Waleran de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Worcester (1104 –1166)
Waleran was born in 1104, the eldest of twin sons of Robert de Beaumont, count of Meulan, who was also to become earl of Leicester in 1107. On their father's death in June 1118, the boys came into the wardship of Henry I. In 1120 Waleran succeeded to lands including the principal family Norman honors of Beaumont and Pont Audemer. In 1122 Waleran was drawn into a conspiracy with Amaury de Montfort, count of Evreux, in support of the claimant to Normandy, William Clito, son of Robert Curthose. Henry I defeated the uprising and Waleran's lands were seized and in 1126 he was imprisoned first at Rouen, then at Bridgnorth in Shropshire and finally at Wallingford Castle. He was released in 1129. He resumed an active role at court and he and his twin brother were both present at Henry's deathbed. He was betrothed to King Stephen's infant daughter, Matilda, and received the city and county of Worcester. In September he commanded the army of Norman magnates which repelled the invasion by Geoffrey of Anjou, husband of the Empress Matilda, daughter of Henry I. Robert of Gloucester attacked Waleran's English base at Worcester in 1139. He was later forced to surrender to the Empress Matilda.
|Rex Warner (1905-1986)
Reginal Ernest Warner - writer and translator - wrote the novel "The Aerodrome" (1941) and translated Greek and Roman classical texts. He died in Wallingford at his home, Anchor House, in St Leonard's Lane.
Peter Cathcart Wason (1924-2003) Wason was a cognitive psychologist, and Reader in Psycholinguistics, University College London from 1970 to 1982. He demonstrated "cognitive biases" or illogical reasoning in the way people think, using tests such as the “Wason selection test” and the “THOG” test, challenging the orthodoxy of the time established by Piaget. He published several books on thinking and reasoning. He died in Wallingford.
Edward Wells (1821-1910)
Wells began work in the Wells Brewery in 1842, became Conservative MP for Wallingford in 1872, and High Steward in 1890. He lived in both Stone Hall, which he extended, and Brewery House (now Wallingford House). Wells lost the 1880 election to Liberal candidate Walter Wren by 41 votes, but Wells challenged the result, alleging bribery. While bribery was not upheld, the election was rerun with new candidates and Pandeli Ralli for the Liberals beat Conservative Robert Hanbury by 19 votes. Wells Brewery opened in 1720 and closed in 1928. His ancestors included Edward Wells (1685-ca1750) fellmonger, Edward Wells (1714-1748) alderman and mayor, and Edward Wells (1748-1811) banker and brewer, and Edward Wells (1771-1826).
Charles West (1928- )
Charles West, British crime novelist, is a former actor. He studied at RADA and performed in the West End in London, including Daddy Warbucks in Annie at Victoria Palace beginning in the 1970s and on Broadway. He wrote "Destruction Man", featuring Australian detective Paul Crook, when acting in Australia. Crook also features in "Stonefish", "Stage Fright" , "Little Ripper", and "The Long Hook". Married to actress Julia West (a National Theatre company member who appeared in the film "Atonement"), he lives in Wallingford.
Errol Ivor White (1901–1985)
Errol White was a palaeontologist. In 1922 White was appointed to the staff of the British Museum (Natural History), working in the fossil fish section. From 1932 his principal interest was the taxonomy, ecology, and stratigraphy of the primitive fish faunas from the Devonian system. In 1955 White was appointed keeper of geology (changed to palaeontology in 1956), and he presided over a considerable expansion of his department between 1955 and 1966. He was president of the Linnean Society from 1964 to 1967. He died in Wallingford.
Wigod ( -1071)
Possible descendent of Athelstan. He was thane of Wallingford, and other land in the area, and welcomed William the Conqueror to Wallingford in 1066. He was the father of Ealdgyth, who married Robert D'Oilly, and of Tokig, who died supporting William the Conqueror in battle
Samuel Wilberforce (1805-1873)
"Samuel Wilberforce" - Soapy Sam - Bishop of Oxford – who took part in a debate on evolution with Thomas Huxley - purchased the parsonage of St Peters in Wood Street.
Richard Wilder (1805-1866)
Son of an Ipsden ironmonger, he set up the Wallingford-based family iron foundry business which has left its hallmarks all over South Oxfordshire. His son, also Richard Wilder (1839-1922), carried on the business, became Mayor of Wallingford and lived at Wharf House, which he renamed St Lucian's. His grandson, Tim Wilder, who still lives at St Lucian's, has produced an archive of the firm. The business was family-owned until 1998. Amongst its castings were the arches in the Corn Market, the lights on Wallingford Bridge, the Maharajah’s Well at South Stoke. There were two foundries in Wallingford, and the old foundry office (36 St Mary's St) still has a weather vane cast by the Wilders. The new foundry, built in 1869 in Goldsmith's Lane has been converted to flats.
William of Wallingford ( -1492)
Became abbot of St Albans in 1476, despite accusations of theft, and built an elaborate screen there, destroyed but since restored, along with other building projects. William was patronised by John Stoke, also of Wallingford. It was alleged that William allowed sodomy and incest to take place within the Abbey, but others disputed these charges. He struggled to prevent royal and episcopal intervention at St Albans. His death was recorded as 1484, but is now generally accepted to have happened in 1492.
William Binham (fl. c.1374–1396)William Binham (also spelt Bynham, Vynham and Rynnan) most likely came from Binham in Norfolk, and was prior of a cell of St Albans in Binham. He later (1379) became Prior of Wallingford. and theologian, probably came from Binham in Norfolk. He became a doctor of theology, most probably at Oxford University, and his ideas were criticised in a tract by reformer John Wyclif.
William d'Aubigny or William de Albini ((d. 1176)William Aubigny was first earl of Arundel. Though a supporter of King Stephen he argued against further fighting in a confrontation between Stephen's forces and those of Henry, Duke of Anjou at Wallingford. This led to a truce known as the Treaty of Wallingford, which d'Aubigny oversaw when it was signed at Westminster, which allowed Henry to become Henry II on Stephen's death.
William the Conqueror (1028-1087)William was the illegitimate son of Duke Robert I of Normandy, and Herleve (also known as Arlette), daughter of a tanner in Falaise. William's claim to the English throne was based on his assertion that, in 1051, Edward the Confessor had promised him the throne (he was a distant cousin) and that Harold II - having sworn in 1064 to uphold William's right to succeed to that throne - was therefore a usurper. Following a battle at Senlac near Hastings in 1066 at which Harold was killed, William took his forces along the Thames, past London, to Wallingford, where he was welcomed by Wigod. Stigand, Archbishop of Canterbury surrendered to him at Wallingford. William was crowned king on Christmas Day, 1066. He instructed Robert D'Oilley to fortify Wallingford Castle.
Eliezer Williams (1754–1820)
Eliezer Williams was a clergyman and genealogist. Around 1779 he was a master at Wallingford Grammar School. He assisted in investigating the pedigree of the ancestors of the earl of Galloway for the purpose of establishing the earl's claim to the English peerage.
Sir Thomas Wode (1754–1820)
Sir Thomas Wode was a Chief Justice. In 1478 he became a Justice of the Peace for Berkshire and MP for Wallingford. He became Chief Justice in 1500.
Nathaniel William Wraxall (1751-1831)
Wraxall, author of historical and humorous memoirs, was MP for Wallingford in 1790. He resigned his seat at the request of Francis Sykes.
Historical Memoirs of My Own Time By Nathaniel William Wraxall
Walter Wren (1834–1898)
Walter Wren, teacher, suffered a spinal disease which caused severe disability. He taught private pupils, coaching them military college and for the Indian Civil Service. He was a radical Liberal, opposed to aristocracy and its privileges. At the general election of 1880 he stood for Wallingford and headed the poll, but his election was declared void on petition owing to bribery by one of his agents.
Sir Thomas Wriothesley ( –1536)
Sir Thomas Wriothesley (born Writhe) was made Wallingford pursuivant in the private service of Prince Arthur on Arthur's investiture as Prince of Wales, and continued as such under Prince Henry. In 1505 he was appointed Garter King of Arms. As Garter, he helped organise the funeral of Henry VII, the coronation of Henry VIII, the Westminster tournament of 1511 and many other official duties.
A book about Rex Warner
A book by Charles West
William the Conqueror, as depicted in the Bayeux
Nathaniel William Wraxall