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Articles > C17th History > A Brief History of Col.Valentine Walton
A Brief History of Col.Valentine Walton
Published by Faustus on 2004/7/13 (2053 reads)
An update of th early article on Valentine WAlton. Morwe will follow!

A Brief History of Valentine Walton & His Regiment

by David Evans

Walton married Margaret Cromwell, daughter of Robert Cromwell, sister to Oliver Cromwell, in 1619. In October 1640 Walton was returned as an MP for the borough of Huntingdonshire to what was to become the Long Parliament. The local electorate had rejected the nominee of Sir Henry Cromwell, a great local Landowner, in favour of Walton, as Walton was popular locally for his resistance to Ship Money. A "Mr.Walton" appears on a number of committees that considered such matters as the setting up of Preaching Ministers in December 1640. Walton signed the Protestation of May 3rd 1641 addressed to Charles I that promised to defend the "…true, reformed Protestant Religion…." against Popish plots.

The War Commences
During August 1642 Walton was working in Huntingdonshire to secure loans upon the Propositions when the Cambridge Colleges started to gather their plate together to convey to the King in York. Warrants were issued by Walton in Huntingdonshire to raise men to stop the passage of the convoy. Initially Walton did not have a lot of success, attempting to summon the Trained band of Huntingdonshire, only to have them march in under a local royalist supporter, and closing the town. However the University authorities dithered and when they finally started to move the plate the convoy was partly intercepted by a force under Oliver Cromwell and Valentine Walton.

The Raising of Troops
The Start of the Civil War saw Walton raising a Troop of Horse for the Earl of Essex's army. Edward Peacock's book, Army Lists of the Roundheads and Cavaliers lists Walton's Troop Officers as: -

Lieutenant: Jervis Bonner.

Cornet: Walton

Quartermaster: Obadiah Crisp.

It is possible that his cornet was his own son, also called Valentine. Laurence Spring's work on the Eastern Association Army gives the following list: -

Captain Lieutenant: Thomas Ireton.

Lieutenant: Parker. Cornet: Sturgis.

Quartermaster: George Southwood.

However, it is difficult to say when the Troop changed shape.

Walton was involved in the first campaign of Essex's army and fought at Edgehill, only to get himself captured and held in Oxford castle. Initially an attempt was made in June to exchange a Captain Gerard for Walton. Walton was finally exchanged for Col.Thomas Lunsford, being released in early August 1643. Whilst in Oxford Walton petitioned Sir Robert Harley and others on behalf of Alexander Gregory, Minister of Cirencester, also held at Oxford.

The Son Continues
His son's Troop in Cromwell's regiment, if Walton jnr was Walton snr's Cornet, may date after this time. Alan Turton's work on Essex's Horse dates Cromwell's commission to Colonel in February 1643. Walton's first port of call was briefly under the Earl of Denbigh in the Midlands. The seizure of King's Lynn by Royalist supporters within the town and its subsequent siege saw Walton back in East Anglia. King's Lynn fell in September 1643. Walton was made a Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk on October 24th 1643. On October 23rd 1643, Walton swore the Solemn League and Covenant, being addressed as Colonel Walton.

Deputy Governor of Kings Lynn
The Earl of Manchester was made Governor of King's Lynn during September and, still only a Captain, Valentine Walton was made his Deputy Governor. In practise this made Walton de facto Governor of King's Lynn. From this point in the war must be dated the formation of Col.Valentine Walton's Regiment of Foote. Walton was made a member of the very small committee that oversaw the claims for damages caused to King's Lynn during the siege. Accusations surfaced as a result of Walton's control of this 3-man committee, the most notable relating the demolition of one of the almshouses in King's Lynn. One of the almshouses had been damaged and rendered unfit for use, so the committee ordered its demolition and the sale of the materials. Walton was accursed of demolishing another, undamaged, almshouse and profiting from the sale of its materials.

The Regiment
It appears from the sources available that the regiment was partly formed in Suffolk and could have included troops from Essex. During December 1643 the Committee of Suffolk ordered the Collectors for the various assessments in Ipswich to pay the sum of £900 monthly for Col.Walton's regiment in Lynne. Spring's book gives the following list:-
Colonel: -Valentine Walton.
Captain Lieutenant: - Thomas Lovekyn Made a Captain within the regiment by January 1644

Lt.Colonel Charles Nuthall in a Suffolk regiment during September 1643, still in Walton's in

January 1644

Lt.Colonel James Hobart Formerly Major within the regiment

Major Franklin First listed March 1644. Killed at Lincoln in 1644

Major John Mall Major February 1645.
Captains: - William Mann January 1644

Candler January 1644

Francis French September 1643.

Lieutenants: -. John Awson September 1643

Simon West February 1645

Richard Staynes

Larkin February 1645.

Provost Marshall:- George Salter

Joseph Hager.

Quartermaster: - Timothy Langley

Minister John Almond

John Batchelor.

Surgeon: - Mathew Burchinall.

A Further 3 officers are listed but the earliest date for them is 1646 so they may not have served under Walton. 2 Surgeon's mates, 5 Cannoneers, 1 Gunner and 15 Matrosses are also listed. Part of the Regiment marched with the Earl of Manchester to York in 1644. Godfrey Davies' article in English Historical Review Volume 46 on a group of pay documents for the Eastern Association forces gives a list of four companies of Col.Walton's regiment paid during the period 29th April 1644 to 1st March 1645.

They are: - Major Franklin £71 19s 8d

Capt. Cooper £48 10s 4d

Capt. Candler £136 1s 4d

Capt. Moyses £55 13s

£312 4s 4d.

The Loss of Major Franklin
Major Franklin managed to get himself killed during an assault on Lincoln castle when Manchester retook Lincoln. His widow petitioned Parliament for arrears of pay and a pension. It is uncertain if the four companies marched any further north. During the absence of the four companies further work was being carried out on the defences of King's Lynn. John Weaver's account books for the time of the campaign include the sum of £300 "..Paid to Col.Walton towards finishing the Work at Lynne." During the move north of Manchester's forces King's Lynn acted as a depot for arms and supplies following Manchester. It seems that Walton was a trusted man for entries scattered thro the Lord's and Commons Journals trace the movement of money and supplies under Walton's control, £400 to Sir John Meldrum, for Cromwell, to assist Lord Fairfax and control of excise money for various causes. An entry in the House of Commons journal in July 1664 records the granting of a warrant for Col.Walton to transport 4000 Quarters of grain overseas, the proceeds being made in arms and ammunition only. Most of the supplies were shipped up the East Coast. A number of warrants bearing Valentine's signature have survived, being scattered through State Papers Volume 28.

The End
At Marston Moor Captain Valentine Walton was killed. Oliver Cromwell wrote to Col.Walton after the battles to express his sorrow and offer comfort to Col.Walton "….It brake his leg. We were necessitated to have it cut off, whereof he died. He was a gallant young man, exceeding gracious.…..Before his death he was so full of comfort it was so great above his pain. This he said to us. A little after he said one thing lay upon his spirit that God had not suffered him to be no more the executioner of His enemies. At his fall, his horse being killed with the bullet…..I am told he bid them open to the right and left that he might see the rogues run. Truly he was exceedingly beloved in the Army, of all that knew him…."

The Settling of Monies
In April 1645 the House of Commons ordered the payment of the arrears of Col.Walton's regiment although it has not been uncovered yet as to how much was owed and where the money came from or if any was paid out.

Walton - The Regicide
After the second Civil War in 1648 Walton was appointed a judge for the trail of Charles 1st, attending most of the sittings of the court. With the sentence a forgone conclusion, Walton signed the death warrant. However, the signature on the death Warrant is markedly different to that seen on the warrants signed by Walton whilst Governor at King's Lynn. Under the Commonwealth Walton was appointed to all five of the Councils of State formed by Parliament. Walton clearly benefited, being stripped of a number of Manors that he had brought from the Queens estates in 1660. However Walton did not sit in any of the Parliaments or councils of the Protectorate. With the collapse of the final Republic and the restoration of the Monarchy, Walton fled into Flanders. During the Post War Walton gets a mention in Pepys diary: -

Wednesday 1 May 1661, from the Diary of Samuel Pepys

Up early, and bated at Petersfield, in the room which the King lay in lately at his being there. Here very merry, and played us and our wives at bowls. Then we set forth again, and so to Portsmouth, seeming to me to be a very pleasant and strong place; and we lay at the Red Lyon, where Haselrigge and Scott and Walton did hold their councill, when they were here, against Lambert and the Committee of Safety. Several officers of the Yard came to see us to-night, and merry we were, but troubled to have no better lodgings.


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