Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Waller, Richard

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732171Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 59 — Waller, Richard1899Albert Frederick Pollard

WALLER, RICHARD (1395?–1462?), soldier and official, born probably about 1395, was son of John Waller of Groombridge, Kent, by his wife, Margaret Landsdale of Landsdale, Sussex. Groombridge had been purchased of William Clinton by Waller's grandfather, Thomas, who came originally from Lamberhurst in Sussex. Richard served in the French wars under Henry V, and was present at Agincourt in 1415, where he is said to have captured Charles, duke of Orleans (Archæol. Journal, i. 386; Sussex Archæol. Coll. xvi. 271). The duke was entrusted to Waller's keeping at Groombridge as a reward for his valour, and Waller found his charge so profitable that he was enabled to rebuild his house there. On 17 Aug. 1424 Waller served under John, duke of Bedford, at the battle of Verneuil (Royal Letters of Henry VI, ii. 394). In 1433–4 he was sheriff of the joint counties of Surrey and Sussex, and in 1437–8 sheriff of Kent (Lists of Sheriffs, 1898, pp. 68, 136). In 1437 Orleans's brother, the Count of Angoulême, was also entrusted to Waller's keeping (Acts of the Privy Council, v. 82; cf. Waurin, iii. 267). Waller was an adherent of Cardinal Beaufort, and before 1439 became master of his household. In that year he accompanied the cardinal to France on his embassy to treat for peace. In his will, dated 20 Jan. 1446, Beaufort appointed Waller one of his executors (Testamenta Vetusta, p. 252; Epistolæ Academicæ, Oxford Hist. Soc., 1899, i. 266; Letters of Margaret of Anjou, Camden Soc., p. 101). In March 1442–3 Waller was serving with Sir John Fastolf [q. v.], who terms Waller his ‘right well-beloved brother’ (Paston Letters, i. 307), as treasurer of Somerset's expedition to Guienne, and on 3 April he presented to the council a schedule of necessary purveyances for the army (Acts P. C. v. 256). He acted as receiver and treasurer of a subsidy in 1450 (Rot. Parl. v. 173), and seems also to have been joint-chamberlain of the exchequer with Sir Thomas Tyrrell. On 12 July of that year he was commissioned to arrest John Mortimer, one of the aliases of Jack Cade (Palgrave, Antient Kalendars, ii. 217, 218, 219, 220; Acts P. C. vi. 96; Devon, Issues, p. 466). On 8 June 1456 he was summoned to attend an assize of oyer and terminer at Maidstone to punish rioters, and he was one of the commissioners appointed on 31 July 1458 to make public inquiry into Warwick's unjustifiable attack on a fleet of Lubeck merchantmen [see Neville, Richard, Earl of Warwick and Salisbury]. He seems, however, to have made his peace with the Yorkists after Edward IV's accession, and on 26 Feb. 1460–1 was made receiver of the king's castles, lands, and manors in Kent, Surrey, Sussex, and Hampshire (Cal. Patent Rolls, Edw. IV, i. 111), while his eldest son Richard (d. 21 Aug. 1474), who had represented Hindon in the parliament of 1453, was on 10 May 1461 made commissioner of array for Kent (ib. i. 566). Waller apparently died soon afterwards.

By his wife Silvia, whose maiden name was Gulby, Waller had issue two sons—Richard and John—and a daughter Alice, who married Sir John Guildford. The second son, John (d. 1517), was father of John (his second son), who was the ancestor of Edmund Waller the poet; and he was also grandfather of Sir Walter Waller, whose eldest son, George, married Mary Hardress, and was father of Sir Hardress Waller [q. v.]; Sir Walter's second son, Sir Thomas, was father of Sir William Waller [q. v.]

[Authorities cited; Philpot's Villare Cantianum; Berry's County Genealogies ‘Kent,’ p. 296, ‘Sussex’ pp. 109, 358; Hasted's Kent, i. 430–1; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. vi. 231; Burke's Landed Gentry, 1898, ii. 1532; H. A. Waller's Family Records, 1898 (of little value).]

A. F. P.