In this last blog of the current series Joanna links up the different parts of Winter’s family:
I think it is probably known that Mr Winter married three times. First to Sarah Ball the widow of Emanuel Nicolas Charles who opened the first studio; secondly to Emily Pakeman a sadly short marriage which had lasted barely a year when she died of TB. His third marriage was to Hannah Ruddle by whom he had three children. This marriage lasted 35 years ending with Walter’s death in 1924, Hannah passing away six years later. I intend to leave this part of the story for another time and refer in this piece to the Winter family into which Walter was born.
Walter is descended from an East Anglian family which lived in the area around the Norfolk/Suffolk border. Walter’s grandfather John was an artist in stained glass. He had twelve children and among these and their children there were artists and photographers. Walter’s father Cornelius Jansen Walter Winter was his fourth child. Cornelius was an artist and photographer and Walter worked alongside him before moving to Derby in 1862. Walter’s mother was Anna Shipston the daughter of a local butcher. Walter was the eldest of the four boys and two girls. Sadly Neville died aged one and Anna passed away shortly after the birth of Ellen.
From family letters we learn of the close relationship with his father throughout his life. The pair sent work to each other to be sold or finished when Walter was established in Derby. Cornelius exhibited at the fine art exhibitions held at Walter’s studio between 1884 and 1890. Walter travelled to Norwich to be at his father’s side when he died. Walter also sent money to him, his brother Holmes and sister Ellen known as Nellie. Walter’s brother Arthur and sister Elizabeth died as young adults. We also know that Holmes and possibly Cornelius and Nellie visited Derby. It was to Nellie that Walter wrote about his intention to ask Hannah Ruddle to marry him and asking her (Nellie’s) opinion! Walter sent Nellie’s daughter Coralie gifts of an almanac and a quarterly diary. One of his prize winning portraits was ‘Coralie’. Unfortunately this has not yet been traced. Holmes also wrote regularly with family news and presumably Walter reciprocated sending him frames to help him with his artistic career. Later, letters written just before Walter’s departure to Canada relate the problems that he (Walter) was experiencing.
One of Walter’s aunts married a photographer in London and their son Arthur was a well-known photographer in Preston. Other aunts, uncles and cousins also found their way to London and it is wondered whether Walter spent time in London with them before settling in Derby. Certainly Hannah Ruddle was born in London and we surmise that the two met there.
This will be the last blog for a while. Hoping all readers have had a better summer than we thought we may have. Keep safe and I will resume our news at a later date.