Walter Riddell

???? - 1802


Son of Walter Riddell of Glenriddell, marrying in succession two women from West Indian families. He attracted an 'epitaph' from Robert Burns: "So vile was poor Wat, such a miscreant slave. That the worms even damn'd him when laid in his grave.'In his skull there's a famine!' a starved reptile cries;'And his heart, it is poison!' another replies."

  1. His second wife, Maria nee Woodley, has an entry in the ODNB as 'poet'. She became a friend of Burns. 'On 16 September 1790, on St Kitts, Maria married a widower, Walter Riddell (1764–1802), lieutenant (on half pay), plantation owner on Antigua and the second son of Walter Riddell of Newhouse, a well-connected Dumfriesshire merchant, whose other son, Robert, of Glenriddell, was a noted antiquary and friend of Burns. They returned to Scotland, where Walter bought an estate near Dumfries. Renamed Woodley Park, it became the scene of many fashionable and literary gatherings. Two daughters, Anna Maria (1791–1859) and Sophia (1792–1797), were born before Walter departed in 1796 for Antigua, where he died.'

  2. Administration of the will of Walter Riddell gentleman of Antigua was granted 31/12/1803 to Andrew Laurie, a creditor. The will had made Riddell's surviving daughter Anna Maria his heir.


  1. Weinglass, D. H. 2004 "Riddell [née Woodley], Maria (1772–1808), poet." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 5 Jul. 2019.

  2. PROB 11/1402/361.

Further Information

(1) Ann Doig (2) Maria Banks Woodley

Relationships (5)

Son-in-law → Father-in-law
Debtor → Judgement creditor
Notes →
Andrew Lawrie was granted administration of Walter Riddell's will in 1803 as a creditor....
Husband → Second Wife
Husband → Wife
Son-in-law → Father-in-law

Addresses (1)

Woodley Park, Dumfries, Dumfriesshire, Southern Scotland, Scotland