Justice of the New York Supreme Court of Judicature, 1701-1702; 1718-1733
Robert Walters is believed to have been born in Plymouth, England and is known to have been a resident of New York by 1685. On February 4th of that year, he married Catherine Leisler, daughter of Jacob Leisler. He became a wealthy businessman and was appointed by Governor Bellomont to the Council in 1698. Walters was chosen to substitute on the Supreme Court of Judicature for Justice Abraham De Peyster whenever the latter was recused (because of the latter’s conflicts of interest due to his extensive business involvement). He also substituted for Justice Stephen van Cortlandt during an absence occasioned by illness.
When William Atwood arrived from London and was sworn in as Chief Justice on August 5, 1701, Robert Walters was appointed Third Judge. He was a member of the court that tried and condemned to death Col. Nicholas Bayard and John Hutchins for treason. The furor that followed led to his suspension on June 9, 1702 from both the Court and the Governor’s Council. He was again appointed to the Governor’s Council in 1710, and commissioned as Second Judge of the Supreme Court of Judicature in 1718. He remained on the bench until his death in 1733.
Hamlin, Paul M., and Charles E. Baker. Supreme Court of Judicature of the Province of New York, 1691-1704. New York, 1959.