The registers of St Olave Silver Street show that a Thomas Wallis and his wife Mary baptised a daughter, Katherine, on 2 August 1767, so he was almost certainly in that parish in 1767 (Grimwade p. 692, 770).
Shown in the 1768/69 Land Tax Assessment for Monkwell Street as Thomas Wallace - 2 Houses, at No 37. He replaced Ann Bickerton, who is shown in the 1767/68 assessment as Widow Bickerton. The 1769/70 assessment and onwards is as Thomas Wallis — 2 Houses. It is not unusual for the names in LTAs to be one or two years behind reality.
George Wallis, a descendant, (in his chapter on Jewellery in G. Phillips Bevan, British Manufacturing Industry, second edition, 1878) provides some information on the Wallis’s, albeit a somewhat uncertain account. He appears to state that Thomas Wallis I was a silver buckle-maker himself and that John Warralow worked for him (perhaps as an apprentice?) in around 1770. Warralow was supposedly steel buckle maker to George III, and according to this account Wallis I also worked for the court. He also indicates that Thomas Wallis II was the nephew of Thomas Wallis I.
Grimwade considers that it was Thomas Wallis II who entered a mark as plate worker in 1778 at Monkwell Street, moving to Red Lion Street in 1780. However, a Thomas Wallis was still in residence at Monkwell Street in 1785. An Old Bailey Trial of 6 April 1785 (ref t17850406-69) shows a Thomas Wallis stating: “I live in Monkwell-street, on the 27th of February, my house was broke open." He is also shown in the Poor Rate book for 1785. The Poor Rate books were normally more up to date than the LTA’s. It thus seems that, either the 1780 plateworker mark was actually for Wallis I, or the two Wallis’ shared premises for a year or so. As Wallis II was not free until 1779 according to Grimwade the former seems more likely.
Thomas Wallis I probably died in 1819 as the will of “Thomas Wallis, formerly Silversmith now Waltham Abbey Essex”, was proved at PCC on 1st April 1818 (PROB 11/1015).