Walton MUNCASTER (1782–1862)
St Mary Magdalen section: Row 10, Grave D70
[Left side] IN MEMORY OF
[Front, facing the camera] WALTON MUNCASTER WHO DIED JUNE 7, 1862 IN THE 80TH YEAR [Right side] OF HIS AGE
Walton Muncaster was born in Gosforth, Cumberland in 1783, the son of John Muncaster and Elizabeth Walton, who were married at Gosforth in 1755.
Walton Muncaster moved down to London, and on 1 July 1811 at St James's Church, Piccadilly he married his first wife, Mary Ann Rockford (or Rockfort, or Rochfort).
Muncaster was a London pawnbroker. Initially he was in partnership with Prior Banting and John Eaton at 37 Theobald Road, Bloomsbury, but the following notice in the London Gazette, dated 8 March 1813, shows that Muncaster thenceforth was in partnership with Banting alone:
Notice is hereby given, that the Partnership lately subsisting between us, Prior Banting, John Eaton, and Walton Muncaster, in the trade or business of a Pawnbroker, at No. 37, Theobald’s-Road, in the Parish of Saint Andrew, Holborn, in the County of Middlesex, under the firm of Banting and Muncaster, was this day dissolved by mutual consent, and will in future be carried on by the said Prior Banting and Walton Muncaster, on their own account.
Walton and his first wife Mary Ann do not appear to have had any children, and she had died by 1818.
Susanna Banting, his second wife, was born in Oxford in 1789 and baptised at St Aldate's Church on 30 July. She was the daughter of James Banting and Rachel Prior, who were married at St Aldate's Church on 6 July 1777: both were then living in that parish. They had two other children baptised at St Aldate's: Sarah (1787) and Joseph (1791).
On 20 May 1818 at St Aldate's Church, Oxford, Walton Muncaster, described as a widower of St Sepulchre’s parish in Middlesex, married his second wife Susanna[h] Banting of St Aldate's. They do not appear to have had any children.
By 1823 Muncaster was living in Skinner Street, London, and sometimes appeared at the Old Bailey to give evidence relating to stolen goods. On 3 December 1823 he declared:
I am a pawn-broker. I live in Skinner-street. I have nine shawls, pawned on the 15th of March, for two guineas and a half in the name of Jennings. I do not know who by. On the 27th of June three more were pawned in the name of Shields.
He was in court again five days later in relation to ten silver spoons pawned for £2.
Muncaster was granted the Freedom of the City of London on 11 April 1826.
The 1841 census shows Walton Muncaster and his second wife Susannah living at Skinner Street (in the parish of St Sepulchre, London). Also living with them were Walton’s nephew William Henry Warre (son of his sister Isabella, born in London in 1799/80) with his wife Elizabeth (born in Whitechurch in 1803/4), and their son Walton Warre (4 months). Muncaster and Warre were both described as pawnbrokers, and living with them were three shopmen and three female servants.
Hunt’s 1846 Directory lists Walter William Muncaster at 29 Beaumont Street, while Gardner’s 1852 directory records that William Muncaster, Esq. lived there, but both are probably errors for Walton Muncaster, who by 1851 was certainly spending part of the time in this house in his wife’s home town of Oxford.
From 1850 there are regular reports of a ship called the Walton Muncaster (built in Whitehaven in 1850) sailing between England and Calcutta, Singapore, Montevideo, Valparaiso, Tasmania, Iquique, Callao, and Mauritius; and as one of Muncaster’s executors (Joseph Steele) was a ship owner of 3 Stock Orchard Crescent, Holloway, it seems very likely that she was named after him. On 30 June 1857 she was wrecked off the coast of Chile after drifting on to a reef of rocks, and the Morning Chronicle of 24 August 1857, under the headline ‘Dreadful loss of the British ship Walton Muncaster” reported that nearly the whole crew and some passengers drowned.
Walton Muncaster evidently still had a home at 14 Skinner Street in London on 4 February 1850, when he was involved in another Old Bailey case, following the theft from his dwelling-home of a watch worth three guineas, which the thief took by breaking his the window of his pawn shop downstairs.
By the time of the 1851 census, Muncaster had left the pawn shop at 14 Skinner Street in the hands of his nephew William Henry Warre, who then described himself as a master pawn broker and was living over the shop with his wife and three shopmen. Muncaster spent census night at 29 Beaumont Street, Oxford, but he probably still had a stake in the business, as he described himself as a London pawnbroker; whereas he described Joseph Turner (75) who was paying him a visit on census night as a retired London pawnbroker. Muncaster did not run a branch of his business in Oxford, however.
Mrs Susannah Muncaster died in Oxford on 2 February 1855, and the following announcement was inserted in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 10 February 1855: “Feb. 2, in Beaumont-street, aged 65, Susanna, wife of Mr. Walton Muncaster, and daughter of the late Mrs. Rachel Banting.” For some unknown reason she was buried in Cassington, Oxfordshire. Her effects came to nearly £300.
At the time of the 1861 census Walton Muncaster, a widower of 78 described as a retired pawnbroker, was living at 32 Beaumont Street with two of his unmarried nieces, Elizabeth Warre (58) and Elizabeth Mary Steele (only 15, so probably in fact a great-niece). They had a housekeeper and an assistant housekeeper. He died the following year:
† Walton Muncaster died at Beaumont Street at the age of 79 on 7 June 1862 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 12 June (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).
His death announcement in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 14 June 1862 read simply: "DIED. June 7, in Beaumont-street, in this city, Walton Muncaster, in the 80th year of his age." His effects came to nearly £30,000, and one of his executors was his nephew, William Henry Warre, who was still at 14 Skinner Street.