Walter Devereux, 1st Viscount Hereford
He was born in either Chartley Castle or the Chartley Manor which replaced it as the residence of the Barons Ferrers of Chartley following the Wars of the Roses. He was a son of John Devereux, 8th Baron Ferrers of Chartley and Cecily Bourchier.
His paternal grandparents were Anne Ferrers, 7th Baroness Ferrers of Chartley and her husband Walter Devereux, Lord Ferrers of Chartley. His maternal grandparents were William Bourchier, Viscount Bourchier and Anne Woodville.
In May of 1501 his father died and Walter succeeded him as the 9th Baron Ferrers of Chartley. On 07 Dec. 1509 he had special livery, although still under age, without proof of age or payment of relief for his father’s lands.
He was created High Steward of Tamworth on 20 Nov. 1510, and joint Constable of Warwick Castle on 15 Feb 1511 with Sir Edward Belknapp. He was also joint Steward of the manor, town, or borough of Warwick. On 27 Jan. 1513 he was appointed Keeper of Netherwood Park; Councillor and Royal Commissioner of Wales and the Marches on 01 Aug. 1513; and High Steward of Hereford in 1514.
Walter Devereux served with distinction in the War of the League of Cambrai (1508–1516) and the Italian War of 1521-1526. He was Captain in the English Army in France 24 August 1523. For his gallantry in the sea fight off Conquet (Brittany) he was honored on 13 July 1523 with his creation as a Knight of the Garter  by Henry VIII of England alongside diplomat Thomas Boleyn, later Earl of Wiltshire.
He was appointed Bailiff of Sutton Coldfield (11 Feb. 1525); Steward of the Household and Councillor to Mary, Princess of Wales (1525); Chief Justice of South Wales (22 Aug. 1525); High Steward of Builth (22 Aug. 1525); and Chamberlain of South Wales, Carmarthen and Cardigan (25 May 1526).
In the late 1520’s Devereux came into increasing conflict with Welsh magnate Rhys ap Gruffydd following King Henry's grants of major power to him in Wales as described above. This reached a head when Rhys with a gang of armed supporters threatened Ferrers with a knife in 1529. The two men were allowed to air their grievances, but Rhys' family continued to stir up trouble. Eventually Rhys was charged with treason, convicted and executed. The consolidation of Devereux's position in Wales helped prepare the way for the reformation.
Walter Devereux was created Viscount Hereford on 2 February 1550. He was appointed Privy Councillor (1550); joint Lord Justice and Lieutenant of Stafford (4 May 1551); and Justice of the Peace for Stafford, Worcester and Salop (18 Feb 1554).
Marriages and children
He was first married to Mary Grey (1491- 22 February 1538) prior to his father's death in May 1501, and was pardoned on 15 December 1503 for having married in his father's lifetime and when under marriageable age. She was a daughter of Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset and his second wife Cecily Bonville, Baroness Harington and Bonville. Cecily Bonville was the daughter and heiress of William Bonville, 6th Baron Harington by his wife Katherine Neville. Her maternal grandparents were Alice Montagu, 5th Countess of Salisbury and her consort Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury (jure uxoris). By Mary Grey he had three children:
- Sir Richard Devereux (d. 13 October 1547). Married Dorothea Hastings. She was a daughter of George Hastings, 1st Earl of Huntingdon and Anne Stafford. They were parents to Walter Devereux, 1st Earl of Essex.
- Sir William Devereux of Mirevale Abbey. Married Jane Scudamore, daughter of John Scudamore. The marriage produced two daughters, Barbara Devereux and Margaret Devereux.
- Henry Devereux, died unmarried.
In 1539, he married secondly Margaret Garneys, daughter of John Garneys of Kenton. They had two children:
- Sir Edward Devereux, 1st Baronet of Castle Bromwich. Married Catherine Arden. They were parents of Walter Devereux, 5th Viscount Hereford, fourth-generation ancestors of Price Devereux, 9th Viscount Hereford and fifth-generation ancestors of Edward Devereux, 11th Viscount Hereford.
- Katherine Devereux. Married Sir James Baskerville.
General Biographical References
- Brydges, Egerton. Collins’s Peerage of England, Genealogical, Biographical, and Historical in 9 Volumes. (London: Rivington, 1812). Volume 1, Page 6 & 7
- Cokayne, G.C. Complete Baronetage. (New York; St. Martin's Press, 1984). Volume V, page 326 to 333, Ferrers
- Devereux, Walter Bourchier. “Lives and Letters of the Devereux, Earls of Essex.” (London:J Murray, 1853)
- Doyle, James E. “The Official Baronage of England.” (London: Longmans, Green, and Co, 1886). Volume 1, page 167.
- Mosely, Charles (editor). Burke’s Peerage & Baronetage, 106th Edition. (Switzerland: Burke’s Peerage Genealogical Books, 1999). Volume 1, page 1378
- G. E. Cokayne. Complete Baronetage. (New York; St. Martin's Press, 1984). Volume V, page 326, Ferrers
- Walter Bourchier Devereux. Lives and Letters of the Devereux, Earls of Essex. London:J Murray, 1853. Volume 1, Page 7
- Ralph Griffith, Rhys ap Thomas and his Family, University of Wales Press, Cardiff, 1993, pp.106, 110-11.
- Sir Egerton Brydges. Collins’s Peerage of England, Genealogical, Biographical, and Historical in 9 Volumes. London: Rivington, 1812. Volume 1, Page 6 and 7
|Custos Rotulorum of Cardiganshire
|Peerage of England|
|New creation||Viscount Hereford
|Baron Ferrers of Chartley