Ian B. S. Holbourn
In 1899, Holbourn was part of an expedition to Iceland. On the way north the ship passed Foula, which so intrigued him that the following year he returned. Once there, he determined to buy it and, despite family disapproval, in the end he had his way. He married Marion Archer-Shepherd in c.1902(?). Holbourn continued to lecture in England, variously at Oxford, Cambridge, and London, but Foula became the Holbourns' summer retreat. When there he sat on the Zetland County Council, in the hope his advocacy might improve the quality of life of the Foula folk.
In 1913, Holbourn went on a lecture tour of the USA which proved a great success and he returned in the autumn of 1914, taking with him the manuscript of his 'Fundamental Theory of Beauty', a labour of twenty long years, which he was close to completing. He booked his return passage on the Lusitania, even though both he and his wife had premonitions that it would be torpedoed. Although he survived the sinking, the experience was deeply traumatic, compounded by his fear of losing the manuscript of his opus. After spending a long time in water, he was eventually picked up by a fishing smack, and finally made his way to Queenstown. Aboard the Lusitania, Holbourn had befriended a young girl, Avis Dolphin, who he took care of immediately after the loss of the Lusitania and who became a life-long friend. It was for Avis that he wrote The Child of the Moat and Children of Fancy, a book of poems.
In 1918 Holbourn was offered a chair in the University of California in Art and Architecture, and later moved to Minnesota. He was a very popular lecturer and tutor. In the years following he travelled widely in Europe and the USA, as well as Japan.
- Jacopo Robusti called Tintoretto, London, 1903
- An introduction to the Architectures of European Religions, Edinburgh, 1909
- Children of Fancy, New York & Edinburgh, 1915
- The Need for Art in Life: a lecture delivered at the University of Manchester, London, 1915
- The Child of the Moat: a story for girls, 1557 A.D., New York, 1916
- The Isle of Foula: a series of articles on Britain's loneliest inhabited isle, Johnson and Greig, 1938 (reprinted Birlinn Books, 2001)
- These He Cannot Take: Addresses by the late Ian B. Stoughton Holbourn (edited by Marion C.S. Holbourn), Leith, 1949
- Wind and Wave: poems, Shetland Times, 1967
Shetland Museum has a photo of Ham, Foula with Ian Holbourn's yacht lying at anchor @ http://photos.shetland-museum.org.uk/index.php?a=wordsearch&s=item&key=WczoxMjoiaWFuIGhvbGJvdXJuIjs=&pg=1