John Pigdon

Researched by Bill Ricalton LLHS

"John Pigdon 1832 - 1903 building contractor and businessman, was born on 3 July 1832 at Longhorsley. The only son of James Pigdon and his wife Margaret Thompson, he was apprenticed to a joiner in Newcastle upon Tyne. He emigrated to Australia in the Ottillia, and arrived in Melbourne on 10 October 1852, where he established a building and contracting business. He bought land in the Carlton area, which became the site of his business, the business rose to become large-high-quality building enterprise in the late 1880s. Notable buildings built by his company included St Jude's Church of England, Carlton (1866-70), the Registrar-General's Offices, Queen Street, Melbourne (1874-77). The Public Offices, Bendigo (first stage, 1884-87) and the Roman Doric west façade of Parliament House, Melbourne (1885-9

Pigdon was a founding director in 1874 and sometime chairman of the Melbourne Builders' Lime and Cement Co. Pty Ltd; chairman in 1899-1903 of Hoffman Patent Steam Brick Co. and first chairman in 1896-1903 of the Co-operative Brick Co., which was formed to organise the sale of bricks and related building materials manufactured by member companies.

John Pigdon was a member of Melbourne City Council from 1869 until 1903 and an alderman from 1895. He served as mayor in 1877. A Justice of the peace, commissioner of the Melbourne Harbour Trust and of the Melbourne Board of Works and trustee of Melbourne Royal Park.

In 1857 John Pigdon married Jane, born on 11 October 1835, daughter of John Clelland, superintendent of police, Wigtownshire, Scotland. She died in 1891, they had four sons and six daughters. When John died suddenly on 24 October 1903 he held a large amount of land in Carlton and its nearby suburbs. An Anglican, he was a churchwarden at St Jude's, Carlton, for thirty years and a generous pew-holder, he contributed a stained glass window in memory of his wife".

The Parliament building Melbourne

built by John Pigdon