The Walter Family
Copyright Carol Baxter 2012
Prepared for Walter descendant Jeanette Bradley
John Spencer Walter (1844-1917) and Elizabeth Grainger (c1838-1914)
John Spencer Walter was the son of George Walter, licenced victualler, and his wife Elizabeth Spencer nee Brede. He was born on 9 February 1844 at 10 Shoe Lane in St Brides Fleet Street parish, London, and baptised on 10 March 1844.
John was not listed with his family in Shoe Lane when the 1851 Census was taken. He was probably the seven-year-old John Walter who was a scholar at James Holmes’ private school at Tottenham Green, London. John was residing with his family at the time of the 1861 Census and was listed as being “out of situation.”
In the early 1870s, John and his elder brother George were in business as wine and spirit merchants at 123 Fleet Street however this partnership dissolved on 29 September 1872. In June 1873, an advertisement for the Great Australian Gold Mining Company, Hawkins Hill, Tambaroora, NSW, listed John Spencer Walter Esq. of 9 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, and Sydney, as a secretary. This probably explains his later decision to emigrate to Australia.
By the early 1870s, John had established a relationship with Elizabeth Hindley nee Grainger. Elizabeth was the daughter of carver and gilder Edwin Grainger and his wife Mary and was born late in 1838 or early in 1839 in Worcester, England. Her father was also Worcester-born and Elizabeth’s siblings included Edwin (c1833), Isabella (c1843), Ann (c1848), Alfred (c1850) and William (c1853). The Graingers resided in Charles Street[?], Worcester in 1841, at 7 Trinity Gardens in St Nicholas parish, Worcester in 1851, and had relocated to Viners Buildings in Trinity north by 1871.
In the 1860s, Elizabeth apparently married a man named Hindley in London. They had no children and Hindley seemingly had died by May 1877 when Elizabeth described herself as a widow.
John Spencer Walter and Elizabeth Hindley were married by banns on 2 May 1877 at St Paul Covent Garden, London, before witnesses George Jessey and Ann E Guns. Both John and Elizabeth were residing at 33 Southampton Street, Covent Garden at the time of their marriage. They had three known children: Lilian Grace (c1871), Spencer John (1878), and William Gilbert (c1880).
John was described as an agent for a manufacturer at the time of their marriage. When their son Spencer John was born in 1878, John listed himself as a mining manufacturer residing at 22 Montague Road in the Hackney district. The child died soon afterwards.
The Walters were residing at 21 Lewisham Rd, St Pancras, London when the census was taken in 1881. They had a servant, eighteen-year old Alice Collis of Winchester, and a visitor, 21 year-old William Paton, from London.
Around 1887 the Walter family sailed for South Australia where they resided for around a year. They then moved to Victoria for a year and then to New South Wales where they remained.
The Walters were residing at Ashfield when their daughter Lilian was married in 1898. John described himself as a “gentleman” at that time and was described as a manufacturer’s agent at his own death in 1917. He was presumably the John Spencer Walter who was involved in the contract for the Australasian Automatic Weighing Machine Company in 1899, although this man’s business address was listed as 12 Addle Street, Wood Street, E.C., a London address.
John Spencer Walter was residing at “Hartlepool”, 61 Parramatta Rd, Ashfield in 1911 when his son-in-law Bruce McGregor Campbell died. He acted as the informant for the latter’s death certificate and also served as a witness at his burial.
Elizabeth died on 6 September 1914 at 61 Parramatta Rd, Ashfield. Her cause of death was listed as heart disease from which she suffered for 18 months. She was buried on the 8th in the Church of England section at Rookwood. Her husband acted as the informant and her husband and son as witnesses at her burial.
Death and funeral notices were included in the Sydney Morning Herald on 8 September 1914 as follows:
Walter: 6 September 1914 at Hartlepool House, 61 Parramatta Road, Ashfield, Elizabeth, dearly beloved wife of John Spencer Walter, aged 76.
Walter: The friends of John S. Walter and family are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral of his late loved wife and their mother, Elizabeth, to leave Hartlepool House, Parramatta road, Ashfield, this day at 1.40 pm for Ashfield station, thence for Church of England Cemetery, Rookwood via No. 1 Mortuary.
Walter: The friends of Mr and Mrs William G. Walter of Garfield, Cavendish-street, Stanmore, are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral of his late mother, Elizabeth Walter; to leave 61 Parramatta Road, Ashfield, this day at 1.40pm for Church of England cemetery, Rookwood via No. 1 Mortuary.
John was residing with his daughter Lilian at 174 Parramatta Road, Ashfield, when he signed his last will and testament in August 1916. He left his estate to be divided equally between his two children. He died on 18 April 1917 at Burilda Private Hospital, in Gower Street, Ashfield. His cause of death was described as uraemia following an operation for stricture from which he suffered for 12 hours. He was buried on 19 April 1917 at the Church of England Cemetery, Rookwood.
Family of John Spencer Walter and Elizabeth Grainger
1. Lillian Grace Walter
- Born c1871, Dulwich, London
- Married 13 January 1898, St John’s, Ashfield, to Bruce McGregor Campbell. (see Campbells of Cromla)
- Died 14 September 1948.
2. Spencer John Walter
- Born 1878, 22 Montague Road; baptised 18 Aug 1878 Dalston St Mark, Hackney, London
- Died late 1878.
3. William Gilbert Walter
- Born c1880, St Marks, Middlesex.
- Witnessed his sister’s marriage in 1898.
- Married Blanche Nelson
- Had one child who died at birth.
- Residing: 37 Cavendish St, Stanmore in 1917 when father died.
Death and funeral notices in the Daily Telegraph recorded the following:
Walter: 18 April 1917 at a private hospital, Sydney, John Spencer Walter, aged 73 years. Home papers please copy.
Walter: The Funeral of the late Mr John Spencer Walter will leave his residence, “Hartlepool”, 61 Parramatta Road, Ashfield, this Thursday morning at 9.30 o’clock for Church of England Cemetery, Rookwood, via Ashfield Station.
Walter: The friends of Mr and Mrs W.G. Walter of 37 Cavendish Street, Stanmore, and Mrs E. Campbell, are kindly invited to attend the Funeral of their late beloved father, John Spencer Walter, which will leave 174 Parramatta Road, Ashfield, this (Thursday) morning at 9.30 o’clock, for Church of England Cemetery, Rookwood.
The inventory of John’s estate prepared in May 1917 listed assets in shares, furniture, and money valued at over £840.