Richard Taliaferro

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Richard Taliaferro ( /ˈtɒlɪvər/ TOL-i-vər; c. 1705–1779) was a colonial architect and builder in Williamsburg, Virginia, in what is now the United States. Among his works is Wythe House, a Georgian-style building that was built in 1750 or 1755. It was declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1970.[1][2][3][4] Other works were public buildings, including the Governor's Palace, the Capitol, and the President's House at the College of William & Mary.[5]

Richard Taliaferro was born about 1705 to an Anglo-Italian family, the Taliaferros, who had settled in Virginia in the early 17th century from London. He lived most of his adult life at his plantation, Powhatan, in James City County outside Williamsburg. Taliaferro built the Wythe House in Williamsburg for his daughter, Elizabeth, and her husband, George Wythe. In his 1775 will, he gave them life tenancy in the house upon his death: "In the name of God Amen, I, Richard Taliaferro of the Parish and county of James City, being aged, but of sound mind and memory, do make my last will and testament as forth with. I give and desire my house and lotts in the city of Williamsburg situate on the west side of Palace Street, and on the North side of the Church yard, to my son-in-law Mr. George Wythe and his wife, my daughter Elizabeth during their lives. ...and I do hereby constitute and appoint my Son-in-law the said George Wythe and my said son Richard Taliaferro Executors of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me made."

Taliaferro died in 1779 at the age of 74 "with the gout in his head".[6]


  1. ^ Wythe House, two photos
  2. ^ "Wythe House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
  3. ^ James Dillon (October 9, 1974). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: James Dillon" (pdf). National Park Service. and Accompanying two photos, exterior, from 1974 (32 KB)
  4. ^ George Wythe, including mention of Richard Taliaferro having built the house in 1755
  5. ^ Taliaferro Times
  6. ^ Virginia Gazette (DN) 3 July 1779

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