Walter Rye

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Walter Rye (31 October 1843 – 24 February 1929) was a British athlete and antiquary, who wrote over 80 works on Norfolk.

Early life[edit]

Walter Rye was born on 31 October 1843 in Chelsea, London. He was the seventh child of Edward Rye, a solicitor and bibliophile, and his wife, Maria Rye née Tuppen. His sister was the social reformer Maria Rye, and his brother was the entomologist Edward Caldwell Rye.[1][2] His grandfather was Edward Rye of Baconsthorpe, Norfolk.


Rye was the "father" of cross country running (or paper chasing, as it was then known), being the principal founder in 1868 of the Thames Hare and Hounds, and its president until his death.[3] He won over 100 prizes for walking, running and cycling. He also served as the athletics correspondent of the Sporting Gazette.[1]

He regularly visited Norwich throughout his life, and helped save a number of its historic buildings from destruction. He was a founder member of the Norfolk Broads Protection Society. In 1900 he retired from his career as a solicitor and settled in Norwich; and only eight years later was elected Mayor, an office he held in the year 1908–9.[1][3]

Personal life[edit]

Rye married Georgina Eliza Sturges in 1870: he described her as "the prettiest and pluckiest creature I have ever met".[1] The couple had seven sons and three daughters, including the solicitor and conservative politician Frank Rye.[1]

Rye died at his Norwich home, 66 Clarendon Road, on 24 February 1929. He is buried in the village of Lamas, Norfolk.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Bryant, M. A. (2004). "Rye, Walter (1843–1929)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/57411. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ Lee, Sidney, ed. (1897). "Rye, Edward Caldwell" . Dictionary of National Biography. 50. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  3. ^ a b "Mr. Walter Rye". The Times. Retrieved 4 April 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

Further reading[edit]