William was born in 1814 to Robert and Jane (nee Derry) Pearse at Launceston. William became a surgeon operating out of his Castle Street Surgery. He shared the practice with his partner Henry Pethick M.D., who was Mayor of Launceston, 1847/8 1857/8. In 1839 William married Mary Spry at Launceston and together they had three children, William Henry (more below), Ernest and Mary Elizabeth. His wife died in 1855 aged just 36. In 1856 William married Mary Ann Lobb at Launceston.
In 1875 he was appointed the Medical Officer for the Local Health Board. William was also a member of the Launceston Borough Council being Mayor in 1872. He was a non-conformist, being part of the Congregational Church in Launceston.
He was also a keen cricketer and was chairman of the Launceston and Werrington Cricket club for a period in the early 1860’s.
William died on Christmas eve 1892 and was interred at the Bowling Green Cemetery in Horse Lane (Dockacre Road).
William’s son, William Henry Pearse was born in Launceston in 1829, he was educated in Bodmin, then at Taunton. He was first appointed to a Launceston doctor and then with Dr Tripe, of Plymouth. He gained his MD., at Edinburgh, and opened his first practice in Liverpool.
Dr Pearse entered Government Service and made many voyages as surgeon and superintendent in charge of emigrants. He left the Service in 1871 and settled in Plymouth where he became Honorary Physician at the Dispensary. He wrote many contributions to medical journals.