WALLER, wol'er, Edmund, English poet: b. Coleshill, Hertfordshire (now in Buckingm shire), 3 March 1606; d. Beaconsfield, 21 Oct 1687. He was educated at Eton and King's College, Cambridge, and was returned a mem ber of Parliament for Amersham before he was 18. In 1625 he was returned for Chipping Wy combe and he sat for other places in several Parliaments, including the Long Parliament On the death of his wife in 1634 he courted Lady Dorothea Sydney, whom he celebrated in his verses under the name of (Sacharissa,) and Lady Sophia Murray, whom he distin guished by the name of (Armoret) both with out success. Is Parliament he at first opposed the court party, but retained his place in the Long Parliament and openly expressed his royalist sentiments after the Civil War began. He was sent as a commissioner from Parlia ment to the king after Edgehill and soon after this occurred the incident called Waller's plot. Its nature is not clearly understood, though Waller made an abject confession of all he Imew, including the names of his confederates, some of whom, his near relatives, were put to death. This event in his life is introduced in Beatrice Marshall's story (An Old London Nosegay) (1904). He was imprisoned for a
year, fined #10,000 and exiled. During this exile the first collection of his poems was published in 1645. In 1653 he obtained per mission from Cromwell to return to England and in 1654 he addressed a (Panegyric to the Lord Protector.) In 1656 he recommended him in another poem to assume the royal title. Shortly after a poem on the death of the lord protector, he addressed one to the king on his majesty's happy return. The proceedings of Monlc apparently had not been anticipated. He again sat m Parliament, at intervals of cessa tion, till the reign of James II. Burnet says his popularity in Parliainent was great, but he did not take pains to understand its business, but only studied to gain applause, being a vain and empty though a witty man. His poetry was celebrated for elegance and polish at a time when these graces had been comparatively little studied, but it is destitute of all great qualities. The one most quoted is (Go, Lovely Rose.) Consult Gosse, (17th Century Studies) (1897); and Thorn-Drury's (Waller's Poetical Works) (with biography, 1893).