Wallace, William Vincent

COMPOSER, VIOLINIST, ORGANIST (IRELAND)
BORN 11 Mar 1812, Waterford: Colbeck Street - DIED 12 Oct 1865, Sauveterre de Comminges, Haute Garonne: Château de Bagen
REAL NAME Wallace, William
GRAVE LOCATION London: Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Road, Kensal Green (074/PS (19408))

William Wallace was the son of an Irish regimental bandmaster. He learned to play several instruments and worked as a piano teacher when he was 18 years old. He fell in love with his pupil Isabella Kelly and he was allowed to marry her if he converted to the Catholic faith and took the name Vincent. With his wife, daughter and sister (the soprano Elizabeth Wallace Bushelle) he emigrated to Australia.

He separated from his wife in Sidney and started travelling around. There is a story that he was almost killed in New Zealand but the daughter of a local leader rescued him but possibly this was all made up.

In 1845 he returned to England and after he married the pianist Hélène Stöpel in New York City in 1850 he emigrated to the USA and became an American Citizen. His opera "Lurline" was succesfully staged in London in 1860.

He died in France in 1865 in poor circumstances, aged only 51. At that time he was almost blind. He was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery in London. Both sons he had from Hélène committed suicide and Hélène killed herself as well in 1887. He had never formally divorced Isabella and she lived until 1900. His son by Isabella, William Vincent, died in 1909.

Sources
Paths of Glory, The Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery, London, 1997
William Vincent Wallace - Wikipedia

Images

The grave of William Vincent Wallace at Kensal Green Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (08 Feb 2012)

 


Walschap, Gerard

Published: 29 Nov 2015
Last update: 9 Jul 2017