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1882: Who was FW?

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

At the corner of London Lane by The Rose and Crown stands Thorne Cottage.

'F.W. 1882' around the Waller Coat of Arms - a shield suspended from the branch of an oak tree

The building displays a plaque with the letters F.W. 1882; but who was F.W.?

Frederick Waller c1870

Frederick Waller was certainly a prominent member of the Cuckfield community throughout much of the Victorian period. He spent his earliest years at Leyton House (now Cuckfield House), attended The Royal Grammar School in Guildford, and later followed in his father's footsteps into the legal profession.

Partly from inheritance and partly through substantial earnings as a barrister, Frederick Waller accumulated a considerable number of properties in Cuckfield and elsewhere. Property that he owned in Cuckfield included: Leyton House, Rose Cottage, The Rose and Crown Inn, (and Thorne Cottage!) Kingsleys, Oaklands North, Oaklands South, Waverley, Northern Breach, Southern Breach Percy Cottages and Maltmans; in Balcombe he owned Grasslands. After becoming a QC he lived in Pidley Manor House in Cambridgeshire and 6 Chester Square Belgravia where he spent his final years.

Although he lived away from the town for many years, Frederick Waller still retained a particular affection for Cuckfield and supported many of the community and sports clubs.

He was buried in the family vault in Cuckfield and the Mid Sussex Times published the following obituary..........


We regret to announce that Mr. Frederick Waller, Q.C., died on Wednesday at his town residence, 6, Chester - Square, after a lengthy illness. The deceased gentleman was well known throughout the Cuckfield district, where the Waller family has resided for many generations, and was a descendant of Waller the poet. Only surviving son of the late Mr. Samuel Waller, of Cuckfield (who died in 1857). Mr. F. Waller was born on February 8th, 1823, and had therefore just attained the age of 70. He was called to the bar the Inner Temple in 1848, created a Queen’s Counsel in 1874, and was elected a Bencher of his inn the same year.

Mr. Waller had ceased practising the Bar for many years past in consequence of failing health. He was J.P. for Sussex, being one of the members of the Cuckfield Bench of Magistrates, but of late had not taken part in its business owing to his residence in town. He was also J.P. for Middlesex, and a J.P. and D.L. for and Deputy Chairman of Quarter Sessions. Mr. Waller was on the roll for High Sheriff in 1885 and 1887. His residences were Grassland, Sussex; Pidley Manor, Huntingdon; Chester-square, S, W.; and the Conservative Club, S. W.

His last surviving sister. Mrs. Eyre Maunsell, died last December.—Yesterday (Monday) the remains of deceased were conveyed by rail to Haywards Heath Station, whither the mourners also journeyed, and from whence the funeral procession, which consisted of the hearse and six mourning coaches, set out for Cuckfield Churchyard. Here the Rev. Boughton-Leigh and Rev. J. H. Cooper (Vicar of Cuckfield) met the body, the former commencing the Burial Service in the prescribed form. Whilst the mourners were in the Church the Rev. J. H. Cooper read the lesson, and at the graveside the service was concluded by the Rev. B. Boughton-Leigh.

Among those who assembled round the family vault, which contains the bodies of the late Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Waller, two daughters and a son-in-law, and was last opened on tho occasion of Mrs. Maunsell's obsequies, assembled the following mourners;—The Rev. Theodosius Boughton-Leigh and Mrs. Boughton-Leigh (niece), Lord Truro (nephew), Mr. James (executor), Mr. Wright, Mr. Banting, Colonel Bell, Mr. Lukin, Mr. W. Cobbett, Mr. Harold Milward, Mr. T. C. Wright, Mr. W. C. Earle, Mr. C. D. Watson, Mr. R. Knight, and Mr. McLaren; Major Maberly, J.P., and Captain Weekes, J.P. (colleagues of the late Mr. Waller the Cuckfield Bench of Magistrates), Mr. E. Waugh, Rev. C. H. Weekes, Mr. W. Payne, Dr. Byass, Mr. Anscombe, Mr. S. Caffyn, Mr. J. Wood, Mr. ,J. W. Haynes. Mr. Barrow, Mr. Newnham and another old employee of the deceased gentleman from Grassland, and a few other residents. The coffin, which was polished oak with brass furniture, bore the simple inscription


Born February, 1823

Died February, 1893.

Upon it were deposited wreaths from the Rev. T. and Mrs. Boughton-Leigh, Lord and Lady Truro, Mrs. Roberts, Mr. H. Milward, Mrs. Barrett, Miss Roxburgh, Miss Carey Malins, Mr. W. and Mr. Loftus Earle, Mr. J. F. and Miss Cobbett, Mr. Knight, and the Servants at 6 Chester-Square. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. Viger, of London, with the assistance of Mr. Stephen Knight, of Cuckfield.

The effects of £94, 350 in 1893 is valued at £12,436,500 in 2021


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