James Dacie Wrigglesworth
 c. 1836 to 25 October 1906

James Dacie Wrigglesworth
The  Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Wellington Provincial District 1897

James Dacie Wrigglesworth was born 28 June 1836, Middlesex, England the son of James Wrigglesworth, a chemist and Elizabeth Clayton formerly Green, he was baptised 20 November 1842 in St Mary's Church, St Mary-Le-Bon, London. The family were then living at 23 Adam Street.

His mother Elizabeth Clayton, the daughter of William Clayton had previously married on  6 January 1824, Saint James, Westminster, London to Charles Frederick Green. Following his death she married 4 June 1835, St Leonard, Shoreditch, Hackney, to James Wrigglesworth, he died in February 1845 aged 46 years and was buried 16 February 1845 in the Parish of St Martin in the Fields, London from Bedford Street, Strand.

Canterbury, New Zealand
31 July 1852 to 20 June 1854

He arrived in Lyttelton with his mother on the "Samarang" 582 tons from Gravesend on 31 July 1852, he was then a hairdresser aged 16. His mother Elizabeth Wrigglesworth was a Governess aged 48. 

A month after arrival he commenced business in London Street, Lyttelton as a hair cutter  and continued there until March 1854 when he moved to a store in Christchurch previously occupied by Mr Gibbs.


Lyttelton Times, Volume II, Issue 86, 28 August 1852, Page 1
[this notice continued in the Lyttelton Times until 30 October 1852]

Lyttelton Times, Volume II, Issue 98, 20 November 1852
[this notice continued in the Lyttelton Times until 15 January 1853]

Lyttelton Times, Volume IV, Issue 166, 11 March 1854
On 20 June 1854 he left Lyttelton on the steamer "Nelson" for Wellington, his mother followed on the "Nelson" on 29 August 1854.

Wellington, New Zealand
from 20 June 1854 to 24 April 1874
[during the period March 1858 to January 1859 he may have visited England]

After moving to Wellington his mother ran a circulating library, bookseller's and fancy goods shop in Lambton Quay. She died at her residence in Cuba Street, Wellington on 14 June 1864 aged about 62 (1).

J. D. Wrigglesworth begs to announce to the Ladies and Gentlemen of Wellington, that he has commenced Business as Hairdresser in the Shop lately occupied by Mr. Elton, mattrass-maker (sic), and hopes, by skill and attention, to merit a share of their patronage.
Gentlemen's Hair Cut...6d.
Ladies' do...1s.
Ladies' Hair dressed for Balls and Parties. 1s. 6d. at their places of residence, 2s. 6d, July 5, 1854.
New Zealand Spectator and Cook's Strait Guardian, Volume IX, Issue 938, 29 July 1854, Page 2

Mysterious Robbery. — On Thursday a robbery of a cash-box, took place from the bookseller's and fancy goods shop occupied by Mrs Wrigglesworth on Lambton Quay. The cash box which we believe contained notes and money to the amount of £25, was kept under the counter in a place which could only be known by some one familiar with the premises, was discovered yesterday to be missing. Two theories are put forward to account for the theft, one being that the shop had been entered during the temporary absence in the back room of the person in attendance, and the other, that the robbery was committed by a regular caller. Meantime not the slightest clue has been found of the guilty person.
Wellington Independent, Volume XVII, Issue 1806, 20 December 1862, Page 3

J. D. Wrigglesworth
January 1866 to February 1874

 Wellington Independent, Volume XXI, Issue 2304, 2 January 1866

Photography. — The studio of Messrs. Swan & Wrigglesworth is well worthy a visit at the present time, for among the various works of photographic art we observe pictures which must be pleasing to home friends. Besides the excellent portraits of those members of the New Zealand Parliament who honored Mr. Wrigglesworth with a "sitting" during last session, we notice views of important places and portraits of "Maori nobility;" while likenesses, alike striking and faithful, of town celebrities abound in the well-stocked reception-room of this studio. Foremost amongst the "nobility" we notice William Thompson — the king maker — an excellent picture displaying physiologically the characteristics of this great chief. Then again, there are groups of Maoris, the most striking of which is one formed by members of the retinue of Thompson who were present in Wellington a few days ago. These Maoris have doffed the European costume, for the sake of effect, and show themselves in "fighting trim" and "eager for the fray." In this first group there are three figures. Heta Tauranga, who is standing with a spear which he has evidently just drawn from the body of tho prostrate Hamiora Te Ahuroa, while Porakoru Ngaurui is presenting a double barrelled gun at the fallen victim. The expression on the countenances of the actors in this scene is very telling, particularly that of Hamiora who, with pitying up-turned eyes, has seized the gun and appears imploring his assailants to leave their murderous work unfinished, while the stolid dog-like expression of the features of Heta, who apparently thinks he has done his part of the work, and is simply waiting for Porakoru to fire the fatal shot which shall quit them of their enemy, is very life-like. The last figure is evidently relenting, and his face is marked by an expression of doubt, which must have inspired the victim with confidence. The manner in which these characters are "posed" is very artistic, while the picturesque back-ground lends additional attraction to the picture. A Maori representing the "waiting for the fight," impersonated by William Thompson's son-in-law — the victim of the last group — displays to advantage the muscular form and warlike bearing of the New Zealand warrior. The only incongruity in this picture, to our mind, is a handkerchief worn round the neck of the chief, while the rest of his costume is purely Maori. Heta is the subject of another picture in which he is represented as an "out-post" watching, and waiting for the approach of the enemy. He is kneeling on the ground beside a stream of water, resting on a double-barrelled gun, while each nerve appears strained to the utmost to catch the first sound of the enemy's foot fall, or get a glimpse of the approaching form of the hateful pakeha. Amongst other pictures we notice a number views of the principal places in and about Wellington, which are perfect gems in their way, and the price at which they are sold (1s. 6d. each) must commend them to parties wishing to inform their friends of the peculiarities of the Empire City of New Zealand. Mr. Wrigglesworth introduces every now invention and discovery in the science of photography, and evidently, taking a great pride in his profession, produces pictures which must give the utmost satisfaction to the "sitter," and always reflect the highest credit upon the artist.
Wellington Independent, Volume XXI, Issue 2407, 28 August 1866, Page 5


above - An early carte de visite by J. D. Wrigglesworth, Wellington of Sir Walter Clarke Buchanan, 1838 - 1924 stock dealer, storekeeper, runholder, politician.

 Geoffrey Potts, 1873
by James Dacie Wrigglesworth

Geoffrey Potts born 27 June 1853, Croydon, Surrey, England the son of Emma Phillips and Thomas Henry Potts of Ohinetahi, Governors Bay, arrived New Zealand 1853 on the "John Taylor", died 29 October 1929 Paekakariki, buried Kelvin Grove, Cemetery. His uncle was Grosvenor Miles.



above - a cabinet card by James Dacie Wrigglesworth, Wellington
[purchased September 2020]

Photography. — There is at present on view at Mr Wrigglesworth's photographic studio a collection of upwards of 600 portraits all in one frame, which are arranged in a most artistic and beautiful style that could be well imagined. Few people pass the place without expressing their admiration at the taste and skill displayed by the artist, and there are none who cannot find an old familiar face amongst the hundreds there represented.
Wellington Independent, Volume XXIV, Issue 2806, 6 March 1869, Page 4

Mr Moeller's New Buildings.
Two buildings are being erected in Willis street, opposite the Empire Hotel, to the order of Mr Moeller, Mr J. Read being the contractor. The total cost will be about £1900. The northernmost of the two buildings is intended us a soft goods warehouse for Messrs Samuels and Ladd, the other as an atelier for Mr Wrigglesworth... Mr Wrigglesworth's new atelier when completed will be probably the most spacious and handsome in the colony. The entrance will be through half plate glass paneled doors, with side lights. Immediately inside the entrance there will be a handsomely furnished art gallery, 24ft 6in by 19ft, to be used as a sitting room for visitors.

Behind this there will be a hall, from which will spring a handsome flight of stairs to the first floor, and the hall will communicate with two dressing rooms, one measuring 6ft by 10ft for gentlemen, the other 8ft by 10ft for ladies. The principal feature on the upper floor will be a room for taking solar photographs of full length size, the rest of the space being divided into artists' rooms, and other departments requisite in the photographic business. Mr Wrigglesworth, we understand and, will spare no expense in fitting up the interior handsomely, and his enterprise will no doubt meet with the reward it so well deserves.
Wellington Independent, Volume XXVIII, Issue 3971, 6 December 1873, Page 3

 Evening Post, Volume X, Issue 20, 12 March 1874

He departed Wellington on 24 April 1874 on the s.s. "Tararua" for Melbourne (7)

from April 1874 to March 1883

Arrived Melbourne 5 May 1874 on the s. s. "Tararua" as a saloon passenger from Wellington (9).

Departed Melbourne for Launceston 5 January 1875 on the s.s. "Derwent" (10), arrived 6 January 1875 as a cabin passenger (11). Arrived back in Melbourne from Launceston 13 February 1875 on the s.s. "Derwent" (12). Departed Melbourne 18 February 1875 on the "City of Adelaide" for Sydney (13).  Departed Sydney for Melbourne on the "Alexandra" [passenger S. D. Wrigglesworth] 13 March 1875 (14). Departed Melbourne 23 March 1875 for Hobart Town on the s.s. Tasman (15).

Married 7 April 1875

Mr and Mrs Wrigglesworth departed Hobart Town 12 January 1876 on the s.s. "Southern Cross" for Melbourne (16), arriving there on 14 January 1876 (17)

Wellington, New Zealand
from March 1883 to 18 August 1906

He probably arrived Wellington on the s.s. "Tarawera" on 23 March 1883. This vessel departed Melbourne on 13 March 1883 with a passenger named Wrigglesworth (17), however the Evening Post in Wellington does not show him as a passenger. Mrs Wrigglesworth and her four children arrived Wellington 18 August 1883 on the "Te Anau" from Melbourne via Hobart.

A very old and much respected Wellington resident, in the person of Mr. J. D. Wrigglesworth, the well-known photographer, has returned to the Empire City, from Melbourne, after an absence of nine years. Mr. Wrigglesworth, who intends remaining here and resuming his profession, will, we feel sure, be welcomed by a host of friends.
Evening Post, Volume XXV, Issue 69, 24 March 1883

His step-daughter Inez Jessie Pearson died 2 June 1885:

Yesterday afternoon the funeral of the late Miss Inez Jessie Pearson, stepdaughter of Mr. J. D. Wrigglesworth, took place, and was attended by many friends. The deceased young lady had been a pupil in the Girls' High School, and was much beloved for her many excellent qualities. A number of her fellow-pupils, together with Miss Hamilton, the Lady Principal, and Mr. Inness, attended at the mortuary chapel, and placed flowers and chaplets of immortelles upon the coffin. The Ven. Archdeacon Stock conducted the funeral service.
Evening Post, Volume XXIX, Issue 112, 4 June 1885

Departed Wellington 18 August 1906 for Sydney on the s.s. "Waikare"

After over forty years' residence in Wellington, Mr. J. D. Wrigglesworth, that very clean old gentleman who always looks as if he had just left his bedroom mirror, and who swore an unbroken allegiance to the Beauford coat and silk hat many years ago, has left this place to settle permanently in Melbourne, whence he came as a young man. In 1863, he established in Wellington a photographic business that grew to be a very first-rate concern, and, after going into partnership with Mr. Binns, the firm's excellent work became known throughout the colonies and branches were established at Christchurch and Dunedin. 

If we mistake not, Mr. Binns still carries on the Christchurch business, but Mr. Wrigglesworth became too old and tired to continue longer in harness, and the Wellington business was sold out about a year ago. The old gentleman, who has been looking very poorly of late, had at one time a rather gay disposition, and was wont to "strut the boards" at intervals, in which attempts he was said to be no mean exponent of the dramatic art. His daughter, who went in for elocution with a good deal of success, took to the stage a few years ago, and, as Miss Kate Gair, is known as a fairly good actress. Mr. Wrigglesworth's many friends will wish him a speedy restoration to perfect health in Victoria.
New Zealand Free Lance, Volume VII, Issue 321, 25 August 1906, Page 3

A cablegram has been received by Mr. P. Levi from Melbourne announcing the death in that city this morning of Mr. J. D. Wrigglesworth, who was a resident of Wellington for over 40 years. The deceased gentleman was born in London, and was about 70 years of age. He established business in Wellington as a photographer in 1863, and carried it on on his own account until 1874, when he was joined by Mr. F. C Binns, now of Christchurch. About two years ago the firm closed its studio here, and Mr. Wrigglesworth went to live in Melbourne about the middle of the present year. He had been in feeble health, for a considerable period before he left Wellington, but his condition became worse after he arrived in Victoria, and for some time before his death he had been confined to bed. In his younger days he was one of Wellington's leading amateur actors, and for many years he took an active interest in the affairs of the Wellington Amateur Operatic Society. He was, also a prominent Freemason and a member of St. Peter's Church. Mr. Wrigglesworth was married three times. His first wife and family were drowned through the wreck of the barque Cyrus near Happy Valley shortly after leaving Wellington for Newcastle. His second wife died in Wellington, leaving one child, now Miss Kate Gair, of the Brough-Flemming Company. His third wife and her only child, a boy of 14, are in Melbourne. The deceased was held in great respect, and his death will be generally regretted.
Evening Post, Volume LXXII, Issue 100, 25 October 1906, Page 8


He married three times, firstly 12 May 1864 at St Peter's Church, Wellington by the Rev. A Stock, reg. 1864/8650, Jane Caroline de Montmorency born 30 July 1843, Ballyragget, Ireland, daughter of William Ryves de Montmorency and Mary Proctor (6). There were two children of this marriage, James de Montmorency Wrigglesworth born 23 July 1866 at Cuba Street, Wellington (5) and Harold de Montmorency Wrigglesworth born 17 June 1868, reg. 1868/18119. His wife and their two children, who where travelling from Wellington to Newcastle, NSW, lost their lives when the barque "Cyrus" with the s.s. "Wellington" ran aground at Happy Valley Bay [now Owhiro Bay], near Wellington during a storm in 1874.

On board the Cyrus, as passengers, were Mrs Wrigglesworth, wife of Mr Wrigglesworth, photographer, of this city, and her two children. Mrs Wrigglesworth was standing on the deck beside Captain Andrews, each holding a hand of the younger child, while the elder sat close by. Captain Andrews intended, directly a line could be landed, to swim ashore with one child, and then return for the other and its mother, but his heroic plan was suddenly frustrated by a tremendous sea breaking over them and washing him overboard, so that he only just was able to save himself by catching a rope as he went over. The mighty wave broke the ship in two, and carried away the deck house, which, dreadful to relate, fell right on Mrs Wrigglesworth and the two children, crushing them to death. It is needless to say how earnestly and deeply we sympathise with Mr Wrigglesworth in his sudden and most terrible bereavement.
Evening Post, Volume X, Issue 17, 9 March 1874, Page 2

...The news of Mrs Wrigglesworth's sad fate created a profound impression, as she was wellknown and highly esteemed here. Mr Wrigglesworth was to have joined her in Sydney in about a fortnight.
Otago Witness, Issue 1165, 28 March 1874 

SS Wellington. Wrecked Happy Valley. Wellington. From the album: Guard Family Collection: Cartes de Visite album, circa 1870, Wellington, by Swan & Wrigglesworth. 
Te Papa (O.038285)

A report to the effect that the body of Mrs Wrigglesworth had been discovered gained currency in town during the morning, which tended greatly to increase the number of persons who visited Happy Valley during the day. Mr Baker, Clerk of the Resident Magistrate's Court,, to whom the information was communicated by some Maoris, proceeded to the spot during the afternoon, in company with Henare Punipi, who swam from the shore to the outer rock to ascertain whether the body still remained in the position where it was reported to have been seen. The only trace discoverable was a lady's under-garment, and the rising tide prevented this being recovered, and the Maoris returned to the shore. Mr Binns, who was present, brought in a small jewel case belonging to Mrs Wrigglesworth, which had been picked up by one of the sailors.
Wellington Independent, Volume XXIX, Issue 4049, 10 March 1874

He married secondly 7 April 1875 at St Kilda House, Hobart Town, Tasmania according to the rites of the Church of Scotland to Jessie Pearson nee Marshall. St Kilda House was a "superior" boarding house and residence run by Jessie Pearson. She was born 28 October 1843, Hobart, Tasmania, daughter of Henry Marshall and Mary Ann Warner, she arrived Wellington 18 August 1883 on the "Te Anau" from Melbourne via Hobart with her five children. She died at her residence in College Street, Wellington 26 July 1886 aged 42 years, buried Bolton Street Cemetery, Wellington. She was married firstly to Jonathon Wesley Pearson, born May 1839, Holburn, London, died 8 January 1873, Sandridge, Victoria.

     issue with Jonathon Wesley Pearson:
     1. Inez Jessie Pearson born 1867, Collingwood, Victoria, died 2 June 1885, Wellington, New Zealand
     2. Jonathon Esmond Pearson born 1869, Melbourne, Victoria, died 1957, Victoria
     3. Wesley Marshall Pearson born 1 August 1871, Carlton, Victoria, died 24 June 1940, East Melbourne
     4. Elizabeth Gertrude (Lily) Pearson born 22 April 1873, Hobart, Tasmania, died 1972, Caulfield, Victoria 

arrived 18 August 1883 Wellington on the "Te Anau" from Melbourne via Hobart.

 Evening Post, Volume XXXII, Issue 59, 26 July 1886, Page 2

above - The grave of Inez Jessie Pearson and Jessie Wrigglesworth at plot 2708 Bolton Street Cemetery. It was photographed in the late 1960s by the City Sexton, P. J. E. Shotter, prior to its being dismantled to make way for the Wellington motorway.
Alexander Turnbull Library

There was one daughter of this marriage, Kate Wrigglesworth born 24 February 1877 at Kent Villa, Lang Street, South Yarra, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, died 30 March 1946, Pullach, Landkreis München, Bayern, Germany. She was the actress known as Miss Kate Gair, married Dr. Robert Schachner,  Professor of Political Economy at the University of Jena (he died March 1912). 

Issue - twins
Robert Schachner born 13 August 1912, Muenchen, Stadt München, Bayern, Germany, died 30 June 2004, Latrobe, Tasmania, Australia
Jessie Schachner born 13 August 1912, Muenchen, Stadt München, Bayern, Germany, died 2005, Latrobe, Tasmania, Australia, she married  ... Folkerts, their daughter Jessie Folkerts
ballerina/sculptor, married Hans Vonk the Dutch conductor.

He married thirdly 2 November 1887 at St John's Presbyterian Church, Willis Street, Wellington by the Rev. James Paterson, Isabella Waters Sutherland Gunn "Belle" the second daughter of Margaret Simpson and William Gunn late of Ballachly, Dumbeath, Caithness. James Wrigglesworth was then aged 51 years, he gave his occupation as "artist" (4). She died 16 April 1940, Scotland.

There was one son of this marriage, Alfred Gunn Wrigglesworth born 2 July 1891, at her residence, Wellington Terrace, Wellington, reg. 1891/9537. Alfred Wrigglesworth was educated at Wellington College, and at the Church of England Grammar School in Melbourne. He served with the Manchester Regiment during World War One as a Second Lieutenant and died in France on 4 September 1916 aged 25 years. Lieutenant Alfred D. G. Wrigglesworth, only son of Mrs. Wrigglesworth, formerly of Jolimont square, has been killed in France. He enlisted as a private in the first Australian Expeditionary Force, and being wounded was invalided to a London hospital. Upon his recovery he accepted a lieutenancy in an English regiment. He was an old Melbourne Grammar School boy. (3)

James Dacie Wrigglesworth died on 25 October 1906 at no. 7, Valentine Grove, Malvern, Victoria and was buried at Kew Cemetery, Melbourne.

(1) Wellington Independent, Volume XIX, Issue 2075, 16 June 1864, Page 2
(2) Commonwealth War Graves Commission
(3)The Argus, Melbourne - Wednesday 13 September 1916, page 7
(4) Marriages Solemnized at St Johns Presbyterian Church, Willis St, Wellington
(5) Wellington Independent, Volume XXI, Issue 2394, 28 July 1866, Page 4

(6) Ancestry.com
(7) Evening Post, Volume X, Issue 56, 24 April 1874 and Wellington Independent, Volume XXIX, Issue 4087, 25 April 1874
(8) New Zealand Times, Volume XXVIII, Issue 5980, 17 August 1906
(9) The Age (Melbourne, Vic.), 6 May 1874, Page 2
(10) Weekly Times (Melbourne ),  9 Jan 1875, Page 14
(11) The Mercury (Hobart, Tasmania), 7 Jan 1875, Page 2
(12) The Argus (Melbourne), 15 February 1875, Page 4
(13) Leader (Melbourne), 20 February 1875, Page 14
(14) The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW),  20 March 1875, Page 374
(15) The Australasian (Melbourne), 27 March 1875.

(16) The Tasmanian Tribune (Hobart Town), 12 January  1876, Page 2 
(17)  The Age (Melbourne), 14 March 1883, Page 4

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