Built on the site of the Brewhouse for the old Richmond Palace. It was a summer residence of Sir Charles Asgill 1st Baronet. A self-made banker who served as Lord Mayor of London in 1761. The same year work began on ‘Richmond Place’, as it was then known.
The residence was one of Robert Taylor’s first architectural projects. Having starting his career as a sculptor and stone mason he designed it in a Palladium Villa style.
Sir Charles Asgill’s only son, by the same name, was a lieutenant in the First Foot Guards and was taken prisoner at Yorktown during the America Revolution. Washington had demanded a patriot soldier be executed in retaliation for loyalists killing Captain Joshua Huddy. Charles Asgill junior was unlucky enough to be selected, by lot, on 27th May 1782.
His mother appealed for his release to the French foreign minister (family connections), who approached Washington. Washington then passed her requests to Congress. Congress’s solution was to offer Asgill’s life as “a compliment to the King of France.” and Charles the 2nd Baronet was released in November.