Michael F. Dwyer
His Lordship's Kindness
7606, Woodyard Road (MD 223), Clinton, Prince Georges County
His Lordship's Kindness has a 2 1/2-story, five-bay wide main block flanked by one-story hyphens and 1 1/2-story wings. The front (north) facade is dominated by a three-bay projecting pavilion, crowned by a pediment containing a large single fanlight set under a brick arch. The front entry in the center bay of this pavilion, has a classic Adamesque frontispiece flanked by fluted pilasters supporting a full Classical entablature and a pediment with a semicircular window, and a Palladian window on the second floor above the front entry. Flanking the front door are narrow 8/8 sash windows, two panes wide. On the second floor the Palladian window has 9/6 panes with an arched traceried top flanked by two-pane wide 4/4 sash windows. The rear facade is very similar, but without a projecting pavilion or pediment on the roof, and without the Adamesque frontispiece. Here a 6-panel door is topped by a traceried fanlight. The hip roof is revealed on the rear (south) facade to be a double hip, with 6/6 sash gabled dormers facing inward and outward on each east and west face. Massive chimneys rise from near the center of the hip on both the east and west sides, and a dentil cornice surrounds the roof edge. Windows on the main block are 9/9 sash with flat-arched brick lintels and louvered shutters. The east and west facades hold two 9/9 windows on the second floor and one on the first floor in the front bay, the rear bay being occupied by the hyphen in each case. The four 3/3 cellar windows on either side of the main block are covered with iron grates and surmounted by segmental brick arches. The gable-roofed one-story hyphens each have a central 6-panel door flanked by traceried fanlight. The wings are one bay wide, with a 9/6 window with a brick segmental arch on the first floor and a fanlight on the second. The interior room arrangement is as formal and balanced as the structure's exterior. The grand entrance leads into a large center hall and elaborate stairway, which consumes almost one third of the floor space. The formal parlor and dining room, located to the front of the house, are separated by perpendicular hallways from the family's private rooms to the rear of the house, which also allowed the servants to enter the rooms via the kitchen rather than the formal space. The kitchen and the family's private Catholic chapel are kept apart from the social spaces where guests are received by their locations in the wings to either side. The interior finishes include an elegant, two-run, open-well stairway, decorative cornices and chair rail throughout, doorways with dentiled pediments, and Federal-style mantels with fluted friezes and dentil molding. To the front of the house is the carriage entry with a circular drive. The rear of the house looks out over a terraced boxwood garden, beyond which lies a family cemetery. The former plantation also includes a number of original dependencies including a privy, smoke house, wash house, slave hospital, and pigeon cote.
His Lordship's Kindness is one of the finest of a number of Georgian plantation houses built by Prince George's county's wealthy planter class during the late 18th century. Only His Lordship's Kindness and Montpelier, however, incorporate the five-part plan which distinguishes Palladian-influenced, late-Georgian design. Other distinctive Georgian features of the house include the pavilion front, tripartite windows, and Flemish bond brick walls. The house was built for Robert Darnall in the 1780s, on land acquired by his great grandfather, Colonel Henry Darnall, in 1702.