Walton, Valentine (DNB00)

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WALTON, VALENTINE (d. 1661?), regicide, of Great Staughton, Huntingdonshire, is said to have descended from Sir Thomas Walton or Wauton [q. v.], the speaker of the House of Commons in Henry VI's reign. Valentine married, about 1619, Margaret, daughter of Robert Cromwell, and sister of the future Protector, Oliver Cromwell (Noble, House of Cromwell, i. 89, ii. 293). In October 1640 he was returned to the Long parliament as member for Huntingdonshire. In 1642 he helped to prevent Cambridge from sending its plate to the king at Nottingham, raised a troop of horse to serve under the Earl of Essex, and was taken prisoner by the royalists at the battle of Edgehill (Peacock, Army Lists, p. 56; Ludlow, Memoirs, ed. 1894, i. 45; Commons' Journals, ii. 721, 730). In July 1643 Walton was exchanged for Sir Thomas Lunsford [q. v.], and became colonel of a regiment of foot in the army of the eastern association and governor of Lynn (Sanford, Studies and Illustrations of the Great Rebellion, p. 527; Kingston, East Anglia and the Civil War, pp. 56, 186). Under his government Lynn was strongly fortified, and reserved, according to the gossip of the presbyterians, as a city of refuge for the independents in case their party should be driven to extremity (Walker, History of Independency, ed. 1661, i. 148).

In 1649 Walton was appointed one of the king's judges, in which capacity he attended most of the sittings of the court, and signed the warrant for the execution of Charles I (Noble, Lives of the Regicides, ii. 307). Under the Commonwealth he was a member of all the five councils of state appointed by the parliament, but he did not sit either in the parliaments or councils of the Protectorate. When Richard Cromwell became Protector and called a parliament, Walton, who thought of being a candidate, was obliged to vindicate himself from the charge of being opposed to the government (Thurloe, State Papers, vii. 587). Nevertheless he was not elected; but when Richard Cromwell was overthrown he returned to his seat in the Long parliament, and was elected by it a member of the council of state and one of the commissioners of the navy (Ludlow, ii. 81, 84). On 12 Oct. 1659, when the parliament annulled Fleetwood's commission as commander-in-chief, Walton was one of the seven persons in whom the control of the army was vested. Acting in that capacity, Walton, aided by Sir Arthur Hesilrige [q. v.], occupied Portsmouth, declared against the army leaders, and entered into communication with Monck (Ludlow, ii. 137, 157, 170; Baker, Chronicle, ed. Phillips, p. 695). When the troops in London restored the Long parliament for the second time, Walton was given command of the regiment lately Colonel Desborough's, and he was continued as one of the commissioners for the government of the army until 21 Feb. 1660, when Monck was appointed commander-in-chief. His temporary importance then ended, and he was deprived of his regiment by Monck, who gave it to Colonel Charles Howard (ib. p. 713; Ludlow, ii. 205, 223, 238; Commons' Journals, vii. 796, 799, 800, 841, 847).

At the Restoration Walton was excepted from the act of indemnity, and lost Somersham, Huntingdonshire, and other estates forming part of the dowry of Queen Henrietta Maria, which he had purchased during the republic (ib. viii. 61, 73, 85; Noble, House of Cromwell, ii. 227). He escaped to Germany, and became a burgess of Hanau in order to obtain the protection of that town (Ludlow, ii. 330). His later history is uncertain. According to Anthony Wood, he lived some time in Flanders or the Low Countries, under a borrowed name, maintaining himself as a gardener, and died there soon after the Restoration (Clark, Life of Wood, i. 461). Noble states that he died in 1661 (House of Cromwell, ii. 226). Walton is said to have written a history of the civil wars, containing many original letters of Cromwell, the manuscript of which was still extant in 1733 (Bliss, Reliquiæ Hearnianæ, iii. 108).

Walton was twice married. Valentine, his eldest son by his first wife, was a captain in Cromwell's regiment of horse and was killed at Marston Moor (Carlyle, Cromwell, Letter xxi.) An account of his other children is given by Noble. Walton's second wife, daughter of one Pym of Brill, Buckinghamshire, and widow of one Austen of the same place, died on 14 Nov. 1662, and was buried in St. Mary's Church, Oxford (Clark, Life of Wood, ii. 462).

[A life of Walton is given in Noble's Lives of the Regicides, 1798, ii. 307, and an account of the family of Walton in the same author's House of Cromwell, ed. 1787, ii. 221. Two letters addressed to Walton are printed in Carlyle's Cromwell, and letters written by him are given in the Hist. MSS. Comm. 13th Rep. i. 125, 689, and in Peck's Desiderata Curiosa, ed. 1779, p. 349; other authorities mentioned in the article.]

C. H. F.