Judge Benjamin James Edmond Waller

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Judge Benjamin James Edmond Waller's Geni Profile

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About Judge Benjamin James Edmond Waller

A Patriot of the American Revolution for VIRGINIA. DAR Ancestor # A120029


Benjamin Waller (1 October 1716 – 1 May 1786) was descended from a Virginia family established in the state since the 17th century. He was born in King William County, Virginia, the son of Col. John and Dorothy (King) Waller, and was trained as a lawyer utilizing the legal library of Sir John Randolph. He studies law at William & Mary. Benjamin Waller was a clerk of the general court for a number of years and, in 1777, he was named presiding judge of the court of admiralty in Williamsburg, Virginia. Subsequently he served as a judge on the first Court of Appeals where he remained until 1785 when the court moved to Richmond, Virginia.

He was an eminent lawyer of Colonial times and held many important offices under the crown. His name is on the list of the Committee of Safety for the city of Williamsburg Dec. 1774 (Forces Archives.) He was Judge of the Court of Admiralty and in a list of the Judges of the Supreme court of Virginia 1778 (WMQ July 1898). Also: King's attorney of Gloucester (1738); Clerk of James City county (1739; 1742); clerk of "The Court of Oyer and Terminer" (1739); Clerk of the "Committees of Propositions and Grievances, and Privileges, and Elections" (1743); all under George II of Great Britain. He served on the Supreme Court of Virginia 1779-1785.

As clerk of courts, it fell to Benjamin Waller to read the United States Declaration of Independence from the Williamsburg courthouse steps on July 25, 1776. Waller also served as mentor and teacher of law to George Wythe.

He was a Vestryman at Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, Va.

His grandson, Littleton Waller Tazewell, was a U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator from and governor of Virginia. Benjamin Waller's family had emigrated from Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England, the branch of a family long seated at Beaconsfield and previously at Groombridge Place, Kent, England. John Waller Esquire was one of the signators to the Second Charter of Virginia in 1609. Author Alex Haley sketched out the family's English origins in his book Roots: The Saga of an American Family. Williamsburg's Waller Street is named for Benjamin Waller and his family.

He was a member of The House of Burgesses from 1744-1761. He served as a member of the Constitutional Convention from 1776-1777 and was Judge of the Court of Admiralty from 1779-1786

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Judge Benjamin James Edmond Waller's Timeline

October 1, 1716
King William County, Virginia, United States
October 22, 1730
Age 14
Hanover, Hanover County, Virginia, United States
July 9, 1732
Age 15
Spotsylvania, Virginia, United States
Age 19
Age 21
Spotsylvania County, Virginia, United States
October 20, 1742
Age 26
Spotsylvania County, Virginia, United States
Age 28
Spotsylvania County, Virginia, United States
January 20, 1747
Age 30
Spotsylvania County, Virginia, United States