Authorised form of nameWaller; Edmund (1606 - 1687); poet and politician
Dates1606 - 1687
Place of birthStocks Place Manor House, Coleshill, Hertfordshire, England, Europe
Date of birth3 March 1606
Place of deathSt James's Street, Westminster, London, England, Europe
Date of death21 October 1687
Dates and placesBaptism:
Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England, Europe (9 March 1606)
Parish church of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England, Europe
OccupationPolitician; Poet
Mr Dobson's School at High Wycombe; Eton College; King's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1621); Lincoln's Inn (admitted 1622)
MP for Ilchester (1624), for Chipping Wycombe (1626), for Amersham (1628, 1640), for St Ives (1640-1643), for Hastings (1660), and for Saltash (1685); conducted the impeachment of Sir Francis Crawley (1641); opposed the raising of troops by Parliament (1642); leader in 'Waller's plot' to seize London for Charles I; imprisoned in the Tower of London (1643-1644); sold his estate to save himself from hanging; in exile in Paris (1644-1651); pardoned and returned to England (1651); Commissioner for Trade (1655-1657, 1660-1668); Commissioner for Plantations (1660-1674) Commissioner for Corporations (1662-1663); Commissioner for Assessment for Buckinghamshire (1663-1674, 1679-1680), for Middlesex (1664-1669), and for Westminster (1673-1679); Commissioner for Accounts, Ireland (1668)
Membership categoryOriginal Fellow
Date of election20/05/1663
Royal Society activityCommittee and panels:
Committee of Agriculture [Georgical Committee]
Other Royal Society activityWhile Waller was never fully expelled from the Society, his name was placed on multiple lists to collect years' worth of arrears
RelationshipsParents: Robert Waller and Anne Hampden;
Married: 1) Ann Banks 2) Mary Bracey [Bressy]
Children: Edmund Waller (MP for Amersham); Margaret Waller (his amanuensis) [11 surviving ones in total]
Second cousin-by-marriage of Oliver Cromwell (whose mother was Waller's mother's sister)
Published worksRCN: R64979
General contextHis actions after the failed Waller's plots served to alienate from multiple parties as his full confession led to the execution of co-conspirators and his sentence of imprisonment and subsequent exile. An overview of Waller's placement within parliaments show him both on the side of parliamentary opposition and within the court of the King. He was tied to the latter in particular as a Commissioner of Trade and Plantations, within the Board of Trade government body, where Waller worked to further the government's colonial interest. In his post, he made £500 quarterly. The Council's orders and tasks fell within a broad remit and included finding ways in which to take and enslave people to bring to the colonies, mediating between the Royal African Company and the colonies, as well as enforcing the 'reeducation' of Native Americans and enslaved people in the colonised regions.
Related imagesDiscover a selection of related images in our picture library
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; Venn; Aubrey; Henning; ODNB
The election date is Waller's re-election date into the Society after the grant of the second charter in April 1663. All Fellows admitted in a two-month window after this charter, until 22 June 1663, are considered Original Fellows. He was previously elected on 16 January 1661.
Some sources state his place of death as Hall Barn, Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire.
Virtual International Authority File
Royal Society codeNA6133
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
CLP/12ii/47/1Manuscript extracts, 'An account of the skeleton of a man, the bones of which were filled with lead' by Mr Weaver [John Weever] and letter on the subject from Edmund Waller to Cromwell Mortimer[1720s][c. 1631]
CLP/12ii/47Extracts, 'An account of the skeleton of a man, the bones of which were filled with lead' by Mr Weaver [John Weever] and letter on the subject from Edmund Waller to Cromwell Mortimer[1720s][c. 1631]
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