(c. 1736–1813). Influential British draughtsman, writer, and designer. He worked for John Adam and accompanied James Adam on the Grand Tour (1760–3), during which he became familiar with the Antique sources of the Adam style. He appears to have been treated ungenerously by the parsimonious Adam, but nevertheless worked in the London office as he had little hope of establishing a career on his own account. Among the works for which he made drawings were Kedleston, Derbys., and it would seem that he played more than a draughtsman's role there, for designs for several ceilings, etc., were signed by him, and survive. By 1765, however, he appears to have set himself up as a draughtsman, and exhibited under his own name. He probably designed the pretty Georgian Gothick churches at Stapleford, Leics. (1789), and Teigh, Rut. (1782), as well as (possibly) the Classical church at Saxby, Leics. (1789). Richardson published several books, including A Book of Ceilings composed in the Stile of the Antique Grotesque (1774, 1776, 1793), A New Collection of Chimney Pieces (1781), A Treatise on the Five Orders of Architecture (1760–3), New Designs in Architecture (1792), Original Designs for Country Seats or Villas (1795), and the very important New Vitruvius Britannicus (1802–8 and 1808–10), which promoted fine late-C18 English architecture just as Campbell, Woolfe, and Gandon had promoted earlier designs.
From A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in Oxford Reference.