Born Hindley, near Wigan, Lancashire, bp 24 May 1800 at Wigan Parish Church, fourth son of Henry Walls (weaver/cordwainer) and Matha Flitcroft. William Walls married Margaret Taylor, ( b c.1801, parents John Taylor and Catherine Kinread -in Pigot's 1825 directory a John Taylor was described as Victualler at the Coach and Horses in Parade St) at Kk Braddan 21 April 1822 (Margaret signing with an 'X' ); they had 8 children, all christened at St Mathew's though at least two died young as they are not in the 1841 census. It is not known what connection brought him to the Island. According to Cubbon the first mention of William Walls as a printer on the Island is in 1825, as a journeyman printer under John Penrice at the Manx Rising Sun. In June 1833 he opened a printing office in New Bond Street Lane and joined with another young man, Robert Fargher (who became editor at the age of 30) to publish the Mona's Herald - which according to the prospectus was to be 'a constitutional free newspaper'. Pigot's 1837 directory reports the address of Mona's Herald as Post-Office Lane with a William Walls also running a lodging house at New Bond Street (also in 1843 Cannell's Guide).
The Walls/Fargher partnership was dissolved, by mutual consent, in June 1839, after which Robert Faragher took sole charge of the Mona's Herald. According to Cubbon William Walls then worked for a time as a journeyman in other printing offices but this seems difficult to believe as by July 1839 he was advertising a general printing establishment in Great Nelson Street (William Walls late of the firm of Walls and Faragher). In January 1842 he started The Manxman under the name William Walls & Co., from these offices in Great Nelson Street. This paper ran for just 11 months;its prospectus stated "whilst advocating the claim of the naturalised resident to a full participation in the existing privileges of the native Islanders, it would at the same time be essentially Manx in its devotion to the maintenance of our insular independence." The editor was John Bedford.
He left the Island after the failure of his newspaper as he is recorded in Liverpool directories as a printer at 28 Devon Street in 1848 and 1849. He died, of 'rheumatism determination of blood to the head' (? though in the burial records it is 'consumption') on 14 June 1849 and was buried at the non-denominational Liverpool Necropolis. Margaret died Oct 1862 also in Liverpool.
Mona's Herald, 1833-1839
The Mona Diary or Manx Almanac and Tide Table, annually 1834-37
The Manxman, 1842
W. Cubbon Bibliography of works relating to the Isle of Man Vol II section L4 Douglas:1939
B. O'Shea private communication additional information re his ggg-grandfather
| Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received
© F.Coakley, 2006