Richard Wallace worked as the secretary for Sir Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford. It has been convincingly argued that Wallace was the Marquess' illegitimate son and that his mother was a Mrs. Agnes (Wallace) Jackson, despite the Dictionary of National Biography statement that he was the Marquess' half-brother. According to Hughes, Wallace was first called Richard Jackson. Mrs. Jackson was twenty-eight when he was born; Seymour-Conway (then Viscount Beauchamp, later to become Marquess) was only eighteen. Around 1824, Agnes Jackson brought the young Richard to Paris, leaving him in the care of his father and grandmother. He spent most of his childhood thereafter in Paris, in his grandmother's house on rue Taitbout. In 1842, he had himself baptized as Richard Wallace. He married Julie Amélie Charlotte Castelnau, daughter of French officer Bernard Castelnau, on February 15, 1871. The famous Wallace Collection was built upon the works of art gathered by the 3rd and 4th Marquesses of Hertford. Richard Wallace inherited this collection, which was bequeathed by his widow to the British nation in 1897 as the Hertford-Wallace Collection. The Wallace Collection is now housed in the Hertford House, London, once Richard's residence.