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
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
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
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
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
announced in foreign journals a premium of two thousand pounds
sterling to the first to reach the mouths of the Ob and Yenisei by
Until 1894, Wiggins made 11 more such voyages, each of which was
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.
the Zarya Peninsula on the northern coast of Taimyr. Named
in the west of the island of Gall archipelago
Franz Josef Land . Opened
and named in 1874, Yu.