Walter Ball was from a wealthy Irish family. His father Bartholomew Ball, his brother Nicholas Ball and sons Robert Ball and Edward Ball all served as Mayor of Dublin. He married Elenor Ussher, daughter of Alderman Robert Ussher. He conformed to the established religion (Anglican) to progress politically, and became Commissioner for Ecclesiastical Causes, imposing the Reformation on Dublin. This led to the conflict with his mother, Margaret Ball, whom he imprisoned. His mother died in prison, and now is venerated as the Blessed Margaret Ball by the Catholic church for being Martyred for her faith.
Elected an Alderman in 1573, he served as mayor of Dublin from 1580 to 1581
He took great interest in the foundation of Trinity College Dublin, and was one of the collectors for its building. Along with John Terrel and William Usher, they took possession of the land of All Hallows Monastery. He died on December 8, 1598....LESS