Sir Walter Devereux (1411 – 22 April 1459) of Bodenham and Weobley was a loyal supporter of the Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York during the Wars of the Roses. He was Lord Chancellor of Ireland from 1449 to about 1451.
Walter Devereux was born in 1411 in Bodenham, Herefordshire to a senior Walter Devereux (or Deverois, 1387–1420) and his wife Elizabeth Bromwich. His maternal grandparents were Thomas Bromwich, Lord Justice of Ireland and Catherine Oldcastle.
His paternal grandparents were an elder Walter Devereux (c. 1361–1402) and Agnes Crophull.[a] Agnes was mother of Sir Thomas Parr by a second marriage to John Parr of Kendal; and paternal grandmother of William Parr, 1st Baron Parr of Kendal, a noted courtier under Edward IV of England and grandfather of Queen Catherine Parr. Agnes Crophull's third husband was John Merbury, the father of Walter Devereux's wife by a previous marriage as indicated below.
His arms were: Argent a fesse gules, in chief three torteaux.
He married Elizabeth Merbury. She was a daughter of Sir John Merbury, Chief Justice of South Wales and his wife Alice Pembridge. They had the following children:
- Anne Devereux (c. 1430 - after 1486). Married William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke (1468 creation).
- Walter Devereux, 7th Baron Ferrers of Chartley (c. 1431 - 22 August 1485).
- Isabella Devereux (born c. 1435). Married Rowland Lenthall (o.s.p., 1422 to 12 May 1488).
- Sir John Devereux (born c. 1438).[b]
His first residence was Bodenham and the core of his Devereux family estates. With the death of his grandmother, Agnes Crophull, in 1436, he inherited the remainder of his Devereux lands including Lyonshall Castle. She withheld her Crophull lands, though, and deeded a life interest in them to her third husband, John Merbury. With his death in 1438, Walter Devereux inherited the Crophull lands including Weobley,[c] and the Merbury estates.
Walter Devereux was a knight by 1429 when he first represented Hereford in Parliament. He would represent Hereford again in 1434, 1436, 1440, 1450, and 1459. Devereux was appointed to collect the tenth and fifteenth in 1336 and 1440 granted to the king by Parliament, and was entrusted again in 1441 with collection of a tenth and fifteenth to fund an expedition by the Duke of York to defend English possessions in France. In 1446, he was also entrusted with collecting a loan to the king. He was justice of peace for Hereford in 1441,. He served as sheriff of Herefordshire in 1447, and Gloucester in 1455.
Walter Devereux served with the Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York in France, and remained his supporter throughout the War of the Roses. In 1441 Devereux was granted protection and appointed an attorney while on service with York in France, and within a year had been knighted. In 1442 and 1445 he was in garrison at Arques (Normandy), and was listed as a captain. On 19 December 1445 he was leading a garrison detachment at the Siege of Conches. After York made a declaration at Ludlow in February 1452 declaring his loyalty to the King, but wishing to free the Court from bad advisors. The King did not respond, and York took to the field calling in his supporters including Walter Devereux, and marched on London. The King marched out to meet them, and eventually found York entrenched at Dartford Heath. The confrontation was resolved peacefully, but skirmishing followed leading to Devereux being attainted for treason by Parliament in 1452. At this time Devereux began holding Wigmore Castle for the Yorkists.
On 22 May 1455 the first Battle of St. Albans was fought north of London traditionally marking the opening of the War of the Roses. A Yorkist victory that included the capture of the King, it restored the Duke of York to complete power. Shortly after the victory Parliament pardoned Walter Devereux. As the King and the Lancaster party maneuvered to reverse their losses, outbursts of lawlessness grew on the Welsh Marches. Walter Devereux, Constable of Wigmore Castle, was up in arms. In the summer of 1456, he descended on Hereford with the castle’s garrison and captured the mayor and justices. Devereux then brought before the justices several local men whom the justices were obliged to condemn to death, and then he had them hanged. Devereux followed this by mustering a force of 2000 archers from Gwent, and marched on the castles at Carmarthen and Aberystwyth, which he took by assault. Afterwards he declared a commission of ‘oyer and terminer’ to judge and condemn more people whom he believed hostile to York. Among his prisoners were Edmund Tudor, the king’s half-brother, and Robert Rees, Keeper of the Welsh Seal.
He was appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland in 1449. His term was brief and likely uneventful. In 1451, Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland appointed his son, the 8-year-old Edmund, Earl of Rutland, as the new Lord Chancellor. Since Rutland was under age, his duties were taken over by Deputy Chancellor Edmund Oldhall.
Walter Devereux died on the 22nd or 23 April in 1459.
Sir Walter Devereux is my 17th great grandfather.
your father → Rufus S. Nichols
his father → James "Jim" Ira Nichols
his father → Ezekiel H. Nichols
his father → "John" Ezekiel Nichols
his father → Rhoda Bond Nichols
his mother → Sgt. Wright Bond, Revolutionary Soldier
her father → Page Bond
his father → William Bond
his father → William Bond
his father → Dorothy Bond
his mother → Sgt. John Harris, Sr.
her father → Sir William Harris, Kt., of Crixsea
his father → Arthur Harris
his father → William Harris, High Sheriff of Essex
his father → Joan Harris, Lady
his mother → Maud Percy, Countess of Northumberland
her mother → Anne Devereux, Countess of Pembroke
her mother → Sir Walter Devereux