Richard Munday, worked 1719 - died 1739


architect; housewright; innkeeper; shipwright


Newport, Rhode Island

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The earliest mention of Richard Munday occurred in November, 1713 when he married Martha Simons (died 1731) at Trinity Church in Newport.(1) In 1721, he was identified as a house carpenter when he purchased land of Newport vintner Francis Gilbert and his wife Elizabeth.(2)

Though identified as an innkeeper, house carpenter, and housewright in official documents, the 1725/6 building for Trinity Church in Newport is attributed to his design. Based strongly on Christopher Wren's churches in London and the Old North Church in Boston, Trinity was the first of many baroque buildings to be built in Newport during the second quarter of the eighteenth century.(3)

After Martha's June, 1731, death, he married Mrs. Elizabeth Hubbard in Bristol, Rhode Island. They would have at least three children, all baptized in Bristol; Mary (born 1732), William (born 1734), and Richard (born 1737).(4)

In 1739, Munday was paid twenty five pounds for drafting the plan for the new Colony House in Newport, built in the Dutch baroque style.(5)

Munday was dead by November, 1739, before construction on the Colony House had begun in earnest. His widow Elizabeth was named executrix of his estate.(6)

Benjamin W. Colman and Patricia E. Kane

1. Newport Trinity Church Records, November 29, 1713. Newport Historical Society, Rhode Island.

2. Richard Munday to Francis Gilbert deed, May 20, 1721, Newport Land Evidence vol. 6, 212. As recorded in Colonial Records Land Evidence Card Index, Newport Historical Society, R.I.

3. Antoinette F. Downing and Vincent J. Scully, Jr., The Architectural Heritage of Newport, Rhode Island 2nd edition (New York: American Legacy Press. 1982), 54-56.

4. Vital Record of Rhode, Island, 1636-1850,

5. Downing and Scully, Architectural Heritage of Newport, 57.

6. Richard Munday will, October 2, 1766, Newport Town Council, vol. 8, pp. 65-67.