Edgar Smith Wigg

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Edgar Smith Wigg (7 June 1818 – 14 September 1899) was an Adelaide, South Australian bookseller and stationer, founder of the firm E. S. Wigg and Son.

Originally from Tunstall, Suffolk, he commenced work as a bank clerk and developed a book club for the benefit of his fellow workers. Sensing an opportunity, he opened a bookshop in Warwickshire. He married Fanny Neale Morewood of Atherstone, Warwickshire in September 1846. Their first child, Edward Neale Wigg was born in 1847 and shortly afterwards they migrated to Australia, perhaps seeking a healthier climate,[1] leaving on the "William Hyde" on 29 January 1849 and arriving in Port Adelaide in May 1849. He rented a shop at 4 Rundle Street and started manufacturing account books. In August 1857 the business moved to larger premises at 12 (later renumbered to 14) Rundle Street and a decade later founded a purchasing office in London. He opened a pharmacy at 34 King William Street.[1]

He served on the City Council from 1871 to 1874 and from 1876 to 1880, then retired from business, handing it over to his eldest son E. Neale Wigg and his son-in-law W. L. Davidson.

He maintained a close relationship with the North Adelaide Baptist Church and the Institution for the Blind.[2]

Children of E. S. Wigg[edit]

1887 Wigg family at 'Wockwalla', their summer residence at Bridgewater. Standing (from left): William Davidson, Nellie Wigg, Annie Wigg, E.S.Wigg. Seated (from left): Edith Wigg (née Parham), (probably) Olive Wigg, Mrs E.S.Wigg (née Jane Eccles), Alfred Wigg, Mary Wigg, and Florence Wigg

With Fanny Neale Wigg (née Morewood) (ca.1823 – 1 April 1853):

  • Edward Neale Wigg (1847 – 12 December 1927) bookseller and chairman of directors BHP 1890-1913[3] Edward Neale Wigg married Janet N. Davidson on 6 September 1871.
  • Frank Morewood Wigg M.B., Ch.B. (Edinburgh)( – 23 January 1901) died of pneumonia in Edinburgh.
  • Jessie Ann (22 April 1852 – 17 May 1853)

In November 1853 he married Alice (sometimes called Ann) Lane (ca.1819 – 13 January 1855) who came from Boscombe, Devon. They had no children. In November 1855 he married Jane Eccles ( – 22 July 1895); they had two boys and four girls:

  • Alfred Edgar Wigg (2 February 1857 – 1 May 1914), a prominent medical practitioner.
  • Henry Higham Wigg (18 July 1858 – 22 April 1950) also a medical practitioner, married Lillie Margaret Melrose ( – 10 March 1932), a daughter of George Melrose, on 29 April 1891. He was Health Officer for Unley Council and was one of four patrons, with brothers-in law W. L. Davidson and F. A. Joyner, and miner Charles Henry de Rose, who sponsored the 20-year-old Hans Heysen's studies in Europe.[4]
  • Mary Jane Wigg (6 April 1860 – ) married William Laidlaw Davidson (1853-1924) on 1 September 1885. Davidson's sister Janet had previously married Edward Neale Wigg.
  • Ellen Deborah Wigg (9 January 1863 – 9 March 1954).
  • Florence Fanny Wigg (29 May 1864 – February 1940).
  • Annie Adelaide Wigg (28 January 1867 – 14 August 1949) married Frederick Allen Joyner (ca.1864 – 15 December 1945) on 28 September 1889.

Their home for many years was at Lefevre Terrace Medindie. He bought the land in 1851 and had a cottage built there.[1]



  1. ^ a b c Out Among the People The Advertiser 17 June 1949 p.4 accessed 20 April 2011
  2. ^ Death of Mr. E. S. Wigg South Australian Register 16 October 1899 p.6 accessed 19 April 2011
  3. ^ Obituary The Register Thursday 15 December 1927
  4. ^ "Hans of Hahndorf". The Mail. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 3 May 1913. p. 8. Retrieved 15 November 2014.