architect in London. He returned to Verulam about 1870/71. He evidently joined a military unit since he is shown as part of Sir Theophilus Shepstone's entourage at King Cetshwayo's coronation in 1873 in a sketch by Thomas Baines, together with his fellow officers reclining in a tent. Robarts was later appointed Surveyor of Durban, before 1881 when JFE BARNES succeeded him. Robarts practised as a surveyor and architect in Durban from 1882 and was among the few qualified people in the town. His office appears to have served as a place where prospective local students of the profession received some training. He served on the Durban City Council from 1882 to 1887, being Mayor of Durban from 1886 to 1887; it was during his year as Mayor that Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee was celebrated, Durban taking an active part. In the competition for the new Pietermaritzburg Colonial Offices in 1894 Robarts was awarded second premium. Active politically, at one point Robarts unsuccessfully opposed Harry Escombe as a candidate against Responsible Government. In 1901 he co-founded the Natal Institute of Architects and became its first president, remaining president until his death in 1903. His son WCE ROBARTS was also an architect.

People on this site related to this entry:

William Walter MOON was a pupil of WE Robarts from 1880 to 1885.

(KC 968.3 BAI KCB511; Natal Advertiser Sep 5 1903:6 'Death of Mr WE Robarts'; Natal Mercury Sep 5, 1903:11 obituary; UNSAL)

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

List of projects

With photographs
With notes


Acutt's Arcade: 1895. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Botanical Gardens - Colonial Herbarium: 1902. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Chamberlain's Bldgs: 1903. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Clark & Thistleton store, shops: 1892. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Cuthbert's & Sloan's stores: 1894. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Harvey Greenacres store: 1900. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
House Acutt: Kinnord: c1890. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
House AM Campbell: Louden House: 1892. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
House for Natal Land & Col Co: 1899. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
House Mrs Joel, Atherton: 1903. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
House RN Acutt: 1886. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Marine Hotel: 1892. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Maritime Bldgs: 1903. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Miss Beart's School: 1902. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Natal Bank: 1902. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Poynton's Corner bldgs: 1900. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Presbyterian Church: 1884. Berea, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Shop for Frank Stevens, alt: 1894. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Shop for S Butcher: 1891. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Shop for Thomas & Turner: 1894. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Shops, offices for LM Snell: 1903. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Shops, offices Parsee Rustomfee: 1902. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Shops, stores for Hon R Jameson: 1903. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
St Andrew's Church: 1884. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
St Andrew's Church: 1892. Berea, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Store: 1896. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Timber shed, offices: 1897. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Wallis Chambers: 1903. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Warehouse Chiazzani & Co: 1889. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Wesleyan Methodist Church: 1893. Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect

Books citing ROBARTS

Hillebrand, Melanie. 1975. Aspects of architecture in Natal, 1880 1914. Pietermaritzburg: Unpublished MA. Dept Fine Art and History of Art, University of Natal. pp 199-201