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Benjamin Waller

Benjamin Waller

An attorney interpreted by Jim Loba.

  • Born 1716 in King William County, Virginia
  • Student at College of William & Mary
  • Studied law using Sir John Randolph's law library
  • Shared his knowledge of law with George Wythe
  • Respected lawyer, community leader, and land developer
  • Died 1786

Respected and influential community leader

Benjamin Waller was a respected and influential lawyer, civil servant, community leader, and land developer. Born in King William County, Virginia, Waller was a student at the College of William and Mary and later studied law using Sir John Randolph's law library. He later imparted some of his legal training to George Wythe.

Appointed to lucrative positions by patron

Due in part to the influence of his patron, Secretary John Carter, Waller received appointments to a number of important and lucrative positions. He served as clerk and burgess for James City County, recorder of Williamsburg, vestryman of Bruton Parish Church, and judge of the Court of Admiralty, to name a few of his many offices.

Williamsburg land developer

Waller also was a land developer. He purchased several parcels of land on the east side of Williamsburg and subdivided a portion of the property into smaller lots, many of which were bought by craftsmen who paid 10 pounds for each lot. Purchasers had to agree to build a 16-by-20-foot house with a brick chimney within three years.

Father of ten

Waller married and had 10 children, six daughters and four sons. His wife, Martha, tended to the household overseeing the children and directing the work of their several slaves. One of his grandsons, William Waller, married the daughter of U.S. President John Tyler and lived in Benjamin Waller's house in Williamsburg.

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