Headstone of Thomas and Frances Wrigley (2016)

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Headstone of Thomas and Frances Wrigley (2016).

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Thomas Dale Wrigley was born in Manchester, England in c1828. He emigrated to Melbourne, Australia in 1853 and then to Auckland, New Zealand in 1871, settling in Tauranga in 1874. He was a member of the Tauranga Town Board whilst also establishing a brewing business. Thomas suffered an accident on 19 August 1878 which led to a long and painful death. The Bay of Plenty Times reported on 21 August 1878: 

A serious accident happened on Monday evening to Mr T D Wrigley, of this town. While driving some ducks into his yard he trod upon a piece of timber which turned with him and he fell to the ground, breaking his right leg just above the ankle. One can hardly fancy how so slight an accident could terminate so seriously. We fear it will be some time before Mr Wrigley will be able to resume his business, though we heartily wish him a speedy recovery (Bay of Plenty Times, 21 August 1878).
Then on 10 September 1878 it was reported:
Our readers will, we are sure, be sorry to learn that Mr T D Wrigley has not been progressing very favorably of late. Throughout last week he suffered great pain, and the fracture showed no signs of improving in any way. This being so his relatives and friends thought it desirable to send him to Auckland, where he will be within the reach of the best surgical aid. He was therefore very carefully moved on board the Wanaka on Sunday afternoon, and accompanied to Auckland by Dr. Armitage and Mr Ellis. We hope to hear before long that a decided improvement has taken place (Bay of Plenty Times, 10 September 1878). 
An operation in Auckland seemed to stabalise his condition for a time:
The friends of Mr T D Wrigley (and their name is legion) will be glad to hear that an operation has been successfully performed, and that he is out of danger, and progressing very favourably. Mr Wrigley desires to return thanks to Captain McGillivray and tho officers of the Wanaka for the extreme kindness and consideration shewn him on the trip to Auckland (Bay of Plenty Times 14 September 1878). Although still dangerously ill, Mr T D Wrigley was, according to latest advices, a little easier (Bay of Plenty Times, 29 October 1878). Mr T D Wrigley was brought down in the Taupo, and arrived yesterday morning. He was made as comfortable as circumstances would permit, and if no better is at any rate no worse (Bay of Plenty Times, 2 November 1878).

However Thomas did not recover. He died in Tauranga on 8 November 1878, aged 49, and was buried in Mission Cemetery (Otamataha Pā). The Bay of Plenty Times wrote: 

After a long and painful illness Mr Thomas Dale Wrigiey, than whom no man was better beloved in Tauranga, passed yesterday morning to "where beyond these voices there is peace." His sufferings, more especially towards the last, were agonizing, so that when the end came, it was a blessed release not only for himself, but also for those acound him (Bay of Plenty Times, 9 November 1878, p. 3).

Frances Wrigley, the wife of Thomas, died in Tauranga on 4 September 1898, aged 65. She was buried with her husband in Mission Cemetery (Otamataha Pā). Text and photograph by Debbie McCauley (1 October 2016). Tauranga City Libraries Image Number: 16-266.

See also: Bay of Plenty Times (9 November 1878, p. 3) https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/BOPT18781109.2.7

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Headstone of Thomas and Frances Wrigley (2016)


First Names:Thomas Dale
Last Name:Wrigley
Date of Birth:c1828
Place of Birth:Manchester, England
City:Tauranga, New Zealand
Year:2016