Richard Rigg (1877-1942)

Richard Rigg

Written by Andy Connell

Occupations: Organisational Activist, Politician and Public Servant
Location: Kendal

In his brief appearance on the stage of national politics, Richard Rigg was twice transiently famous before he was thirty; the rest of his life, if anti-climactic, was busily occupied with socially useful activity. Born in Kendal on 27 August 1877, he was the only son of the part-owner of the Windermere Hotel, John Rigg (1846-1927) who in 1887 presented to a House of Commons select committee a petition objecting to the proposed extension of the railway from Windermere to Ambleside because it would render his hotel garden no longer ‘a place of quiet retreat’. He did not mention that he was also proprietor of Rigg’s Coaches.

Educated as a boarder at Hawkshead Grammar School, Richard Rigg passed Cambridge Local examinations before he was fourteen, then enrolled at Sedbergh in January 1892. He was there for only one term. The school register, generally explicit about departures under a cloud, simply records him as having been ‘withdrawn’: plausible explanations are the outbreak of scarlet fever in the school and the coincidental prolonged absence through ill-health of the headmaster Henry Hart (1843-1921), whose muscular Christianity had transformed Sedbergh’s reputation, though not its sanitary arrangements. Rigg did not return to Hawkshead, and five years elapsed before his admission to Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, in 1897.

Some of that time was doubtless spent receiving private tuition, commonly referred to as ‘cramming’, the rest in preparation for the life of a gentleman. The retirement of John Rigg to devote more time to hunting and freemasonry evidently did not require his son to earn a living. There is no evidence of extensive travelling; rather, Richard Rigg accumulated social obligations, becoming president of a cycling club, captain of a Boys’ Brigade battalion, was a member of the Westmorland Football Association and a conservator of the River Kent fishery district. He embraced with equal fervour freemasonry, total abstinence and evangelical Anglicanism, and in 1896 became a junior officer in the 4th Cumberland & Westmorland Volunteer Battalion of the Border Regiment; by July 1897 he held the rank of captain. During his three years at Cambridge, from which he emerged with an ordinary degree in Law, he further developed his Westmorland responsibilities to the extent of becoming churchwarden in his home parish of St Mary’s Applethwaite, an instructor in musketry in the Volunteers, with an appropriate moustache, and patron of various friendly societies, notably the Oddfellows, for whom ‘Brother Rigg’ was branch treasurer.

By the summer of 1900 Richard Rigg had been called to the Bar of the Inner Temple and had volunteered for military service in the South African War. He took neither path. Early in September, a few days after his twenty-third birthday, the North Westmorland constituency Liberal Party announced that he would be their candidate in the October general election. Whether this represented political awakening or conversion is unclear: his aunts the Misses Rigg had past associations with the Primrose League and in the 1895 election Conservative voters had been conveyed to the polls by Rigg’s Coaches. But of Richard’s immediate impact on a moribund local party there was no doubt. The Liberal press exulted as their handsome, dark-moustached young hero charmed meeting after meeting with his ‘courtesy, amiability and … very youth, coupled with his marvellous grasp of political principles and facility for their eloquent and popular expression’.

And this was not mere tilting at a windmill. Sir Joseph Savory, the incumbent carpetbagger Conservative Member for North Westmorland, former Lord Mayor of London and a notoriously dull speaker, had held the seat comfortably in 1892 and 1895, but his position was less secure than it appeared to be. At the western end of his sprawling seat he faced for the first time an opponent with strong local roots; and on the eastern side his attempts to establish himself as a local magnate by buying up  land and manorial lordships had mired him in controversy. Near Appleby – by which name the constituency was usually known – lies Brackenber Moor, a large area of common upland pasture used for military manoeuvres. Compensation from the War Office was due to all with common rights; burgeoning rumour, studiously unmentioned on Liberal platforms but ‘discussed among farmers and tradesmen in the freer intercourse of the market or tavern’ insisted that Sir Joseph had pocketed most of it. His protestations in a letter to the press published four days before polling that this was ‘absolutely false’, that the money had all gone to a committee of commoners, and he had touched ‘not one penny’, testified to his unease.

In a General Election dominated by war in South Africa, Conservatives were not slow to play the patriotic card, ‘invoke the aid of Khaki, claiming Bobs, Buller and B[aden] P[owell] as their own particular possessions’, and brand their Liberal opponents ‘pro-Boers’. In North Cumberland Colonel Claude Lowther (1870-1929), fresh from service on the veldt, comfortably evicted the sitting Liberal, Robert Allison (1838-1926).  But in North Westmorland Sir Joseph Savory, rotund, balding and unsoldierly, had no such recourse against the handsome, young Captain Rigg, whose posters urged voters to ‘Vote for Rigg, the local candidate: Unity of Empire and Old Age Pensions.’ ‘To say that Mr Rigg has taken the electorate by storm is to put it mildly’, remarked the normally apolitical Lakes Times on polling day, Saturday 6 October. The Westmorland Gazette published an anxious appeal to its readers: the Liberals were a divided party, not to be trusted with the ‘destinies of the Empire’; and voters must realise that they could not ‘choose their member because of his qualities, or because they like him, without giving power to the party he supports’.

Conservative fears were confirmed at the count in Appleby. Though the favours sported by most of the crowd waiting in the rain outside the Shire Hall were Conservative yellow rather than Liberal blue, the declaration that Rigg had taken the seat with a majority of 579 was greeted with cheers. A shocked Sir Joseph Savory, whose 17.4 per cent majority had dissolved into a losing margin of 11.4 per cent, pulled himself together sufficiently to make a gracious speech of congratulation before disappearing on the next train south [Connell, 2006]. Richard Rigg was borne shoulder-high through the crowded streets of Appleby, took the train to Kirkby Stephen to repeat the process and thence to Tebay where railway workers, reported to have voted solidly Liberal, sounded a volley of foghorns. His odyssey, preceded by telegraphs that had variously aroused ‘consternation and dismay, exorbitant joy and humiliating grief’, ended at Windermere station. Through darkness and heavy rain, a band escorted his carriage down the hill to Bowness on the lakeside and all the way to Ambleside.

Coming early in four weeks of polling that concluded on 24 October, this unexpected Liberal capture attracted nationwide press comment. The Times noted that a ‘rather remarkable victory’ arousing ‘great excitement’ had been achieved by a candidate making a ‘vigorous exposition of advanced Liberal views’, among them state pensions, reform of the House of Lords, universal male suffrage and greater state control of voluntary schools. By happy coincidence Richard Rigg was the same age as the Younger Pitt when he was returned for the old rotten borough of Appleby in 1781. Even the Daily Mail approved: ‘The baby of the house, he seems to be made of the right stuff’. It could afford to be patronising: victory in North Westmorland proved to be a false dawn for Liberals in a dismal general election whose outcome was an overall Conservative parliamentary majority of 134, barely changed from 1895. But Richard Rigg’s triumph had at least brought brief hope, and with it celebrity attested to by his election in London in February 1901 to the executive committee of the Eighty Club; he came fifth out of twenty-seven candidates for ten places on the ruling body of this Liberal gentlemen’s club, over which the parliamentary party leader, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (1836-1908), presided. He is recorded as proposing the vote of thanks to the speaker, the veteran Sir William Harcourt (1827-1904), at an At Home in July 1901; in June 1903 he and another rising Liberal star, Herbert Samuel (1870-1963), were stewards at an Eighty Club House Dinner. 

In the Commons he was circumspect, following Westmorland parliamentary custom in rarely giving voice. He did not deliver his maiden speech until November 1902, when moving an amendment to the Education Bill. Consistent with his previously expressed view that schools should be more answerable to the public’s elected representatives, he argued that councillors should be in the majority on education committees and free, without interference from the Board of Education, to co-opt additional members qualified by educational expertise rather than representation of some vested interest. Seconding, Alfred Emmott of Oldham (1858-1926) congratulated his hon. friend on ‘having at last successfully broken the silence he has so long maintained’. Lloyd George also spoke in support, but the amendment was soon withdrawn. Though he tabled occasional written questions and seconded a motion without speaking, Rigg did not address the House again until August 1904, when – appropriately for the Treasurer of the Anti-Tobacco Society – he presented the first reading of a Bill ‘to provide for the prevention of Juvenile Smoking’.

In North Westmorland however, the profile of the youthful and virtuous MP was far from low, as he built on the popularity already evident at the 1900 Liberal Boxing Night party in Appleby, a ten-hour marathon of tea, dinner and dance, with 350 guests. "The cheering which began on his rising was only interrupted by the singing again of ‘for he’s a jolly good fellow’, followed by renewed shouting and clapping of hands. The hon. gentleman at last had to begin his remarks to the chairman in order to stop the cheering."

Unfailingly conscientious and courteous, Richard Rigg rarely refused invitations to attend functions and deliver earnest, well-crafted speeches, confident in the knowledge that every word would appear in the local press. From the chair of Appleby Oddfellows, ‘Brother Rigg’ told his audience that ‘Friendly Societies are the creation of the working classes of this country … the backbone of the land in health, thrift and self-denial’. As President of the Vale of Eden Band of Hope, he admonished 3,000 children in their great annual demonstration in Appleby: ‘You should never forget that in fighting drink you are fighting for the gospel of Christ. If you want a Christian country you must have a sober country, for drink is the fruitful mother of every social ill.’ Equally at home at a Primitive Methodist bazaar or a Masonic dinner, Rigg expatiated in halls, chapels and Liberal Clubs on the recurrent themes of godliness, temperance and state education. ‘The greatness of England depends upon the morality of its home life and the temperance of its people … Our children must be brought up to become God-fearing and God-serving men and women … The child of poor parents will by his perseverance be enabled to fight his way to the ancient universities of Oxford and Cambridge.’

Even as he reached out to the disadvantaged, Rigg’s place in county society was strengthened by appointment as a JP and promotion to the rank of major in the Volunteers; marriage further cemented it. In September 1904 the press reported in exhaustive detail his wedding to Miss Isabel Gertrude Ross Anderson, daughter of a Wetheral timber merchant and seven years older than her husband. The marriage was conducted in St Andrew’s, Penrith by Henry Ware, (1830-1909), venerable bishop of Barrow, in the presence of several hundred guests, many of whom had arrived by special train; they were ‘crowded to a most uncomfortable degree’ in the nave, and the galleries were thronged by the general public.

Though the local Conservative press would occasionally attempt to poke fun at Richard Rigg’s ‘fads’, his cultivated non-partisanship made him an elusive target. In the aftermath of victory he had praised Sir Joseph Savory for being ‘honourable, manly and straightforward’, adding ‘Whether you agree or disagree with me politically, I hope the day is far distant when I shall forfeit the love and affection of both parties in North Westmorland.’ He made a point of joining Captain Joscelyne Bagot (1854-1913),  Conservative MP for South Westmorland, in demanding that Poor Law Guardians should be forbidden by law to reduce the amount of outdoor relief awarded to people who were in receipt of Friendly Society allowances. ‘I have talked with men of all political shades in the county’, said Appleby Liberals’ chairman in January 1904 ‘and I can safely say that personally Mr Rigg has not a single enemy’.

To oppose him at the next election North Westmorland Conservatives resorted to a Lloyd’s underwriter from Newcastle with a gallant military record but no electoral experience. Hopes of regaining the seat were not improved by the rift between the Prime Minister, Arthur Balfour, and the high-profile Joseph Chamberlain, who resigned from the government to promote a campaign for tariff reform to protect British industry. Rigg toured the constituency early in 1904 with a series of speeches extolling the virtues of free trade, while the Parliamentary Liberal Party made hay with a string of by-election victories as well as the acquisition of the turncoat Winston Churchill. Richard Rigg’s political future seemed as secure as the Lakeland fells that overlooked his newly acquired marital home in Windermere. Appleby Liberals happily speculated that their Member might, follow in the footsteps of former members for the borough, Pitt and Lord Liverpool, and be a future Prime Minister.

As guest speaker at the Appleby Mayoral dinner on 5 November 1904, Rigg made a point of commending the hapless Prime Minister; but public generosity to political opponents was his style; the letter he wrote ten days later to the president of the North Westmorland Liberal Association offering his resignation was received with utter astonishment.  Rigg explained that to his ‘painful regret’ he had gradually come to ‘the conviction that my views and opinions upon some of the most important questions of the day are not in accord with those of the leaders of the Liberal Party’. His letter, reproduced in full in The Times on 25 November, listed the issues that particularly concerned him. He believed that, for the sake of imperial prosperity, the government was right to support the use of Chinese labour in South Africa; he approved of the Aliens Act because his experiences at an East End mission – whether this had been during or previous to his time at Westminster was not stated – had convinced him of the need to keep the ‘lowest class of Europeans’ out of Britain; he supported the principles of the 1902 Education Act; and though not a protectionist he believed that imperial preference merited serious consideration.

What prompted this conversion? Rosalind Howard, Countess of Carlisle (1845-1921) would later claim that Rigg wanted a knighthood as a reward for his sensational election success in 1900 and deserted the Liberals when it did not materialise. For this there is no contemporary supporting evidence other than a limerick in Punch on 30 November 1904 headed ‘Lines from North Westmorland’.

There was a young member name RIGG
Who grew weary of being a Whig.
So, thirsting for glory,
He emerged as a Tory 
And gallantly went the whole pig.

The hint at personal ambition in the third line may owe more to the need for a rhyme than to the actual circumstances.

Some speculated that his new bride had changed her husband’s politics; but when a pre-arranged and now distinctly awkward Liberal Ladies’ At Home was held in Windermere a few days after the storm broke, it was the MP’s wife who played hostess while his mother absented herself. Rigg’s insistence that it was ‘absolutely impossible’ for him to support the Liberal leadership may have been provoked by a Westminster quarrel, but there is no evidence of any such; on behalf of the Parliamentary Party, Herbert Samuel was content to point out that Rigg had voted without demur on all the points he now raised. Perhaps as he became more and more a figure in the county establishment he was absorbing the attitudes of his social circle; perhaps, as a fastidious man, he found the populist rhetoric of ‘New Liberalism’ vulgar: evidence is lacking. The answer may lie solely with his inmost thoughts. Like his fellow-Anglican Gladstone, Rigg admired the Nonconformist conscience: ‘I have the satisfaction of feeling that what I have done was conscientious and right.’

The veteran Liberal temperance warrior Sir Wilfrid Lawson (1829-1906) remarked, ‘It’s a first principle of Liberalism that a man has the right to change his mind. He has been three years a Liberal; let him be a Tory for three years and then come back and be a Liberal again.’ Rigg’s local party took a less sanguine view. They accepted his proffered resignation, but puzzlement turned to fury when the MP, having initially said that he would stand in the North Westmorland by-election as an independent, then met with the Conservative candidate and announced that they were in agreement on most matters. By now the press was claiming that the defection had been ‘whispered for weeks past’ and there had been ‘informal negotiations with Conservatives’. Rigg was adamant that he had ‘acted absolutely on his own initiative’ with ‘no collusion’, but he attended the next meeting of Windermere Conservatives and was enrolled as a member.

Portraits of ‘Dicky Rigg’ were reportedly being stamped on in the homes of Liberals outraged that a temperance warrior could join the party responsible for the Licensing Act. A tactful decision to return some wedding presents did not prevent his servants, so the MP claimed, from being insulted in the streets of Windermere, while he himself was ‘literally inundated with threatening and abusive letters’ and even struck in the face on his mother’s doorstep by a muffled assailant snarling ‘You damned Tory’. Early in December he wrote from London: ‘I have had to leave my house in the dead of night under police protection to escape Radical ruffianism.’ La Petite Republique embroidered the tale: ‘M. Rigg … has been compelled to fly … and take refuge in London, the police having declared that they cannot answer for his life’ [quoted in the Sedberghian xxv.6, 1905]. He let it be known that his health had broken down under the strain, and on doctor’s orders he and his wife would spend Christmas on the continent. Meanwhile a Liberal reporter in Windermere claimed that the ‘overwrought’ Rigg’s allegations of violence and intimidation were mere ‘Illusions, Hallucinations and Delusions’. His dramatic flight from the town had in reality amounted to boarding the last train of the evening on a station platform deserted apart from his father and one policeman.

Richard Rigg resigned his parliamentary seat by applying for the Stewardship of the Manor of Northstead in February 1905. He played no part in the ensuing by-election, which saw the Countess of Carlisle’s personal secretary, the Welsh temperance orator, writer and teacher Leif Jones (1862-1939) retain the seat for the Liberals with a majority reduced from 579 to 220. Nor was he involved in the January 1906 General Election campaign in North Westmorland, when – despite a nationwide Liberal landslide – Jones held on by just 3 votes.  Politely declining invitations to stand as a Unionist (the usual style of the Conservatives at a time when Ireland’s future was a big issue) in such unpromising seats as Burnley and Barnard Castle, Richard Rigg restricted his political activity to a single platform appearance in Cockermouth to support Sir John Randles (1857-1945), who lost to the former incumbent Sir Wilfrid Lawson, but regained the seat six months later, after the old radical’s death.

By the time Rigg attended the funeral on behalf of the Church of England Temperance Society, Sir Wilfrid’s prediction that his Toryism would be a passing phase was looking ever more prescient. On Blackpool sands in August 1906, addressing a meeting of the UK Alliance, a temperance body whose president was Leif Jones, Rigg told his audience that ‘they must deplore the fact that the Unionist party was so liquor-ridden, and when it made itself so subservient to the drink trade it deserved to be beaten’; Campbell-Bannerman was the ‘best temperance Prime Minister the country had ever known’. To the Oddfellows he reaffirmed his support for old age pensions, though he believed they would be unnecessary if there were comprehensive temperance reform; and he expressed the ambition ‘some day to go to the House of Commons again to represent the interests of friendly societies’.

By 1907 Rigg was telling meetings that the defeat of the Liberal Education Bill by the Lords would be ‘nothing short of a national calamity’, and ‘the men who insist on denominational instruction are driving the Bible out of schools’. He himself was an ‘evangelical Christian’ and he deplored the ‘Church going to the brewer’. It was shameful that churches administered alcoholic communion wine, for ‘many young men got their fondness for drink there’. The duty of the Church was to assist ‘that Christian statesman Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman’ in fighting the liquor trade; and he recalled that when he was in the Commons those members with a financial interest in drink ‘were rich enough to buy up all the rest’. The Conservative Party was not the obvious home for a man proud to be called a ‘fanatic’ in his opposition to strong drink and tobacco; and at the 1907 Christmas dinner of Kirkby Stephen Liberal Club Rigg’s return to the fold was announced, along with an assurance that he was ‘practically pledged to fight for the Liberals at the next general election in a neighbouring constituency’. The Primrose League’s New Year’s Day meeting in Appleby provided a prompt Conservative response to this desertion: the chairman derided the ‘coat of many colours’ of the ‘wandering sheep’, who had strayed in search of support for his ‘temperance propaganda’.

Rigg’s audiences during 1908 included Oddfellows, temperance organisations and the Cumberland and Westmorland Association in London, but he was not seen on Liberal platforms and barely mentioned in the North Westmorland Liberal Monthly. In January 1909 he was reported to have sent his two guineas subscription and an ‘interesting letter’ to Penrith Liberal Club, but any more active political involvement was precluded by his appointment in March as High Sheriff of Westmorland. It was in this capacity that in the January 1910 general election Richard Rigg announced from the steps of Appleby Shire Hall the 3,335 votes cast for the Conservative Lancelot Sanderson (1863-1944) and 2,868 for Leif Jones. Out of just five English county seats held by the Liberals in 1900 that were now Unionist, North Westmorland registered the greatest swing. It is hard to imagine that Rigg did not reflect that he could have held the seat.

Two months later, in full flow at Penrith Liberal Club’s annual social, he denounced opponents of Lloyd George’s budget, whose ‘speeches were one long advocacy of their own selfish interests … land, land, land, property, property, property, dividends, dividends, dividends’. Looking forward to the end of plural voting, often blamed by Liberals for defeats in county seats, he assured his audience that ‘a brighter dawn was coming for Liberalism when they saw Home Rule for every county and no invasion of alien voters’. A speaker from the floor pointedly remarked that they would all like to see Mr Rigg back in parliament. A further general election was expected as a quasi-plebiscite on the Parliament Act, and in May 1910 North Westmorland Liberals were reported to be in the brink of selecting a candidate to replace Leif Jones, who had said his goodbyes and was seeking a safe seat elsewhere. In June Richard Rigg made an open-air speech to the largest ever Band of Hope rally in Appleby; in October he addressed Penrith Liberal Club, whose president he now was, for an hour. But when the North Westmorland Liberal candidate was finally announced in late November it was not Rigg but another ex-MP, Philip Whitwell Wilson (1875-1956), scion of a well-known Kendal Liberal family, who had sat for St Pancras. In the fortnight before polling day he did his best, but the margin of Conservative victory increased. The constituency disappeared in 1918, but the entire area it covered would have uninterrupted Conservative parliamentary representation into the 21st century.

Richard Rigg had an apparent taste for swimming against the tide, and it is quite conceivable that as a born-again Liberal, with genuine local credentials and a reputation for placing the good of the community above party considerations he would have recaptured his former seat in December 1910. Indeed, his combination of imperialism, localism, social reform and ostentatious virtue might have served as a role model for a type of deep-rooted Liberal MP equipped to resist the almost total annexation of rural England by the Conservatives. He chose instead to relocate to London. By the time of the 1911 census he was living at 26, Evelyn Mansions, Westminster; in 1918 his address was 157, Victoria Street, London SW.

There is no evidence of his ever being in employment in the metropolis. He ‘joined a tremendous number of organisations and achieved office in very many of them’ The last three decades of his life were devoted to an extraordinary range of activities, described in his Times obituary as ‘A Career of Public Service’. In January 1915 Major Rigg of the Border Regiment received the Territorial Decoration, but his wartime military service did not prevent him from chairing the Ministry of Labour panel for Employment of ex-Officers and serving as a Commissioner for National War Savings, for which he was awarded the OBE in June 1918. This was just a beginning. Alongside the continuing role of magistrate, the spectrum of his responsibilities over the next two decades included chairmanship of the Trained Nurses Annuity Fund, presidency of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and presidency of the National Temperance Hospital, a ward of which was named after him; in 1931 he became an officer of the Order of St John of Jerusalem. His former masonic activism was perhaps channelled into the Loyal Orange Institution of England, of which he was Grand Master in 1925. The convivial, ceremonial world of livery companies beckoned, too: he joined the Worshipful Companies of Glovers, Feltmakers and Needlemakers.  By 1921, when he was elected to the Court of the Guild of Freemen of the City, he was ‘already a well-known public figure in London’, who retained his talent for winning elections winning elections in 1924-5 he was Master Needlemaker, in 1925-6 he served as the Master.of the Freemen.  A colleague recalled him as ‘something of an autocrat, but although distant, if he took to you he could give you great help’ [History of Guild of Freemen I. p. 60].

Politically, Richard Rigg turned to the right again.  He was vice-chairman of the Westminster Abbey Constitutional (a euphemism for Conservative) Association, and sat on Westminster City Council for the Municipal Reform Party, the name under which the Conservatives operated in London local government. First elected to the Council in 1924, Major – retained both rank and moustache – Richard Rigg was mayor of Westminster in in the municipal year 1939-40, combining this office with that of Master Glover. He and his wife then moved to 19 Adelaide Crescent Hove, for what proved to be a short retirement. He died there on 29 August 1942, a few months after Gertrude. The couple were childless, and other than a few minor bequests aside the estate – valued at £72,697 18s 8d – was divided between his wife’s five surviving siblings, Robert, Arthur, Frederick and Frank Anderson and Mildred Hughes. Other than his will, proved at Carlisle in 1943, there is no record of any surviving papers.

Obituaries commended his devotion to public duty, fluent, incisive oratory and prodigious memory for facts and faces coupled with patience and good humour; he remained a teetotaller to the end, but reportedly mellowed to the extent of readily standing his round of drinks when a social occasion required it. But we know Richard Rigg only through what others said about him and reported him as having said and done, not what he thought of himself. Through this prism, he appears as a penomenally diligent and devoted public servant, if not without a certain priggishness. As to the extent of the parliamentary distinction he sacrificed on the altar of his conscience we can only speculate. What seems certain is that, despite his political tergiversations, he commanded enduring affection, respect and trust.


  • The principal source for Rigg’s political life is Andrew Connell, ‘The Strange Case of Mr Rigg’, Journal of Liberal History, issue 60 (2008) pp. 14-27. For a broader local political context see also A.N. Connell, ‘Blue Sky over North Westmorland: Appleby’s Liberal Decade’, Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland A&A S, third ser. vol. vi (2006) pp. 195-215.
  • Rosalind Howard, Countess of Carlisle’s related sometimes inaccurate memories of the Rigg family to her son-in-law Charles Roberts, recorded in Radical Countess (1962). For John Rigg’s House of Commons testimony, see Andrew Connell. ‘“Godless Clowns”: Resisting the Railway and Keeping the Wrong Sort of People out of the Lake District’, Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland A&A S, third ser. vol. xvii (2017) pp. 153-172.
  • The most comprehensive obituaries of Richard Rigg appeared in The Times, 1 Sept. 1942 and the Westmorland Gazette, 5 Sept. 1942. Summaries of his public life  career are also to be found in Who Was Who, 1941-50 (1952) and in M. Stenton & S. Lees, Who’s Who of British Members of Parliament II 1885-1918 (1978).
  • provides details of Rigg’s residences at census times. Surviving records of Hawkshead G.S., Sedbergh School and Gonville & Caius College give the dates of Richard Rigg’s education. Further. See also Venn, Alumni Cantabrigenses, II, 533. His rank in the Border Regiment at the time of the Boer and First World Wars is confirmed both by the October 1902 Army List and by on-line Forces War Records.
  • The principal contemporary sources for his political career are local newspapers, which covered reported the words and deeds of politicians in exhaustive detail: The Mid-Cumberland & North Westmorland Herald, The Penrith Observer, The Westmorland Gazette, The Kendal] Mercury, The Carlisle Journal, The Carlisle Patriot and [The Ambleside Herald & Lakes] News. They frequently quoted from the national press. Rigg’s occasional contributions to the House of Commons are to be found in relevant volumes of Parliamentary Debates 4th ser., commonly known as Hansard. The roles he played in the Eighty Club are recorded in its Yearbooks.
  • Records of the Glovers, Needlemakers, Freemen of the City of London and Westminster City Council list the offices he held in these bodies. Some are available online, others by application to company and guild clerks. There are several references to Rigg’s role with the London Freemen in C. Dyer, History of the Guild of Freemen of the City of London vol I (1983).
  • For details of Rigg’s will I am indebted to personal communication from Liz Robinson, an indirect descendant.