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Notes for Richard WHALLEY

Richard had three wives and 25 children. His first wife, Laura Brookman, bore him five children; his second, Ursula Thwaites, bore him 13 and his third, Barbara Cope seven.

From the Dictionary of National Biography, Vol XX, Smith Elder & Co. London, 1899: "Richard Whalley (1499?-1583), politician, born about 1499, was the only son and heir of Thomas Whalley of Kirkton, Nottinghamshire, by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Strelley of Woodborough in the same county. He was no doubt related to the Whalley of Screveton who was physician to Henry VII, and some of whose medical receipts are extant in the Bodleian (Rawlinson MS. A. 393, f.72). He is also said to have been related to Protector Somerset. He was educated Saint John's College, Cambridge, but does not seem to have taken a degree. He was introduced at court, where he ingratiated himself with Henry VIII by his grace and skill in martial exercises; he was one of the "young gentlemen" who attended Sir Thomas Lovell's funeral on 25 May 1524, and three years later seems to have been employed by Cromwell in business relating to monasteries dissolved by Wolsey (Letters and Papers, iv. 150, Nos. 5835, 5849, 6033). In 1536 he was engaged in visiting lesser monasteries in Leicestershire and on 9 July 1538 he was placed on the commission of the peace for the North Riding of Yorkshire. He also practised law, and was paid twenty shillings for his services as council at the York sessions during the trial of the northern rebels. On 26 Feb. 1538/9 he was granted the site of the dissolved Welbeck Abbey and other lands, and on 25 July 1546 he obtained the manor of Sibthorp.

During the protectorate of Somerset Whalley appears to have shared with Sir John Thynne (q.v.) the office of steward to the duke, a position which, coupled with his intriguing disposition, brought him into prominence. On 17 Oct. 1547 he was returned to parliament as a member for Scarborough, and he was appointed a commissioner of chantries under the act passed that year; he was also crown receiver for Yorkshire. In April 1549 Cecil requested his aid in obtaining the grant of Wimbledon manor, which Queen Catherine Parr had held for her lifetime, but Whalley secured it for himself. He was one of the Protector's adherents whom Sir Anthony Wingfield (q.v.) was directed to arrest at Windsor on 10 Oct 1549 but he had on the previous day been sent by Somerset to the duchess at Beddington, and he used the respite to convey a goodly portion of the duke and duchess's goods to his own house at Wimbledon.

On 25 Jan 1549-1550 he and Cecil were bound in recognisances of a thousand marks. Warwick now sought to enlist Whalley's as he did Cecil's support, and in the following June warned him against Somerset's endeavors to regain his position. Whalley, however, remained faithful for the time, and in February 1550-1 was engaged in promoting a movement among the nobility for restoring Somerset to the protectorship; in the event of success Somerset is improbably said to have intended creating Whalley earl of Nottingham; a patent is even stated to have been made out. Whalley's intrigue came to the notice of the council, and on 16 Feb. he was committed to Fleet prison. He was released on 2 April, but was bound in the heavy sum of a thousand pounds. On 18 Oct. following, two days after Somerset's second arrest, Whalley was sent to the Tower. He was repeatedly examined with a view to procuring evidence against Somerset, and his fidelity broke down under the pressure put upon him. At the Protector's trial on 1 Dec Whalley was one of the principal witnesses against him. Perhaps as a reward Whalley himself was not brought to trial, but he remained in the tower until June 1552, when he was forced to surrender his receivership and fined to such an extent that he had to part with Welbeck, Wimbledon, and other manors. On 19 Sep. following he was once more sent to the Tower on a charge of peculation; according to Edward VI, Whalley confessed to these misdemeanours, but that his offences were chiefly political seems probable from the fact that he was released immediately upon Queen Mary's accession.

In the parliament that met on 2 April 1554, Whalley sat for East Grinstead; on 29 Oct following and on 30 Sep 1555 he was returned for Nottinghamshire. He instituted a suit in the court of exchequer for his restoration to the receivership of Yorkshire, but the privy council intervened on 19 Feb 1555-6 and decided against him on the ground of his surrender in June 1552. On 3 July 1561, however, Elizabeth granted him the manors of Whatton, Hawksworth, and Towton, and he is said to have been very rich when he died at the age of eighty-four on 23 Nov 1583. He was buried in Screveton Church, where his widow raised a fine alabaster monument to his memory. Robert Recorde dedicated to Whalley his "Grounde of Artes."

Whalley was thrice married, and is said to have had twenty-five children. His eldest son predeceased him in 1582, and he was succeeded by his grandson, Richard, who was sheriff of Nottinghamshire in 1595-6, knight of the shire in 1597, married as his second wife, Frances, daughter of Sir Henry Cromwell, and was father of Colonel Edward Whalley.

A monument of alabaster was built for Richard Whaley in the chancel of the church in Screveton, Nottingham County. His effigy shows him recumbent in his armor, with long beard, hands raised with palms together, his head resting upon his crest, and his feet upon a whale. Around the verge of the altar stone, is written: Here lieth Richard Whaley, Esq., who lived all the age of 84 years, and ended his life November 23, 1583. At the west end of the altar on which his sculptured likeness rests are the letters T. W., with the shield of arms and crest, and the effigy of his eldest son kneeling. Under the above, and directly over his effigy are the following lines in gold letters embossed: “Behold his wives were number three, Two of them died in right good fame, The third this tomb erected she, To him that well deserved the same, Both for his life and Godly end, Which all that knew must needs commend, Since time brings all things to an end, And they that know not yet may see, A worthy Whaley too was he. Since time brings all to an end, Let us ourselves apply, And learn by this one faithful friend, That here in tomb doth lie, To fear the Lord and eke behold, The fairest is but dust and mould, For as we are, so once was he, And as he is, so we must be.”

From: Miscellaneous Articles on Nottinghamshire History and Archaelogy, : Screveton is a village little visited, lying off the main road, but full of interest from its association with the Whalleys, one of the most remarkable of Nottinghamshire families.

In the tower (formerly in the chancel) of the Screveton Church is a large monument in the Renaissance style, consisting of an altar tomb, surmounted by the recumbent effigy of a gentleman in a complete suit of plate armour, with head resting upon helmet bearing the crest of the Whalley family-a whale's head erased-and having a whale at his feet. Along the edge of the slab sustaining the effigy, the following inscription is carved in relief:-
Here lyeth Richard Whallaye, esquire, who lived at the age of 84 years, and e'ded this life the 23 of Nove'ber, 1583.

This Richard Whallaye had no less than five and twenty children, and spent the latter part of his life at the family seat of Screveton, known as Kirketon Hall. His last wife, Barbara, erected the monument, one of the finest in the county, to his memory. Whallaye was a steward of the Lord Protector Somerset, in the time of Edward VI, and shared in the vicissitudes of his patron. Amongst his descendants was Richard Whalley, who took to the old home at Kirketon, his second wife Frances, daughter of Sir Henry Cromwell, and aunt of Oliver Cromwell. Whether the Protector ever visited his aunt at Screveton we know not, but early in the great struggle between King and Parliament, he enlisted in his service one of his cousins from the village. This was Major General Edward Whalley, "Aunt Fanny's second son," who took an active part in the Civil Wars, rose to a high position in the council of the Parliamentary party, and was entrusted with the guardianship of the King at Hampton Court. At the Restoration he fled with his son-in-law Goffe, first to Vevay, in Switzerland, and then to America, where he died in a cellar at Hadley, in the year 1678. A very full account of his romantic career, and that of another extraordinary man, the Jesuit, Henry Garnet, one of the Gunpowder Plot conspirators, executed 1606, whom tradition asserts to have been a Whalley, was given in the Nottinghamshire Guardian in 1887, in the series which described most of the historic places in the county under the title of About Notts.: Its Places and its People, by Mr. Cornelius Brown.
Another source says that he was born at Kirton.

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