Wiggins Joseph 
(1832– 13.09.1905)


Outstanding English captain. 
Born in Newcastle. His father died when his son was 10 years old. 
Wiggins began his career as a miner; at the age of thirty he became a merchant seaman. According to reviews of his contemporaries, he had an indomitable character, energy, fearlessness and practicality, characteristic of the northerners. With a fragile physique and medium height, Wiggins radiated reliability and kindheartedness, had all the qualities that are characteristic of the heroic sons of Britain. They called him the modern captain Cook. 
Wiggins quickly rose in his professional activities, received a certificate of captain of the merchant fleet, gained a wealth of experience sailing and sailing in various parts of the world. In 1871, he became a member of the Royal Geographical Society. 
Wiggins was one of the first to understand that Siberia is an inexhaustible and virtually untouched source of wealth, not only understood, but also did everything possible to use them to the mutual advantage of England, Russia and himself. During the 1870s – 1890s, he made successful regular voyages across the Kara Sea, ensuring that Siberian goods entered European markets. The possibility of such voyages was denied both in the government and in the geographical circles of Russia, in particular, their opponent was F.P. Litke. 
Wiggins made the first voyage in 1874.
Leaving the end of May from the Scottish city of Dundee on the steamer “Diana”, he was already at the mouth of the Ob in late July  went to the mouth of the Yenisei and returned to the Norwegian city of Hammerfest."Diana" was the first steam vessel sailed in the Kara Sea. In the area of ​​the Yenisei Bay, the expedition discovered the island, later named after A.I. Vilkitsky. During the voyage, Wiggins made depth measurements, measured the specific gravity of water, the temperature of water and air, determined the direction of currents, made astronomical and magnetic observations. He made similar voyages in 1875 and 1876. (he opened the island of Shokalsky ), and in 1876 he climbed with a measurement of 1000 km along the Yenisei to Kureika. Interestingly, here the local authorities arrested Wiggins' cargo, as it was delivered without customs. In addition to confiscation, Wiggins was threatened with a fine in excess of five times the value of the cargo. The matter was settled only thanks to the intervention of the central authorities. 
For the first two years, Wiggins sailed at his own expense, for the third time he received partial help from A.M. Sibiryakova  Several subsequent voyages of Wiggins were financed by the Russian industrialist and patron of the arts M.K. Sidorov, who attached great importance to the development of the sea route from Europe to the mouths of Siberian rivers and, in particular, the Yenisei. He announced in foreign journals a premium of two thousand pounds sterling to the first to reach the mouths of the Ob and Yenisei by sea. 
Until 1894, Wiggins made 11 more such voyages, each of which was successful. Thus, he laid the foundation for merchant shipping across the Kara Sea. The merit of Wiggins is all the more great because he sailed when there were no decent nautical charts of the Kara Sea, no signs, no icebreakers helped, no radio, ice and weather forecast. 
Thanks to his voyages, Wiggins gained wide popularity, won the confidence of the Russian authorities and the recognition of Tsar Alexander III, who awarded him with a silver plate. Wiggins merits were noted in his homeland. He was received by the Prince of Wales, the Royal Geographical Society awarded him a grant of Murchison. 
He died in Harrogate. 
Cape on the Zarya Peninsula on the northern coast of Taimyr. Named RPE.
 
Cape (Wiggins) in the west of the island of Gall archipelago Franz Josef Land . Opened and named in 1874, Yu. Payer.

 

Return to the main page