8 Cathcart Hill


resident 8, Cathcart-hill c.1885-1895


The son of a master mariner,  George Walters Risien was born in Liverpool in 1835. In the 1851 census the Risiens were living at 13 Huskisson Street, close to the Liverpool Cathedral, George’s occupation being given as ‘engineer’ though aged only sixteen.

In the April of 1864 George Walters Risien married Emily Brassington  (the daughter of a Derbyshire portrait painter) though, sadly, George’s mother had passed away a few months before the wedding. Later that year George’s father, the retired Captain Henry Risien, passed away at the family home in Huskisson Street and George and Emily subsequently emigrated some four and a half thousand miles to the town of Demerara in the British colony of Guiana where Mr Risien was employed as an engineer for Sandbach, Tinne & Co..

Founded in Demerara in 1782 Sandbach Tinne were shipowners, produce brokers, merchants and plantation owners. Perhaps best known for the export of sugar, coffee, molasses and rum from the West Indies, the company had, in its earliest days, also been involved in the transport of slaves from west Africa to the Carribean. Sandbach, Tinne & Co. and the town of Demerara were by no means unfamiliar to the Risien family, however. Before his retirement in 1852 Captain Henry Risien had notched up 28 years service to that company, completing no less than 50 return voyages to the town of Demerara.

George and Emily were to spend almost twenty years in British Guiana before returning to England in the early 1880′s with their six children who had, incidentally, all been born in Demerara. Settling in London, the family were residing at 17, Maitland Park Villas in Belsize Park by 1885.

G W Risien, Emily & family c1885George W. and Emily Risien with their four sons and two daughters. Photo c. 1885.

Ellen Sarah, 19;  Paul Griffin, 17;  Frederick John, 15;  Emily Eliza, 13;  George Henry, 12;  Ernest Russell, 11


 In 1886 the Risien family were to move to 8, Cathcart Hill where they lived for the next 10 years. Following a further move to Hazzelville Road Mr and Mrs Risien were finally to retire to Portsmouth where George  died in 1903 and his wife, Emily, in 1919.


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