Playwright and architect. Born in the parish of St Nicholas Acons, London, of Flemish descent. Worked in the English Baroque style, sometimes with Hawksmoor, on Castle Howard and Blenheim Palace. Lived at the self-designed Vanburgh Castle 1719-26, and died at the house he had built for himself in 1701 at Whitehall (demolished in 1898).
Many at the time did not appreciate his work. On his death the Rev. Abel Evans wrote: "Lay heavy on him earth, for he laid many a heavy load on thee."