Today known as the Granite Corinthian Masonic Lodge, Lombardy Hall is a historic home that once belonged to Gunning Bedford Jr. (1747-1812), a prominent Delaware and national political figure during the Colonia period. The simple Georgian style two-and-half story house was built sometime around 1750. Gunning Bedford purchased the house and the surrounding property, which was approximately 250 acres in size, in 1785. Bedford was a state delegate to the Philadelphia Convention, which drafted the Constitution. He earned notoriety for his impassioned support for the equal representation of small states in the federal government, warning that they might seek the support from foreign countries.
Backstory and Context
Towards the end of his life, he was an active supporter of education in Wilmington and served as president of the board of trustees of Wilmington Academy, which would later become Wilmington College. At some point during these years, Bedford served as Grand Master of the Delaware Masonic Lodge. He was also a leader of the Delaware Society for the Promoting the Abolition of Slavery. He died in 1812.
Fradin, Dennis B. The Founders: The 39 Stories Behind the U.S. Constitution. New York City: Walker & Company, 2005.
Post, Robert. "Lombardy Hall (Gunning Bedford House)." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. December 05, 1972. https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/ec67fe0b-c166-4787-9bd0-9e570e608032.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons