William Bishop was born in Launceston on 10 Aug 1843, the younger son of James William Bishop, who died on 2 Mar 1844 when William junior was six months old. His mother, Catherine, nee Macdonald, then a widow with two young boys, married James Barrett on 21 Aug 1848. Catherine died on 30 Oct 1892 at her son William's residence.
William and his wife Margaret Annie, nee Hinton, had four children. Their two daughters were born in George Town: Elizabeth Sarah on 13 Apr 1865 and Mary Maude on 17 Jun 1871. Their first son William Hugh was born at Launceston on 19 Aug 1876 but died four months later on 17 Dec 1876. Another son, also called William Hugh, was born on 4 Jan 1880 at Launceston.
Willam Bishop ran the Temperance Hotel at the Wharf in 1887 and was a bark merchant at the time of the Tasmanian Exhibition of 1891-92, with premises at 146 York Street. He died on 24 Jun 1896 at 30 William Street, aged 54. His wife Margaret and daughter Mary are also in the Launceston Family Album.