William was a 17-year-old groomsman, an outdoors man-of-action with a wild temperament. Could this head-strong youth follow his father’s lace-weaving trade, tethered to the click-clack of a loom in the dark, damp confines of a Norfolk cottage? Or was he destined for a different life?

This book of 180 pages is an Australian story that traces William ‘Cocky’ Wall’s journey in two parts. Part One: The Convict – focusses on a young man transported to Van Diemen’s Land to serve out his sentence as an assigned servant.

Twice married, fathering 19 children, and with significant support from his two wives, Mary Long, and Eliza Clarke, William became a farmer, publican, inn-keeper, and played his part as a pioneer in early Central Victoria and Warrnambool. Part Two: The Currency spanning 117 years, explores the lives of 13 surviving children and their descendants. The Currency refers to the first generation born in the colonies; the Walls born to their free-settler mothers and ex-convict father. The book explores how each generation assumed its own place in society over a period spanning 180 years.