WALLEY, JOHN, major in the New England militia; b. apparently in England in 1644, the son of a London clergyman; d. 11 Jan. 1711/12 (o.s.), in Boston, Mass.
After emigrating to Massachusetts Bay Walley appears as a member and later an officer of the Ancient and Honourable Artillery Company of Boston. In or about 1680 he moved to Bristol (R.I.). He was apparently living in Barnstable (Mass.) in 1690, when he was appointed second in command, and commander of the land forces, in the expedition against Quebec led by Sir William Phips*. He commanded the force of 1,200 or more men that landed on the côte Beauport below Quebec on 18 October. It was withdrawn three and a half days later without accomplishing anything and leaving most of its cannon behind. Walley was criticized for the failure, but was probably no more responsible than any other of the inexperienced amateurs who planned and executed the expedition.
He became a judge of the Superior Court of Massachusetts Bay in 1700, and apparently held office until his death. At various times he was a councillor of Plymouth and of Massachusetts. In 1709 he was appointed to an artillery command in the abortive expedition against Canada.
The sources for the expedition of 1690, as well as the events in which Walley took part, are fully discussed in the article on Phips in DCB, I. Walley’s own rather detailed narrative of the affair is published as Appendix XXI of Hutchinson, History of Massachusetts (1795), I, and is also found, along with a biographical sketch and portrait of Walley, in W. K. Watkins, Soldiers in the expedition to Canada in 1690 and grantees of the Canada townships (Boston, 1898). See also: Diary of Samuel Sewall, 1674–1729 (3v., Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., 5th ser., V-VII, 1878–82), II. Appleton’s Cyclopædia of American biography, ed. J. G. Wilson and John Fiske (6v., New York, 1887-89), VI, 338. Waller, Samuel Vetch. Emory Washburn, Sketches of the judicial history of Massachusetts from 1630 to the revolution in 1775 (Boston, 1840).