Walter Ellis MALLETT

Male 1853 - 1929  (~ 76 years)


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  • Name Walter Ellis MALLETT  [1
    Born Jan 1853  Barnstaple, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Occupation Jeweller & Silversmith  [2
    Occupation 1891  Bath, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Jeweller. 
    Occupation 1901  Bath, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Jeweller and Antique Dealer. 
    Occupation 02 Apr 1911  Bath, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Dealer in Works of Art Antique. 
    Reference 868 
    Died 03 Sep 1929  Bath, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    • THE TIMES, Friday, SEPTEMBER 6, 1929

      OBITUARY

      MR. W. C. MALLETT

      Mr. Walter Ellis Mallett, senior partner in the firm of Mallett and Son, antique dealers, of Bath and London, died on September 3, at the age of 76. A correspondent writes of him: - his education was mediocre, but he was fond of reading, especially historical works and memoirs, acquiring knowledge which he afterwards turned to good account in his business. He spent some years in the office of his uncle, George Whiffin, a chartered accountant in London, but at the age of 21 he took over his father's watch-repairing and jewelry business at Bath. His first act was to sell the stock and invest the money In Indian, Chinese, and Japanese silver, jewelry, and curios, which at that time were practically unknown. Old silver, furniture, and china were added successively, and the concern prospered, a shop in London being taken in 1909. Mallett's success was chiefly owing to the fact that be gained, and kept the confidence of all those with whom be did business. As a young man he was elected to the Bath City Council, but the work was not congenial, and after a few weeks he resigned. He was one of the founders of the Bath Chamber of Commerce. During the War be took a great interest in the Bath War Hospital, serving as treasurer, and being himself a generous subscriber. Afterwards he became interested in the Forbes Fraser Hospital and later supplied from his own purse the greater part of the funds required for building the Children's Orthopedic Hospital in Bath. Mallett was a man full of ideas, and fond of talking with the many people of all descriptions with whom his business brought him in contact. He leaves a widow, with whom last May he celebrated his golden wedding, and two daughters.
    Notes 
    • Following are transcripts of letters made by Hazel J Mallett, along with her notes. It is correspondence between Walter Mallett and his family and the family of Chester Mallett in Edmonton (Hazel's father). The content centres on Ray, Hazel's brother, who served with the RAF during the WW1, and died in England in a flying accident, during training, I think.

      Transcript begins:

      The register of the cemeteries sent to us say that they are in the northern and eastern parts of the administrative county of Southhampton. The Stockbridge Cemetery is where Ray is buried and I think it is probably adjacent to the church. In the record of graves it is listed as Stockbridge rural district, index number Hants 192. Ray is on page 40 in the index. they sent us. The listing says: Mallett, 2nd Lt. Ray, 3rd Training Depot Station, Royal Air Force. accidentally killed while training 16th July 1918. Age 21, son of Chester and Euphemia A. Mallett of 11219 77 Avenue, Edmonton, Alta., Canada. This register was published by order of the Imperial War Graves Commission, London, 1930. 1 realize that the church may not-be there anymore. There may have been bomb damage too. I think Walter Mallett is listed as Ray's next of kin in Britain, so he was notified of Ray's death when we were. My mother's Scotch feyness knew there was something wrong when Ray was killed though we didn't get the cable until 4 days later. This card I found and I think it must have been given him by the people who had the jewelry store when he went to Barnstaple. I think it was in the church cemetery there that he found graves with the second ‘T’ added to it. Some old lady sent him to the present shop. The printed card said: Morrison & Chapman established 1811 Silversmiths, Jewelers, Watchmakers 4 High Street, Barnstaple (The Malletts sold it in 1863). On the other side - Mr. Mallett, Milson Street, Bath. This is a copy of the letter Walter Mallett sent to Dad with his family tree on it as far as he could go. It is headed:

      Rainbow Wood, Bath 14 April 1918.
      Dear. Mr. Mallett,

      Although I have not had the pleasure of knowing you and your wife I am writing to you to let you know all about your son as I am sure it will please you to hear all about your son as I am sure it will please you to hear that he is very well and very steady. He has been staying with me for a week and has made the very best impression on all of us. He is a very nice boy and very well set up good looking young fellow and I have asked him to make our home here his headquarters whenever he is on leave, as long as he is on this side of the water. As I said before he strikes me as a very steady and self-reliant young man. He has excellent manners and altogether a most creditable cousin to own. I must explain exactly who I am before I go any further. Your grandfather I understand from Ray was called William Mallett and practiced as a conveyancing solicitor before he emigrated to Prince Edward Island about 1837. He was the brother of my grandfather John who was a jeweler and watchmaker in Barnstaple. In that case we are second cousins. My mother is still living at 92 1/2 and recollects when she was a young married woman hearing of your grandfather as uncle William, who with another brother and a married sister had emigrated to Canada a few years before but she cannot recall the name of the married sister. My father died about 10 years ago & I was his only surviving son and he was called John and the only son of his father. He carried on the business at Barnstaple until 1863 and then moved to Bath. We have the principle business here and have also opened in London, and have one of the principle businesses in New Bond Street there. So in a worldly way have not done badly. I have a wife and two daughters, both married. The elder to my nephew and partner who has taken my name and lives close to us. He has a boy and two girls, and my younger daughter, Barbara is married to Geoffrey Lock the son of an old Devonshire friend whose great grandfather knew your and my grandfathers. He, like Ray is fighting and just got the M.C. and is a very nice young fellow of 27 now, and captain in the 8th Devons. He came into my business about three years before war and is a junior partner.

      Ray showed great enterprise in finding us out. He went down to Barnstaple at first could hear nothing of us as we had. left 55 years ago it was not surprising, however he came across an old woman who remembered the shop and told him where it was, and as about five years ago I had called in motoring through the town and made the present proprietor’s acquaintance he told him where to find me and he came on to Bath the last day of his leave and called when his leave was almost up. I asked him to come and stay with me during his next leave which he promised to do and accordingly this Easter he stayed with us for a week. He tells me you have another son Marshall who may come across. Should he do so tell him also to call and see us as I’m sure judging by Ray's account and by Ray we should also like him. Both my wife and myself felt towards your son quite as though he were our nephew, and a nice one at that and we shall hope to see him from time to time as long as he is near us. We shall be glad to hear from you or Mrs. Mallett if you can spare time to write. I spend three days of each week in London and shall ask Ray while he is there to come and dine with me. Tell his mother he is looking very well and hearty.

      Yours truly
      Walter Mallett

      I enclose a tree showing descent as far as I know it.


      Rainbow Wood, Bath, July 21, 1918

      Dear Mrs. Mallett

      We are all of us thinking of you and yours so much in your sad heart break. I think only those who have lost children can realize the real weight of sorrow. What partly drew me to your Ray was his likeness to our boy Humfrey, and I felt what pride and joy you must have in him. One felt he was so upright and true to all that parents could wish and now in a moment he is taken and there comes this terrible blank that alters all ones life. It was just a fortnight ago today that he landed outside-my daughter Margery’s (Margaret’s) house looking so well again. The few days he spent with us in June he was not so well having only just got over an attack of the Flu but when he came down this last time he was so bright and happy and the children (my grandchildren) were so delighted to see him, they were so fond of him and he was so nice always with them. To us who only knew him these few months the loss is hard, but all the time we think of what it is to you, I can only pray that time will bring comfort. We have lost 2 dear ones and a daughter and know well what the sorrow is so overwhelming and impossible to realize but the beautiful memory is an abiding comfort and I for one feel that parting that is so terrible will be followed by reunion when we shall understand why all the sadness of this life has its use and is not wasted. I will write again when we have seen the dear boy’s grave. The funeral was yesterday near the camp with military honors. We were so sorry not to be there but the time they fixed made it impossible for us to arrive in time. We know the adjutant at the camp and are arranging to meet him.

      Good-bye for the present, with my kindest regards, I am,
      Yours sincerely
      Florence Mallett
      (Mrs. Walter Mallett)

      Longwood, Combe Down, Bath,
      April 18, 1919.

      My Dear Mrs. Mallett,

      I ought to have written to you long ago to thank you for the photograph of Ray, Marshall, and Hazel. I am very pleased to have it but for a long while my father would not part with it because he liked it so. It was just this time last year that Ray was stopping at Rainbow Wood when we learned to know him and like him so much and by the summer we had to feel him one of the family and look for his flying visits.

      His last visit was literally a "flying" one only one week before his smash. I have thought so often how terrible it would have been had his visit to us cost him his life. We would have felt ourselves more or less to blame as the children were always pestering him to come in his aeroplane. It was one of the great days of their lives when he really did come down out of the sky, as we had not really expected him to.

      You must be very sad when the other sons come home to other mothers. The very fact that the fighting is over and others are happy must make it all seem very cruel and unnecessary. The only mercy is that, now Marshall will not be in danger, I wonder if he will still come to England - I suppose not. And Hazel, I should so much have liked to see them both but Alberta is such a far, far country that there is not much chance of our ever meeting any of you. I have just been reading an American book which fascinated me called "The Virginian" - by Owen Wister, I expect you know it.

      Of course Edmonton is very big and civilized now but when you first went to Canada the country must still have been in its beginning. We got Ray to tell us a good deal about the country, and the children were always cross questioning him about the flowers. They were very excited to hear that spotted lilies were to be found growing wild amongst the scrub and grass. They in their turn tried to teach him the names of all the flowers in our own ditches and hedges, and then used to lay traps for him to try and catch him out. They were all so young and happy together - it is dreadful to think he cannot come back to us.

      I am enclosing some snapshots of the children taken just about the time when Ray was visiting us. They are not good but are the only ones I have of them so recently.

      I remain
      Very sincerely yours,


      Margaret M ? Mallett

      Mr. Mallett’s letter that accompanied the pictures and postcards sent:

      Rainbow Wood, Bath, Oct-7, 1919.

      Dear Mrs Mallett,

      My wife had your nice letter some time ago. I am writing not to forward give the photograph of your Ray's resting place. They have been all this time completing it. I shall take an opportunity of visiting it as soon as I can. I hope You and yours are all well. I wonder whether you and Mr. Mallett will ever come across. If so we shall be delighted for you to make ours your headquarters. If I ever go to Canada I shall look you up. I have a great many invitations from Montreal clients of ours but I do not like the sea and find myself full of tremors this side.

      Your daughter and Marshall, or does he spell it (Martial) are sure to come and they must not fail to visit us. We all like so much the photo of the three together. It is so natural and without being extraordinarily like each other there is a very strong likeness between the two sons. Please give our kindest regards to your husband and tell him I shall expect him to send me the family tree he has promised.

      With love - My wife is not here or would join

      Yours very tru1y,

      Walter Mallett.


      Note by Hazel

      The Margaret, & Barbara and Ray & us would be third cousins. These three children, his grandchildren were 7, 12, and 9. Barbara’s husband was 27 in 1918 when Ray was 21, so by now that junior partner would be 81 or so. I think that time they couldn't have any children. The oldest girl would be five years younger than I am i.e. 65, although they are really the next generation, in fact your generation - Larry. Elizabeth - 65, Catherine 62 , Peter - 60

      Mr. Mallett said at the beginning of his family tree The name of my grandfather was Humfrey and he was the son, or grandson of Hugh Mallett who owned a small manor called Ashe, near Iddesleigh, N. Devon, who are all buried in Iddesleigh. Humfrey and his wife Katherine lived at Frikelstoke Priory 3 miles from Torrington and are buried in Frikelstoke churchyard. He had James listed as at Frikelstoke but the two letters I have are from James in Ontario. Dad's grandfather's brother. He did not have Humfrey or Henry listed at all. I wonder if the George he mentioned in his 1843 letter might be another brother. William was lame. Taught school in P.E.Island.

      Transcript ends.

      Hazel has a written note which states Humfrey must have been Walter's G Grandfather (his grandfather was John). I know Humphrey is buried in Langtree, not Frithelstock, but there was a James, son of Humphrey Jr, living at Frithelstock Priory just before the war (died 1902). This James also had a son James who might still have been living there.


      Excerpt from "Mallett Antiques" web page:

      With its two beautiful showrooms, Mallett has become probably the largest antique shop dealing in important English furniture together with fine decorative items, and unusual items of excellence, yet it is a far different enterprise from that envisaged by its founder in 1865. John Mallett began his business in the British spa town of Bath as a jeweler and silversmith and the name of Mallett may well have joined the fine jewelry houses of the world were it not for John's son, Walter, who is today considered the true founder of the business.

      Walter was possessed of a forceful personality and, upon joining his father's business a short while after its inception, he quickly took control, expanding the stock to include old silver and furniture and relocating to an historic building which had spent the first hundred years of its existence as a most fashionable church for the visiting gentry. The building, known as the Octagon, had been designed in 1767 by a respected architect of the time. Thomas Lightholder, to ensure the most comfortable of spiritual journeys with many of the 'pews' rather like small rooms complete with fireplace and easy chairs. The vaults below housed spirits of an altogether different nature, having been let out to a wine merchant. If it all sounds a touch sacrilegious, the Octagon never was consecrated, it being a leasehold.

      By the 1890s the spirits had abandoned the building and Walter decided to move his expanding business into the salubrious old church, transforming it into a modern workshop and showroom incorporating gas-driven polishing lathes and electric light, a lift and even an early form of air-conditioning. Improved communication to and from London town saw the spa at Bath become an increasingly popular destination and Mallett soon became the foremost antique business in the West Country.

      In 1908, Mallett took a stand at the prestigious Franco-British exhibition in London and the response was so enthusiastic that Walter decided to establish a permanent showroom in London and so set up the present store at 40 New Bond Street, whilst maintaining the Octagon as the firm's headquarters. The decision to close the Octagon did not eventuate until 1937, by which time the business had been in the hands of a consortium of six of the firm's employees, headed by Francis Mallett as Chairman, following Walter's death in 1930. A noted connoisseur with a keen interest in timepieces and Oriental ivories, Francis ensured the business grew and prospered. But it was to be the succeeding Chairman that led the business into its most distinctive and successful phase.

      I think the Mallett style is attributable to our previous Chairman, Francis Egerton, reflects Hunt. It was under his particular eye for quality and the decorative and a meticulous attention to detail that the company began to take on its present style. As one time secretary to Egerton, Ms. Hunt would be in a position to know. He took over the Chairmanship in 1955, following the death of Francis Mallett who was the last family member to have direct involvement in the firm, and so Egerton was able to shape it to his exacting requirements. His insistence on the highest quality coupled with the pursuit of a highly individual, decorative taste remain the hallmarks of the company.

      More information on Mallett Antiques can be found here: Wikipedia¨ - Mallett Antiques, and The Octagon Chapel

      In the 1881 census, Walter and Florence appear to be newly married and are living at Leland Villa, Lyncombe & Widcombe, Somerset. They have one son, John H, who is not mentioned in the above correspondence.
    Person ID I868  Southwest
    Last Modified 20 Nov 2018 

    Father John MALLETT,   b. Abt 1826, Barnstaple, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1908  (Age ~ 82 years) 
    Mother Margaret WHIFFEN,   c. 02 Feb 1826, Chatham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 14 Apr 1918  (Age ~ 92 years) 
    Married Est 1847 
    Family ID F207  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Florence Penelope LEMANN,   b. Abt 1857, Staplefield, Cuckfield, Sussex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married May 1879  Bath, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 6
    Census 03 Apr 1881  Leland Villa, Lyncombe & Widcombe, Bath, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Census 1891  Summerdale, Greenway Lane, Bath, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    • Humfrey, Margaret and Lynton are all going to school. Florence's sister Mary E Leman, single, age 32, is with them.

      Walter's parents are the very next household enumerated, so likely live next door.
    Census 1901  Rainbow Wood, Bath, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Census 02 Apr 1911  Rainbow Wood, Widcombe, Bath, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    • Geoffrey Denis Lock, who will eventually marry Barbara, was living with the family and was working with Walter in the Antique business. Barbara was only 15 and still in school. Walter and Florence had been married 31 years. 5 children were born alive, but only 2 were still living.
    Children 
     1. John Humphry MALLETT,   b. Abt Mar 1880, Lyncombe, Bath, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Jun 1893, Bath, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 13 years)
    +2. Margaret Mary MALLETT,   b. Abt 1883, Bath, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Charles Lynton MALLETT,   b. Abt Mar 1884, Bath, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt Mar 1910, Bath, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 26 years)
     4. Edith Elsie MALLETT,   b. Abt 1888, Bath, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 05 Jun 1893, Bath, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 5 years)
     5. Barbara Penelope MALLETT,   b. Abt Sep 1895, Bath, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 20 Jul 2019 
    Family ID F208  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - Jan 1853 - Barnstaple, Devon, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - May 1879 - Bath, Somerset, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - 03 Apr 1881 - Leland Villa, Lyncombe & Widcombe, Bath, Somerset, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Jeweller. - 1891 - Bath, Somerset, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - 1891 - Summerdale, Greenway Lane, Bath, Somerset, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Jeweller and Antique Dealer. - 1901 - Bath, Somerset, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - 1901 - Rainbow Wood, Bath, Somerset, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Dealer in Works of Art Antique. - 02 Apr 1911 - Bath, Somerset, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - 02 Apr 1911 - Rainbow Wood, Widcombe, Bath, Somerset, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 03 Sep 1929 - Bath, Somerset, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Sources 
    1. [S142] Civil Registration Index, (Office of National Statistics (ONS), General Register Office (GRO), UK, Registration Date, June 1879).

    2. [S895] 1881 British Census, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO)), CD ROM (1999).

    3. [S137] 1891 Census England & Wales, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO)).

    4. [S268] 1901 Census England & Wales, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO)).

    5. [S423] 1911 Census England & Wales, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO), Aug 18, 2012).

    6. [S367] The Times, (Sept 6, 1929), M1WE868S521.

    7. [S270] 1881 Census England & Wales, (The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO)).