Copperplate line engraving by W Watts after the Hon James Luttrell. Published by J Sewell, August 1786 in the European Magazine.
The house was originally built as the home of Dr Richard Russell. It was on the earlier site of small tenements and a shop, which, according to a deed of 27 April 1739, were there some years before that date. Dr Russell bought these properties on 2 July 1753 and during 1753/54 built what was then the largest house in Brighthelmstone. He lived there until his death in 1759.
Russell’s will is mentioned in J G Bishop’s 1899 work Miscellaneous Subjects Historical and Literary. Dr Russell left three houses in the parish of St Michael’s, Lewes, to his wife Mary, together with this Brighton house and its stables, coach house, chariot and pair of coach horses. But his wife and children had to give up all claims to his farm at ‘Pedinghoe’. His eldest son, William, was a barrister, and his other son and daughters were Richard, Wilhelmina, Mary, Timothea, Grace and Hannah.