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WIGGINS, George Moses (1862-1944) – Shepherd

George Wiggins features in Chapter V of A H Savory’s Grain and Chaff from an English Manor:

An eminent breeder of prize Hampshire Down sheep told me that, when contemplating the exhibition of sheep, the first necessity is to get a “prize shepherd”, a man with a presence and a reputation which he would not risk in the show-ring without something worth exhibiting.  I started a flock of pedigree Shropshires, but my land was too good and grew them too big and coarse for showing and I soon found that it was useless to try, though I succeed in taking a prize at the Warwickshire county show.  It so happened that when my shepherd (not John) returned in great triumph from the show, he found his first-born son, who had arrived in his absence, awaiting him.  “Well done, shupperd,” said a neighbour, “got him a son and a prize the same day!”

George Moses Wiggins was born at Hailes, Gloucestershire, in 1862, the son of Richard Wiggins, a labourer, and his wife, Elizabeth. George married Martha Pethard in 1888.  Martha was the daughter of James Pethard, who had been Arthur Savory’s head carter at Aldington in the 1870s and was now farm bailiff at Claybrook, Badsey.

George worked as a shepherd for Arthur Savory.  George and Martha lived at Rose Cottage, Aldington, in 1891.  Their first child, George Horace (known as Horace) was baptised in the October, and is the child referred to by Savory.

The Wiggins family left Aldington the following year and lived briefly with Martha’s father at Claybrook, Badsey, where a second son, James Raymond, was born.  They then moved to Taynton, Oxfordshire, where Florence Mary was born in 1900.  George was a shepherd.  By 1911, George was farm bailiff at Wellesbourne, Warwickshire.  By 1939 they lived at Childswickham.

George died at Thriftwood Farm, Wood Stanway, Gloucestershire, in December 1944 and was buried in St George’s churchyard, Didbrook.  His home address was Tally Ho, Murcot.  Martha died at Prestbury in 1964, aged 100.