Walter was born in the March quarter of 1873 in Southwark (reference St. Olave Southwark 1d 305).
His parents, Philip Rayson and Agnes Amelia , née Ashby, were married on 27 January 1856 at St. James’ Church, Bermondsey. He was a widower and was described as being “of age”, (i.e. over 21). She was described as a “minor”, (i.e. she was under 21).
The 1861 Census
In the 1861 Census the family were living at 1, Thetford Place, Rotherhithe. Those present in the house were, Philip, head, aged 35 and a labourer, born Shimpling, Suffolk, Agnes his wife aged 23, born Hackney, their son William aged 8 and a scholar born Deptford,their daughter, Agnes, aged 4, born Bermondsey, and their second son, Robert, aged 10 months, who was also born in Bermondsey.
The 1871 Census
In the 1871 Census the family was living at 13 George Street, Rotherhithe. Philip was head of the household, now aged 45 and working as a porter, Agnes, his wife aged 33 born Highbury, and their sons William, now aged 18, and Robert aged 10. Two more children have been born since the previous census, Alice aged 2 and Florence aged just 1 month, both born in Rotherhithe.
Philip Rayson died in the December quarter of 1874 aged 50, (reference St. Olave Southwark 1d 138).
The 1881 Census
The 1881 Census has the family at 35, Thames Street, Greenwich. The household consisted of Agnes, now a widow of 42, occupation ‘Mangling’, Robert, her son aged 20 and working as a labourer, Alice (12) and Florence (10), both scholars, and Walter her son aged 8 and a scholar who was born in Rotherhithe.
The 1891 Census
In the 1891 Census Agnes Rayson was living at 31, Hugon Road, Fulham, a 53 year-old widow living on her own means. Walter was living with her. He was aged 18 and working as a Poulterer’s Assistant.
Agnes Amelia Rayson died at Littlehampton, Sussex on 7 October 1900. She left £23 to her son Walter, described as a poulterer.
The 1901 Census
The Census of 1901 had Walter living at 1, Herbert Road, Wandsworth, the house of Albert and Mary Seymoure. He was one of 3 boarders. He was 28 and working as a Fishmonger’s Assistant.
In the September quarter of 1904 Walter married Ernestine Aurelie Lambert, (reference Wandsworth 1d 1391).
The 1911 Census
The 1911 Census had the couple living at 135, Grandison Road, Battersea. Walter was head of the household, aged 38 and working as an Agent in Wholesale Confectionery working on his own account, Ernestine Aurelie, Walter’s wife aged 36, a dressmaker working at home on her own account. She was born in Belgium and was a Belgian citizen. They had been married 7 years and two children had been born and were alive though they do not appear to be living with their parents.
Jeannie Blaneaneaux, aged 54, was visiting the couple. She was a dressmaker born in Glasgow.
Admission to Long Grove and death
On 29 June 1917 Walter was admitted by the police into the Fulham Road Workhouse. He was described as a Munitions Labourer born in 1873.
On 2 July he was transferred to Long Grove, and died there on 9 December 1918.
I could find no record of his wife after 1911, nor any record of their two children.