WALTER, Edward (1727-80), of Stalbridge Park, Dorset.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1754 - 1774

Family and Education

b. 1727, 2nd s. of Paget Walter by Elizabeth, da. of Edward Mervyn of Manston, Dorset.  m. Hon. Harriet Forrester, da. of George, 5th Lord Forrester [S], 1da. who m. James Bucknall, 3rd Visct. Grimston [I].  suc. gd.-fa. to estate of Bury Hill, nr. Dorking 1746, and bro. to Stalbridge Park 1753.

Offices Held


Peter Walter, grandfather of Edward, left estates in Somerset, Dorset, and Surrey, and a fortune computed at over £300,000, which eventually went to his grandson, Edward. In 1747 Edward’s elder brother, Peter, obtained by foreclosure the estates of the Harvey family, who had ruined themselves by successive contests with the Medlycotts at Milborne Port. The Harvey interest in the borough thus passed to Edward Walter, who made an agreement with Thomas Medlycott to share the borough one and one.

Walter was classed by Dupplin in 1754 as a country gentleman expected to support Administration, but on 13 Nov. 1755 he voted with Opposition on the subsidy treaties. He had little interest in Parliament, and no other vote by him is recorded during his twenty years in the House. On 24 July 1761 Shelburne wrote to Bute:1

Before I left town I had a visit from Mr. Walter, a man of near £10,000 a year in the west; not only respectable for that but for his way of living likewise, which is generous and open. He wished through me to request your Lordship to make his sister-in-law Mrs. Cockburn bedchamber woman to the Queen ... He said it was the only request he should ever make, and was very desirous independently of it and from principle being looked on as one of your Lordship’s friends.

Walter appears in Fox’s list of Members favourable to the peace preliminaries; was classed by Rockingham in July 1765 as an opponent; in all later lists (Newcastle in 1766, Rockingham in 1767, Robinson in 1772 and 1774) as a supporter of Government. Apparently he never spoke in the House.

The compromise at Milborne Port broke down in 1772; and at the by-election of that year Walter’s candidate was successful but unseated on petition. Walter himself was defeated at the general election of 1774. Early in 1780 he sold his interest to Medlycott, and died later in the same year.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: John Brooke


  • 1. Bute mss.