Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Wigram, Joseph Cotton
WIGRAM, JOSEPH COTTON (1798–1867), bishop of Rochester, born at Walthamstow on 26 Dec. 1798, was the fifteenth child of Sir Robert Wigram (1744–1830). Sir James Wigram [q. v.] was his elder brother. Joseph Cotton was educated by private tutors, and proceeded to Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating B.A. as sixth wrangler in 1820, M.A. in 1823, and D.D. in 1860. He was ordained deacon in 1822, and priest in the year following, and in 1827 was appointed assistant preacher at St. James's, Westminster. In the same year he was also chosen secretary of the National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church, a post which he retained until 1839. On 28 March of that year he was appointed rector of East Tisted in Hampshire, and in 1850 removed to the rectory of St. Mary's, Southampton. On 16 Nov. 1847 he was collated archdeacon of Surrey, and in 1860 was consecrated bishop of Rochester in succession to George Murray [see under Murray, Lord George, (1761–1803)]. He died in London at 15A Grosvenor Square, on 6 April 1867, and was buried on 12 April beside his wife in the parish church of Latton, Essex. On 12 Feb. 1839 he married Susan Maria (d. 27 June 1864), daughter of Peter Arkwright of Willersley in Derbyshire. By her he had six sons and three daughters.
Besides sermons and pamphlets, Wigram was the author of:
- ‘Practical Elementary Arithmetic,’ London, 1832, 12mo.
- ‘Geography of the Holy Land,’ London, 1832, 8vo; 5th ed. 1855.
- ‘Practical Hints on the Formation and Management of Sunday Schools,’ London, 1833, 8vo.
- ‘The Cottager's Daily Family Prayers,’ Chelmsford, 1862, 12mo.
He also selected and arranged ‘Daily Hymns for the Month,’ London, 1866, fol.
His younger brother, George Vicesimus Wigram (1805–1879), exegetical writer, born in 1805, was the twentieth child of Sir Robert Wigram, and the fourteenth by his second wife. He matriculated from Queen's College, Oxford, on 16 Dec. 1826, and was intended to take orders in the church of England. He, however, joined the Plymouth Brethren, and devoted himself to the study of the biblical text. In 1839 he published ‘The Englishman's Greek Concordance to the New Testament,’ London, 8vo. A second edition appeared in 1844, and an index in the following year. This work, which superseded ‘The Concordance to the New Testament’ by John Williams (1727–1798) [q. v.], was based on the ‘Concordance’ of E. Schmidt, and comprised an alphabetical arrangement of every word in the Greek text. It was followed in 1843 by ‘The Englishman's Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance of the Old Testament,’ London, 8vo, a work on a similar plan. In 1867, with W. Chalk, he edited ‘The Hebraist's Vade Mecum,’ the first attempt at a complete verbal index to the contents of the Hebrew and Chaldee Scriptures. Wigram died on 1 Jan. 1879. He married, first, Fanny (d. 1834), daughter of Thomas Cherbury Bligh, and secondly, Catherine, only daughter of William Parnell of Avondale, and aunt of Charles Stewart Parnell [q. v.] Three commemorative volumes composed of his sermons and letters, entitled ‘Memorials of the Ministry of G. V. Wigram,’ were published in 1880 and 1881 (Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886; Men of the Time, 1865).
[Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, s.v. ‘Fitzwygram;’ Gent. Mag. 1867, i. 669; Allibone's Dict. of English Lit.; Foster's Index Eccles.