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Sir William Waller

Sir William Waller, Parliamentary General, died on 19th September 1668 at Osterley House and was buried in the New (or Broadway) Chapel at Westminster, an overflow burial ground for St Margaret's Church Westminster. After the ravages of the plague more space was needed for burials in this parish but the only trace of this burial area is the open space at the corner of Victoria Street and Broadway. So Waller has no memorial or marker.

He was born at Knole House in Kent, son of Sir Thomas Waller (died 1613) and his wife Margaret (Lennard). The family was of Norman descent with a seat at Groombridge in Kent. Margaret's parents, Sampson and Margaret (Fiennes), leased Knole. Educated in Oxford and Paris William served with English volunteers in Italy to aid the Venetians. He also supported Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia (daughter of James I of England) as one of her lifeguards on her flight to Germany. In 1622 he was knighted and in this year married Jane Reynell of Forde House in Devon. A son Richard died young and they had a daughter Margaret. Jane died in 1633 - there is a monument to her in Bath Abbey.  His second wife was Anne Finch daughter of the Earl of Winchilsea and they had two sons and two daughters. He was a Member of Parliament and served in a cavalry regiment in the Civil War against the Royalists and had many successes. His third wife was Anne, Lady Harcourt and they had three children. His son William (died 1699) married Catherine Mansell of Glamorgan.

Further information

For his father see History of Parliament online

For William and his son see Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

Sir William Waller
Sir William Waller by Cornelius Johnson (Cornelius Janssen van Ceulen)

© National Portrait Gallery, London [Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0]

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