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Peyton Randolph House - Williamsburg, VA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Hikenutty
N 37° 16.337 W 076° 41.989
18S E 349292 N 4126432
Quick Description: The Peyton Randolph House was built in 1715 and has seen visitors the likes of General George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette. It is now one of the over 500 original and restored colonial buildings that make up Colonial Williamsburg.
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 7/5/2008 11:38:07 PM
Waymark Code: WM44FP
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Dragontree
Views: 71

Long Description:
The following excerpt is from Colonial Williamsburg's Webpage about the house:
The deep red Peyton Randolph House is one of the oldest, most historic, and without doubt most beautiful of Colonial Williamsburg's original 18th-century homes.

The west wing of the impressive house has stood at the corner of Nicholson and North England Streets since about 1715. Among the historic figures that took shelter in the house were General Rochambeau and the Marquis de Lafayette.

William Robertson built the house that eventually became the west wing of the Peyton Randolph house. Sir John Randolph purchased the west wing in 1721. He bought the east lot for £50 on July 20, 1724 and had a home constructed there as well.

Sir John's son, Peyton Randolph, built a spacious and well-appointed two-story central section between the two houses. A hall with a large roundheaded window and a grand staircase connect single rooms on each floor. The first-floor parlor measures 19 feet square, and the bed chamber above has the same dimensions.

Sir John Randolph, the only colonial born in Virginia to be knighted, died in 1737. He left the house to his wife, Susannah Beverley Randolph, until their second son, Peyton, reached the age of 24. Their first son, Beverley, inherited property in Gloucester County; their third son, John, inherited acreage on the city's southern edge; and their daughter, Mary, received a dowry of £1,000. Susannah Beverley Randolph remained in the home until her death sometime after 1754.

Peyton Randolph, Speaker of Virginia's House of Burgesses in the years leading to the Revolution, brought his wife, Betty Harrison Randolph, to the home by 1751. It became a hub of political activity, and its owner Peyton Randolph was elected the presiding officer of the First Continental Congress at Philadelphia in 1774. An inventory taken at Peyton Randolph's death in 1775 indicates how the house was furnished and equipped.

Widow Betty Randolph opened her home to French general Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, when he arrived in Williamsburg with General George Washington to prepare for the siege of Yorktown in 1781. The house served as the French headquarters until they moved to the field.

Peyton and Betty Randolph had no children and, after her death and according to directions in Betty Randolph’s will, the house was sold at auction on February 19, 1783. A newspaper advertisement described it as "pleasantly situated on the great square." It was conveyed to the highest bidder, Joseph Hornsby, on February 21, and the proceeds were divided among Betty Randolph's legatees.

By 1824, the house was in the possession of Mary Monroe Peachy. She had the honor that year of lodging Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette, when he visited the city on October 20 and 21 during a tour of America.

Tickets to visit Colonial Willimsburg, see the over 500 original and restored buildings and tour many of them, such as the Randolph house, are $37 for adults and $18 for children ages 6-17.

Earliest Recorded Date of Construction: 01/01/1715

Additional Dates of Construction:
1750's - Peyton Randolph addition 1938-1940 - First restoration 1967 - Further restoration

Architectural Period/Style: Colonial

Type of Building e.g. Country House, Stately Home, Manor:
Stately city home

Interesting Historical Facts or Connections:
Many famous vistitor's such as Washington, Lafayette and Rochambeau House served as the French headquarters as preparations were made for the battle at Yorktown.

Listed Building Status (if applicable): Listed on National Register of Historic Places

Main Material of Construction: Wood

Private/Public Access: Public

Opening Hours (if applicable): From: 9:00 AM To: 5:00 PM

Related Website: [Web Link]


Architect (if known): Not listed

Landscape Designer (if known): Not listed

Admission Fee (if applicable): Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
Tell us about your visit with any details of interest about the property. Please supply at least one original photograph from a different aspect taken on your current visit.
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