William was born at Marden, Kent, on 16th July 1825. Unlike most of his siblings, whose births were recorded in the baptismal register of Marden Independent Church, those of William and his older sister Charlotte were both recorded at the Independent Church in Week Street, Maidstone, Kent, on 25th November 1825. (He should not be confused with another William Walter who was christened at Marden in 1823.) William was living with his parents and siblings at Marden in 1841, but he set up in business as a grocer and draper at 11, Montague Street, Broadwater, Worthing, Sussex, in 1846. (The firm that he founded traded until 1971; a photograph of the Walter Bros. shop may be found on the internet.) Two years after this he married Caroline Hickmott back in his home village of Marden. She was also a native of Marden. Her family attended the Independent Church there as his did, and that is where they were married. Their first child, Kate, was born early the following year at Goudhurst, Kent, and the second, William, was born at Broadwater (Worthing), Sussex, in 1851, shortly before the census was taken; a nurse was present at that time and two-year-old Kate was lodged temporarily at the Running Horse Inn. Another son and two daughters followed and then, in 1861, Caroline gave birth to another boy on 9th February, but both she and the baby died the same day. In the census taken a few weeks later, William was recorded as a widower aged 35, a draper, with his daughters Caroline, 5, and Julia, 1, and looking after them and keeping house was his sister-in-law Mary Hickmott. The following year, William and Mary married at Limehouse in London. Two years later their daughter Florence Mary (1864 - 1923) was born. William died at Broadwater in 1881 and Mary died there in 1884.
The children of William and Caroline were: Kate Anne Maria (Purkis) 1849 - 1904, William 1851 - 1938, Arthur Frederick 1852 - 1941, Caroline (Holmes) 1855 - 1932, Julia (Purkis) 1859 - 1906.
(For some of this information I am grateful to Carole (Walter) Manning, a great-granddaughter of William, son of William and Caroline.)Oliver-4952 01:46, 28 May 2018 (UTC)
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