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Annapolis Experience Blog Picture Of The Day – The Origins of the Henry Woodward Tenement or Georgian House B and B c. 1747-51 – Tuesday March 6th 2012

Annapolis Picture of the Day

Henry Woodward Tenement Today The Georgian House B and B At 170 Duke of Gloucester Street In Annapolis Maryland March 6th 2012

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Sometimes There Is A Difference Between Historic and Landmark Buildings

Today this historic Annapolis Maryland building is the location of the Georgian House Bed & Breakfast. Located at 170 Duke of Gloucester Street this Georgian style structure, along with it’s many visitors and owners during the 18th Century, is rich in Colonial American as well as Annapolis history.

Ah where to begin telling you about this historic structure. Well first of all to my way of thinking it is one of possibly a dozen buildings in all of Annapolis that when you walk past it there is no doubt that the outside facade is pretty much unaltered since it was originally built. Yes there are other historically significant buildings here in the city that have achieved colonial era landmark status but a number of those sites have been “restored” to the point of having less than a historic and authentic feel to it. Does that really matter in a historic building? To most probably not however when one encounters a building or site with this sense of authenticity to it, that I wrote of earlier, where the history almost exudes from it than one can appreciate the difference between the two.

Ownership & Origins of the Building – 1733 through 1795

To start with then the original name as well as the historic label used to describe the lot and dwellings at 170 Duke of Gloucester Street is the Henry Woodward Tenement. As a number of organizations have already attested to the term “tenement” was used in a different way back in the middle to late 1700’s than it is today. The term tenement back then referred to rented or leased out land and/or property, in other words the owner(s) did not occupy it. Anyway Henry Woodward inherited two parcels of land in Annapolis in 1733 from his mother of which part of these lots make up what is today 170 Duke of Gloucester Street. Henry Woodward was a member of the Proprietary Assembly of 1757 – 1758, in the Lower House, representing Annapolis. He was seated in the Assembly after challenging the election of a George Steuart as delegate – kind of hanging chad issue of that day. Mr. Woodward never lived in this building instead his residence was on what was then called Church Street, the other side of the two lots, which today is known as Main Street.

The records are a bit unclear as to the exact date of the construction of the first part of the present structure although most believe that it was between 1747 and 1751. It should be noted that other buildings of various sizes and materials occupied these lots prior to the construction of the first part of the current building here on Duke of Gloucester Street.

What I find interesting about the current building is that if you look closely at the picture above and take a moment to focus on the right hand side of the building one can see that it was constructed in two sections over a period of 10 years or so. Look at the vertical middle areas of the upper and lower windows on the right hand side – second group from the right, where you can see a white line that runs from the base of the house to the bottom of the second floor window. From this line over to the end of the right side of the house was the original or first section that was built around 1750. So the first part of this eventually grand house was only a little over one and a half windows wide on the street side or a bay and a half in period structure dimensional terms.

Sometime over the next ten years or so this bay and a half wide house was added on to there by almost tripling it’s original size of which we see today represented by the width of first floor, four windows and entrance door, of the Georgian House Bed & Breakfast. Henry Woodward died in 1761 and at which point his wife sold the Annapolis house along with a sizable amount of acreage to Henrietta Dulany. Her son Lloyd Dulany eventually inherited the house but in his future years he carried with him the label of loyalist which forced him to leave for England in the 1770’s where he later died in London. In 1783 his house was confiscated by the new American government and sold as a result of his allegiance to England.

The Dulany property was purchased by George Mann who owned the City Tavern a.k.a. Mann’s Tavern on what is now Main & Conduit Streets. During the time that he owned the old Woodward property, now with a large Georgian style home on it, Mr. Mann converted it for use as a tavern and later as an inn where it enjoyed a good reputation as such. Mr. Mann died in 1795 and the use for this building continued to change over the next two hundred years.

The Woodward Tenement in Annapolis Social & Political Circles – 1751 through the 1770’s

Up until 1755 the Tuesday Club, whose members included Jonas Green of the Maryland Gazette Newspaper and Thomas Bacon – well known author as well as musician, held meetings here. In the later part of the 1750’s the Forensic Club met here as well whose members included signatories of the Declaration of Independence such as Thomas Stone, Samuel Chase and William Paca. Intellectual discussions focusing on politics and the future of the colonies relationship with England surely echoed throughout the rooms of the house during that period.


So the next time that you find yourself on Main Street in Annapolis take a walk up Conduit Street and then go left on to Duke of Gloucester Street where you will see the historic Henry Woodward Tenement for yourself. I have no doubt that you will be able to feel the history of this two hundred and sixty year old building for yourself and not just that of another historic landmark.

The Annapolis Experience Blog will be featuring another post about the history and ownership of the Henry Woodward Tenement beyond the 18th Century sometime later in the Spring.

Have a good Tuesday,


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