William Rome

William Rome was born on 17 March 1842 as the oldest son of Police Inspector Andrew Rome who was responsible for policing the oyster fisheries in the River Crouch.

William attended Burnham National School and on leaving joined Sweetings who were one of the bigger local oyster merchants with premises in London.

As a young man he travelled to the continent, reportedly due to ill health, visiting Egypt and Greece amongst other countries where he accrued an appreciation of fine art bringing back to Essex a collection of art and china especially tamagra figures which was the cause of admiration by visitors.

William rose through the ranks of Sweetings until he eventually became a ' genial and popular' senior partner.

In 1865 William Rome married his first wife Elizabeth Galpin.
They had 4 children Sydney b 1866, William Andrew b 1868, Elizabeth b 1869 and Mary b 1871.
Elizabeth died in 1871 leaving William with four young children.

In 1880 he met a Dutch widow, Anna Maria Hutchinson who owned her own small oyster business.
The couple has one Son, Harry Rome who was born on 1882.
The marriage ran into difficulty and in 1899 William moved out of the family home.
Financial disputes then arose which resulted in legal disputes that continued after Williams’s death until Mrs Rome's claim was finally dismissed in 1912.

London Career
Mr Rome was a member of the Corporation of London during which he chaired the Officers & Clerks Committee and the Library Committee as well as serving as Chief Commoner.
He was Deputy-Lieutenant of the City of London, Governor of St Thomas Hospital, Warden of Wrens City Churches, Master of the Worshipful Company of Turners, Master of the Worshipful Company of Painter Stainers, a fellow of the Society of Antiquities and a number of other societies.
In September 1905 the King of Spain conferred on him the Knight Commandership of the order of Isabella.

Essex Civic Career
William Rome was a JP, a County Councillor, President of Essex Agricultural Society and a keen member of the Kent and Essex Fisheries Committee.

Creeksea Place
William Rome moved to Creeksea Place at a time when renovations were required to restore the building.
This work was personally supervised with roof tiles being brought in from other parts of the country. Inside recent plaster was removed and the original beams exposed.

Parties and receptions of Creeksea were regularly held and popular with visitors.

In April 1907 William Rome suffered a seizure from which he made a slow recovery until in October 1907 he developed bronchitis from which he died on 20 October 1907

William's estate was valued at 132,545 pounds. In his will he made the following bequests:-

500 pounds to his wife Anna Maria Rome and to each of his four children from his first marriage.
One thousand pounds to his brothers Charles and Alfred.
Two hundred pounds to his son in laws Mr H J B Meyer and Mr J E Macfarlane.
One hundred pounds to his assistant H Draper
His copyhold house at Burnham to his Mother in Law for life with the remainder to his sons Sidney and William
An annuity of 150 pounds plus one thousand pounds in trust to his son Harry.
An annuity of £400 to his wife Anna
The residue was to be divided between his four children Sidney Rome, William Rome, Mrs Meyer and Mrs Macfarlane.
The business of Sweetings was to be formed into a limited company with his sons to act as managing directors.

The funeral was a solemn occasion with most shops closed from respect.
The cortege with nine carriages left Creeksea Place escorted by a body of Police Officers.
At Creeksea Road the Cortege was joined by a large group of people who followed the cortege for the mile to the cemetery where large crowds had assembled.

Simultaneously a memorial service was held in the Church of St Vedast, Foster Lane, City of London which was attended by civic dignitaries and employees of Sweetings.

A memorial service was held on the following Sunday at St Mary's Church, Burnham on Crouch.

Present in the Cortege - Mrs Sidney Rome, Mr William Andrew Rome, Mr Harry Rome, Rev H Ward Watson, Mr Macfarland, Mr Meyer, Master J McFarland, Master H Meyer, Mr Alfred Rome, Mr Charles Rome, Mr Arthur Rome, Mr Charles Hutchinson, Mr Peter Richmond, Mr A B Croxon JP, Mr Bloxam, Mr Englefield, Dr White, Mr H W Risdale, Mr Chester Jones JP, Mr E Rigg, Mr A W Croxon, Mr F Woodhouse, Mr W P Gepp, Mr Cowtan, Commander Galloway, Mr Talbot Cox, Mr Pitman, Mr Cloake, Mr James, Mr Lee and Mr Draper.

Police Escort led by Supt Gibbons and Inspector Giggins

Cortege Followers - Mr T H Solly, Mr E J Smith, Mr J T Rogers, Mr William Sewell , Mr F H Bright (Clerk), Captain E M Showers ( Chief Constable), Mr E T Mashiter JP (Master Essex Union Hunt), Lt Colonel H Kemble, Mr C J Tijou, Mr W A Carter,  Mrs A H Day, Mr J J Hawkes, Mr T Horrobin, Mr W Newman, Mr S B Sadler, Mr A E Short, Mr E Dilliway, Mr J Cook, Mr C Weedon, Mr R T Bull, Mr W Carter, Mr E A Osborn, Mr E Read, Mr A Richmond, Rev Herbert Brown, Major Gardner, Mr W Mair, Mr J G Auger, Mr W H Bygrave, Rev F W K Berry, Rev J J Isaac, Dr Light, Mr P C P Lupton, Mr W K Woodward, Mr T J Stammers, Mr Chas Read, Mr S A Michels, Mr C L Ionedes, Mr J W Booth, Mr Walter Stammers, Mr W Stebbings, Mr J Watt, Mr Frank Carter, Mr Alfred Hawkins, Mr F G Hawkins, Mr A W Bell, Mr H W Flick, Mr F J Prior, Mr D Murrell, Mr S J Read, Mr Harrison C Smith, Mr F Rogers, Mr T havers, Mr C H Lansdell, Mr W H Clark, Mr E J Rouse, Mr Holland Edwards, Mr T E Osborne, Mr W Read, Mr A J Robinson, Mr Frank Stammers, Mr R Stammers, Mr W T Ambrose, Mr J Cranfield, Mr I J Kendall, Mr Norris Fenn, Mr T Stammers jnr, Mr A Braham, Mr J Mellard and many many others.

Perhaps the most fitting tribute was that on a small posy of flowers which read
William Rome He was an honourable man.