A number of Wallett artifacts, including a portrait of William Frederick Wallett and a picture showing his appearance before Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, were on display.
I gave a resume of Wallett's life -
William Frederick Wallett was born in Hull in 1813. During a career that spanned over 60 years, he established himself as a master of the theatrical stage and, in particular, the circus ring. He travelled widely throughout the world – across two hemispheres - but most often to the United States where his reputation became particularly well established - and delighted crowded audiences by the originality of his wit and humour.
His undoubted talents as a performer were accompanied by a well-tuned talent for self-publicity. No opportunity was missed - so when, on the 19th July 1844, he found himself appearing at Windsor Castle in front of Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort with the great Duke of Wellington in attendance, he was received kindly by them and afterwards styled himself "The Queen's Jester" - of course, with no official royal authority. This was the masterstroke that made him a household name throughout the Midlands and the North in particular, fascinated audiences throughout the world and ensured his place in the history of popular entertainment.
When, in March 1862, Wallett married Sarah Tutin Farmer - the daughter ofJohn Farmer, then the head of a Nottingham family with diverse business interests in the town - the couple chose to set up their home in Beeston, at first at Spring Villa one of a pair of houses, which stood on the corner of Queens Road and Station Road – where the Co-op convenience store is now. In 1879, the family - which by then included their two children - moved to a new house that he had built on adjacent land. It was here that Wallett, known as the best raconteur in Nottingham, lived out his life and where many local people sought his company in his old age to enjoy his wit and charm. He died in March 1892. and is buried in Nottingham General Cemetery, where his memorial survives.
More information about William Frederick Wallett and other members of the Wallett family who were active in theatre and circus is available here. It is expected that this will be updated over the next few days.