Wigham

P1. JANE RICHARDSON born WIGHAM

Jane (Wigham) RichardsonJane Wigham was born at Lothian Street, Edinburgh, Mid-Lothian, on the 19th March 1808. She was an only child (although adulthood saw the arrival of half siblings), so may have experienced a degree of loneliness, but her childhood, with its friendships and intellectual pursuits, was described as very happy. A Miss Macgregor, in 1859, reminisced, having known her when she was a little girl, that "Everybody used to love Jane so much!" She studied Latin as a child, and used to read Horace together with her close friend Sarah Rickman. When she was young, the only novel ever allowed was Hannah More's Coelebs in Search of a Wife—no music,no dancing,just the thin end of drawing. Clearly, history and philosophy would be quite amusing in lives so restricted. They were read pretty largely, and instead of amusements, were hospitality and 'good works.' She read every book in John Wigham's excellent library, and some more than once. With an extremely retentive memory, she seemed, in her after life, to have all these books in different languages in her head, and, being of an ardent poetic naturefrom childhood she had a real gift for poetryshe infused a desire for knowledge into her children's minds, and set before them a high standard by which to measure their progress.1

She married [O2] Edward Richardson in Edinburgh on the 28th April 1830. At this time Jane's father, John Wigham, gave her £6133, to include £3000 which he regarded as due to her in right of her mother's estate. The balance was to prove much greater than he was able to offer the children of his second marriage, in the light of his reduced circumstances, and she was accordingly all but written out of her father's will. Edward and Jane's children were: Anna Deborah (1832–72), Caroline (1834–1916), Edward (1835–90), John Wigham (1837–1908), [O1] Elizabeth (1838–1919), George William (1840–71), Isaac (1842–6), Jane Emily (1844–1903), Alice Mary (1846–1933), Ellen Ann (1848–1925), and Margaret (1851–5); all births were registered by Durham Quarterly Meeting. She most conscientiously performed the duties devolving upon her as wife and mother, and as mistress in the household. Though the uncertain and delicate health of her husband was a source of great anxiety to her, the education of her children claimed her earnest care.2

She had much intellectual ability, and was believed to have been a contributor to the Aurora Borealis, under a nom de plume. In 1832 and 1833 she was a member of the Essay Society in Newcastle. In April 1834 she was on the first committee for the local Friends’ sabbath school and in May, with Edward, donated £1 to its library. In June 1834 and August 1838 she attended Monthly Meeting as one of two representatives from Newcastle Women’s Preparative Meeting.3

In the 1830s she lived at Summerhill Grove, in Westgate, St John's parish, Newcastle. She was recorded there with her husband, six children, and four servants, in the 1841 census.4

She had a great power of sympathy with the troubled and anxious, and to the young, the aged and the poor she was constantly ready with kind counsel and help. Even strangers were so drawn to her that, almost before they were aware, they told her their troubles. James Montgomery, the poet, had in 1837 established in Newcastle, a Society for visiting aged women. She took one of the poorest districts in the town, and continued diligent in the work till her increasing blindness rendered it impossible. The love and reverence which these poor people felt for her arose not so much from her gifts as from the loving sympathy which she showed them as fellow human beings.5

The reference to her blindness stems from an incident while on holiday at Whitburn in 1847, when there was a terrific thunderstorm, and a vivid flash of lightning which made her, when driving in her phaeton, quite blind for several minutes. Her eyesight was never perfectly right again.6

From June to October 1847 Jane Richardson was authorised to receive contributions to a 'Box of Ladies' work, and other contributions', being sent by the Edinburgh Ladies' Emancipation Society to the 14th Annual Anti-Slavery Bazaar at Boston, U.S., during the Christmas week, 'for the purpose of aiding the Cause of the Slave, by expressing sympathy with the labours of American Abolitionists, and raising funds for the Massachusetts Female Anti-Slavery Society.' Jane and her step-daughter Elizabeth were the leaders of this Edinburgh Society. Of 6 Summerhill Grove, by November 1848 she was acting as Secretary to the Newcastle Ragged School for Girls, due to open on the 20th of that month. In July 1849 she was again authorised to receive, at Summerhill Grove, donations for the Anti-Slavery Bazaar.6A

In June 1840, March 1847, December 1849 and March 1853 she attended Monthly Meeting as one of two representatives from Newcastle Women’s Preparative Meeting. In September 1848 she signed the Monthly Meeting testimony to Daniel Oliver. The 1851 census recorded her living at 6 Summerhill Grove, Westgate, Newcastle, with her husband, seven children, two housemaids and a cook. In May 1851 Jane was Secretary to the Newcastle Ladies' Anti-Slavery and Free Produce Association.6B

During the 1853 epidemic of Asiatic cholera in Newcastle, most of the well-to-do inhabitants left the town and took up their quarters at Harrogate and such-like places, but she thought it her duty to remain, and daily visited the poor people of her district, and she was fearless in visiting the worst houses. The cholera outbreaks in Newcastle were centred around Sandgate, which was not only worst for poverty, but was perceived as dangerousclaimed by The Builder to be worse than Cairo.7

In the summer of 1856 she stayed with the children at Ardrossan. In September 1854, March 1857, and May 1860 she attended Monthly Meeting on behalf of Newcastle Women’s Preparative Meeting.8

In January 1857 Jane was once again elected as Secretary to the Ragged School for Girls.8A

The failure of the District Bank in 1857 involved the whole family, and once again her patience, faith, and courage were needed to help her husband through the worst of the crisis. Indeed, more than that may have been required: in June 1859 Edward’s private ledger records her lending him £100 at interest. Though he gave her £20 cash in May 1861, she was still receiving £5 p.a on her loan in June 1867.9Jane Richardson's signature

The 1861 census found her living with her family at 1 South Ashfield Villa, Elswick Lane, Elswick, Newcastle. She continued to live at South Ashfield for the rest of her life. In 1863 she was on the committee for the girls' Ragged & Industrial School at Newcastle.10

It was a great trial to her that when Edward became ill and finally died in 1863, she was no longer able to see him and nurse him as she used to do. The loss of her husband was great, but she bore up, for her children's sake, with a brave spirit. In times of trouble she was always strong and never gave way to a selfish sorrow.11

another image of Jane (Wigham) RichardsonIn 1865 she should, and may, have inherited £400 under the terms of her uncle Anthony Wigham’s will. In March and October 1865 she attended Monthly Meeting on behalf of Newcastle Women’s Preparative Meeting. She attended Yearly Meeting in 1867. But that year some financial troubles were such a bother to her, and her son George's health was so indifferent, that the whole family went to spend the summer at Lucerne, in Switzerland. She was photographed there, in July. In August 1868 she was one of two women appointed by Monthly Meeting to visit Lucy Fenwick Watson, on her application for membership.12

Her tendency to early blindness was by now being realized. As her sight failed, she was still able to write to her children by means of an instrument called the 'noctograph'. By December 1869 she was quite blind, but still enjoying her life very much, spending her evenings quietly, with her children reading to her. In March 1870 she had a cataract in the right eye surgically removed by Dr Bell Taylor of Nottingham, restoring the sight; but her left eye later had to be removed entirely; the operations were performed under chloroform.13

In 1871 she was living at South Ashfield, on the interest of her money, with an unmarried daughter, a cook, and two housemaids.14

She was an elder of her meeting, a faithful member of the Society of Friends, much attached to its principles, but very tolerant of those who differed from her in matters of belief. She was, in her general life, of a hopeful and gladsome spirit. It seemed as if it were given her to illustrate the principle of gladness, which she thought was sometimes wanting in the daily routine and in the public worship of even devoted Friends; even in her blindness, her powers of memory and imagination were such, that a stranger walking with her in the cherished scenery of Grasmere or Scotland, would hardly realise that she could no longer see the objects of which she spoke so enthusiastically. She rejoiced in the marriages of her children and the advent of her grandchildren.15

In the summer of 1872 she visited Kreuznach with her daughters Allie and Nellie, but had to curtail her visit in view of the declining health of her daughter Anna, at Grasmere. In the autumn of the same year she had a serious illness herself, which caused much anxiety.15A

In her final years her health declined. In November 1872 she had an attack of gastric flu; and in Spring 1873 she had more than one epileptic seizure, depriving her for the time of speech; after one attack she was unconscious for 40 hours. After this her memory was much confused. She was ill for the whole of 1873. After fluctuations of sickness, extreme weakness, and unconsciousness, on the 30th November she became paralysed, and she gently expired, at South Ashfield, after five days apoplexy, at about 1 o'clock on the morning of the 5th December. For the last two days the only sign of life had been her breathing. Her face, which during that year of illness had gained much dignity and sweetness, bore the impress of perfect peace, as if she might have said, "I have seen God's hand through a life time, and all was for the best." She was buried in Westgate Hill cemetery, Newcastle, on the following Monday, 8th December, beside her husband and the three children who had predeceased her. There was a gathering at South Ashfield, on the evening of the funeral, at which friends and family spoke very impressively, and "with much weeping bore testimony to the innate nobleness of her character".16

Her son John Wigham Richardson later wrote of her: "My dear mother, to love her was a liberal education!" And her son-in-law Robert Spence Watson wrote of "the gentle Mother" that "we see that sweet unselfish smile which gladdened all our ill."17

Jane Wigham was the eldest child of [P2] John Wigham , and the only child of [P7] Ann Wigham.18

 

1 birth digest (Scotland)entry appears to read 'Lothian St, Mid-Lothian); Strath Maxwell; Annual Monitor 1875; John Wigham Richardson: Memoir of Anna Deborah Richardson Newcastle 1877; JWR in Richardson (1877); Eliza Wigham in John William Steel: A Historical Sketch of the Society of Friends 'in Scorn called Quakers' in Newcastle & Gateshead 1653–1898. London & Newcastle, Headley Bros. 1899:161

2 Minutes of Newcastle Monthly Meeting, TWAS MF 169; Anne Ogden Boyce: Records of a Quaker Family: The Richardsons of Cleveland. London: Samuel Harris 1889; marriage digest (Scotland); Eliza Wigham in Steel, op. cit.:161; Scottish Record Office SC70/4/82, pp. 479–543 and SC70/1/113, pp. 367–382; TNA: PRO RG 6/1149; The British Friend

3 William Harris Robinson, in Steel, op. cit.:70, 129; Sansbury, Ruth: Beyond the Blew Stone. 300 Years of Quakers in Newcastle. 1998: Newcastle-upon-Tyne Preparative Meeting; minutes of Friends’ Sabbath School, Newcastle, TWAS MF 208; minutes of Newcastle Preparative Meeting (Women’s) 1834–1878, TWAS MF 194; minutes of Newcastle Monthly Meeting, TWAS MF 169.

4 daughter's birth certificate; Percy Corder: The Life of Robert Spence Watson. London: Headley, 1914; PRO HO 107/824/10 f21 p34; RG 6/1149

5 Dictionary of Quaker Biography, Eliza Wigham in Steel (1899):161

6 Memoirs of John Wigham Richardson: 24

6A The British Friend; C. Peter Ripley, Introduction to The Black Abolitionist Papers, Vol. I: The British Isles, 1830–1865, 1985: University of North Carolina Press (also published at http://uncpress.unc.edu/chapters/ripley_black1.html); Newcastle Journal, 1848-11-04

6B Minutes of Newcastle Preparative Meeting (Women’s) 1834–1878, TWAS MF 194; minutes of Newcastle Monthly Meeting, TWAS MF 169; TNA: PRO HO 107/2404 f469 p57; Newcastle Guardian and Tyne Mercury, 1851-05-17

7 Memoirs of John Wigham Richardson: 70, DQB; Mood, Jonathan, ‘Women in the Quaker Community: The Richardson family of Newcastle, c. 1815–60, Quaker Studies 9/2 (2005): 213

8 Richardson (1877) :94; Minutes of Newcastle Preparative Meeting (Women’s) 1834–1878, TWAS MF 194

8A Newcastle Journal, 1857-01-17

9 DQB; Richardson private ledger, TWAS Acc. 161/330

10 PRO RG 9/3815; death certificate; Ward's 1865 Directory of Newcastle & Gateshead; Sansbury (1998)

11 DQB, Elizabeth Spence Watson: 'Family Chronicles'

12 Anthony Wigham’s will, PCC; minutes of Newcastle Preparative Meeting (Women’s) 1834–1878, TWAS MF 194; Richardson (1877); Elizabeth Spence Watson: 'Family Chronicles/Home Records', and supplement; minutes of Newcastle Monthly Meeting 1867–1874, TWAS MF 170

13 Annual Monitor 1875—which says the operation was in 1868; Richardson (1877) :251-5; Dr Bell Taylor died in 1909, having built up a strong reputation as an antivivisectionist and antivaccinationist—Letters of Mary Pollard.

14 RG 10/5076 f56

15 Annual Monitor 1875; DQB; Memoirs of John Wigham Richardson:162

15A Elizabeth Spence Watson: 'Family Chronicles/Home Records', and supplement

16 Memoirs of John Wigham Richardson; Annual Monitor 1875; The Friend 14:22 1874; death certificate; Elizabeth Spence Watson: 'Family Chronicles/Home Records', and supplement

17 Memoirs of John Wigham Richardson: 235; poem in Wayside Gleanings

18 Annual Monitor 1875; DQB

 


P2. JOHN WIGHAM

portrait of John WighamJohn Wigham was born on the 2nd September 1781, at Burnhouse in Haltwhistle. From his third year he grew up in Scotland.1

signature of John WighamHe became a cotton manufacturer in Edinburgh, and is so described at his first wedding, to [P7] Ann White, on the 4th June 1807, at Stockton. Ann and John had only one child: [P1] Jane (1808–73), born at Edinburgh.2

In 1811 and 1812 J. & J. Wigham, Manufacturers and Silkmen, had their premises at 6 Lothian Street, Edinburgh. By 1813 John had built a home for himself, at 10 Salisbury Road, Edinburgh; he lived the rest of his life there. A century later his grandson told a tale in this connection:

 

My grandfather once asked me how it was that, since Noah's Ark, men had been building ships and had not yet hit upon the right model.

"That may be so," I replied, "but have we not been building houses since Adam without arriving at a perfect dwelling?"

"I don't know about that," said he. "I built this house myself and I don't think it could be much improved upon."3

In 1813–4 John Wigham and Co., manufacturers, had their premises at 12 Lothian Street, Edinburgh. In 1823 he was described as a shawl-manufacturer, and in 1830 as 'late' a silk manufacturer—for he had been able to retire early from business in easy circumstances due to his first wife having inherited a considerable fortune. The Edinburgh shawl trade was almost entirely in the hands of Friends, among whom ‘the Wigham cousins, who set up a business in Nicolson Street about 1820, were outstanding.’ According to the Edinburgh Gazette the firm of J. & J. Wigham, Shawl-Manufacturers and Silkmen, was dissolved by mutual consent on 20 July 1829, the business being continued by John Wigham’s cousin and ex-partner John Wigham, Tertius.4

In 1818 he was prominent among friends who promoted an inquiry into alleged abuses and irregularities in the Infirmary; the official report denied the more serious charges, but admitted some dislocation in consequence of an epidemic in 1817; several improvements were made. In September 1818 he met Joseph John Gurney, on a visit to Edinburgh. In July 1825 he subscribed £105 to the new Infirmary, and at the end of June 1826 £3 for the relief of unemployed operatives. In 1828 he was one of the ordinary managers of the Eye Dispensary of Edinburgh.4A

The partnership between John Wigham, Jr,  and his father, shawl manufacturers of Edinburgh, was dissolved on 8 September 1829.4B

He married, secondly, Sarah Nicholson, on the 21st May 1830, at Whitehaven, Cumberland; he was described as a silk manufacturer of Edinburgh. Sarah's own fortune—either brought with her at this time, or inherited later—amounted to £2000. Their children were: John Thomas (1832–97), Sarah Elizabeth (1834–54), Anna Mary (1836–1904), and James Anthony (1838–85); all were born at 10 Salisbury Road, Edinburgh.5

In 1832 he published as a pamphlet his 'Letter to the Citizens of Edinburgh, on the expediency of establishing a house of refuge for juvenile offenders'.5A

In August 1834 he was present at a large-scale breakfast at the Waterloo Hotel, Edinburgh, celebrating the abolition of slavery; he seconded a resolution. In April 1838 he moved the vote of thanks at a public meeting, at which concerns were expressed at the manner of the implementation of the Emancipation Act. In 1835 he was President of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and Manufactures. He was a staunch Liberal in politics. At the beginning of 1839 he spoke at a public meeting advocating repeal of the Corn Laws, and in June that year he chaired a public meeting at the Merchants’ Hall, at which the decision was taken to found the Anti-Corn-Law Association, to the committee of which he was appointed. In 1840 he nominated Mr (later Lord) Macaulay as member for Edinburgh; and two years later became chairman of the Anti-Corn-Law Association. In January 1842 he chaired the meeting of the committee of the Anti-Corn-Law Association of Edinburgh, at the Chamber of Commerce, but was not, as expected, among the five delegates from there that attended the meeting in London in February. He later broke with Macaulay over the Anti-Corn-Law League; and after Macaulay's libels on Fox and Penn he destroyed all his letters from him. He was one of the leading advocates of Free-trade, down to the triumph of the cause in 1846.6

In November 1835 an unsigned article in The Age referred to John Wigham contemptuously, as part of the Edinburgh Whig Reform Clique, describing him as . . . "pious lank-haired Quaker Wigham, who throws up his eyes and turns white when he thinks on the Blacks" . . . .6A

In January 1836 he seconded a resolution at the first annual meeting of the Scottish Prison Discipline Society, advocating an educational approach to the punishment of juvenile delinquents. In August 1839 he was appointed to the General Board of Directors of Prisons in Scotland. He was one of the Royal Commissioners on Prisons for Scotland, and long took an active interest in that department. As a philanthropic measure, he had long advocated the establishment of reformatories for juvenile criminals on the system he had the satisfaction of seeing at length almost universally adopted.7

In August 1839 he addressed an open letter to the rate-payers of St Cuthbert’s parish, urging attendance at a public meeting to look at fairer and better provision for the poor in Scotland; he had been one of 120 Managers appointed to conduct the affairs of the poor during the previous six years. Later that month he took up the cause of the poor of the West Church parish, seeking to get the claims of widows with families placed on a better footing. He resigned his office as a Manager of the Poor and, having been offered the gratuitous legal assistance, resolved to try, in the Court of Session, the first case that came to his knowledge in which the claims of widows were not properly attended to. In April 1840, at a meeting at the Institution Rooms, Queen Street, he was among those elected to the committee of a new Association for Inquiring into the Pauperism of Scotland. In January 1842, at a meeting of the Scottish Board for Bible Circulation, he was appointed to an interdenominational committee to oversee the implementation of its resolutions, namely the dissemination of cheap bibles.7A

In April 1836 he was appointed a director of the Forth Steam Navigation Company, at its inaugural meeting. In January 1840 he was delegate from Edinburgh to the Operative Anti-Corn-Law Association. The 1840–1 Edinburgh directory describes him as a gentleman. The 1841 census recorded him as of independent means, with his wife, four children, and two servants, at Blawlowan, Logie, Stirlingshire. In 1843, described as of Salisbury Road, Edinburgh, he acted as executor of the will of his sister Jane (Wigham) Cruickshank. In February and March of this year he was noted as agent and correspondent for The British Friend. On 11 January 1844 he was one of four men appointed to collect subscriptions in Edinburgh and neighbourhood, for a Great League Fund of £100,000; a special fruit soirée was be held in the new music hall that day, to receive a deputation from the National Anti-Corn-Law League, including both Cobden and Bright; he had corresponded with Cobden at least as early as 1841. In April he chaired a meeting of the Anti-Corn-Law Association at the Chamber of Commerce, and was re-elected as Chairman of the Association (he was Chairman again in 1845; the Association's objectives having been achieved, the Association was dissolved in January 1847). That month it was recorded that he had contributed £1-1-0 to the annual subscription for the Royal Infirmary. In July he was elected as a Director of the Chamber of Commerce. By February 1846 he was one of two Trustees of the Edinburgh Property Investment Company, which was essentially a building society; he continued as a Trustee until at least 1853, by which time their numbers had increased to six. The Company was a success, and in 1849 he was one of three Trustees of the Second Edinburgh Property Investment Company; in 1853 he was one of four founding Trustees of the Improved Edinburgh Property Investment Company. The Edinburgh Property Investment Company was Scotland’s first ever building society, and is still in operation, now as the Scottish Building Society.8

In June 1843 he was one of seven vice-presidents of the General Anti-Slavery Convention, in London.8A

In the summer of 1846 he holidayed with the Richardsons by the seaside, at the village of Dirleton, not far from the Bass Rock. For a number of years he rented a cottage, called Morton Cottage, at Langnieldry, close to the sea, near Prestonpans and Musselburgh.9

On 15 January 1847, 27 March and 23 May 1848, and 28 May 1849 he was one of five signatories to a declaration and order of the General Board of Directors of Prisons in Scotland, on the opening of the new prisons at Stornoway, Lochmaddy, Stranraer, and Inverness, respectively. He was similarly a signatory to the declarations and orders regarding the discontinuance of the prisons at Port-Glasgow and Leith, on 14 February and 15 September 1848 respectively. On 23 April 1849 he signed the declaration and order introducing new regulations for the general prison at Perth, and on 10 May 1850 regarding the use of the prison at Greenock.9A

In February 1847 he subscribed £2.0.0 to the Cobden National Tribute Fund.9B

In April 1848 he was Convener of the Committee for the Relief of Unemployed Labourers and Workmen of Edinburgh. John Wigham Richardson relates an incident of this period:

 

Our Grandfather, though one of the mildest of men, had a habit of occasionally, very occasionally, expressing himself rather strongly. During the Irish famine he had to distribute some Government relief, and was applied to, by a young man, for assistance. He was told that no relief could be given to able-bodied unmarried men. The next morning, the youth applied again, and stated that, after what he had been told the day before, he had got married forthwith. I well recollect my good Grandfather bursting out with—"Thou rascal, thou scoundrel, get out of my library!"10

His library, incidentally, was an excellent one.11

In December 1848, with William Miller, he wrote the recommendatory preface to the English edition of Christian Non-Resistance, in all its important bearings, illustrated and defended by Adin Ballou. Just after Christmas he was on the platform of a public meeting of the Financial Reform Association, at the Waterloo Rooms. In this year his wife Sarah was president of the Edinburgh Female Emancipation Society, which drew up an ‘address to their Sisters in Paris.’11A

He first interested other gentlemen in George Parker Bidder, the 'calculating boy', and subscribed himself for his education.12

In April 1849 he was a member of a deputation to the Town Council, urging a reduction in the number of public houses within their jurisdiction; this was a lasting concern, and in April 1857 he was a member of a deputation to the magistrates, proposing a reduction in the number of licences. In January 1851 he was a signatory to a request to the Lord Provost of Edinburgh to convene a public meeting on the positive implications of the recent treaties with Spain and Brazil for the promotion of the extinction of slavery. In March he was on the platform of, and moved the motion at, a public meeting of the Edinburgh Financial Reform Association held at Queen Street Hall, to petition Parliament to look at ways of effectively implementing the new treaties. In the census that year he was described as late a merchant; his household at that date included a cook, a house maid, and a gardener—for 10 Salisbury Road had a charming, if formal, garden at the back. He was a director of the United Kingdom Provident Institution. “Devoted to benevolent and useful institutions,”, he served on the boards of the Edinburgh House of Refuge and the Royal Maternity Hospital, and was one of five members of the General Board of Directors of Prisons in Scotland. In 1851 he proposed ‘schools for the destitute’, at which juvenile offenders would be trained for farming at home or in the colonies. He published a pamphlet 'To John Shank More, Professor of the Law of Scotland in Edinburgh University' on 10 July that year, presenting his views on juvenile delinquency, based on his experience as a member of the Board of Commissioners for Prisoners from 1839 to 1850.13

In June 1852 he sat on the platform of a meeting of the Lord Provost with the electors of the city; he was said to have been ‘intimately acquainted with the Lord Provost since the commencement of the Corn-Law agitation.’ In October a letter from him regarding the treatment of juvenile delinquents was read to the town council. That year too a letter by John Wigham of Edinburgh was read to the Conference of the Friends of Peace, and the following year he was a signatory to the circular letters of invitation to the January Arbitration and Peace Conference in Manchester and the October Edinburgh Peace Conference.13A

In January 1853 John Wigham, of Salisbury Road, Newington, Edinburgh, signed a trust disposition and settlement—essentially a will. In it he made provision for his wife, and for all his children except Jane, for whom he had already provided. He had to make very specific provision for his youngest son, James Anthony, who "had severe convulsion fits which deprived him of speech and seriously impeared his mental powers so that it has been necessary for him to have a male attendant constantly". An 1854 codicil describes John Wigham's real estate in considerable detail: He still had a shop and a house in Lothian Street, as well as three other properties in Edinburgh. By 1855, however, he had given up Morton Cottage. In an 1856 codicil he bequeathed his horse and carriage to his wife. In 1857 he was an executor of his brother Anthony’s will.14

In August 1853 he was part of a deputation from the Chamber of Commerce that met with Lord Corriehill regarding the Government Commission on the Mercantile Laws. In November that year he wrote a testimonial for John Brown, an escaped slave, later published in Slave Life in Georgia. A Narrative of the life, sufferings, and escape of John Brown, a fugitive slave, now in England, 1855. In October 1856 Harriet Beecher Stowe and party stayed a week with him. His granddaughter Anna Deborah Richardson recorded with some amusement how John Wigham denounced their antiquarian tastes:

 

. . . "musty old places, smelling of blood, it is mere infatuation to care for them. I like something useful, and see no good in the castles, and bungling walls. We ought to be thankful we live in better times, and know how to live at peace like sensible citizens," &c., &c.15

In June 1854 he was one of four vice-presidents of the newly formed Edinburgh Anti-Slavery Society. In 1854/5 he was a member of the Board for Scotland of the United Kingdom Temperance and General Provident Institution.15A

In 1856 he acted as executor of the will of his brother-in-law John Barlow, and in 1857 co-executor of that of his brother Anthony.15B

He was a lover of cream, and of country fare.16

another portrait of John WighamIn 1858 the failure of the Western Bank of Scotland brought him to poverty—although it would appear not to destitution, for it is recorded that he was obliged to give up his carriage, implying little further hardship.17

Anna used to tell an anecdote about the subscriptions of her Grandfather to charitable objects. One day a gentleman called to tell him how a certain society was getting on, and concluded by saying: "Now, do not think, Mr. Wigham, that I am going to tease you about your subscription. I know that circumstances with you are changed." The good old man turned away his face, and then looking up, with a tear in his eye, he said: "No! I will give thee my mite. It is only the pride of the old Adam which makes John Wigham shrink from seeing five shillings opposite his name, where there used to stand twenty pounds!" In 1859 he subscribed 10s. to the Royal Infirmary.18 From October 1858 Anna Deborah Richardson kept house for him in Edinburgh. Her descriptions of her grandfather portray him clearly:

 

Grandpapa looks weak, and sadly shrunk. He is very kind and gentle; only once, in the midst of a general talk, he glanced at my dress, and with averted face, his aged cheeks quite flushed, said: "If I were a woman of sense, sooner than follow those ridiculous fashions, I'd be hanged!" Grandpapa is a thorough gentleman, polite to all sorts and conditions of men and women, and there is a mild dignity in his manner curiously contradicted by the half curses on people and things, which burst forth every now and then. Dear man, he still stumbles away over the names in the Acts, as I have heard him do all my life. He is much feebler than he was two years ago, and cannot bear labour of any kind.19

It was said that his mind was "a very finely moulded one, by nature, and he takes generous views of every fresh subject presented to it."20

In 1860 he was a subscriber to a prodisestablishment society.21

The 1861 census described John Wigham as a retired shawl manufacturer, now fund holder and proprietor of houses, of 10 Salisbury Road, St Cuthbert’s, Edinburgh, living with his wife, two children, and three servants (including an attendant for his son). In an 1861 codicil to his trust deed he bequeathed his "Watch and appendages along with my body clothing and whole other Contents of my Wardrobe" to his wife.22

The Edinburgh Daily Review described him as "one of the most estimable of our citizens." It continued:

 

He has, through the course of his long life, been identified with every movement having for its object the welfare of the people. In his earlier years he was a faithful visitor for the Destitute Sick Society, which naturally led him to investigate the affairs of the Royal Infirmary; and some will remember the energy and zeal with which he exposed the then existing abuse of that institution. He also, while connected with its management, placed the affairs of the West Kirk workhouse on such a basis as to ensure an administration of strict economy coupled with wise liberality. In the abolition of slavery and the promotion of peace he took a hearty and continuous interest. He was one of the earliest to see the important political and philanthropic bearing of the abolition of the corn laws, and, we believe, made the first motion on the subject submitted to a British audience; it was proposed in the Chamber of Commerce, of which he was then Chairman.23

He was an elder, possessed of a superior understanding and good judgement, deeply founded on his religious beliefs, and was well qualified to be a guide to others. He was always ready to listen and to help with his advice and counsel not only the poor, but anyone who applied to him, and he treated them all with a disinterested and unselfish judgement and goodness of heart. In spite of his many qualities he was a truly humble man; he was at all times backward in speaking of himself and his attainments and felt that any good he had been able to accomplish was the will of God. For the last three years of his life he was often in great pain, which he endured with patient resignation, though it meant that he was unable to take any share in public affairs.24

Described as formerly a shawl manufacturer, he died at 3pm on Tuesday the 29th April 1862, at his home, from decay of nature. An Elder of his meeting, the Daily Review obituary concluded: "In the death of Mr Wigham, the Society of Friends has lost one of its brightest ornaments, and this city one of its greatest and most enlightened benefactors." His body was interred at the Friends' Pleasance burial ground in Edinburgh on the 5th May.25

A detailed inventory of his estate was made, of which what follows is a simplified version26:


I

Personal Property in Scotland

£ 

s

 d

1

Cash in the house

10

2

Household furniture Silver plate bed and table linen and other Effects in the house

260 10 6

3

Balance on an account current with the British Linen Company, plus interest

270

13

 8

4

Consolidated Stock in the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway made over to the deceased in lieu of five shares of stock held by him in the Union Canal Company

 22

10

5-7

Shares in the stock of the Arbroath Gas Light Company

720

12

8

Shares in the Brechin Gas Light Company

222

10

9

Rents of heritage due by the following parties falling under executry vizt

1. Rent received from Messrs M. & A. Dickson for shop and premises in Lothian Street Edinburgh for half year

2. Rent of dwelling house in Court No 6 Lothian Street Edinburgh received from Mr William Hunter tenant thereof for half year



17



12



3

10

Feus falling under executry received from the following parties viz

1. Feu received from Mr Torrance for subjects in Bristo Street Edinburgh for year

2. Feu duty by Mr Macqueen for subjects in Bristo Street Edinburgh for year


14


15


2

11

Proportion of Annuity of £10.14/– per annum payable half yearly due by the Standard Life Assurance Company to the deceased at his death

4

16

8

12

Proportion of Annuity of £10 per annum due to the deceased by Walter Wilson Esq. Hawick payable yearly

9

14

10

13

Sum due by Mrs Lunn Parkside Street Edinburgh to the deceased being money lent by him to her at various times per Pass Book.

From the debtor’s circumstances the debt is considered desperate, so reduced to 1/– in the pound

 

 

2


4

14

Shares of the Western Bank of Scotland Glasgow, the Bank being insolvent

24

 

  Dividends due on items 5-7

22

10

 

  Amount of Personal Estate situated in Scotland

£1560

7

5

 

 

 

 

 

II

Personal estate situated in England

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15

Stock in the London and South Western Railway

2160

16

Shares in the New South Western Steam Navigation Company Southampton

675

17-8

Shares in the Warrington Gas Light and Coke Company

2318

19

Dividend due on Warrington Gas Light & Coke Co.

59

7

8

20-1

Shares in the North and South Shields Ferry Company

1365

22

Dividend due on N. & S. Shields Ferry Co.

48

13

23

Sum lent to Mr Henry Nicolson Draper Chelmsford, plus interest

100

6

8

24

Sum lent to Messrs J.D. Carr & Co. Carlisle, plus interest

447

9

10

25

Sum lent and advanced at various times to his son John Thomas Wigham Newcastle on Tyne to put him in business there, plus interest

2078

15

4

26

Sum due from John Thomas Wigham as rent of business premises occupied by him in Newcastle upon Tyne, 1854–62. This debt from the circumstance of the debtor is considered bad and not worth more than 5/– in the pound or

765

14

11

 

 Amount of Personal Estate situated in England

£7939

14

1

 

 Amount of Estate at date of Declaration

£9500

1

6

 

John Wigham was the sixth child and third son of [P3] John and [P4] Elizabeth Wigham.27

 

1 TNA: PRO RG 6/304; Dictionary of Quaker Biography—including entry for father [P3] John Wigham

2 PRO RG 6/203, /527; DQB; Strath Maxwell

3 Letter to me from National Library of Scotland; Memoirs of John Wigham Richardson: 19; Post Office Directory Edinburgh, 1850–1; Post Office Directory Edinburgh & Leith; death certificate

4 Post Office Directory Edinburgh; L.C. Coombes: 'Wigham of Coanwood.' Overprint from Archaeologia Aeliana, 4th ser. vol. xliv, 1966; DQB; William H. Marwick (1954) ‘Friends in Nineteenth Century Scotland’, JFHS 46.1:9, Spring; Edinburgh Gazette 1829-09-04

4A “A.B.” Rambling Recollections (1867), p. 67; Logan Turner: Story of a Great Hospital, pp. 200–1, cited in Marwick (1954) :10; Memoirs of Joseph John Gurney with Selections from His Journal and Correspondence Part 1: 154; Caledonian Mercury, 1825-07-28; Caledonian Mercury, 1826-07-01; The Edinburgh Almanack, 1828

4B Morning Chronicle, 1829-09-09

5 PRO RG 6/1155; Strath Maxwell; DQB; Scottish Record Office SC70/4/82, pp. 479-543 and SC70/1/113, pp. 367-382

5A National Library of Australia, catalogue entry

6 The Scotsman 1834-08-02, 1838-04-25, 1839-01-23, 1839-07-31, 1842-01-29, 1842-02-02, 1862-04-30; Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce & Manufactures. Founded in the Year 1785. Incorporated by Royal Charter in the Year 1786. 160th Anniversary 1785–1945 (commemorative book); Memoirs of John Wigham Richardson; Obituary of John Wigham

6A ‘The Selkirkshire Fagots’, in The Age, 1835-11-01, p. 351

7 The Scotsman 1836-01-30; obituary of John Wigham, The Scotsman 1862-04-30; London Standard, 1839-09-04

7A The Scotsman 1839-08-03, 1839-08-24, 1840-04-11, 1842-02-12

8 The Scotsman 1836-04-16, 1844-01-06, 1844-04-13, 1844-07-10, 1844-02-15, 1846-02-04, 1848-01-29, 1849-01-17, 1849-03-10, 1853-12-07, 1853-12-24; Edinburgh & Leith Post Office Directory; information from Karen Yeoman; The British Friend; census; www.scottishbldgsoc.co.uk/view_company_info.asp?fld_company_info_id=19, accessed 2006-11-01; The Guardian 1840-01-15; Leicester Journal, 1847-01-22; catalogue entry for his letter to Richard Cobden, West Sussex Record Office COBDEN/1

8A The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Reporter: Under the Sanction of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society 12:89, 1843-06-14

9 Memoirs of John Wigham Richardson: 18; John Wigham Richardson: Memoir of Anna Deborah Richardson Newcastle 1877:5; TS Reminiscences of Elizabeth Spence Watson; Scottish Record Office SC70/4/82, pp. 479-543 and SC70/1/113, pp. 367-382

9A Edinburgh Gazette

9B The Guardian 1847-02-06

10 The Scotsman 1848-04-04; JWR in Richardson (1877):122; Caledonian Mercury, 1848-05-18

11 Richardson (1877):1

11A Joseph Smith: Descriptive catalogue of Friends’ books, vol. 2; British Friend, 7th mo. 1848, cited in William H. Marwick (1954) ‘Friends in Nineteenth Century Scotland’, JFHS 46.1:12, Spring; The Scotsman 1848-12-30

12 Richardson (1877) :176

13 census returns; Memoirs of John Wigham Richardson:18-9; Marwick (1954) :15; The Scotsman 1848-09-20, 1849-04-25, 1851-01-10, 1851-03-03, 1857-04-29, 1863-04-21; The Letters of William Lloyd Garrison, Vol. IV: From Disunionism to the Brink of War, ed. Louis Ruchames

13A The British Friend X.4:77 and XI.10:254-5; The Scotsman 1852-06-17, 1852-10-06; The Guardian 1853-01-14

14 Scottish Record Office SC70/4/82, pp. 479-543 and SC70/1/113, pp. 367-382; will of Anthony Wigham, PCC

15 The Scotsman 1853-08-31; http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/jbrown/jbrown.html; Richardson (1877):97 & 100, ADR in Richardson (1877):98

15A The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Reporter: Under the Sanction of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 11:249, 1854-11-01; Scottish Post Office Directory, 1854/5

15B Warwick and Macdonald: John Barlow; PRO PROB 11//2261 copy will

16 Richardson (1877):178

17 Memoirs of John Wigham Richardson; Richardson (1877):152

18 Richardson (1877):176; The Scotsman 1859-08-15

19 Richardson (1877):121, ADR in Richardson (1877):122 & 125

20 Richardson (1877):160

21 Richardson (1877):173

22 census; Scottish Record Office SC70/4/82, pp. 479-543 and SC70/1/113, pp. 367-382

23 Daily Review (Edinburgh) obituary

24 DQB; Obituary of John Wigham, The Scotsman 30.4.1862; 1863 Annual Monitor

25 death certificate, Daily Review (Edinburgh) obituary, Strath Maxwell; 1863 Annual Monitor; The British Friend 1862-06-04 pp. 153–4; The Scotsman 1862-04-30; gravestone

26 Scottish Record Office SC70/4/82, pp. 479-543 and SC70/1/113, pp. 367-382

27 DQB

 

The second portrait of John Wigham is reproduced by permission of Friends House Library.

Bibliography


P3. JOHN WIGHAM

John Wigham was born on the 23rd March ('Third Month') 1749, at Hargill House, Cornwood, near Haltwhistle, Northumberland. Religious feeling first stirred in him at the age of eight. He wrote that, as a boy, he was "frequently employed in taking care of sheep, all alone; and when so situated, my mind was often drawn to seek the Lord . . .".1

At the age of sixteen he was put to work with his father's servants and their company considerably unsettled him. He began to enjoy their merriment and folly and although he knew they were a danger to his spiritual life he was unable to free himself from them. His father thought that a good marriage would reclaim him and encouraged him to seek a wife.2

In 1769 he went to live with his grandfather [M15] Cuthbert Wigham; about this time he married [P4] Elizabeth Donwiddy. His marriage was indeed the means of separating him from his undesirable companions. He was favoured soon after his marriage with a fresh insight into the love of God and was brought to a sincere repentance for his folly and wickedness. The couple lived in Cornwood till 1784, having seven children there. Their children were: Jane (1770–1842, b. Woodhouse, Lambly, Northumberland), Rachel (1772 – before 1880), Amos (1774–1847), Anthony (1776–1857), Elizabeth (1779–1854), [P2] John (1781–1862), William (1783 – after 1841) (all born at Bournhouse in Coanwood), Hannah (1788–1846) and James (1790–1803).3

He appeared in the ministry when he was about 24. In the exercise of his gift he was careful to keep close to his divine leadings and was engaged at different times to visit many of the meetings around England. As a minister he was well regarded, being sound in faith and doctrine, living a life of self-denial and being truly "an example to the believer, in word, in conversation, in charity, in faith, in purity".4

Some time before 1783 he was impressed with the belief that God called him to leave his native country and go to live in Scotland. This was a sore trial to him and it was some time before he could accept that it was a divine requiring. In April 1784 the family moved to Edinburgh. As John wrote to Anne Read on the 12th:

 

. . . we purpose setting out, if all well, about the 25th of this instant, and I hope myself and daughter, that I intend to ride behind me, will get to Edinburgh on the 27th. My wife and servant, and four children will go in the diligence from Carlisle . . . I am just now returned from taking two children to school at Ackworth.

They took over a small dairy farm, Cockmalanie, about two miles from meeting. In 1786, also under the impression of religious duty, they moved to Aberdeen, running a small grocery store. In 1788 they took a farm in Kinmuck, 14 miles north of Aberdeen.5

He and his wife found the state of the Society in Scotland very discouraging. Monthly meetings continued to be held, but the right exercise of the discipline was insufficiently supported and it was not known who the members of the Society were. John and his wife caused proper lists to be drawn up and did much to put the Society on a surer footing and build up its influence in Scotland.6

In 1789 he visited Friends in Cumberland.

 

This visit, of which he has not left any account, was performed chiefly, it is believed, on foot; as were also many of his journeys to attend the Half-year's Meeting, in travelling to and from Edinburgh. He had been heard to say, that he and his companions when on some of these journeys, after walking as far as they were well able, were refused lodgings at some of the Inns, partly from their not appearing like profitable guests, and also on some occasions from the remains of a prejudice against Friends, which many in that day still entertained. The distance from Kinmuck to Edinburgh is upwards of 120 miles.6A

In 1794 he visited Friends in America, travelling among them for three years, in both US and British settlements (including Nantucket and Nova Scotia). In the USA he visited the eastern seaboard from Nova Scotia to South Carolina. In the southern states, which he described as "a land of darkness", he "gave offence by his declaration of the universality of the love of God for coloured as well as white." He covered 22,752 miles in all. On the return crossing his ship was attacked by French privateers, but though other passengers had articles taken as plunder the prize-master did no more than lift the lid of John Wigham’s chest. After his return home in 1797 he continued his journeys in Great Britain, and in the years 1798, 1799 and 1800 he was much from home, visiting many of the counties of England as far afield as Land's End in Cornwall, and going to South Wales and Guernsey; in 1798 and 1800 he attended Yearly Meeting in London, as one of the representatives from the Half Year's Meeting for North Britain. In 1806 he visited friends in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. During this period he lived when at home occasionally at Kinmuck, but was principally in Edinburgh (of which town he was a resident in 1799, and said to be a yeoman in June 1807) until in July 1807 he went to live permanently in Aberdeen. In 1806 he acted as executor of the will of his son-in-law John Cruickshank. After his removal he set off on his travels again, visiting Friends in and about London—he was in Sussex and Kent in 1809, attending Yearly Meeting again, in that year. In 1812 and 1813 he paid visits to Friends in Ireland, Cumberland and some parts of Lancashire and Westmorland, which he completed with considerable bodily suffering, and which proved the last of his engagements out of Scotland.7

Elizabeth Fry, who was a friend of his, described him in 1808 as "a nice old man in the lower line of life." She visited John and Elizabeth again in 1818, describing them as "our beloved old friends".8

He published An Address to Children in 1814, and in 1815 Christian Instruction.9

In May 1814 he attended Yearly Meeting in London, where he dined with Richard Cockin and others at Plow Court. He attended Half-Year’s Meeting at Aberdeen in 1820. In July 1822 he was visited by William Allen, who noted "I was comforted in seeing the old veteran. His day’s work is nearly done."9A

He felt the loss of his wife in 1827 very deeply. In this year he wrote a note to his daughter Hannah, giving her all his household furniture, so long as he retained the use during his lifetime—this was to prove the nearest thing to a will he ever wrote.10

In 1828 he lived at Broadford, north-west of George-street, Aberdeen; in 1830 at 'Bradford' in Aberdeenshire.11

He was a minister for about 67 years, and to the end took a lively interest in the membership and prosperity of the Society, even though his own health was failing and he was confined to his house for long periods; his mental powers were unimpaired. For several years the meetings of ministers and elders were held in his house.12

By 1828

 

. . . his eye-sight had become very defective, and soon afterwards it totally failed, so that writing became impracticable. His lameness also was such, that with difficulty he could move about, requiring even a painful exertion, to get occasionally into his garden; but during the long period of his confinement to the house, he was, under all his privations, and the pressure of many painful ailments, full of a contented resignation, often saying he had much cause for gratitude and thankfulness, for the many blessings and favours he still enjoyed. He was usually very open and cheerful, which rendered his company attractive to his friends, and he seemed to enjoy their visits . . .

For a number of years he seemed to live in a state of constant waiting for the call of his Divine Master to put off his earthly tabernacle . . . He sometimes said, he was tried with low times, and that the enemy was even permitted to buffet him; yet through all he was favoured with a hope, which never forsook him, that when the end came, all would be well . . .12A

William Allen met with him again in December 1832, noting of an interview he found "exceedingly interesting" that "Its occurrence was occasion of deep gratitude; and truly comfortable was it to witness the precious savor of heavenly good that appears to rest upon him, and to season both his company and conversation." In August 1838 Elizabeth Fry visited him again. Of this visit it was recorded that

 

He had been to her as ‘a nursing father’ in the early part of her religious course. It was much like the meeting and interchange of parent and child, after long separation and many vicissitudes; and these last, as they had affected our dear friend in the interval, were freely spoken of by her, with that deep feeling, chastened into resignation, which so remarkably covers her subjected spirit, in relation to these affecting topics.12B

For several years he was quite blind, which he felt to be a great privation. For about three weeks before his death, he suffered much pain and sickness. John Wigham of Broadford, Aberdeen, described as 'late shawl manufacturer', died early in the morning of the 17th April 1839, with very little struggle. He was buried in the Friends' burial ground at Kinmuck, on the 20th.13

An inventory was taken of his effects. His whole worldly wealth amounted to £74/11/8, made up of household furniture (£26/10/9), body clothes, books and an old watch (£3/12/6), half a year's rent on apartments in a house at Broadford (£2), and cash in the house, including the contents of an indorsed Bank deposit receipt (£42/8/5).14

The Annual Monitor described him as "a diligent and faithful labourer in the Lord's vineyard."15

In 1842 were published the Memoirs of the Life, Gospel Labours, and Religious Experiences of John Wigham.16

John Wigham was the second child, and first son, of [M14] William and [M27] Rachel Wigham.17

 

1 John Wigham: Memoirs of the Life, Gospel Labours, and Religious Experiences of John Wigham. London: Harvey & Darton, 1842; Dictionary of Quaker Biography; PRO RG 6/1271 gives birth date as 22 Apr 1749

2 DQB

3 DQB; George Richardson: Some Account of the Rise of the Society of Friends in Cornwood in Northumberland, especially in connexion with the family of Cuthbert Wigham. London: Charles Gilpin 1848; David Sands: Journal of the Life and Gospel Labours. London: Charles Gilpin, 1848; Strath Maxwell; The Large and Small Notebooks of Joseph Wood

4 DQB

5 DQB; L.C. Coombes: 'Wigham of Coanwood.' Overprint from Archaeologia Aeliana, 4th ser. vol. xliv, 1966

6 DQB

6A Wigham (1842), p. 14

7 DQB; Sands (1848); Strath Maxwell; information from Karen Yeoman; PRO RG 6/203; Coombes, op. cit; Wigham (1842), pp. 82, 89, 94 & 99; Martha Routh diary, download from Earlham College Library website

8-9 DQB; Fry diary entry, downloaded from Earlham College Library website

9A Nathan Hunt letters, and William Allen material, both downloaded from Earlham College Library website; Norman Penney, ed. (1929 & 1930) Pen Pictures of London Yearly Meeting 1789–1833; London: Friends Historical Society: 139

10 DQB; Scottish Record Office SC1/27/16 pp. 832-833 and SC1/36/16m pp, 1303-1308

11 Chalmers' Directory of Aberdeen 1828–9; PRO RG 6/1155

12 DQB

12A Wigham (1842), pp. 127-28

12B William Allen and Elizabeth Fry material, both downloaded from Earlham College Library website

13 Annual Monitor 1840; Wigham (1842); death/burial digest (Scotland), SRO SC1/27/16 pp. 832-833 and SC1/36/16m pp. 1303-1308

14 SRO SC1/27/16 pp. 832-833 and SC1/36/16m pp. 1303-1308

15 Annual Monitor 1840

16 Wigham (1842); DQB

17 DQB

Bibliography


P4. BETTE WIGHAM born DUNWODE

Bette Dunwode was born on the 24th March 1747/8 (or perhaps 1748/9), at Ambroseholm, near Carlisle; her birth was registered by Scotby preparative meeting.1

As 'Elizabeth Donwiddy', she married [P3] John Wigham in 1769, after which they went to live with [M19] Cuthbert Wigham. At the time of her marriage 'she had not then much religion.' Their children were: Jane (1770–1842, b. Woodhouse, Lambly, Northumberland), Rachel (1772 – before 1880), Amos (1774–1847), Anthony (1776–1857), Elizabeth (1779–1854), [P2] John (1781–1862), William (1783 – after 1841) (all born at Bournhouse in Coanwood), Hannah (1788–1846) and James (1790 – before 1806).2

A few years after her marriage she came forth in the ministry, and about 1784 she and her husband went under concern to live in Scotland, taking with them their seven children. They settled first near Edinburgh, living some distance from the city, on a small farm called Cockmalanie.3

They were wont to attend Edinburgh Meeting on Sunday mornings only, and the gudewife used to give great offence to her Presbyterian neighbours by occasionally actively carrying on family washing and other housewifely duties on the afternoon of that day. These Friends lived in the most humble style, and, from religious principles, denied themselves the use of a bit of carpet. Once, one very cold winter, some kind friend had smuggled a piece into their house, but good Betty (as she was generally styled), calling to mind a poor neighbour who wanted bedclothes badly, quickly transferred the luxury to her bed.4

In 1799—a resident of Edinburgh—she travelled as far as Cumberland Quarterly Meeting with her husband.4A

They later moved to Aberdeen, and after a return to Edinburgh finally took up their residence in Aberdeen in July 1807. Elizabeth Wigham travelled in various parts of England and went twice to Wales and Ireland. She also felt called several times to stay temporarily in particular meetings, with much success. She was deeply concerned for the right upbringing of her family and was a pattern of industry and frugality in her domestic life. Her ministry was lively and fervent and although not adorned with much learning, was clear, sound and pertinent. In exercise of her gift she was often favoured to speak with great clearness to the states of those whom she addressed.5

A minister over 50 years, with John she did much to put the Society on a surer footing and build up its influence in Scotland.6

She was an affectionate and sympathetic companion to John. In 1818 they were visited by Elizabeth Fry, who described them as "our beloved old friends."7

Her last illness confined her to bed for several weeks. Described as a resident of Broadfoord, Old Bachar parish, co. Aberdeen, she died quietly in Aberdeen on the 16th April 1827, and was buried in the Quaker burial ground at Kinmuck on the 20th.8

Bette Dunwode was the daughter of [P5] John and [P6] Bette Dunwode.9

 

1 Dictionary of Quaker Biography; John Wigham: Memoirs of the Life, Gospel Labours, and Religious Experiences of John Wigham. London: Harvey & Darton, 1842; PRO RG 6/1388

2 DQB; George Richardson: Some Account of the Rise of the Society of Friends in Cornwood in Northumberland, especially in connexion with the family of Cuthbert Wigham. London: Charles Gilpin 1848; L.C. Coombes: 'Wigham of Coanwood.' Overprint from Archaeologia Aeliana, 4th ser. vol. xliv, 1966; Strath Maxwell; information from Karen Yeoman; Wigham (1842) p. 4; RG 6/304

3 DQB; Journal of the Friends' Historical Society 5 1908:204

4 JFHS 5 1908:204

4A Wigham (1842), p. 83; Strath Maxwell

5 Wigham (1842), p. 83; DQB

6 DQB

7 DQB; Fry diary entry, downloaded from Earlham College Library website

8 Annual Monitor O.S. 16:34, Wigham (1842); Strath Maxwell; information from Karen Yeoman; her son's death certificate in 1862 spells her name 'Dunwiddie'.

9 RG 6/1388; DQB & Coombes (op. cit.) both say she was the daughter of John and Jane Donwiddy, but these are secondary sources, so I stick with RG 6/1388.


P5. JOHN DUNWODE

John Dunwode was born about 1708.1

He married [P6] Bette ____ before 1748, in which year he lived in Afrisholm.2

John 'Donwodey' of Scotby died on the 17th January 1796, the event being registered by Scotby monthly meeting.3

His body was buried at Scotby on 19 January 1796.4

 

1-3 TNA: PRO RG 6/1388

4 PRO RG 6/493 f127


P6. BETTE DUNWODE born ____

Bette ____ married [P5] John Dunwode before 1748, at which date she lived in Afrisholm. She died in April that year, in the catchment area of Scotby preparative meeting.1

 

1 TNA: PRO RG 6/1388


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