Mary was born in the Wandsworth District of London. The surname recorded is shown as Walters not Walter, although the mother’s maiden name confirms this is the correct birth.
From her baptismal record we know her birth date was the 22nd August 1886 although the birth was not actually registered until the 4th Quarter of that year. It was in October that she was baptized and this took place at the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St Joseph, at Battersea Park on the 3rd of October 1886. Latin scholars may enjoy it more but I think it’s just about decipherable for the rest of us!
Maria Elizabeth Walter die 22 Augusto 1886 nat a et die 3 Octobris 1886 baptizat a est Maria Elizabeth Walter filia Joseph et Elizabeth Walter (olim Hofmeier) conjgum: a me Galielmo Linnett. Patrinus fuit Fridolin Hofmeier. Matrina fuit Maria Epp.
Patrinus fuit and Matrina fuit mean Godfather and Godmother
As will be seen, Mary’s parents were Joseph Walter and Elizabeth Walter (nee Hofmeier). Their marriage was registered in the Pancras Registration District in the 3rd Quarter of 1883.
By the census on the 5th April 1891, the family was living at 6 Bridge Road, Hammersmith.
Joseph Walter, head, married, 36, Self Employed Watchmaker, born Germany
Elizabeth Walter, wife, married, no employment, born Germany
Fridolina Walter, daughter, 8, born Regents Park, London
Mary E Walter, daughter, born Battersea, London
The Mission of Hammersmith in 1893
We find out more about the family in 1893. In the Catholic Diocese of Westminster (and presumably throughout England) there was a Census carried out and, in what is described as the Mission of Hammersmith, it has listed the family with the comments shown
Name Mass, Easter Duties, Confirmation, Married, Mixed Marriage
Joseph Walter, Watchmaker, No No Yes Yes No
Elizabeth Walter, No No Yes Yes No
Fridolina , age 9, No No No Attending Protestant School
Mary Elizabeth, age 6 Thought too weak for school
Rose, age 1
Joseph, age 7 weeks
This is an intriguing document. The family is clearly not being brought up in strict Catholic fashion, but it also is a document suggesting that Mary Elizabeth may have had some physical and/or mental problem. Young Joseph does not survive long. His death was registered in the March Quarter of 1893, age 0, reference Fulham, 1a 159, so does not appear in the 1901 census.
The Census for 1901 was held on the night of the 31st of March. The family was living at 114 York Road, Battersea, London.
Joseph Walter, head, married, 48, Watchmaker, working on own account from home. Born Germany (British Subject)
Elizabeth Walter, wife, married, 44, no occupation, born Germany (British Subject)
Fridolina Walter, daughter, single,17, no occupation, born Battersea, London
Mary E Walter, daughter, 14, no occupation, born Battersea, London
Rosa Walter, daughter, 9, no occupation, born Battersea, London
Albert Walter, son, 7, no occupation, born Battersea, London
There is nothing in the census document to indicate any possible illness for Mary.
The Years After 1901
No information as to what happened to Mary between 1901 and 1906 is available. She is not identified in Workhouse/Infirmary records. All we know from the UK Lunacy records is that on the 4th August 1906 she is admitted to the Horton Asylum in Epsom, Surrey and that on the 11th August she dies aged just 20 years. The Horton Estate Cemetery records show that she was buried there in Grave 884 on the 17th August 1906.
The death was registered in the 3rd Quarter at Epsom but erroneously listed in the name of Walker and not Walter. The death certificate itself also shows the surname as Walker. It records Mary’s death at Horton Asylum and her age at death as 20 years. Her Rank/Profession is shown as “Domestic Servant and she was a Spinster of Wandsworth Union Infirmary.
The cause of death reads “Septicaemia ? Scarlatina about a fortnight”. The Informant who was also the doctor certifying the death was F Bryan MB, Medical Superintendent at Horton Asylum.
Scarlatina is the technical name for Scarlet Fever. It was most unfortunate for Mary that she had not lived later in the 20th century when vaccine and/or penicillin had virtually eliminated the disease. The indication that Mary may have suffered from this for about a fortnight would seem to indicate it is possible she was admitted to Horton for its medical facilities for treatment.
This document tells us nothing of Mary’s mental state. She had been only seven days at Horton before her death.