Considered to be the chief architect of the family fortune, he was known as the "Honorary Colonel of the Old House". William Taylor (1645–1710) of London, England who emigrated to the Colony of Virginia in the 17th century.
He took up land in Lancaster and Richmond Counties in 1650.
He was the progeniator of the Tayloe"s of "Mount Airy." lieutenant is not known why his orthography was changed from Taylor to Tayloe. He accumulated a vast estate, and was a liberal supporter of the Established Church.
He was a Burgess in 1710, 1728 and 1730. In 1685, William married Anne (1664–1694), daughter of Honorary
Henry Corbin (ca 1629–1676) and Alice (Eltonhead) Corbin, of "Buckingham House", of Middlesex County.
Politically, Tayloe was well-connected which he used to exploit his business interests to their full potential. In 1738, he convinced the Governor"s Council of Virginia to "relieve himself and other adventurers in Iron Mines from port duties on iron ore imported from Maryland." He held over 320 slaves on the Northern Neck and in the Rappahannock River area, tending tobacco and other crops, toiling in ironworks, or working around the home as domestics, gardeners, or carpenters. He held large holdings in Charles County, Maryland, and in Essex and Prince William counties, Virginia.
He inherited Mount Airy from his father.
While Tayloe did not keep a diary or journal about his landscaping, much is known about the estate. There was a bowling green which had decorative borders and a variety of shrubs.
A greenhouse was built ca. 1790. There was a courtyard with lawns, walks, paths, hothouses, and a tree nursery.
The grounds had a kitchen garden, a deer park with cedars and locust trees, orchards, melon beds, flower plots, serpentine walks, a pine tree grove, trimmed hedges, a sunken garden, and an ice house.
Tayloe owned other estates as well including "Nanjemoy," Charles Company, Maryland, "Gwynnfield," Essex Company, "Nabasco," Prince William Company, and others in Virginia.
Tayloe served as High Sheriff of Richmond County, 1713, and was an influential member of the King"s Council, 1732. He was a member of Council in 1732 in Virginia.