Henry Trigg

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Henry Trigg
Henry Trigg

(1791-06-30)June 30, 1791
DiedFebruary 15, 1882(1882-02-15) (aged 90)
Resting placeEast Perth Cemetery
OccupationCarpenter, Builder, Public Servant, Lay preacher
Partner(s)Amelia (née Ralph)
ChildrenEliza, Harriet, Emma, Jane, Amelia, Henry, William, Stephen, Susannah
Parent(s)Henry, Mary

Henry Trigg (1791–1882) was the Superintendent of Public Works in Western Australia from 1839 to 1851[1] and founder of the Congregational Church in Perth.


Henry Trigg was born on 30 June 1791 in Gloucester, England,[1] the son of Henry and Mary Trigg.[2] In 1813 he married Amelia Ralph[1] (b. 1792) and they had seven children, Eliza, Harriet, Emma, Jane, Amelia, Henry and William, prior to him leaving England.[2]

Trigg was a carpenter and a businessman but due to the economic depression in England following the Battle of Waterloo he felt that his family would have a better chance in the colonies and decided to emigrate to the Swan River Colony, leaving his family until he was set up and could afford their passage.[2]

At the age of 38, he emigrated to Western Australia, arriving on the Lotus in October 1829.[3] His personal wealth (₤200) allowed him to take up a land grant of 1,208ha in the colony. Trigg's grant encompasses what is now the suburb of Churchlands.

In 1831, Amelia and their seven children emigrated, arriving in the colony in December that year. They had a further two children, Stephen (b. 1832) and Susannah (b. 1833). A further child, a son, was stillborn in 1837.[2]

In 1838 he was appointed Clerk of Public Works,[4] following which in December 1839 he was made Superintendent of Public Works,[5] following the retirement of Henry Willey Reveley, a position in which he remained until his resignation in April 1851 to become a full-time Minister.[1] In his role he supervised the construction of a number of jetties, bridges (including the Perth Causeway[6] and Canning Bridge[7]) a number of buildings on Rottnest Island (including the Rottnest Island Light Station), a number of gaols and lock ups in the newly developing towns of Guildford[8] and Bunbury[9] and the building of St George's Anglican church (the precursor to St George's Cathedral).

Trigg initially attended the first Anglican Church, where he was a choirmaster. He later joined the Wesleyans, but from 1843 he held prayer meetings in the Congregational tradition in his own home. In 1846, a chapel was constructed in William Street, where for six years, Trigg conducted all the services until, 1852, when the London Missionary Society sent out the Reverend James Leonard to be the first ordained Congregational minister.

His grandson was Henry Stirling Trigg (1860–1919) who was a leading architect in Western Australia.[10]

His wife, Amelia, died on 7 April 1873 at the age of 82,[2] whilst Trigg died at the age of 91 on 15 February 1882 in Perth[11][12] and is buried in the Congregational section of the East Perth Cemetery.[13]

Trigg Beach and the surrounding suburb of Trigg, north of Perth, was named after him.[14][15]


  1. ^ a b c d Cole, P.J. (2009). "Henry Trigg (1791–1882)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. ANU. Retrieved 4 September 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Bio of Henry Trigg 1791–1882". Trigg Family Worldwide. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  3. ^ "List of Persons Residing in the Colony who arrived in the Year 1829". The Inquirer & Commercial News. Perth: National Library of Australia. 4 June 1879. p. 1 Supplement: Jubilee Supplement to The Inquirer. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  4. ^ Bonnington, Stuart M. (2004). "Trigg, Henry (1791–1882)". Evangelical History Association of Australia. Southern Cross College. Archived from the original on 14 May 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Classified Advertising". The Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal. National Library of Australia. 21 December 1839. p. 204. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  6. ^ Cygnet (1935). The Story of the Perth Causeway: how the River Swan was bridged 100 years ago. Perth: Swan River Press.
  7. ^ "LGA Place No: CB7 / Canning Bridge" (PDF). Municipal Heritage Inventory. City of South Perth. January 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 September 2007. Retrieved 14 August 2007.
  8. ^ "Courthouse and Gaol (former)". Traces of the Past. UWA. Archived from the original on 12 March 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  9. ^ Beddoe, Jane (2008). "Pillars of a Nation". Government Architects – Western Australia. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  10. ^ Kimberly, W.B., ed. (1897). "Henry Stirling Trigg". History of Western Australia. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  11. ^ "Obituary". The Inquirer & Commercial News. Perth: National Library of Australia. 22 February 1882. p. 5. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  12. ^ "Family Notices". Perth Gazette. Perth: National Library of Australia. 24 February 1882. p. 2. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  13. ^ "Colonial Western Australian History – The Study of the Swan River Colony 1827 to 1890s" (PDF). East Perth Cemetery: Notes for Student Discovery Trail. National Trust of Western Australia. p. 7. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  14. ^ "Life on Perth – Trigg Beach". 2004. Retrieved 4 September 2009.
  15. ^ "About the City – Suburbs – Trigg". City of Stirling. Retrieved 2 April 2013.