Robert Carter was born at Corotoman Plantation in Lancaster Couny, Virginia, in 1662 or 1663. He was the son of John Carter who was one of the wealthiest planters in Virginia. He was a member of the General Assembly of Virginia, and in 1726 he became President of the Governor's Council and acting Governor of Virginia after the death of Hugh Drysdale. He was an agent of Thomas Fairfax and served two terms as agent for his Fairfax Proprietary of the Northern Neck, from which hunreds of thousands of acres were sold and distributed. Carter acquired large tracks of land for himself on the Rappahannock River and purchased 20,000 acres that became his Nomini Hall Plantation. He secured vast amounts of land for his family in the Northern Neck and in Virginia west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He arranged for Christ Church to be built nearby his home, and he died and was buried there on August 4, 1732, leaving his family 300,000 acres of land, 3,000 slaves, and 10,000 pounds in cash. His daughter Anne Carter married Benjamin Harrison IV, grandparent of President William Henry Harrison. His son Landon Carter married William Byrd II's daughter, Maria, and he built Sabine Hall in 1732 near Warsaw in the Northern Neck. Robert Carter's grandson, Carter Burwell, constructed Carter's Grove in 1750. Other descendants included Robert E. Lee, Mann Page, and Thomas Nelson Page.
The "Spinster House," photo from AHBS, Library of Congress
Robert "King" Carter built a large Georgian mansion at Corotoman between 1720-25. Located at a point on the Rappahannock River between Carter's Creek and the Corotoman River, the mansion was at the center ofa 300,000 acres estate of 48 plantations. It was one of the greatest mansions at the time and set a standard for other aspiring Virginia aristocrats to emulate. It replaced the "Old House" that had been constructed by his father, John Carter, in the 17th Century. "The Spinster House," pictured above, was another old house on the property built in the late 17th or early 18th centuries. In addition, the property had an elaborate English garden and a Brick House Store from which imported goods were sold. The mansion burned down in 1729 only four years after it was completed. Carter resided either in the Old House or the Spinster House for the remaining three years of his life. Known architectural features of the house were a two story brick dwelling with a two-story porch and a central entrance hall of black and white marble imported from England. Archaeology shows that the house was constructed of rubbed brick and used Delft tile as decoration.
Robert "King" Carter (1663-1732), unidentified paiter, photo public domain
Carter Family Coat of Arms, Encyclopedia Virginia
Conjectural Drawing of Corotoman by the Northern Neck of Virginia Historical Society
Young Robert Carter painted by unknown artist between 1690-1720, copy by Mariette Andrews around 1900
Robert Carter, Historic Christ Church & Museum