|Research and article by Richard Hall, 2017
Walter H Maudling took over the shop at 9 High Street from Matthew Griffiths in about 1907/8. In the 1911 Census he is shown living at 9 High Street with his wife Constance, born in Sutton, Surrey and three children, Walter, Kenneth and Margaret, all born in Rushden.
His background is very interesting as he was born in York but his father, William, originally came from Ellington, near Kimbolton. In the 1841 census he is shown as an agricultural labourer with his wife Fanny and daughter Elizabeth.
By 1871 he is shown as a Brewer working on a farm at Little Paxton owned by George Ladds who was also from Ellington.
After then I can find no trace of him until the 1881 census for York where he appears as an general labourer aged 63 with his 25 year old wife, Lucy, who was from Berkshire. Judging from the address they were living poorly and it was into this household that Walter was born. Just three years later William died leaving Lucy to bring up the three year old Walter.
Unfortunately I can then find no trace of Walter until he appears in Rushden but it is remarkable that he came from such a background.
Apart from being a Chemist & Druggist Walter also practised dentistry from the premises at 4 High St. He had been doing this since at least 1909 as there is an advertisement in the Chemist & Druggist Journal of that year in which W. H. Maudling, Chemist of Rushden is advertising for a junior, preferably with dental experience.
This was confirmed in 1911 when he is named as one of 35 people who attended a meeting in London held on 8th September to consider the steps to be taken to defend the rights of chemists to perform dental work which are threatened by a Bill drafted and approved by the British Dental Association.
In the event he didn’t stay in Rushden for much longer being succeeded by William Pilling Orrell at the premises which by then were a combination of Nos 9 & 11 High St.