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Walter MOURILYAN (1834-1882)

Biographical Details

Walter Mourilyan (1834-1882) was the half-brother of Eugénie Narcisse Sladden (née Mourilyan).

Walter was born at Sandwich, Kent, on 31st October 1833 and baptized at St Clement’s, Sandwich, on 22nd July 1834.  He was the fourth of six children of John Mourilyan, a solicitor, by his first wife, Christian Smith Solly.  Of John Mourilyan’s six children by his first marriage, Walter was the only one to survive past his 30s, and he was only 48 when he died.

Walter was educated at the King’s School, Canterbury.  On leaving school, Walter became a merchant.  The 1861 census, when he was living with his uncle, Joseph Mourilyan, and grandmother, Susannah Mourilyan, at Strand Street, Sandwich, described him as “General Commission Merchant, China”.  Walter’s father and second wife were by living in Paris, hence the reason for staying with his uncle.

A report in The Kentish Gazette of 9th September 1862 reveals that Walter was involved with the Cinque Ports Artillery and Rifle Volunteers as the donor of two prizes in a shooting competition at Sandwich.  Walter’s uncle opened the proceedings and referred to his nephew who, 12 months earlier, after an absence of many years from the ancient town in which he was born and where he spent the first years of his life, had witnessed a volunteer demonstration similar to the one which had taken place that day.  He warmly approved of the volunteer movement and expressed a desire for its success, and especially the success of the corps established in his native town.  He felt that a great deal of good might be done to the volunteer movement by promoting meetings of the character, and hence he decided to offer two prizes:  one being a silver tankard, called the China Mug, value £10, as first prize, and the other the China Cup, value £15.  Walter was described as of Amoy, China.

Walter married Alice Eleanor Lenthal Swifte on 30th March 1876 at St James, Piccadilly, London.  Walter was by now a tea merchant based in Yokohama, Japan.  He took his new bride out to Japan where two children were born:  Walter Edmund Irvine (1877-1924) and Alice Mary Essie (1879).

Less than six months after baby Alice’s birth, Alice the mother died on 11th June 1880 at the Continental Hotel, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.  Her body was brought back to England and she was buried at St James, Dover, on 10th July.

Walter appears to have remained in England after his wife’s death.  The 1881 census found Walter living at 3 Cambria Villas, Queens Road, Richmond, Surrey, with his two young children and three servants; his half-sister, Mary Anna Robinson, lived close by and his father, John, frequently lodged in Richmond when he returned to England from Paris.

Walter died on 26th September 1882 at Cannon Street Hotel, London, leaving his son and daughter as orphans.  His address was given as Brightlands, Richmond, and previously Stonelynch, Marlborough Road, Richmond.  Walter was buried alongside his wife at St James, Dover, on 30th September.

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