William Buckland, 1734-1774: Architect of Virginia and Maryland

William Buckland, 1734-1774: Architect of Virginia and Maryland

William Buckland, 1734-1774: Architect of Virginia and Maryland

William Buckland, 1734-1774: Architect of Virginia and Maryland

Excerpt

So little is known about any of our colonial architects that it seems not too presumptuous to attempt to frame this unfinished sketch of a man who deserves recognition.

The urge to develop the biography of William Buckland was an inherited one. It was stimulated by the study of a few family papers and a close association of one of the authors for many years with Buckland's Annapolis houses. Every family has its traditions but most lack a member with time and energy to put these traditions in some sort of permanent form. A professional knowledge of the byways and ancient mores of London and Oxford, as well as of the finer points of eighteenth century architecture, was needed to round out the story of Buckland's career. Therefore, the two authors became associated in an effort to recreate the life of one of the few pre-Revolutionary craftsmen whose buildings still stand today, serene and authenticated. His is typical of the traditional American success story -- the poor young man's progress and rise in the world. Though his opportunities lay more in the domestic field than in public works, they are unrivaled in his time and place.

We have many acknowledgments to make, some of which fall more naturally into the notes. Chiefly are the authors grateful to the late Daniel R. Randall for his pioneering in William Buckland's cause. To encouraging friends, particularly to Francis C. Haber, who patiently read and condensed the manuscript, and to Edith Rossiter Bevan; to the courteous staffs of the British Museum, The Public Record Office, the libraries of the Guildhall and of the Royal Institute of British Architects, the manuscript room of the Bodleian Library, the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, the Peabody Institute, the Maryland Historical Society, the late Roger Thomas of the Maryland Hall of Records, the Virginia State Library, the Virginia Historical Society, the library of the College of William and Mary, and the Alderman Library of the University of Virginia, we offer our sincere thanks.

R. R. B. J. H. S.

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