William Wallace was born in Cupar, Fife on 11 May 1843 and died in Oxford on 18 February 1897. He was the eldest of five children of James Wallace, a builder, and his wife Jean Kelloch. Wallace studied at the University of St Andrews (MA 1864), where he was a student of the author of the Institutes of Metaphysic, J.F. Ferrier. Wallace initially envisaged entering the clergy, but upon graduation chose instead to continue his studies at Balliol College, Oxford. At Balliol he was awarded first class in moderations (1866) and first class in literae humaniores (1867), receiving his BA in 1868 and his MA in 1871. He was later awarded an honorary LL.D. by St Andrews University. As a student, Wallace was strongly influenced by T.H. Green and particularly Benjamin Jowett, at whose encouragement he completed a translation of Hegel's Logic. In 1867 Wallace was elected Fellow of Merton College, becoming tutor the following year. He married a fellow Scot, Janet Barclay, in 1872; together they had three children. In 1882 (on the death of T.H. Green), Wallace was elected to the Whyte's Professorship of Moral Philosophy, a position he held until his death. In a biographical note on Wallace, Edward Caird states that Wallace was bicycling down a hill some 8 miles (13 kilometres) from Oxford when he lost control and crashed into the parapet of a bridge at the bottom. Wallace died the next day. He was succeeded in the Whyte's Professorship by J.A. Stewart.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.