is the oldest mansion in Newport, Rhode Island
. Located on Malbone Road, the estate has a history dating to the mid-18th century, but the present main house was built in 1848-49. The estate once served as the country residence of Colonel Godfrey Malbone (1695–1768) of Virginia
. Colonel Malbone made his fortune as a shipping merchant and slave trader, becoming one of the wealthiest men in Newport during the 1740s through privateering
and the triangle trade
. Malbone's mansion was designed by Richard Munday
, a noted colonial architect who also designed Newport landmarks Trinity Church
and the Old Colony House
. The mansion was so grand that it was widely considered the finest house in all of the American colonies.
Future President George Washington
boarded and dined at Malbone in February 1756 when he visited Col. Malbone, who was Washington's friend dating back to Malbone's childhood in Virginia. In 1766, during the course of a gala dinner party, a kitchen fire reduced the house to a pile of sandstone rubble. By several accounts, Colonel Malbone, seeing no reason why the party should be interrupted, ordered dinner to be served outside, proclaiming, "By God, if I must lose my house, I shall not lose my dinner!" Read more...