The Walters Family Of Ewell

Part 1 - Introduction

The Walters coat of arms.
The Walters coat of arms.
The motto means 'let wisdom be leader'.

This article concerns the family of John Eldad Walters, who came to live in Ewell in 1858. He died in 1883 but two of his sons, William Melmoth and Radclyffe, continued to live in the town for many years thereafter, at Purberry Shot and Persfield respectively, on the Epsom Road.

We are particularly fortunate in having a comprehensive history of the Walters family up to 1902, much of it written by John Eldad himself, and I shall attempt to fill in as much subsequent detail as possible. I happened upon the family as a by-product of another piece and did some preliminary research to see if they would make an article. My initial few pages of typescript resembled my first attempt at knitting - full of enormous holes and dropped stitches. Fortunately, as is often the case, the people at Bourne Hall came galloping to the rescue and I now have more information than I know what to do with, most of which is in this three-part series.

So ...

The Walters family came from Batheaston, Somerset and, before that, Monmouthshire. Eldad Walters, a clothier, settled in Batheaston in the 17th century and his eldest son, Henry, a magistrate and High Sheriff of Somerset, built Batheaston House in 1712. His son, also Henry, married an heiress and one of their children was Thomas, who died in 1847, aged 91. Thomas married Sophia Skynner and they had five children - four boys and one girl. John Eldad, born at Batheaston House on 12 September 1797, was the youngest son.

Batheaston House
Batheaston House
Please note this property is NOT open to the public.

A history of Batheaston House, provided by Oliver Renwick, can be found here.

To deal briefly with John Eldad's siblings, they were:-
Henry, born 29 September 1794, died 13 March 1869. He had been with the Honourable East India Company's Civil Service and spent many years in Bengal, but seems to have returned to Somerset as a 'landed proprietor' in the 1830s.

Thomas, born 25 December 1795, died unmarried in India 22 April 1879.

Melmoth, born 14 April 1798, died unmarried on 28 July 1868. He was a barrister at Lincoln's Inn, but probably lived mainly at Batheaston.

Sophia Mary Ann, born 1799, died unmarried 1848.
The reasons that John Eldad ended up living in Ewell were twofold. Firstly, he knew Sir George and Lady Glyn, probably from Bath, and seems to have done legal work for them in connection with property. Secondly, there came a time when he was seeking to live somewhere more pleasant than London, which had become too noisy and over-developed for him, and, having visited the Glyns several times, chose Ewell for his new abode.

Walters family memorial at Batheaston
Walters family memorial at Batheaston

In Part 2 we will look at John Eldad in more depth. Part 3 will cover all of his children except William Melmoth and Radclyffe, who will appear in Part 4.


The Walters of Ewell coat of arms.
The Walters of Ewell coat of arms.
The motto means 'let wisdom be leader'.

John Eldad Walters
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

As mentioned in the Introduction, John Eldad Walters was born at Batheaston House on 12 February 1797, the youngest of four sons belonging to Thomas Walters and his wife Sophia Skynner, who was an adopted relative of William Melmoth - see - and this is how the forename of Melmoth entered the Walters family.

The Walters sons were sent to a school run by the Reverend Christopher Haynes at Siston, Bristol, John starting his education in 1805. When Mr Haynes died his widow carried on, with the assistance of others, and moved the school to a former lunatic asylum at Cleeve Hill, Downend, near Bristol. John says himself that he was dull and slow and made little progress there, but he cannot have been either, given his later successful career. More likely, the school was not up to scratch. He left Cleeve Hill at Christmas 1812 and spent six months in a Bath establishment. Meanwhile his father was trying to obtain a position for him in a Government office but the attempts were unsuccessful, so he suggested that the boy should train as an attorney/solicitor, although he was doubtful that John would succeed in the profession.

And so, in 1813 John was articled at the office of a local lawyer, where his brother Melmoth was already in training. The latter left for Lincoln's Inn and in 1815 John followed him, becoming a pupil at 9, New Square. He remained there until he retired in 1879.

New Square, Lincoln's Inn.
New Square, Lincoln's Inn.
Photo by Loz Flowers via

In 1827 John was admitted as a partner in the firm of Mr B C Williams and about three years later was doing sufficiently well to take a small house in John Street, Bedford Row. On 21 December 1831 at St Luke, Chelsea he married Eleanor Radclyffe, daughter of Alexander Radclyffe Sidebottom, also of Lincoln's Inn: she was born in London in 1807. He met her through his good friend Charles George Bannister, a former pupil with Mr Sidebottom, who had married his eldest daughter. I do not intend to deal with the Sidebottom family here, since they were not Ewell people, but I cannot let them pass without recounting a terrible tragedy that occurred in 1835 (as reported in The Berkshire Chronicle and other papers on 22 August of that year). According to the report, Alexander Radclyffe Sidebottom and his wife Eliza (he had previously been married to Catherine (nee Helm) and therefore had children from two marriages) had recently moved into a villa at Kingsbury Green, near Edgware, with six sons and three daughters. Early one morning the four eldest boys, Charles Radclyffe (32), Alexander Henry (19), William George (17) and Edward (15) went to swim in the Brent Reservoir, known as The Welsh Harp; three of them entered the water and Charles stood watching from the bank. Shortly afterwards the swimmers completely disappeared and, no help being available, Charles dived in after them. All four were drowned: Charles had reached them and gathered them to him, but died trying to bring them out.

It seems from John Eldad's account that Eleanor was a little delicate and soon afterwards they moved to the somewhat leafier (at that time) Bayswater, where their first three children were born. In 1836 and 1837 John reports that he suffered from almost constant diarrhoea, which nearly killed him and took years to go away completely. One feels that this may have had something to do with the state of sanitation in Bayswater, but he offers no explanation for his illness. In any event the family moved to Hyde Park Gate South in 1847.

The children of John Eldad and Eleanor, all born in London, were as shown below.

Name Born Married Died
Eleanor 1.12.1833 Rev Henry Martin 19.4.1902 Bristol (lived Clifton)
William Melmoth 28.1.1835 Marian Eleanor Leggatt 20.11.1925 Ewell
John 19.10.1836 Mary Allan Geddes and Eveleen Janet Newman Harrison 11.6.1917 Reigate
Mary 1838 - 1840 Kensington
Mary Amelia 11.3.1841 Rev Thomas Scott 23.2.1908 Suffolk (lived Lavenham)
Catharine 23.3.1843 Henry Charles Malden 19.6.1923 Hove
Thomas Radclyffe 8.11.1847 - 1848
Radclyffe* 17.2.1849 Mary Jane Maingay 23.8.1907 Norway

*The Radclyffe name came from a Frances Sidebottom who married a Robert Radclyffe in the early 18th century.

When the Walters family moved to Hyde Park Gate South it was quite an open area, with green fields around, but encroaching building development decided them on a move to Ewell, which happened in 1858. John took a lease on what was then the small house of Purberry Shot, on the Epsom Road, but subsequently purchased the property and extended it.

1894 Ordnance Survey Map showing Purberry Shot
1894 Ordnance Survey Map showing Purberry Shot,
which was virtually opposite the Old House

On the night of the 1861 census the family was to be found at 9,St George's Terrace, Brighton - not a particularly prepossessing or fashionable street and it stands well back from the seafront. I do not know whether this was a second home that they owned/leased or just a temporary abode. However, in the 1871 census John and Eleanor were back at home in the Epsom Road.

One gets the impression from John's own account of his life that he was not highly ambitious for himself but was intent on ensuring that his sons were well set up in careers. He does not come over as a legal superstar, but seems very competent and solid. Perhaps he was dull and slow after all - as in painstaking. In 1855 he became the head of the firm at 9, New Square and was also a director of the Law Life Assurance Society from 1859 to 1880.

Various partners came and went in John's law firm: it was once Whitmore, Roumieu and Walters, then Walters, Roumieu and Young, later it was Walters, Young, Walters and Deverell and finally just Walters & Co (now part of Fladgates). The second Walters into the firm was William Melmoth and Radclyffe joined subsequently. John Junior was set up in a medical practice at Reigate (more later).

In 1869 John and Eleanor took their first real holiday and travelled with their daughter Catharine and her husband, Henry Malden (more of them in due course), for six weeks via Cologne and the Rhine to Switzerland, returning home through Paris. Whilst away they made the acquaintance of a headmaster called Dr Welldon, who said to Henry of John, 'What a wonderful man your old father-in-law is! So quiet and contented, nothing seems to disturb his equanimity, why he may live to be 100.' John did not live to be 100 - he died on 10 March 1883, aged 85, at the home of his son, John, in Reigate, having gone there because the winter climate was said to be warmer than that of Ewell (!), followed by Eleanor on 23 February 1886. Both are buried in the churchyard of St Mary, Ewell.

Before I proceed, I am indebted to Mr Malden, since a copy of his handwritten history of the Walters family up to 1902, partially based on his father-in-law's printed account, was held at Bourne Hall and as we go on I shall be quoting liberally from Mr Malden, who was a researcher's dream.

Mr Malden's account of the Walters family
Mr Malden's account of the Walters family
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Grave of John Eldad and Eleanor Walters, at St Mary's, Ewell.
Grave of John Eldad and Eleanor Walters, at St Mary's, Ewell.
Image courtesy of Gravestone Photographic Resource

We will deal with William Melmoth and Radclyffe Walters in Part 3 and the rest of this Part is concerned with the other children.

Eleanor Walters

Eleanor married the Reverend Henry Martin (born c.1829 Ireland) on 3 January 1856 at St Mary, Bryanston Square, London In 1861 the couple were living in Clifton, Bristol, where Henry was the vicar of St Nicholas and St Leonard. Subsequently he became Vice Principal at Cheltenham Training College. By 1881 they were in Ilfracombe, Devon, without a parish, and then moved to Plymouth, where Henry died on 18 June 1888. Eleanor returned to Bristol. Their children (all born in Clifton except the eldest, who came from Calne, Wiltshire) were as shown below.

Name Born Occupation Married Died
Henry 17.10.1856   Rosa Henrietta Plewman 3.12.1923 Mafeking, SA
William 3.11.1858 Architect and land surveyor Frances Beatrice Clarke  
George 1.8.1860 Clergyman 1899 - Mary Stella Richardson 24.2.1931 Willesden
Ellen Sophia 2.8.1862      
Herbert 1864 - - 1866
Mary Emmeline 4.3.1867   - 13.2.1959 London
Alice Gertrude 27.11.1871   Henry Cecil Montague Hirst 1.7.1949 Bristol

I have been only partially successful in discovering what happened to these children in later life, even with the assistance of Mr Malden, who stopped writing in 1902.

Henry Martin emigrated to South Africa and married Rosa Henrietta Plewman (1861-1933) in 1895; they had at least two children, who were Phyllis Eleanor (1898) and Melmoth George (1899), who served as an Army officer towards the end of the First World War. The family lived in Mafeking (now Mahikeng), which tends to be famous only for the siege during the Second Boer War, and, indeed, Henry was trapped there when it began. Fortunately he had managed to send his wife and children to Cape Town a matter of hours beforehand, but he was a member of the Town Guard during the entire siege, which lasted 217 days, from October 1899 to May 1900. Henry's unpublished siege diary was sold at Bonham's in 2003. Happily, he survived the experience and lived on until 1923, still in Mafeking.

William Martin emigrated to New South Wales, Australia and married Frances Beatrice Clarke in 1899; they had a son, John Eldad Walters Martin (1906-87).

George was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and became a clergyman, his last post being in Kilburn. By his own wish he was buried in Kingsbury Old Churchyard, the church itself containing a brass memorial to the Sidebottom brothers who had drowned nearby almost a hundred years before.

Alice Gertrude married architect and surveyor Henry Cecil Montague Hirst in 1906; they lived in Bristol and Henry died in 1931.

John Walters

John was a doctor, who practised in Reigate for almost all of his life. Whilst serving as an assistant surgeon with the Rifle Brigade in Hamilton, Ontario he met local girl Mary Allan Geddes, born c.1847, and married her; she died in 1899 and was interred at Reigate Cemetery with their son William Allan, who had died in 1871, aged 5, after being thrown from a pony. Dr and Mrs Walters were personages in Reigate and Mary's funeral had twenty-two mourning carriages. Their children, all born in Reigate, are shown below.

Name Born Married Died
William Allan 21.3.1865 - 1871
John Stewart 4.7.1866 Constance Phipps Brough (1870-?) 3.11.1928 (lived Frome, Somerset)
Alexander Radclyffe 1.12.1867 Maud Beattie (1870-1956) 26.7.1954 Reigate
Lilian Mary 4.1.1871 Dr Algernon Wilson Lyons (1863-1905) Robert Bell Cobbold Fea (1858-1945) 13.11.1949 Devon (lived Budleigh Salterton)
Ernest Helm 6.12.1872 Kathleen Blanche Farrer-Baynes (c.1889-1985) 21.11.1947 Budleigh Salterton
Eveline Blanche 4.8.1874 Rev Joseph Adamson (1852-1924) 19.1.1956 Exmouth (lived Budleigh Salterton)
Eleanor Susan 6.11.1876 Dr Frederick James Purcell Daly (1877-1955 29.5.1959 Weymouth
Henry Blanchard 20.11.1879 Grace Heppenstall (1883-1951) 1968 Devon

In 1902 John married Eveleen Janet Newman Harrison (1861-1933), daughter of the recently deceased Vicar of Reigate: she may well have been the church organist.

Together with his partner, Dr (later Sir) Constantine Holman, in 1866 John founded the Reigate Cottage Hospital in a pair of old cottages: it had six beds, with a nurse and a domestic help. This later became the Reigate and Redhill Hospital and is now the East Surrey Hospital. Holman was once associated with Epsom College and one of its houses is named after him.

John Stewart Walters

John Stewart obtained a BA from Oriel College, Oxford and became a solicitor at the inevitable Lincoln's Inn. He travelled to York, Toronto to marry banker's daughter Constance Phipps Brough in 1898: she was a cousin via his mother's family. There were no children. The couple lived in Kensington for most of their married life but latterly resided in Frome.

Alexander Radclyffe Walters

Alexander was educated at Clare College, Cambridge and qualified as a doctor in the early 1890s; he practised in Reigate. Maud Beattie was born in Egham and her father, John, was a clergyman and schoolmaster, originally from Tyrone, Ireland. There were two children, being Jack Dalrymple (13.12.1897-1981) and Cecily Jacomb (1901-24, unmarried)

Jack Dalrymple Walters was a Lincoln's Inn solicitor, in partnership with Arthur Melmoth Walters, and married Laetitia Daphne Myers (1909-97) in 1933. He served as an officer in the Royal Navy during both World Wars.

Lilian Mary Walters

Lilian Mary married Dr Algernon Wilson Lyons, a former assistant to her father, in Reigate on 17 October 1893. According to The Surrey Mirror it poured with rain all day long but this did not spoil the wedding: it was a fancy affair with full choir and six bridesmaids (attired in cream Bengaline silk, trimmed with Persian lamb fur, plus bronze hats with feathers). Her brother-in-law, the Rev Joseph Adamson, conducted the service and the honeymoon was spent at Brighton and Hastings. Algernon practised at Thames Ditton and after his untimely death in 1905 Lilian married bachelor bank clerk Robert Bell Cobbold Fea, who had been in Surrey for some years. There were no children of either marriage.

Ernest Helm Walters

To make a very rare change from lawyers, clergymen and doctors, Ernest Helm Walters was an electrical engineer for the Post Office; he married Kathleen Blanche Farrer-Baynes (I believe the hyphen was self-inserted) in 1912 in Portsmouth district. There were three children, all born somewhere in Epsom registration district, who were Peter S (1913), Margery (1915) and Alison Violet (1917-91, married Jack Day). There was obviously a divorce, for in 1945 Kathleen married James Percy Chatterton Coast CBE (died 1962), who was Secretary of the Land Agents' Society

Eveline Blanche Walters

Eveline Blanche's husband, Joseph Adamson, was a clergyman who was about 22 years her senior. Their children were Montague Allan Walters (born 1896 Colston Bassett, Notts, died 1974 Salisbury district), Leslie (born 1898 Croydon; died 1933 Beckenham), Eveline Mary (1900 Croydon-1973 Devon, married John Witherow Jewell) and Annie Sybil (c.1902 Croydon). Like many in this branch of the family the Adamsons gravitated to Devon, where Joseph was sometime Vicar of Exminster.

Eleanor Susan Walters

Eleanor Susan married Dr Frederick James Purcell Daly on 11 July 1903 at Reigate Parish Church. I have become increasingly amazed by the florid descriptions of female wedding wear in those days - in this instance the bride wore 'a gown of soft white Liberty satin, veiled with finest Etolienne (a word I cannot find in any dictionary - perhaps someone will enlighten me), which was ray pleated and trimmed with real lace and chiffon. The court train was of ivory satin, lined with tiny frills of chiffon, and fell in a cascade from the shoulders; it was trimmed with a large Louis XV1 bow of chiffon and light trails of natural orange blossoms and myrtle, and over a wreath of the same flowers fell a Honiton lace veil'. I am also boggling at the apparent size of her father's house, since he hosted the reception there for 300 guests.

Anyway, there seem to have been three children of the marriage, all born in Clapton, these being Eleanor Bridget (1905), John Frederick (1907) and Susan Emmeline (1911).

Eleanor Bridget married Cyril Reginald Swayne (died 1987) in 1942: the marriage record gives her an alternative surname of Boucher. She died in 1993 in Somerset.

Susan Emmeline married James D Dear in 1941; she died in 1990 in Dorset.

Henry Blanchard Walters

Henry Blanchard was a doctor who practised in Devon. He married Grace Heppenstall in 1906 at Newhaven, Sussex. Their children were Jean (1908-89, married William Wallace Whitley), Dr John Henry (1909-93) and Joan Grace (1914-67).

William Wallace Whitley's father, also William, and William's brother, Herbert, set up Paignton Zoo on a family estate at Primley House, Paignton - see They were wealthy people, having made their fortune in brewing - the Whitley of Greenall Whitley. William and Jean's son, William Hugh (known as Hugh), is now a Trustee of the wildlife enterprise - see

Dr John Henry Walters served in Iraq and Egypt during the Second World War and worked with prisoners of war, which started an interest in the neurological effects of malnutrition. After the War he worked in The Gambia at The Nutrition Research Station, then in Kuwait and Lagos. Towards the end of his career he was a consultant to London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and after his retirement returned to Devon, where he was Chief Medical Officer to the Newton Abbot Steeplechase. His wife was Janet Isobel Norah McIntyre (1910-2002, married 1937).

Joan Grace married Alfred Philip (known as Philip) G Michelmore (died 1998), son of a Chudleigh solicitor, in 1937. He was an entomologist and also a main player in the Whitley wildlife concerns (see the internet links for the Whitleys above).

Mary Amelia Walters

Mary Amelia married the Reverend Thomas Scott in Epsom district in 1861. Thomas was born in Goring, Oxfordshire in about 1832 and died in 1914: he was Vicar of West Ham for many years, an Honorary Canon of St Albans and latterly Rector of Lavenham, Suffolk. Their children were as follows.

Name Born Married Died
Agnes Mary 1862 Ewell Cyril Egerton Hubbard (1855-1923) 1.5.1936 Tonbridge
George Melmoth 29.4.1864 Whitechapel Maye Uniack Townsend (1866-1937) 28.9.1941 Havelock, New Zealand
Grace Gilbert 1865 Hackney - 19.2.1954 Bury St Edmunds
Margaret 1867 Hackney    
Dr Francis Gilbert 5.10.1868 West Ham Agnes Sophia Gillam (1853-1925) 4.11.1933 Spain (lived Spain and Sussex)
Thomas* 2.12.1870 West Ham    
Harold Claughton 10.11.1873 West Ham Constance Mary Miller (1877-1944) 29.12.1928 London (lived Devon)
*Thomas was a civil engineer and mining agent in Canada

Agnes Mary Scott

Agnes Mary married Cyril Egerton Hubbard in 1881 in West Ham. You will not be at all surprised to discover that Cyril was a clergyman - the Reverend Scott's curate at West Ham. Their 'postings' during Cyril's career are apparent from the places where their children were born and they ended up at Colemans Hatch, Sussex. Cyril died in 1923.

The children were Leonard Egerton (born 1882 Hitchin), Gilbert Ernest (1885 Lower Beeding, Sussex), Alys (1888 Lichfield), Elinor (1891 Lichfield), Janet (1896 Bournemouth) and Michael Edmund (1900 Hartfield, Sussex).

Leonard Egerton was a journalist who emigrated to Tasmania. In 1905 he married Mary Macdonald Campbell in France. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces in 1917. There was one child, Pauline Alys Mary (born 1909 Hobart). Leonard also wrote books and seemed to specialise in Russian commerce and agriculture, an interest that was probably triggered by his wartime service as a Lieutenant in Northern Russia. The family eventually returned to England and he died in London on 4 December 1943, his residence being at Putney.

Gilbert Ernest married Brigadier's daughter Dorothy Wheatley Johnson (c.1886-1961). He was a civil servant and appears to have been associated with the non-governmental organisation called The Royal Institute for International Affairs. He wrote books about foreign affairs and died on 16 May 1951 in Kent. There was one daughter, Anne, born in 1916.

Alys married Cambridge Fellow Dr Keith Lucas FRS. His speciality was neuroscience, but during the First World War he did pioneering work in the field of aeronautical instruments. He was killed in an aircraft collision over Salisbury Plain on 5 October 1916. See for more information. Alys and their three sons, Alan (1910), David (1911) and Bryan (1912), all changed their surname to Keith-Lucas as a tribute. The boys were all very well-known in their own right - see,, and Alys died on 1 November 1955 in Kent.

Michael Edmund, who died in Tonbridge in 1978, was involved in the oil industry; he married Madeleine de Bauduy Robertson in 1929.

George Melmoth Scott

George was educated at Windlesham House School, Brighton (see below under Catharine Walters), Merchant Taylors' School and Cavendish and Peterhouse Colleges, Cambridge; he qualified as an MD in 1899, having married Maye Uniack Townsend in Dublin in 1894. He practised in Essex for a time, but by 1907 the family had emigrated to Wellington, New Zealand. I believe that they had been in Australia before that.

The children were Agnes Aithnah (born 1894, married Percy O'Nians 1919), Joan Gilbert (1896), Thomas and Helen Mary (1897), Nancy Maye (1899) and Robert William Melmoth (1900).

Francis Gilbert Scott

Francis was also educated at Windlesham House and then went on to Haileybury. He became a doctor and, in later years at least, had homes in both Hove and Mallorca. I do not know of any children.

Harold Claughton Scott

Harold studied at the King's School, Canterbury and Caius College, Cambridge; he was a barrister at Lincoln's Inn and became a KC. He specialised in shipping cases and was a Wreck Commissioner. He and his wife Constance had at least one child, who was David Miller Scott (1911-79).

Catharine Walters

Catharine married the previously mentioned 'researcher's dream', widower Henry Charles Malden (born 1829 Ryde, Isle of Wight), in 1865. He was the head tutor at Windlesham House School, Norfolk Terrace, Brighton, which had previously been run by his father. His first wife was Euphemia Margaret Scott, who died in 1862 and by whom he had four children. Catharine and Henry had one son and two daughters: the daughters were Winifred Walters Scott Malden (1866-1929, unmarried) and Mary Effie Scott Malden (1871-1956, unmarried). Henry died in Godalming in 1907.

The son, John Walters Scott Malden, was born in Brighton in 1883 and became a schoolmaster; he married Phyllis M Gubbins (1904-89) in 1943 and died in Steyning, Sussex in 1955.

Please see for a very interesting history of Windlesham House School and the Malden family (with pictures).

Christopher Edward Scott Malden, a grandson of Henry Charles by his first marriage, who was head teacher of Windlesham School from 1927-53, was once the headmaster of Kingswood House School, Epsom and was known to his pupils as 'Mr Chris'.

Memorial to John Eldad and Eleanor Walters at Batheaston
Memorial to John Eldad and Eleanor Walters at Batheaston

Purberry Shot

As mentioned earlier, John Eldad Walters moved to Purberry Shot, Epsom Road, Ewell in 1858. The house does not appear on the 1866 Ordnance Survey Map, but I am advised that the actual mapping may have been done over a period of years before that. Therefore, it looks as if the builders must have moved in just as the surveyor left. After John Eldad died his son, William Melmoth, occupied the house.

1913 OS Map
1913 OS Map

In the late 1930s Purberry Shot was demolished to make way for a block of flats, but the ground needed to be archaeologically excavated first and gave up artefacts from the Mesolithic, Bronze, Iron, Roman and Medieval periods. A large amount of Iron Age and Roman pottery was found in the well.

The Well
The Well
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

The 1939 excavations
The 1939 excavations
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

The block of flats which replaced Purberry Shot
The block of flats which replaced Purberry Shot c.1970
Image courtesy of Epsom & Ewell Local And Family History Centre Collection

Part 3 - William Melmoth Walters And Radclyffe Walters

The Walters of Ewell coat of arms.
The Walters of Ewell coat of arms.
The motto means 'let wisdom be leader'.
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

William Melmoth Walters
William Melmoth Walters
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

There are already details of William Melmoth Walters on this website, but you may be tired of clicking on links so I will offer you Henry Malden's account (his punctuation is fairly eccentric, especially for a schoolmaster, so I have taken the liberty of changing some of it). This narrative is on the dry side and I would imagine that it was more or less direct from the mouth of William Melmoth, as taken down in writing by Henry.

William Melmoth, born at 4 Orme Square, Bayswater 28 January 1835, was educated at a private school in Westbourne Grove under Mr Geo P Shapcott; here after a time he took most of the prizes, till in 1850 he went to Kings College, General Literature department - without greatly distinguishing himself he was content to keep a good place in both classics and mathematics. Had he the choice he would probably have preferred the Royal Navy to the Law, but had to content himself with rowing on the Thames and was well known at Putney as a proficient oarsman.

He was articled at Lincoln's Inn in 1852 but continued for some time to attend classes at Kings College in German and French; he was then a pupil of Mr Joshua Williams, the celebrated conveyancer, and afterwards of Mr I K Kingdon of the Common Law Bar. In 1857 he passed his final Examination in Law, taking 2nd place out of 120.

Ready of speech, able always to say the right thing at the right time, of courteous and genial manner, it is not surprising to find he was an active member of the Law Students' Debating Society, of which he became Secretary and Member of the Committee. In 1859 he was taken as a partner in the Firm at Lincoln's Inn, from which time forward he has had a most successful career.

In 1878 he was invited to become a member of the Council of the Incorporated Law Society and was elected without opposition.

In 1884 he was appointed Solicitor to the Law Life Assurance Society. In 1891-2 he held the office of President of the Incorporated Law Society and, as such, presided at the Provincial Meeting at Plymouth in August 1891 and delivered an address on various legal topics of interest.

He afterwards became a Member of the Statutory Discipline Committee, to hear complaints against solicitors. At different dates he was appointed a Director of the Crown Life Assurance Co, of the Law Fire Assurance Company, of the Law Debenture Corporation, of the Law Accident Assurance Society and a member of the Statutory Committee of Inspection of the Trustee Savings Bank. In this year 1901 he presided at the Annual Dinner of the Solicitors' Benevolent Association.

He married 17 July 1860 at St Saviour's, Upper Chelsea Marian Eleanor, eldest daughter of Alfred Leggatt Esq, a well-known London Surgeon.'

William Melmoth and Marian Eleanor had ten children, as follows.

Name Born Married Died
Edith Marian 14.5.1861 Thomas Du Buisson (c.1849-1933) 10.11.1940 Surrey (probably Betchworth)
Alice Mary 31.8.1862 - 6.7.1945 Ewell (lived Headley)
Percy Melmoth 30.9.1863 Alice Homfray Bonnin (1869-1961) 2.10.1936 Ashtead
Arthur Melmoth 26.1.1865 Amy Constance Parbury (1869 Melbourne - 1967) 2.5.1941 Holmwood, Surrey (buried Dorking)
Gertrude Hamilton 25.9.1866 Thomas Arthur Rawlinson (1864-1916) 21.11.1951 Worthing (lived Woking)
Hugh Melmoth 7.4.1868 - 27.11.1890
Guy Melmoth 1869 - 1869 (aged 6 hours)
Constance Maud 11.8.1870 Theodor Karl Ludwig Von Wundt (1858-1929) 1.11.1960 (lived Stuttgart, Germany)
Nora Mackenzie 8.10.1873 - 15.7.1948 (lived at Woodcote Green House, Epsom)
Katharine Eleanor 9.3.1877 Herbert Victor Parbury (1875-1966) 31.5.1959 Surrey (lived Headley)

William Melmoth's leisure interests were fishing and shooting and at one time he was Chairman of Ewell, Cuddington and Malden Conservative Association.

Edith Marian Walters

Edith Marian married Thomas Du Buisson in 1882. Thomas was in his family firm of shipping iron merchants and was described as an East India merchant in censuses. The couple lived at Snower Hill, Betchworth, with Edith being a leading light at local flower shows and amateur dramatics.

The children, all born in Betchworth, were Edith Helen (1883), Madeleine (1885) Alice Gwendolen (1887), James Melmoth (1889), Thomas Gerard (1892) and Cecil Margaret (1900).

In 1903 Edith Helen married old Etonian West India merchant Norman Malcolmson (born 1874 East Barnet, died 1929 Burwash, Sussex); she died in Hampshire in 1970. Their daughter was Ruth Helen (1908-27).

Madeline married Snower Hill farmer/rancher Robert Gordon Moir (1881-1965) in 1916. The couple later moved to Ringwood in Hampshire. They had one son, agriculturalist Timothy Robert Gordon Moir (1917-1992, married Patricia M Pegg 1946 Khartoum). Madeleine died in 1976.

James Melmoth was a Captain in the Royal West Surrey Regiment during the First World War; later he was a merchant and went to live in Kent. He married Rosamond Felicia P Berryman (1891-1976) in 1920. James also died in 1976. Their children were Thomas M (1921), Peter J (1925) and John V (1930).

Major Thomas Gerard Du Buisson, MBE, MC was in the Royal Artillery during the First World War. In 1932 he married Sylvia Grace (1900-84), daughter of the 4th Viscount Portman.

Cecil Margaret married James S Elliott in 1932: he was Major-General James Scott-Elliott CB, CBE, DSO and Bar (1902-96). They were divorced in 1969 and there were three children, one of whom was Lt-Col Alastair William Scott-Elliott of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. The family lived in Scotland.

Percy, Arthur and Hugh Melmoth Walters

You may agree that, so far, we have not had much action in this story, but that is about to change. It is convenient that Percy and Arthur were born consecutively, since it means that I need to talk about their adventures in football only once. Poor Hugh gets 'lumped in' by virtue of the fact that he was also a player and did not survive to do anything else. James Cracknell mentions Percy and Arthur as cricketers (as was Hugh, who played for Haileybury College) in his reminiscences on this website, and so they were, but they were far better known as footballers.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Percy went to Charterhouse and Oriel College, Oxford, obtaining an MA. Arthur also attended Charterhouse but went on to Trinity, Cambridge. Both were members of the Old Carthusians and also joined Corinthians, the renowned amateur football club: they were known as Morning and Afternoon by virtue of their initials, AM and PM. They were excellent full backs and played together for England (in those days the England side played only against the other home nations). Percy had thirteen caps (five as captain) and Arthur nine.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

On 8 November 1890 the boys played what turned out to be their last match for Corinthians - an eight-nil thrashing of Sheffield in which their younger brother, Hugh Melmoth, scored a hat-trick. A matter of days later Hugh suffered internal injuries in a match and died two weeks thereafter: his brothers then virtually retired from the game. Percy and Arthur are credited with being two of the founder members of Ewell Football Club in 1890. Hugh is buried at St Mary's, Ewell.

Needless to say, Arthur and Percy both went into the law. Percy was a conveyancing barrister (called to the Bar 1888) and became a bencher at Lincoln's Inn; he married Alice Homfray Bonnin on 28 July 1896 at Christchurch, Epsom. The Bonnins lived at 'Shalimar', Brighton Road, Ewell, Alice's father, Baltic merchant James Bass Bonnin, having died the previous year.

The newlyweds set up home in Malden but by 1911 had moved to Crampshaw End, Ashtead, where Percy died on 3 October 1936. At some point thereafter Alice moved to a hotel at Betchworth and died in a Dorking nursing home on 16 October 1961, aged 92. There were no children. Ironically Percy's newspaper obituaries concentrated on his sporting activities rather than his legal career: The Times devoted around 30 lines to the football and one sentence to the law. However, someone must have felt as I did - that there was much more to him than football - and one Lt-Col F H L Errington (former Commandant of the Inns Of Court Training Corps) wrote to The Times about Percy's army service. At the outbreak of the South African War Percy joined the 'other ranks' of the Inns of Court Training Corps, leaving as a Corporal. However, when World War 1 broke out he returned to the Corps to train recruits, giving up his practice at the Bar to do so. He became one of six Company Sergeant-Majors, of whom Col Errington said, 'The six sergeant-majors were the mainstay of the Corps. They were men who did not desire commissions, preferring more intimate contact with the rank and file. All in their several ways were experts in the art of taming or training potential officers; all would agree that Walters stood pre-eminent. It was not entirely his gift of leadership, complete though it was, but rather a permeating influence which charged men with something of his own electric qualities. He instilled leadership and distilled discipline. Circumstances changed, and he eventually accepted a commission, putting as always every ounce of himself into his work. These war years of over-strenuous toil ended in a temporary breakdown, but seemed to leave no further mark on his activities. He has died popular and respected at the Bar, but most secure in the hearts of those who served with or under him, and loved, a man full of humanity, staunch and loyal, a born soldier in the best sense of the word.'

Extract from the 1912 OS Map showing Crampshaw End, Ashtead
Extract from the 1912 OS Map showing Crampshaw End, Ashtead

Well, that was more like it! Beneath the Colonel's letter was another, from a Mr N Lane Jackson (this was Nicholas Lane Jackson, founder of Corinthians and one-time Secretary of the Football Association, known in football circles as 'Pa'), who wrote, 'He was a delightful companion as well as one of the finest backs ever seen at Association football. His pluck was phenomenal. At Grimsby once we were playing against a very rough team. I was his partner at full back, and was doing the kicking while he kept the man off until he told me his collar-bone was broken. I begged him to go off the field , but he would not, so we changed our tactics and I did the bustling while he kicked splendidly until the finish, when we had won, a marvellous display of pluck.'

Also see

Percy's attitude towards football is exemplified by this extract from a letter he wrote to the Surrey Amateur Football Association in 1909. 'As you know, I look at football, and in fact at all games, from the point of view of their use in developing both character and physique, and fitting us for that Armageddon for which, as a nation, we have to prepare without losing a moment. Holding this view, I am inclined to urge it incessantly both in and out of season, but more often the latter. It is not pleasant at every festive gathering to be reminded of the writing on the wall. I hear the County Cup was competed for in the best spirit of the game, no fouls, no funking, no whistles, no spectators (or very few). The spectator is to my mind the curse of modern football. I mean the paying of others to play instead of playing ourselves. May your Surrey Association always remain "poor"; then alone can you remain "pure".' He would undoubtedly turn in his grave if he knew about the excess of today's professional football scene.

Arthur married Amy Constance Parbury (also see Katharine Eleanor Walters below) in 1892 and they had nine children. Henry Malden has nothing much to say about Arthur, other than what we already know. All I can add is that he became President of the Law Society.

A later photograph of Arthur.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Oliver Renwick has kindly supplied the following obituary, which appeared in The Times of 5 May 1941.

Arthur's obituary in the The Times of 5 May 1941
Arthur's obituary in the The Times of 5 May 1941

Here is some information about the children.

Name Born - Died Information
Amy Madeline 1893- Married 1922 Alan Leslie Henderson.
Anthony Melmoth 1895- Married 1916 Sybil Anna Pelagie Everett, aka Davenport, born 1884. Farmer in New Jersey, USA. One known child - Christopher Melmoth
Herbert M 1900-  
Patrick Melmoth 1904-75 Married 1936 Winifred M Cartland.
Marion Elizabeth 1905- Married 1927 James Arthur Palmes.
Janet Maud 1908- Married 1929 Calcutta Matthew Seymour Bradley.
Guy Melmoth 1910-76 Solicitor, in partnership with father. Married 1962 Adela K Wood.
Bridget Mary 1914-2002 Married 1939 Lionel Bertram Court Cooper (later Court-Cooper).
Thomas Melmoth 1916-74 Married 1955 the twice-divorced Vivien Yzabel Suzanne Nicholson Caldwell, formerly Morland, nee Hogg.

A page from the Walters' Family Bible.
A page from the Walters' Family Bible.
Image courtesy of Oliver Renwick ©2014.

Thomas Melmoth Walters
Thomas Melmoth Walters

Gertrude Hamilton Walters

Gertrude Hamilton Walters and solicitor Thomas Arthur Rawlinson (married 1893 Epsom district) were the paternal grandparents of Baron (Peter Anthony Grayson) Rawlinson of Ewell, the former Conservative MP for Epsom and Cabinet Minister - see The Rawlinsons had three children, who were Arthur Richard (Dick,1894 -1984), Christina (1900-79, married William Leslie C Haslam) and Gerald (1906-90).

Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Richard Rawlinson OBE married Ailsa Margaret Harrington Grayson in 1916. There were two sons, the aforementioned Baron Rawlinson of Ewell (1919-2006) and Michael Henry Grayson Rawlinson (born 1918, Pilot Officer RAF; killed in action Belgium 1940).

Constance Maud Walters (known as Maud)

Maud was in a very unusual position for an Englishwoman in World War 1, in that she was married to a German Army officer who became a Lieutenant-General and commanded a Brigade in France, mostly at Thiepval, Somme. Theodor Karl Ludwig Von Wundt was the son of General Theodor Von Wundt, Minister of War for Wurttemberg. However, before the War and probably afterwards both Constance and Theodor enjoyed climbing and scaled the Matterhorn on their honeymoon in 1894. They had a daughter, Nora, born 1895 Stuttgart, whom I believe dropped the 'Von' from her surname and became a doctor, plus two sons, named Max Melmoth (1896) and Rolf. The latter was a leading radio physicist and, along with Wernher Von Braun and many others, he was airlifted out of Berlin in 1947 to work for the Americans ( ).

There is mention of Theodor on the internet in connection with mountain subjects and photography if you read German. And do type 'Albert Heim cartoons' into your search engine to see some of the humorous paintings commissioned by Lt-Gen Von Wundt during his time on the Front.

Katharine Eleanor Walters

Katharine Eleanor married merchant Herbert Victor Parbury, brother of Mrs Arthur Melmoth Walters, in 1905. Herbert's father, George, traded in and with Australia, which is how Mrs A M Walters came to be born in Melbourne. Herbert did likewise, in the long-established family firm of Parbury, Henty & Co of Sydney. Additionally he had a fruit growing business in Leicestershire. I am not aware of any children.

Radclyffe Walters

Radclyffe was the senior partner in Walters & Co, Solicitors and married Mary Jane Maingay on 10 September 1881 at St Mary's, Ewell. She was born in 1854 in Naples, daughter of Channel Islands couple John Francis Maingay and Jane Elizabeth (nee Robin). Mr Maingay was a merchant and the couple lived latterly at Chessington Lodge, Spring Street, Ewell, dying in 1905 and 1908 respectively.

Unlike a wedding I mentioned earlier, the sun shone on this occasion. A seeming host of clergymen relatives took part and there were eight bridesmaids and seven groomsmen (I am not sure what groomsmen do, if anything, but suffice it to say that virtually anyone who was related to the bridal couple got involved in the ceremony somehow).

Over to Henry Malden again.

'Radclyffe, born 17 February 1849, was educated at Woodcote House, Windlesham, Surrey, whence in 1863 he went to Repton where for two years he was in the V1 form and the cricket X1. In 1867 he matriculated at University College Oxford, his name being entered as "3rd son of John Eldad Walters of Kensington, Armiger"1, which is curious, as his father had left Kensington nine years previously. In December 1869 he took 2nd Class Mods; in Finals he was 3rd Class Law and Modern History, BA 1871, MA 1874: he was three years in his College X1. On leaving Oxford he entered the office in Lincoln's Inn as an articled clerk; passed the Solicitors' Final Exam with honours (6th) in January 1875 and became a partner in the Firm January 1877. From 1880-85 he was Examiner in the Solicitors' Final Examination in conveyancing. He is also a director of the Law Guarantee Society, a Trustee for the Debenture holders of the Land Mortgage Bank and a member of the United University Club.

A keen sportsman, he has ever distinguished himself with rod and gun; in the year 1879 he won the Archery Championship of All England.

Fond of reading, he has an excellent library containing a very good collection of sporting and natural history books, old and modern, chiefly modern; a very complete collection of works on archery; also of the works of Stevenson, first editions; while his collection of first editions of Rudyard Kipling's works, juvenile and otherwise, is probably inferior to none.'

Radclyffe died on 23 August 1907 at Nodbek Farm, Mandal, South Norway, where I presume he was on holiday, possibly fishing: Mandal was and is a charming place, known for its fine salmon fishing river.

Radclyffe and Mary, who lived at Persfield in Ewell (see below), had the following children.

Name Born Married Died
Violet* 1882 Ewell Robert George Shuttleworth and Robert Theodore Hope Mackenzie 1972
Robin Radclyffe 1884 Ewell Mildred Clifton (1885-1973)  
Elsie Margaret 1886 Ewell Edward R Wilson 1971 Merton?
Evelyne May 1890 Ewell Henry Norman Brock 19.10.1959 Surrey (then living at Persfield)

* (Link To Robert Geo Shuttleworth)

Robin Radclyffe married Mildred Clifton in 1916 in South Perth, Western Australia. I believe he farmed there.

Evelyne May married Henry Norman Brock OBE in 1915 in Bombay: he was an official on the Indian Peninsular Railway, an honorary Colonel in the Indian Auxiliary Force and an ADC to King George V. Henry died on 26 December 1951. The couple's younger daughter, Jennifer (married name Exton), lived in Frankston, Victoria, Australia and died in 2006. Two other children were Rosamund Daphne (born 1920) and Henry Desmond De Lisle (1922-92).

Rosamund married Lt Eric Gordon Nelson Bremner RN at Epsom in 1941; she died in 1992 in Chichester district. There were three children.

Memorial to members of the Walters family in St Mary's, Ewell
Memorial to members of the Walters family in St Mary's, Ewell
Image courtesy Bourne Hall Museum


Cloudesley Willis (in 'A Short History of Ewell and Nonsuch') mentions Persfield as being extant by 1840, which is strange. The name of Persfield must have come from the Walters family, since they were landowners in Persfield, Monmouthshire way back in the 14th century, so it was either changed from something else when John Eldad Walters and family acquired it or John might have had property in Ewell before he moved there. However, if the latter had been the case, then I feel he would have said so in his memoirs. Anyway, here is a picture of the house, not looking awfully sound, which is perhaps why they eventually knocked it down to build flats.

Image courtesy Bourne Hall Museum

Linda Jackson
January 2013

Footnote 1.
An Armiger is a person entitled to use a coat of arms.

HV Usill
HV Usill
Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page
Page Family
Page Family
TH Snow
TH Snow
JA Larby
JA Larby
J Harrison
J Harrison
Nonsuch Mansion
Nonsuch Mansion
New Stables
New Stables