Walter Beauchamp

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

Early life

He was probably the second son of Sir John Beauchamp of Powick, Worcestershire. At first he studied the law, but afterwards entered into the service of Henry IV and became an esquire in 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 politics

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 family

Walter Beauchamp, a younger brother of Sir William Beauchamp. 1m. bef. Aug. 1400, Elizabeth (c.1385-Feb. 1447), da. and coh. of Sir John Roches of Bromham by Willelma de la Mare, da. and coheir of Sir Robert de la Mare† [and Matilda/Maud de Hastings d/o Hugh de Hastings & Margery Foliot] of Steeple Lavington (now Market Lavington), Wiltshire; 2 sons including (1) Sir William Beauchamp†, Lord St. Amand (1410-1457) married Elizabeth Braybrooke (d/o Gerard Braybrook) m2: Roger Tocotes; (2) Richard Beauchamp (d 1481), Bishop of Salisbury; (3) one daughter, Elizabeth Beauchamp married to Richard Dudley. Knighted 1415.[2]

He died in 1430 and was buried at Steeple Lavington (now Market Lavington) church, Wiltshire. Sir Walter had married twice, firstly to Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Sir Peter de la Mere; and secondly Elizabeth, daughter and coheiress of Sir John Roches of Bromham, Wiltshire. By this second marriage he had three children, one of whom, William, was in 1449 summoned to parliament as fourth Baron St. Amand, in right of his wife, the great-granddaughter of Almeric, third Baron St Amand. Another was Richard Beauchamp, bishop of Hereford and of Salisbury.


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