Walter Beauchamp

Sir Walter Beauchamp (sometime around 1380 – 1 January 1430) was an English lawyer and Speaker of the House of Commons of England between March and May 1416.[1]

Early lifeEdit

Beauchamp was the second son of Sir John Beauchamp of Powick, Worcestershire. In his youth, Beauchamp studied the law although he became distinguished as a soldier displaying great gallantry at the Battle of Agincourt.[2] As a younger son, Walter didn't enjoy the possessions of his families chief estates positioned in Worcestershire and Warwickshire. Walter did however use his families connections at court, getting retained by Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester in May 1392 for services in Ireland.[3] Upon his return to England, Beauchamp is believed to have rendered some service to Henry IV prior to his coronation on 23 October 1399 because only ten days after he received a grant of as much as £40 a year for life or until he was provided with lands to that value. The later of which was granted in August 1400 when he and his bride assumed ownership for the term of their lives the duchy of Lancaster manors of Easterton and Berwick St. James in Wiltshire.[4]

Royal serviceEdit

Following his acquisition of the duchy of Lancaster manors, Beauchamp was serving as an esquire of the royal household. It is likely that he fought for the king at Shrewsbury in 1403 and campaigned in the north against Archbishop Scrope and the earl of Northumberland in 1405. In 1415 he served as a king's knight in the royal army in France, as part of the retinue of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester.

Career in politicsEdit

He was appointed High Sheriff of Wiltshire for 1403 and 1407. On his return from France after the Battle of Agincourt he entered parliament in 1416 as Knight of the Shire for Wiltshire and on 16 March 1415/6 was chosen speaker of the House of Commons. However, Sir Walter did not hold the office long, as parliament was dissolved in the same year.

In 1417 he served in France again and was at Rouen after its capture in 1419. He remained in Normandy for two years, on his return becoming treasurer of the royal household, treasurer at war and one of the executors of Henry V's will in June 1421. Shortly afterwards he passed into the service of Queen Catherine as steward of her household. He was also selected as one of the commoners to assist in the protection of the young Henry VI.

He was employed as counsel by his relative, Richard Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, to argue his claim of precedency before the House of Commons. This quarrel between the Earl of Warwick and John Mowbray, earl marshal, which took up much of the time of the session of 1425, was terminated by the restoration of the forfeited dukedom of Norfolk to Mowbray.

In 1429 he was made Master of the Horse.

Later life and familyEdit

Walter Beauchamp, a younger brother of Sir William Beauchamp (d 1421) of Powick, Worcs. They were the sons of Sir John Beauchamp (d 1389) by his wife Elizabeth. Walter married bef. Aug. 1400, Elizabeth (c.1385-Feb. 1447), da. and coh. of Sir John Roches of Bromham by Willelma da. and coheir of Sir Robert de la Mare of Steeple/Market Lavington, Wiltshire. They had 2 sons and 1 daughter.[5]

He was knighted in 1415, died in 1430 and was buried at Steeple Lavington (now Market Lavington) church, Wiltshire. He married Elizabeth Roche da & coh of Sir John Roche (1333–1400) of Bromham, Wiltshire, by Willelma de la Mare, sole da & heir of Sir Robert De la Mare (1314–1382) of Steeple/Market Lavington, Wilts., by Matilda/Maud de Hastings (d/o Hugh de Hastings & Margery Foliot). They had three children: (1) Sir William Beauchamp, (1410–1457), was in 1449 summoned to parliament as 4th Baron St Amand, in right of his wife, Elizabeth Braybrooke (d/o Gerard Braybrook) and the great-granddaughter of Almeric St Amand, 3rd Baron St Amand; m2: Roger Tocotes; (2) Richard Beauchamp, (−1482) bishop of Hereford and of Salisbury; and (3) Elizabeth Beauchamp who married Richard Dudley, knight.


  1. ^ "The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1386–1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe., (1993).
  2. ^ Manning, Alexander James. (1850) "The Lives of the Speakers of the House of Commons, from the Time of King Edward III to Queen Victoria". p. 60-62. ISBN 978-1333619855.
  3. ^ J.S. Roskell, 'Three Wilts. Speakers', Wilts. Arch. Mag. lvi. 342-58.
  4. ^ Ibid.
  5. ^ "BEAUCHAMP, Sir Walter (D.1430), of Bromham and Steeple Lavington, Wilts. | History of Parliament Online".

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Richard Redman
Speaker of the House of Commons
Succeeded by
Roger Flower