William Wallis ca.1657-1737

From Book Owners Online

William WALLIS ca.1657-1737

Wallis's bookplate (British Museum Franks Collection *352)

Biographical Note

Wallis's background and early career are not known; by 1693 he was a captain in the army and may have seen action in Flanders before resigning his commission in 1693 to buy an estate at Datchworth, Hertfordshire. In 1697 he bought the nearby manor of Wormleybury. He became a groom of the privy chamber in 1695, but lost his court appointment on the death of William III. He was MP for Steyning (where he also held property) 1705-22, but he was increasingly beset by financial problems from about 1720, when he had to sell his Datchworth and Steyning estates, and was declared bankrupt.


Wallis used an engraved armorial bookplate, dated 1705 (Franks *352). The extent and disposition of his library is not known, but little may have remained by the time of his death; in his will, much of his property was bequeathed to a nephew.