Richard Walker was born in 1713. He married Ann Carr (1715 - 1800). They may have lived at Whitby originally, but by 1743, they were living at Yarm, a small market town situated on the south bank of the river Tees, about 35 miles from Whitby and about five miles from Stockton-on-Tees. Yarm was a more important place in the past for, in addition to its market, it was the lowest crossing of the Tees and the upper limit of navigation of the river.
Richard and Ann had at least two sons, Richard and James. The eldest son, Richard was born at Yarm on March 12, 1743 and died in 1835. He was a lifelong bachelor and when he died left an estate of £90 000.
James, the younger son, lived from 1750 to 1814. In 1791, he married Hannah Eden at the church in Stockton-on-Tees and lived there for the rest of his life. He was a flax merchant and was mayor of Stockton-on-Tees in 1809 and 1811. Hannah Eden belonged to an old County Durham Family. Her great grandfather Rev. Layton Eden was brother of Sir Robert Eden who was created baronet in 1679. A descendant of Sir Robert Eden, Sir Anthony Eden (1897 -1976) was prime minister of Great Britain. Hannah’s grandfather, Rev. William Eden MA was vicar of Stockton from 1714 to his death in 1729. There is an old oil painting preserved of Hannah which shows her as an elderly, rather grim faced old lady seated on a chair. She wears a white cap covering head with a band under her chin. Her right hand lies on an open book, probably a bible.
James and Hannah Walker had, in all, eleven children of whom three died in infancy. The names of the children are; Elizabeth, Richard and James who did not survive infancy and Thomas, Richard, Ann, James, Hannah, Eden, Mary and Francis who reached adulthood. . . three sons and six daughters.
Of all these children it is proposed to follow two; Richard from whom my own family derives and James who is part of the Chapman - Walker connection, which will be touched on later.
Richard Walker, 1795 - 1867, was the fourth child of James and Hannah Eden Walker. He was born in Stockton-on-Tees and lived there all his life. He was a Justice of the Peace (JP) for county Durham. He appears to have been quite well to do. In the 1851 census, he was living at an address in Stockton High Street and his occupation was given as flax merchant. In 1827, he married Mary Skinner (1806-1866) when he was 32 years of age and his bride 21 years of age
There has been preserved a journal in which Richard sets down in meticulous detail all his expenses from the year of his marriage to Mary Skinner in 1827 up to the year 1843. From this journal we can learn a good deal about Richard Walker.
Richard and Mary Walker had eleven children in total, of whom nine survived childhood. Their names were; Mary Jane, born 1828, James, born 1831, Richard, born 1833 Hannah Eden, 1835, Charlotte, 1836, Elizabeth, 1838, Fanny, 1838, Caroline Eden, 1840, Richard, 1841, William Eden, 1842 and Thomas in 1844. Of the eleven children, three received the name Eden after their grandmother, Hannah Eden. The first Richard and Charlotte both died in February 1838.
Of the nine surviving children, there were fours sons. James, Richard, William Eden and Thomas.
James went to Canada where he married a Helena Corbould of Orillia, Ontario.
Of Thomas, nothing further is known.
Richard, called "the second Richard" by his father, married his cousin Frances Simpson Walker. He was a graduate of Jesus College Cambridge in 1870 and entered the ministry of the Church of England. He was first private chaplain to Sir Tatton Sykes of Sledmere, and later vicar of Helperthorpe and East Hesterton. All in the East Riding of Yorkshire. He retired from the ministry in 1902 and lived at East Ayton Lodge near Scarborough until his death in 1921 at the age of 80 years. Richard and his wife, Frances, had one daughter, Jessie Frances (1881-1974). After the death of her parents she went to Canada and lived in Victoria B.C. for the last 30 years of her life.
William Eden Walker married Louisa Corbould, sister of his brother James’s wife, in 1871. He was a wine merchant and later founded and was managing director of Walker Maynard and Co of Redcar Ironworks. He sold the business to Dorman Long and Co. in 1916. The current British Steel Headquarters on Teesside and the blast furnace at Redcar are on the site of the former Walker Maynard Works. He had a house built in Saltburn – "Riftswood" and he used to walk to work along the beach from Saltburn to Redcar every day - a distance of about 5 miles in each direction. He was a Justice of the Peace for the North Riding of Yorkshire. "Riftswood" still exists - it is a grade two listed building but its future was uncertain at the time of writing this.
William Eden Walker had one daughter and three sons; Mary, born 1872, Charles Corbould, born 1875, William Eden, born 1877 and Francis Gerald (my grandfather) born 1882.
Charles was killed early in the First World War (at Le Cateau in 1914) and his early death is thought, in the family, to be the reason that William Eden Walker sold off his business when he did. After selling the business, he moved, first, in 1918 to the Zetland Hotel in Saltburn and later to Scarborough where he died in 1930 at the age of 88.
My father remembers his grandfather, William Eden Walker as being a fearsome person. A clear memory of to going to visit him, for his father to be told, "the boy needs a haircut" though my father was given half a crown (2s 6d) on leaving. William Eden Walker's daughter, Mary married the next door neighbour’s chauffeur. As a consequence, he broke off all contact with her and refused even to have her name mentioned in the house ever again! My grandfather was very fond of her and and kept in contact with her until her death.
William Eden Walker’s youngest son, Francis Gerald married Sarah Melanie Walker, granddaughter of Richard Walker’s brother James. James had married Elizabeth Chapman, a descendant of Abel Chapman and Elizabeth Walker of Whitby.
Francis Gerald Walker had a daughter, Marguerite and two sons, Harold and Rupert. His younger son Rupert is my father. He was born in 1920 and married Marguerite Wight of Aberdeen in 1941.
I was born in Aberdeen in 1944 and married my wife, Heather Clark of Honley near Huddersfield in 1969. I have a brother, Richard (b. 1948), two sisters, Kathryn (b. 1950) and Sarah (b. 1955) and two daughters, Elizabeth (b. 1974) and Anna (b. 1976).
Copyright © Geoff Walker 1999 - 2003
Last Modified 30 December 2003