Basic Biographical Details

Name: Henry Roberts
Designation: Architect
Born: 16 April 1803
Died: 9 March 1876
Bio Notes: Henry Roberts was born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania on 16 April 1803, the son of an English-American merchant, Josiah Roberts. His mother may have been American. The family returned to England in 1804 or 1805. In 1818 Roberts was articled to Charles Fowler and remained with him for seven years. Roberts proved an exceptionally able pupil. He won two Society of Arts medals in 1824 and began entering major competitions in the same year. In 1825 he entered the RA Schools and spent a period with Sir Robert Smirke. In 1828-29 he travelled in Italy returning to commence practice at 23 Suffolk Street in 1830. In 1832 he won the competition for the Fishmongers' Hall at London Bridge and took on as an apprentice George Gilbert Scott who described him as being 'of independent circumstances, and was a gentlemanly, religious, precise and quiet man'.

From 1825 onwards Roberts was involved in the design of industrial housing and from 1844 was closely connected with the Society for Improving the Condition of the Labouring Classes. In that connection Roberts made several visits to Scotland and gave a paper at the Glasgow Meeting of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science containing a detailed critique of the model dwellings erected in Edinburgh in the previous decade. By that date he had withdrawn to Italy. In 1847 he had married the daughter of a Russian nobleman, Catherine de Swetschine, but by 1853 he was engaged in an indiscreet liaison with a working class lady described as 'a member of the lower orders'. He died in Florence on 9 March 1876.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 123, Suffolk Street, London, EnglandBusiness1830  

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 2Charles Fowler1818 Apprentice 
Item 2 of 2(Sir) Robert Smirkec. 1825 Assistant 

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 1(Sir) George Gilbert Scott1832December 1834Assistant(?) 


RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 2Frederick Humphrey Groves12 February 1838for Associateship
Item 2 of 2(Sir) George Gilbert Scott3 December 1949for Fellowship

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 11851Wigtown Parish ChurchWigtown WigtownshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 1James Stevens Curl The life and work of Henry Roberts, architect, 1803-76   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1National Archives of Scotland (formerly SRO)Heritors Records HR/355/1 & 4