Miles Brewton House

27 King Street, Charleston, South Carolina

Completed in 1769, for Miles Brewton (1731-1775) and his wife Mary Izard (d.1775). It was built by the contractor Richard Moncrieff who employed Ezra Waite (d.1769) etc. It took four years at a cost £8,000 and was considered, "the finest of American town houses". In 1773, Josiah Quincy dined here and recalled, "the grandest hall I ever beheld, azure blue satin window curtains, rich blue paper with gilt... excessive grand and costly looking glass". The Waterford crystal chandelier in the second floor ballroom (that runs the width of the house) was designed specifically for the room and the house is described in Owen Wister's book, Lady Baltimore (1906). Today, the house is considered, "one of the most important surviving examples of English Palladianism in American architecture," similar to Drayton Hall, but Brewton's is not open to the public....

This house is best associated with...

Miles Brewton

Col. Miles Brewton, of Charleston, Member of the Commons & Council of Safety


Mary Izard

Mrs Mary (Izard) Brewton


Rebecca Brewton

Mrs Rebecca (Brewton) Motte


Jacob Motte II

Jacob Motte Jr., of Charleston, South Carolina


Mary Brewton Motte

Mrs Mary Brewton (Motte) Alston


William Alston

Colonel "Billy" Alston, of Clifton Plantation, Georgetown Co., South Carolina


Mary Motte Alston

Mrs Mary Motte (Alston) Pringle


William Bull Pringle

Judge William Bull Pringle, of Charleston & Runnymede Plantation, South Carolina


Miles and his family were all lost at sea when their ship sunk in 1775, at which point the house was inherited by his sister, Mrs Rebecca (Brewton) Motte. During the British Occupation of Charleston (1781-2), the house was commandeered as the headquarters of Sir Henry Clinton, and Lords Rawdon and Cornwallis. While Brewton's portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds was punctured by a British sword and an image of Clinton with a ship was scratched into a marble fireplace, by virtue of being the British headquarters it escaped the vandalism that befell similar properties. The ferocious barbs atop the wrought iron fence were put up in 1822 in anticipation of a rumored slave revolt. The Brewton House remains a private family home, having stayed in the same family since 1769. 

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Contributed by Mark Meredith on 26/08/2019 and last updated on 05/01/2020.
Image (Cropped) Courtesy of Profreader, Wiki Commons; American Buildings & their Architects: The Colonial and Neoclassical Styles (1976), by William H. Pierson; Town & Country Magazine Photo Shoot: A Grand Inheritance; Charleston: A Historic Walking Tour (Arcadia Publishing, 2005), Mary Preston Foster; Lady Baltimore (1906), by Owen Wister; Mary's World (2003), by Richard Cote; Architecture and Town Planning in Colonial North America (2002), by James D. Kornwolf


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