Bury St Edmunds
|Death: ||Apr. 20, 1826, Malta|
Waller Rodwell Wright's brief biography
by Theodore S. Kalogeropoulos
Waller Rodwell Wright Esq. was born in Bury St. Edmunds county of Suffolk, England in 1775.
He was educated at the King Edward VI's school in Bury and subsequently was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1791 where he studied law and specialized in civil law. After his studies, which for unknown reasons did not complete, was admitted on November 23, 1793 by the Lincoln's Inn Society and on February 7, 1800 was called to the Bar.
In 1801 he was appointed Recorder in his hometown of Bury, a position that lasted until June 25, 1803 when he received the appointment of the British Consul General of the Septinsular Republic (the Republic of the Seven Isles), based in Corfu and then in Zante. In 1805 he finally departed from the Ionian Islands and returned to his starting position in Bury. On June 24, 1813 he was appointed by the Prince Regent as Assessor to the Governor of Malta General Sir Thomas Maitland, or superintendent over the laws of that island, with a view to their assimilation to the British code, but he did not settle on the island until late next year (1814). On December 3 of that year becomes a member of the Supreme Council of Justice of Malta position he held until his death in 1826. On December 14, 1814 he became the King's Assessor to consult and assist the government on legal matters, a position created especially for him. On October 25, 1817 he was appointed one of the General Magistrates and on January 1, 1819 he succeeded Sir Giuseppe Borg Olivier as President of the High Court of Appeal in Malta when his functions as His Majesty's Assessor ceased. From these positions he succeeded in revising the legal system and abolishing the torture of prisoners.
At the same time dealt with poetry, writing plays and novels having a deep love for classical languages and this is particularly evident in the poetic works of the most important of which is the Horæ Ionicæ.
He holds the British title of respect of Esquire.
Wright was a Mason like his father Mathew was; he was initiated in August 30, 1794 in Royal Edwin Lodge No. 193 in Bury St. Edmunds in the roll of the Grand Lodge of England (Moderns). In 1801 he joined Antiquity Lodge No. 1 of London in which he was elected Honorary Member in 1811 and Honorary Member 3rd Class in 1819. On December 18, 1801 he joined the Prince of Wales Lodge No. 412 where he served for several years Deputy Master and finally on February 20, 1806 he joined the Nine Muses Lodge No. 330. On April 15, 1815 Wright with 28 other Masons founded in Valletta, Malta, the St. John and St. Paul Lodge No. 673, which served as Master in 1815 & 1816 and the years 1819, 1823 & 1824. In April 7, 1813 at the Quarterly Communications of Grand Lodge of England (Moderns) Wright attended as the Provincial Grand Master of the Ionian Islands, a post he had honored and awarded with during the immediately previous period and lasted until early 1815 when he was appointed as Provincial Grand Master of the provinces of Malta and Gozo, a post he held until his death.
On November 29, 1795 was exalted in the Royal Arch in the Royal Brothers Chapter No. 64 in Bury St. Edmunds. On March 9, 1797 joined St. James Chapter No. 1 in London, where he was elected First Principal 'Z' for the periods 1800-1803 & 1806-1813 and remained a lifelong member. On May 15, 1801 was appointed in the Grand Chapter (Moderns) as a Grand Steward. On December 17 of the same year he was elected as Third Grand Principal 'J', a position that he held re-elected in 1802, 1806, 1807 and 1809 until early 1810. On January 30, 1810 he was elected Second Grand Principal 'H', but when the Duke of Sussex Augustus Fredrick accepted the position of the First Grand Principal 'Z', on May 10 of that year, he returned to his former position of the Third Grand Principal, a post that eventually lasted until mid-1813. In addition, on May 15, 1801 he was appointed Grand Superintendent of Suffolk county and May 7, 1810 of the Cambridge county. On March 10, 1812 he was appointed to the office of Trustee of the Grand Chapter of England. During his stay in Malta founded in August 1, 1819 the Melita Chapter, later St. John & St. Paul No. 673, in which he served as First Principal in 1820 & 1825. He is considered as the one who introduced the Royal Arch in south-eastern Mediterranean area.
Wright appears at the top of the English Masons as one of the most important of the English masonic history. He was one of the warmest supporters of the Royal Arch Freemasonry and perhaps the most popular high-ranking Companion of the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England. He created major innovations always having constructive ideas on the relations between the Grand Lodge and the Grand Chapter. He was responsible for significant changes of the rituals of both the Symbolic Freemasonry and those of the Royal Arch. Given the wide popularity of his ideas contributed significantly to the development of English Freemasonry in general play an important role in creating the United Grand Lodge of England. He was one of the three Masons who prepared the text of the Union of the two Grand Lodges of England of the Moderns and the Ancients. His name appears among the five representatives of the Moderns immediately after the Duke of Sussex who signed the unification in December 1, 1813.
In Malta during the period of British domination Freemasonry flourished and certainly the first years of progress was due solely to Wright's work, knowledge, enthusiasm and influence. In his honor on April 8, 1899 the Waller Rodwell Wright Lodge No. 2755 established in Valletta in the roll of the United Grand Lodge of England, which worked on the island until 1985, up to when it moved to Aldershot in Hampshire county in England working up to day.
In parallel, Wright in 1804 was appointed Provisional Grand Commander of the Order of the Red Cross of Constantine in England. Interested in the reconstitution of the Order and he wrote the ritual used today. On December 15, 1810 he was elected Grand Commander of the Order position he held until July 19, 1813 when he was succeeded by the Duke of Sussex Augustus Fredrick. In 1804 also reconstructed the Order of the Red Cross of Palestine, which he led until 1812. Finally he was Grand Master of the Masonic Order of Knights Templar for the period April 12, 1807 to May 5, 1812 when he was succeeded again by the Duke of Sussex.
He married on November 14, 1805 Mary Ann, daughter of the surgeon Thomas Bokenham of Norwich and the couple raised a daughter in 1817 by the name Mary Anna Paola Giuseppa. He died in Malta on April 20, 1826 at the age of 51 years and was buried in Msida Bastion Cemetery Valletta.
"The Malta Government Gazette" printed the following notice in its April 26th, 1826, edition:
"DIED.–On Thursday last, of aneurysm, WALLER RODWELL WRIGHT, Esq. President of His Majesty's High Court of Appeal, and Senior Member of the Supreme Council of Justice in this Island.–His urbanity and benevolence of character had secured to him a general good will, so that the Maltese as well as his own Countrymen regard his lost with the deepest regret. He was the author of the Horæ Ionicæ, a work of correct classical taste, and of other poems of great merit".
Msida Bastion Cemetery
Northern Harbour, Malta
Created by: Theodore S. Kalogeropoul...
Record added: Oct 19, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 60318496
Rest in Peace.|
Added: Sep. 28, 2012
Added: Oct. 4, 2011