Priest and Walker Families

Arthur John Priest was born at Hoxton, London on 12 November 1881 and baptised 20 August 1882 at St Anne’s Church, Hoxton.

His father Arthur Priest was born and baptised in January 1852 at Littlebury, Essex and his mother Selina nee Middleditch was born 1854 at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, daughter of a cork manufacturer. They married at Bury St Edmunds in 1880 and lived briefly at Stanton, Suffolk and were living Hoxton, Middlesex by November 1881.

Arthur John had a sister Lilian Lena born Stoke Newington, Middlesex and brother Oliver Ernest born Tottenham, Middlesex.

Arthur, the father, was variously a car & drayman, gardener and groom.

In 1882 the family lived at 62 Rushton Street, Hoxton, in 1891 at 3 Charlton Villas, Harringay Road, Tottenham, in 1901 at 6 Avondale Road, Tottenham and in 1911 at 40A Harringay Road, West Green, South Tottenham.

Arthur John married Margaret Jane Stirling 28 December 1901 at Stanford Hill, Hackney, Middlesex. Margaret was born at Ranikhet, Uttarakhand, India 7 July 1877 and her father Robert was a soldier born Monaghan Town, Ireland. The Stirling family was living in Manchester 1891 and Tottenham by 1901.

Arthur John and Margaret Jane had two children Gladys Margaret born 25 July 1903 at Edmonton and Winifred May born 22 Feb 1907 at Hackney.  In 1911 the family were living at 49 Castlewood Road, Stoke Newington and Arthur John was a mercantile clerk.

Arthur John enlisted in the Army, Machine Gun Corp on 6 November 1918 and was discharged 23 January 1919 [?], apparently without seeing active service. From his enlistment papers, we learn that Arthur was 5’ 8¾” tall and his chest measurement when expanded was 33”, with 3” range of expansion.

In 1918, 1922, 1926 and 1929 the family were living at 8 Radley Road, Bruce Grove, Tottenham, although by 1939 they had moved out to the “country” and were living at Strathyre, 46 Deacons Hill Road, Elstree, Hertfordshire. Both girls were living at home throughout and in 1939 gave their occupations as typist and father Arthur John was Secretary of Pension Fund.

In the 1939 Register mother Margaret Jane is recorded living at Mill Cottage, Waldringfield, Suffolk, with her widowed elder sister Elizabeth Ann Dickins.

Margaret Jane died 11 December 1943 at Strathyre, 46 Deacons Hill Road and probate was granted on 5 May 1944 to husband Arthur John, commercial secretary, to administer her estate valued at £214 9s 3d gross and £1 10s 0d net.

The next significant change for the family was in 1953, when Winifred May,at the age of 46, married Ernest Henry Edward Walker a widower some seventeen years her senior.

Ernest was born Highgate in 1890 and his first wife Emmie Elizabeth Fowler was born Kingston, Surrey in 1888 and they married 1 August 1910 at Holy Trinity, Marylebone Road, Westminster, London. He was described as an oilman’s assistant and they both gave 37 Upper Charlton Street, Islington as their residence, although when the 1911 census was taken they were at 30 St Johns Villas, Archway, London, N.

There were two children from the marriage Emmie E born 1911 Islington, who died the same year and Ernest Charles born 1912 Islington, who died 1989 at Kingston on Thames. The family were at Norbiton, Kingston, Surrey in 1915.

Emmie Elizabeth presumably died or possibly there was a divorce, as no record of her has been found after 1915.

Ernest and Winfred his new wife took up residence at 8 Bonner Hill Road, Norbiton, Kingston upon Thames. The marriage was to last only three years as 3 August 1956 Ernest died at Claremont Hospital, Surbiton, Surry. On 25 October 1956 Administration of his estate was granted to Winifred, with the value declared as £2466 3s 3d.

Presumably, it was the death of Ernest that prompted Winifred to move to live with her father and sister in Steeple Morden.

Winifred’s departure from the family home on marriage in 1953 may have been the trigger for Arthur and Gladys to leave Strathyre, 46 Deacons Hill Road, Elstree, which is a freehold detached house with 4 reception rooms, 1 bathroom and 4 bedrooms. By October 1954 they were living at Orchard Cottage, 58 Hay Street, Steeple Morden. How did they come to choose their new home? A possible connection, is that the Priest family were long established at Littlebury, Essex, as were the Duke family, which had a branch in Steeple Morden. In 1953/4 Percy Duke, the last of his line, was still living at Myrtle Cottage, next door to Orchard Cottage, which had been owned by the Duke family in the past.

Arthur and Gladys are listed in the 1955 Electoral Roll for Steeple Morden and Winifred appears in the 1960 Electoral Roll. All three appear in subsequent Rolls up to the dates of their deaths.

Arthur John died at Steeple Morden 5 September 1977 and was cremated at Cambridge Crematorium 9 September 1977. He made his will 31 October 1950, when he described himself as of 46 Deacons Hill Road, Elstree and in the Grant of Probate he was of 58 Hay Street, Steeple Morden and formerly of 46 Deacons Hill Road, Elstree and Administration was granted to the joint executrixes Glady and Winifred. His estate was valued at £23,180 gross and £23,012 net and left in its entirety to Gladys and Winfred, jointly in equal shares.

On 6 October 1978 Gladys and Winifred sold the southern half of their land to John Brockett, who subsequently had a house built there which became 52 Hay Street and is today owned by his son Alan Charles Brockett of Letchworth.

Gladys Margaret died 12 August 2001 age 98 at Steeple Morden. She had made her will 22 December 1979, when she would have been 76 years, described as of Orchard Cottage, 58 Hay Street, Steeple Morden and witnessed by John and Avis Brockett, her neighbours at 50 Hay Street. In the Grant of Probate dated 2 October 2001 Gladys was described as of Orchard Cottage and the executor was a partner in Limbach Banham, Solicitors of Royston. By her will Gladys Margaret left £500 to Christian Aid, London and the residue to her sister Winifred May. In the event of Winifred’s prior death then the residue was to go to Christian Aid. Gross estate not exceeding £200,00 and net estate not exceeding £100,000.

Winifred May died 30 January 2004 at Morlands, The Moor, Melbourn [a residential home for the elderly]. She made her will 15 December 1979, when she would have been aged 72 years and it was witnessed by neighbours John and Avis Brockett. Winfred was described as of Orchard Cottage, 58 Hay Street, Steeple Morden in her will, but of Moreland in the Grant of Probate dated 2 April 2004, with the grant to a partner in Limbach Banham, Solicitors of Royston as executor. By her will Winifred left her entire residuary estate to her sister Gladys, except if Gladys pre-deceased her [which she did] the entire estate was to be split equally between The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals of Dorking, Surrey. and The Donkey Sanctuary of Salcombe Regis near Sidmouth, Devon

Last Updated on June 28, 2020