|Major Waldron defends against armed natives in the Cocheco Massacre of 1689|
|President of New Hampshire|
|Preceded by||John Cutt|
|Succeeded by||Edward Cranfield|
6 January 1615
Alcester, Warwickshire, England
|Died||27 June 1689
Dover, New Hampshire
|Spouse(s)||Unknown, Ann Scammon|
|Children||"Paul; Timothy, wh. is said to have d. at Harv. Col. bef. gr. ; Richard, b. 1650; Ann; Elnathan, 6 July 1659, d. at 5 mos.; Esther, 1 December 1660; and Mary, 14 September 1663, perhaps d . soon, and so many have also, her mo. (these three last rec. at Boston); and by sec. w. Ann, perhaps sis. of the firs t Richard Scammon, had Eleazer, 1 May 1665; Elizabeth 18 October 1666; Mary, again, 17 July 1668, d. a. 14 yrs. old;" (Savage)|
|Parents||William Walderne and Catherine Raven|
|Occupation||President of colonial New Hampshire, merchant, magistrate, councillor, mill owner, Major of the New Hampshire Militia and speaker of the colonial Massachusetts assembly|
Major Richard Waldron (or Richard Waldern, Richard Walderne) (1615–1689) dominated the society and economy of early colonial Dover, New Hampshire and had a substantial presence in greater New Hampshire and in neighbouring Massachusetts. He was the second president of the colonial New Hampshire Royal Council after it was first separated from Massachusetts. 
An "immensely able, forceful and ambitious" member of a well-off Puritan family, he left his English home and moved to what is now Dover, New Hampshire. He first came about 1635. He built mills on the Cocheco River, amassed local land holdings that endured in his family for over 170 years, controlled much of the local native trade, and was prominent in local politics and as deputy to the Massachusetts General Court for twenty five years from 1654. He was speaker several times. When the first president of the colonial New Hampshire council, John Cutt, died suddenly, council member Walderne became the acting president or governor until Edward Cranfield arrived from England. "By the 1670s the portion of Dover known as Cocheco had become something like Waldron's personal fiefdom, and citizens in the other areas of settlement rarely challenged his social authority."
Birth and family
Waldron (or Walderne) was born in Alcester, Warwickshire, England. One of many children of William Walderne and Catherine Raven, he was christened on 6 January 1615. Little is known of his early life. The name of his first wife is unknown. He married second Ann Scammon. He had several children.
Masonian property dispute
Perhaps because he was a prominent landholder, he was singled out for a lawsuit which was part of a plan seeking to overturn all land titles in colonial New Hampshire in favour of the descendants of John Mason, the adventurer who had named New Hampshire and planted the first British colonists.
Whipping of Quaker women
Walderne was the local magistrate whose stern Puritan action in 1662 toward three persistent Quaker women proselytisers became the stuff of condemnatory poetry by Whittier. He ordered them to be marched behind a cart through eleven townships and stripped to the waist and whipped in each. When released in the third township they were marched into, the women left for Maine.
King Philip's War
At the end of King Philip's War, a number of aboriginal natives fleeing from the Massachusetts Bay Colony militia took refuge with the Abenaki tribe living in Dover. The Massachusetts militia ordered Waldron to attack the natives and turn the refugee combatants over to them. Waldron believed he could capture the natives without a pitched battle and so on September 7, 1676 invited the natives—about 400 in total, half local and half refugees—to participate in a mock battle against the militia. It was a trick; after the natives had fired their guns, Waldron took them prisoner. He sent both the refugee combatants and those locals who violently objected to this forced breach of hospitality to Boston, where seven or eight were convicted of insurrection and executed. The rest were sold into slavery in "foreign parts", mostly Barbados. The local Indians were released, but never forgave Waldron for the deception, which violated all the rules of honor and hospitality valued by the natives at that time. Richard Waldron would be appointed Chief Justice for New Hampshire in 1683.  
Richard Walderne may be most famous for the way he died. During King William's War, local native women were allowed into the garrisoned homes of the settlers when they requested to stay the night of 27 June 1689, and, after all was still, stealthily opened the doors to waiting armed native warriors. "In one bloody afternoon, a quarter of the colonists in what is now downtown Dover, NH were gone – 23 killed, 29 captured in a revenge attack by native warriors. In one afternoon, 50 years of peaceful co-existence between the Pennacook tribe and European colonists ended. The massacre of 1689 entered the history books ...." The sword-wielding elderly Walderne, once disarmed, was singled out for special torture and mutilation.
His son Richard, grandson Richard, and great grandson Thomas Westbrook Waldron were successively members of the Royal Council for the Province of New Hampshire. The influence of this branch of the Waldron family in New Hampshire declined after the American Revolution, and though Thomas Westbrook Waldron gave his qualified support to the new United States. This decline came despite the combining of families of influence within the Waldrons: President John Cutt's daughter Hannah married the second Richard Waldron and, and after her death, Cutt's grandniece Elinor Vaughan also married the second Richard Waldron. The third Richard III counted two more governors among his family connections; an uncle George Vaughan and Vaughan's brother-in-law Jonathan Belcher. Richard III in turn married the only daughter of Colonel Thomas Westbrook, leader of the eastern militia and a one-time councillor, grand daughter of a successful Portsmouth sea merchant, Captain John Sherburne, and great-granddaughter of one of the Laconia Company factors and "assistant governor" Ambrose Gibbins. However, "With the disappearance of an old and illustrious family, the release of a third of our central territory to the uses of a new population and the whirl of machinery, old Dover passed away and new Dover began its life."
The family did not entirely disappear with the passing away of the extensive Waldron lands, however. A Thomas Westbrook Waldron, grandson of Colonel Thomas Westbrook Waldron, moved north to found a Canadian branch of the family in Charlotte County, New Brunswick. Two other grandsons, Richard Russell Waldron and Thomas Westbrook Waldron (consul) became members of the Wilkes Expedition and lent the family name to a Cape in the Antarctic, a landmark in Hawaii, and an island in the San Juan Islands of present-day Washington state. Another was an early Major of US Marines, and yet another a college principal.
- "Richard Waldron" in: "Brief Notices of Councilors", Collections of the New Hampshire Historical Society, Volume 8 By New Hampshire Historical Society, pp.337-338.
- Colonial New Hampshire - A History, by Jere Daniell, p. 60
- Historical Memoranda Concerning Persons and Places in Old Dover, New Hampshire By Rev. Alonzo H. Quint, p.407 as found at Google Books http://books.google.ca/books?id=I7zpekVPBsAC&pg=PA406&lpg=PA406&dq=%22Waldron+house%22+Portsmouth+OR+Dover+%22New+Hampshire%22&source=bl&ots=T6MsNNyK81&sig=zYWYfPHd9oVVRNigVT7A1Y4TzbU&hl=en&ei=FKwOTLvnEoymnwftw5GjDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CCAQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q&f=false)
- Cutts Genealogy, pp 536-7, which quotes Historical Memoranda by Rev. A.H. Quint
- He and his ancestors spelled his name as Walderne but subsequent generations wrote it as Waldron. See for example The New England Magazine Volume 0023 Issue 1 (Sept 1897) "Old Dover, New Hampshire" Garland, Caroline Harwood, In: New England Magazine, p.99 as found at http://digital.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=newe;cc=newe;idno=newe0023-1;node=newe0023-1%3A1;frm=frameset;view=image;seq=107;page=root;size=s
- "Pedigree of Waldron from parish registers", H.G. Somerby, New England historical and genealogical register, viii 78.
- A Genealogical Dictionary of The First Settlers of New England, Before 1692, by James Savage, Volume #4, at http://www.usgennet.org/usa/topic/newengland/savage/bk4/wait-wale s.htm but also as found at http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=glencoe&id=I42065
- John Scales and Alonzo Quint, Historical Memoranda Concerning Persons & Places in Old Dover, N.H., p. 218 accessed 6 January 2012
- "Richard Waldron" in: "Brief Notices of Councilors", Collections of the New Hampshire Historical Society, Volume 8 By New Hampshire Historical Society, pp..338-9
- "Whipping of the Quaker Women", Dover Library, http://www.dover.lib.nh.us/DoverHistory/whippingofthequakerwomen.htm
- Everett S. Stackpole and Lucien Thompson, History of the town of Durham, New Hampshire (Oyster River Plantation) with genealogical notes, (1913?) vol. 1, p.249 at: http://www.archive.org/stream/historyoftownofd00stac#page/248/mode/2up/search/Waldron accessed 6 September 2010
- Belknap, The History of New Hampshire, volume 1, Source of Science Series [reprint], pp. 75-6.
- "Cocheco Massacre", http://www.seacoastnh.com/history/colonial/massacre.html
- "Cocheco Massacre", Dover Library, http://www.dover.lib.nh.us/DoverHistory/cocheco.htm
- Garland, Caroline Harwood, "Old Dover, New Hampshire", The New England Magazine Volume 0023 Issue 1 (Sept 1897) p.103, as found at http://digital.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=newe&cc=newe&idno=newe0023-1&node=newe0023-1%3A1&frm=frameset&view=image&seq=111)
- "Pepperrell Manuscripts" New England historical and genealogical register, (1865) Volume 19, p.223, footnote In: http://books.google.ca/books?id=zdBgwAm7z3wC&dq=%22richard%20waldron%22&pg=PA223&ci=77%2C985%2C761%2C342&source=bookclip
- "Letter from Thomas W. Waldron to Meshech Weare" Dover, N. H., 19 August 1776, In: http://www.stanklos.net/advSearchParaDet.php?pid=16531&psname=CORRESPONDENCE%2C%20PROCEEDINGS%2C%20ETC.
- Rambles about Portsmouth: Sketches of persons, localities, and ..., Volume 2 By Charles Warren Brewster, William Henry Young Hackett, Lawerence Shorey, p. 51 at: http://books.google.ca/books?id=KCkTAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA143&dq=cutts+genealogy&hl=en&ei=McQeTLPmPMi3nge3jcjnAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDQQ6AEwATgK#v=onepage&q=cutts%20genealogy&f=false
- Edward Raymond Sherburne & William Sherburne, "Henry Sherburne of Portsmouth, N.H., and some of his Descendants" In: New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1904, pp. 227-9
- Historical Memoranda Concerning Persons and Places in Old Dover, New Hampshire By Rev. Alonzo H. Quint, p. 408
"Richard Waldron" in: "Brief Notices of Councilors", Collections of the New Hampshire Historical Society, Volume 8 By New Hampshire Historical Society, pp. 332–341 gives a comprehensive biography, in Google Books
- List of colonial governors of New Hampshire
- List of Speakers of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
|President of the Province of New Hampshire (acting)
as Governor of the Province of New Hampshire