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Thursday, 24 January 2013

Walker Williams, son of Thomas Williams

Research commissioned by the family of Hutchins Thomas Williams in the late nineteenth century, and carried out by the noted English genealogist, Charles Worthy, revealed that Thomas Williams of the Bank of Ireland, and his wife, Mary Anne Quine,  had three sons - Richard Williams of Drumcondra Castle and 38 Dame St,  Charles Wye Williams who founded the Dublin Steam Packet Company, and a third son who didn't survive childhood, Walker Williams.

The name 'Walker' stirred my interest, since children carrying family names like this have generally been named after someone with associations to the parents, therefore Thomas Williams must have had some sort of a relationship with a family named 'Walker', either through marriage or through business.

I came upon the name of Thomas Walker and decided to do a post about this individual, seeing as he seems to be the most likely candidate;  it's important to note that I have no proof whatsoever for this - I'm merely collating the facts about the man here, and, as usual, I'll add information to this as I find it.

From 'Notes and Queries - A Medium of Intercommunication for Literary Men, Feb. 2nd 1858':
   '£10,000 Reward For A Will. "Whereas the late Thomas Walker, Esq., of Belgriffin Park, in the county of Dublin, but formerly of Dame Street, died on the 26th day of March 1817, and having during his illness declared...that he had made his will...And whereas there is reason to believe that...a considerable sum of money has been bequeathed to charitable purposes, and that said will, with other testamentary papers, were deposited with some person who, from the importance of the trust, have withheld same, for the purpose of receiving such liberal remuneration...(the testator dying worth upwards of 250,000l.)....
....Notice is hereby given, that any person or persons with whom said will and testamentary papers may have been deposited, and who will make a communication, that said will may be brought forward, such person or persons will become entitled to the reward of 10,000l., which such sum shall be deposited in the hands of any three respectable  persons (the Secretary of the Bank of Ireland being one) be held in trust and paid over the moment said will is proved...
....Communications to be any three of the following persons: - The Right Hon. John Radcliffe, or his register, John Hawkins, Esq.;  Thomas Williams, Esq., Bank of Ireland;  Thomas Kemmis, Esq., Law Agent to Commissioners of First Fruits, Kildare Street;  Wm. James McCausland, Esq., Secretary to Comissioners of Charitable Donations, 88, Merrion Street, Dublin;  or if the said will and papers are in the possession of any person or persons in Great Britain, information may be made to the Right Hon. Sir John Nichols, the Right Hon. Sir Wm. Scott,  or their Register, Charles Moore, Esq.  Prerogative Office, London.
    "Further Reward of £1000 More....And whereas it appears by the testamentary paper...(which had been lodged in the Prerogative Court, and which instructions have been proved by several of the most respectable witnesses to be the handwriting of the deceased), that he has bequeathed a sum of money to my family,  I do hereby offer a reward of one thousand pounds...which sum shall be paid to the person who shall deliver said will to any of the above named, or to any person who will give such information as to secure its production, on application to George Webb, Stock Broker, London;  or at my office, 17 Dame Street, Dublin.   Robert Webb."
....To the above the following...may be appended. It appeared in the Chester journals of 1819:
    "Extraordinary Discovery of a Will.  About four years ago,  a man possessed of very considerable property, died, bequeathing his effects to his daughter, in excluson to his son and wife;  his will, it seems, fell into the hands of his wife, with whom the son was a favourite, and to prevent its being carried into effect, she buried it the coffin with the husbnd.  A few weeks ago, being on her death-bed, she confessed the particulars to a friend, enjoining her not to disclose the fact till after her death;  the widow is now dead, and application is making at Doctors' Commons to take up the coffin of the deceased man." '

 Thomas Walker was a prominent businessman, with involvement in the Lottery and the publisher of 'Walkers Hibernian Magazine'; he had his offices at Cicero's Head, 79 Dame Street.   On March 28th 1788, a list of shareholders of the Bank of Ireland showed that he was the  major investor, holding £21,800 worth of stock, outdoing even the Latouche and Guinness families.  This major involement with the Bank of Ireland, would have, of course, brought him into close contact with its Secretary, Thomas Williams, whose son, Richard Williams, was notary to the bank from his offices at 38 Dame Street.

Thomas Walker had a brother, Henry Walker, also involved in the lottery business, who died intestate in March 1810.   Thomas also had two sisters, Elizabeth Wheeler and Lydia Carr - these were possibly half-sisters.  Another possible relation was Joseph Walker, printer and lottery owner of Anglesea Street, who was married to an Elizabeth Barber, and who was in business with Benjamin Disraeli, a possible uncle of the English politician of the same name.  
Neither Thomas Walker, nor his brother Henry Walker, left a will.  Henry Walker's daughter, Anne Walker, who had been born on 26th September 1806, was the heiress-at-law to both men, although Henry Walker was also the father of two illegitimate sons, one named Henry Walker, who laid claim to his estate.

The 1839 publication "Reports of Cases Heard and Decided in the House of Lords on Appeals" discussed one of this family's endless law suits, this one pertaining to Henry Walker's daughter, Anne Walker, and her husband Thomas Hodgens following their marriage breakdown.  Thomas Hodgens was the second son of a wealthy Dublin merchant.  He had been called to the Irish bar in 1820, and was consulted by the late Henry Walker's illegitimate son, Henry, which brought Hodgens into contact with the wealthy heiress, Anne Walker, who was then only 13 years old and a student at a Dublin boarding school.  Her mother, who had remarried a Joseph Blake in St. Mary's on 20th August 1814, was the guardian of her estate.  With permission from Anne's mother, Thomas Hodgens visited Anne Walker twice at her school before abducting her, marrying her, and returning her a day later. On 1st April 1820,  Thomas Hodgens, Mrs. Blake and the clergyman who'd conducted the marriage, were jailed for contempt but released a year later.
On 14th May 1822, Anne was once again abducted by Thomas Hodgens and smuggled over to France.  The marriage was subsequently annulled, but once Anne reached the age of 21 on 26th September 1826, she agreed to marry him in 1827, despite her later claims of mistreatment.
The couple had two sons, Henry Walker Hodgens who was born in Great Georges Street, Dublin, on 19th June 1829 and Thomas Walker Hodgens, who was born in 1830.
In March 1834, however, the marriage ran into difficulties, and Anne eloped with Antony Patrick Mahon, a surgeon with the Royal Artillery. There followed much wrangling over child support.....

The Walker family seemed to thrive on legal action.  Another case of 1826 was mentioned in Google Books, although the details of the case weren't given. This particular one involved Elizabeth Wheeler, the sister of Thomas and Henry Wheeler, and was taken against the minors George Nelson Wheeler, Henry Wheeler, Robert Wheeler, Thomas Wheeler, Anna Maria Wheeler, Matilda Wheeler and Adeline Wheeler.  Also implicated was the widow, Ann Walker, who may have been the widow of Thomas Walker.

Notes on the Webb family, who believed that Thomas Walker had left them money:
Robert Webb of 17 Dame Street ran one of many lotteries in existence in Dublin at that time, and was also a member of the Dublin Stock Exchange. He had been born to George Webb (of Cambridge and, then, Maryborough, Queen's County) and Jane Boards in 1765;  he married Sarah Yarner Hill of Bray, Co. Wicklow, and died in 1823.
His son, George Webb, was noted in an 1814 London Directory as 'Stockbroker, State Lottery and Irish Money Exchange Office' at 17 Ludgate Street, London.  George Webb was married to Isabella Bish, the sister of the MP Thomas Bish.  She died in Charing Cross at the home of the Bish Family in 1813, following an accident when the Oxford stage coach overturned near Stoken Church.
George's uncle, Thomas Webb, (brother of Robert Webb of Dame Street), had been born in 1757 and married Abigail Manders, the daughter of Robert Manders of Borris-in-Ossory, Queen's County. A son was Isaac Manders Webb.  (Members of the Manders family worked for the Dublin Steam Packet Company; is this the same Manders family, I wonder?)
Another of Robert Webb's brothers was Arthur Webb (1763 - 1790) who was killed by a Robert Jones during a duel in Calcutta, whilst abroad on the services of the East India Company.  He was married to Mary Lloyd, who was a granddaughter of Miss Plunkett who was a niece of Judge William Whitshed.  William Whitshed was married to a member of the family of Mark Quin, Mayor of Dublin.   The wife of Thomas Williams of the Bank of Ireland was also married to a member of this family, his wife being Mary Anne Quine, although this is probably pure coincidence.

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