The Waller Family of Woodcote

When George Wise died in 1888, Woodcote (now owned by Warwickshire Police), was inherited by Maj Gen George Henry Waller, the son of his father’s sister, Catherine, and a veteran of the Crimea War. He was married with four children, Margaret, Francis, Wathen and Edith.

In January 1892 his father, Sir Thomas, died and he inherited a baronetcy (originally bestowed on his grandfather Jonathan Wathen Waller, who was an eye surgeon to the Royal family and was present at the death of King George III). However, he died himself only 11 days later and the property and title were inherited by his son, Francis Ernest, who was aged 11 at the time.

Photograph of boy, aged about 10, probably Francis, possibly Wathen Waller, 1890.
Warwickshire County Record Office reference CR 341/341/8.

Francis went on to join the Army and fought in the Boer War. He left the Army in 1908 and took up his duties as Lord of the Manor.  He visited the elderly, the school (where he gave prizes and started races at sports events) and was a much loved squire. He was also a Magistrate, Deputy Lieutenant of the County and High Sheriff.
At the start of World War I he re-enlisted and was killed in October 1914, so his brother, Wathen inherited his land and title. He similarly resigned his commission in 1919 to devote himself to public works alongside his wife, Lady Viola.

When Sir Wathen Waller, Bt died in 1947, without issue, Lady Viola sold Woodcote to the County Council for police use and it became the Headquarters of the Warwickshire Constabulary. His title passed to his second cousin, Edmund Waller, the grandson of Sir Thomas’s brother, Ernest Adolphus.