William Howes Rising (1812-1871)
Plus his wife Martha Walpole (1822-1901)
William Howes Rising was born on 24th September 1812 at West Somerton Hall, Norfolk as the second child of William Rising & Elizabeth, nee Howes. He was baptised at St Mary the Virgin Church at West Somerton on 11th October 1812. He had five siblings, namely: Harriet, Robert, Thomas Sutfield, Benjamin and Eliza. Little is known about his early life and this may be because he was sent away for schooling like his brothers.
By 1836 he was living with his parents at Martham House, White Street, Martham. He was already a JP and farmer but he may have been assisting his father who had a large estate rather than farming his own land.
When he was 29, in 1841, he was living at Martham Road, Fleggburgh as a farmer and had three agricultural labourers living in plus two female servants. One of the servants was a girl about 15 years his junior called Martha Walpole that he married some 19 years later on 18th September 1860 at The Parish Church of St Pancras in London.
His father died in 1846 and he took over the family farming business and in 1851 and 1861 he was recorded in each census as being a farmer of 850 acres living at The Hall, West Somerton employing between 43 & 49 labourers. Martha was recorded as being his housekeeper in 1851.
Before William & Martha married a somewhat complicated situation seems to have unfolded. Martha had two daughters: Harriet Tilney Walpole in May 1854 and Polly Blanch Tilney Walpole in March 1859. They were both born in Croydon, Surrey which may not seem significant but it was at the home of Caroline Mary Purdy who was William’s first cousin, once removed. Their middle name Tilney is also from the ancestral female line of the Risings. The girls were both baptised on the same day on 29th June 1864 at the same church that William & Martha married at in 1860. The girls then used the surname Rising. So, it seems certain that William was their father but it is not clear why he waited so long to marry Martha.
In 1860 William was a Patron of the Martham Oddfellows Loyal Rising Lodge established in May 1859. See the article below from the Norwich Mercury dated 2nd February 1860.
William & Martha had moved to Martham House, Martham by 1871 where he farmed over 300 acres and was still a JP. He died, only a few months after the census, on 7th September 1871 and was buried at St Mary the Virgin, Martham graveyard, section F, plot. P2.
In what may have been a curious twist of fate his brother, Robert, died on exactly the same day and his sister, Harriet, had also died in July that year. There was a smallpox epidemic in England at the time and it is just possible they all succumbed to that.
After William’s death Martha moved to live at Norwich where she died on 3rd December 1901.