Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 61.djvu/195

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derella’ of Albert Smith and Tom Taylor strengthened his reputation. As a member of Webster's company he appeared at the Haymarket on 2 Oct. 1847, playing Sir Benjamin Backbite in a revival of the ‘School for Scandal.’ On 20 Oct. 1847 he was the first Osborne in Westland Marston's ‘Heart and the World,’ and on 15 Nov. the first Hector Mauléon in Webster's ‘Roused Lion.’ He also played Dudley Smooth in ‘Money,’ Goldfinch in the ‘Road to Ruin,’ and Tattle in ‘Love for Love.’ At the Olympic he appeared with Mrs. Mary Anne Stirling [q. v.], playing the hero of ‘Monsieur Jacques,’ a musical comedy by Morris Barnett, a character created eleven years previously by the author. In this part he raised his reputation to its height. Here he produced his own ‘Law for Ladies.’ In 1848–9 he was at the Haymarket with Mr. and Mrs. Charles Kean. Here he enacted the Clown in ‘Twelfth Night,’ Bassanio in the ‘Merchant of Venice,’ one of the Witches in ‘Macbeth,’ and Tom Purple in Jerrold's ‘Housekeeper.’ His Achille Talma Dufard in the ‘First Night’ (‘Le Père de la Débutante’), seen at the Princess's in October 1849, was one of his finest impersonations. At the Olympic he produced in 1850 his farce ‘A Dead Take-in.’ Joining the Kean and Keeley combination at the Princess's, he appeared on 28 Sept. 1850, the opening night, as the original Tom Rawlings in Bayle Bernard's ‘Platonic Attachments.’ He was seen as Osric in ‘Hamlet,’ as Orlando, and as Dr. Caius in ‘Merry Wives of Windsor.’ On 4 June 1851 he was the first Richelieu in Slous's ‘Duke's Wager’ (‘Mlle. de Belle Isle’). On 24 Feb. 1852 Wigan was the first Château-Renaud in the ‘Corsican Brothers,’ on 5 March the first Richard Hazard in Tom Taylor's ‘Our Clerks,’ and in May the first Paul Raimbaut in ‘A Lucky Friday,’ a part he repeated by command at Windsor Castle. He had also played Faulconbridge in ‘King John.’ At the Adelphi he was in June 1853 the first Dixiner in Boucicault's ‘Geneviève.’ He was also seen as Jonathan Wild in ‘Jack Sheppard.’ On 17 Oct. 1853 he opened the Olympic with Planché's ‘Camp’ and Taylor's ‘Plot and Passion’ (in which he was the hero), had an original part in Palgrave Simpson's ‘Heads and Tails’ on 29 June 1854, and was the first Thornby in his own and Talfourd's ‘Tit for Tat’ (‘Les Maris me font rire’) on 23 Jan. 1855. On 14 May he obtained another conspicuous success as the first John Mildmay in Taylor's ‘Still Waters run deep.’ He also played Joseph Surface. In 1857, on the plea of ill-health, he took a benefit on his retirement from the stage, on which he reappeared at the Adelphi on 17 March 1859 as Sir Paul Pagoda in the ‘Bengal Tiger.’ He was in May 1859 the original Horace Chetwynd in the ‘House or the Home,’ an adaptation by Taylor from ‘Péril dans la Demeure.’ On 29 Feb. 1860 he was the first Sir Richard Plinlimmon in Watts Phillips's ‘Paper Wings.’ He also took part in ‘It's an ill Wind that blows Nobody any good’ and other pieces. On 29 Nov. Wigan opened the St. James's with ‘Up at the Hills,’ in which he was Major Stonyhurst. After playing the hero of the ‘Isle of St. Tropez,’ he strengthened his reputation as the hero of ‘A Scrap of Paper’ (‘Les Pattes de Mouche’) in April 1861. In May 1863 he was, at the Haymarket, Dr. Bertrand in Lady Dufferin's ‘Finesse, or Spy and Counter Spy.’ The following year he gave, with his wife, a series of readings in London. On 24 Oct. 1867 he opened the newly erected Queen's Theatre in Long Acre with Charles Reade's ‘Double Marriage,’ adapted from his novel of ‘White Lies.’ In this Wigan was Captain Raynal. On 11 May 1868 he reappeared as the Marquis de Belleterre in the ‘Poor Nobleman,’ Selby's adaptation of ‘Un Gentilhomme Pauvre,’ in which he had previously been seen, and played Sir Anthony Absolute. On the opening of the Gaiety on 21 Dec. 1868 he was Adolphe Chavillard in ‘On the Cards,’ an adaptation by Alfred Thompson of ‘L'Escamoteur.’ On 27 March 1869 he was Rittmeister Harfthal in Robertson's ‘Dreams.’ In the ‘Life Chase,’ an adaptation by Oxenford and Horace Wigan of ‘Le Drame de la Rue de la Paix,’ he was, at the same house, Bertrand Alvimar, on 11 Oct. For the benefit of Charles Mathews he played Dangle in the ‘Critic.’ In the ‘Man of Quality,’ an alteration by John Hollingshead of the ‘Relapse,’ he was Lord Foppington on 7 May 1870. On 6 July 1872 in the ‘First Night’ and ‘Still Waters run deep’ he took a farewell benefit at Drury Lane and retired from the stage. After giving a few private readings, he was seen at the Gaiety at an afternoon performance of ‘The House or the Home’ and the ‘Bengal Tiger.’ In the summer of 1878 he left his house, 33 Brompton Square, and on 29 Nov. he died at 26 Sandgate Road, Folkestone. He was buried in Kensal Green cemetery on 8 Dec. A good portrait was engraved for the ‘Illustrated London News’ (14 Dec. 1878).

Wigan was an admirable actor in a rather narrow groove. He lacked robustness and breadth of style, and could never play a modern gentleman, which part he could not