Arthur Hibble HIGGS (1850–1915)
St Michael section: Row 34, Grave L48½
IN AFFECTIONATE MEMORY
ARTHUR HIGGS M.A.
OF BALLIOL COLLEGE
WHO PASSED INTO THE
JULY 15TH 1915.
“MORS NON EST FINIS VITÆ SED
[“Death is not the end of life, but
its continuation”, from the writings
of Emanuel Swedenborg]
Arthur Hibble Higgs was born in Sudbury, Suffolk on 6 October 1850, the fifth son of Samuel Higgs (born in Gloucester in 1816/17) and Maria Hibble (born in Sudbury in 1810/22). His parents were married in Sudbury in 1839 and had the following children:
- Samuel Hibble Higgs (born in Sudbury in 1840, reg. second quarter); disappears after 1841 census, and probably died
- Thomas Hibble Higgs (born in Sudbury in 1841, reg. fourth quarter)
- Maria Hibble Higgs (born in Sudbury in 1843/4, reg. first quarter of 1844)
- William Hibble Higgs (born in Sudbury in 1845/6, reg. first quarter of 1846;
death reg. there third quarter of 1848)
- Horace Hibble Higgs (born in Sudbury in 1848, reg. second quarter;
death reg. there fourth quarter of 1855)
- Arthur Hibble Higgs (born in Sudbury on 6 October 1850)
- Margaret Hibble Higgs (born in Sudbury in 1852/3, reg. first quarter of 1853)
- Elizabeth Hibble Higgs (born in Sudbury in 1855, reg. second quarter).
At the time of the 1851 census Arthur was just six months old, living at North Street, Sudbury with his parents and his three older siblings: Thomas (9), Maria (7) and Horace (2). His father was then a bunting manufacturer, maltster, and farmer employing four men, and the family had a housemaid and a nursemaid.
The family was still at North Street in 1861 and Arthur (10) was at school. His father, who was now Mayor of Sudbury, described himself in detail as “Worsted manufacturer and factor employing 120 weavers and handopeners[?]. Wool & coal merchant (7 men and 3 boys. Maltster employing 2 men. Farmer of 110 acres 4 men and 2 boys”. All four of his surviving siblings were still at home: Thomas (19), Maria (17), Margaret (8), and Elizabeth (5). Arthur’s maternal grandfather Thomas Hibble (77), a retired merchant, was also living with them, and they now had a groom/gardener as well as a cook and a housemaid.
Arthur Hibble Higgs attended Sudbury Grammar School and then University College School, London, where at the age of 16 in 1866, following an examination, he was awarded the Andrew’s Prize of £25 (for student’s of one year’s standing, for Classics); First Prize in Latin (Higher Division); and Senior Class in Greek (Senior Class). He was also awarded a scholarship of £40 per annum, tenable for two years, called “The Jews’ Commemoration Scholarship”, founded in remembrance of the passing of the Act of 1858, by which Jews were enabled to sit in Parliament. A year later in 1867 he won two Andrew Scholarships (£50 each for Latin and Mathematics, as well as the first prize in Mathematics (lower senior class); an extra class prize in Green; and first prize in Mathematical Physics (junior class).
He won an exhibition to Balliol College, Oxford and was matriculated at the age of 19 on 21 October 1869, and is listed as living in the college at the time of the 1871 census. In June that year he was proxime accessit in the Stanhope Historical Essay Prize.
He obtained his BA in 1874.
Arthur Hibble Higgs was to remain at Oxford, working for the rest of his life as a private tutor at 1 Ship Street (left), which adjoined St Michael’s Church and was in its parish. It was a lodging house run by Mrs Frances Marygold, whose husband George was a printer corrector at Oxford University Press, and later by her daughter.
At the time of the 1881 census Higgs (30), who described himself as “M.A. Oxford University Private Tutor” was a lodger with the Marygolds and their four children, aged between 11 and 27.
Arthur’s father Samuel Higgs, described as being a merchant late of Great Cornard, Suffolk, died at 11 Paddington Green on 18 July 1884. His personal estate came to £6,743 0s. 9d., and Arthur was the only one of sons who acted as one of his executors.
In 1891 Arthur Hibble Higgs described himself as a Private Tutor for the University of Oxford, and in 1901 more specifically as a Private Tutor in Classics.
In 1911 Higgs had retired from being a private tutor, but was still living here in the Marygolds’ lodging house. He was still based here when he died four years later:
† Arthur Hibble Higgs died the Acland Nursing Home at the age of 65 on 15 July 1915 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 19 July, but his home was still at 1 Ship Street (burial recorded in the parish register of St Michael’s Church).
His effects came to £8,403 13s. 5d., and his bank was his administrator. The photograph at the top of this page appeared under the heading "THE LATE MR. ARTHUR HIGGS, M.A. in the Oxford Journal Illustrated of 21 July 1915, with the following text underneath:
Mr Arthur Higgs, M.A., son of the late Mr. Samuel Higgs, J.P., Sudbury, Sussex, who died on Thursday from asthma of the heart. He had a stroke in May last and was in the Acland Nursing Home for some three weeks. At the time of his death deceased was 65 years of age, had for many years been connected with Balliol College, and was a great personal friend of the Master. Mr. Higgs was one of the best known tutors in Oxford. The funeral took place on Monday.
The Master of Balliol at this time was James Leigh Strachan Davidson, who had come up to Balliol in 1862, seven years before Higgs.
Arthur Higgs’s siblings
- Thomas Hibble Higgs (born 1841), the only other surviving brother, stayed in Sudbury and worked for his father. on 15 August 1866 at the Congregational Church, St Leonards-on-Sea near Hastings he married Eliza A. Spalding. At the time of the 1871 census when he was 29 he was described as a wool buyer and maltster and was living in Ballingdon near Sudbury with his wife Eliza (28) and their children Lewis (3) and Mabel (2), and two servants. By 1881, when he was 39, he was already describing himself as a retired wool merchant, and was living at 90 North Street, Sudbury (probably his father’s old house, with one servant. He had a visitor, Miss Sarah Jane Lewis Hartley (23), and his wife and children were not at home. He was at the same address in 1891, now a widower of 47, and Miss Hartley was again his “visitor”. He died in Sudbury at the age of 51 on 18 May 1894. His effects came to £1,470 16s. 6d., and Miss Sarah Jane Lewis Hartley was his executor.
- Maria Hibble Higgs (born 1843/4) married John Howard Spalding, a wholesale stationer and paper maker, in the Hastings district in 1868 (reg. second quarter). Maria died in early 1881, probably following the birth of her seventh daughter, and at the time of the census taken just after her death her two unmarried sisters were staying at her house at Ealing Common and looking after her husband and the girls, namely May Spalding (12), Ethel Spalding (9), Lilian (Thomas) Howard Spalding (8), Margaret Spalding (6), Hilda Spalding (4), Dorothy Spalding (3), and Muriel Howard Spalding (one month), helped by a cook, housemaid, nurse, and a lady’s nurse.
- Margaret Hibble Higgs (born 1852/3) was aged 28 and helping to look after her sister Maria’s children in Ealing in 1881. In 1901 she was living alone as head of the household without any servant at 37 Avonmore Gardens, Fulham, and working as a teacher of drawing and painting. She was still there in 1911, when her friend Alice Mold, another art teacher, was living with her. She died at 3 Holmesdale Road, Kew Gardens on 20 September 1939 at the age of 86. Her effects came to £1,329 11s. 5d.,, and her niece Miss Lilian Howard Spalding was one of her executors.
- Elizabeth Hibble Higgs (born 1855) was aged 25 and helping to look after her sister Maria’s children in Ealing in 1881. In 1901 when she was 45 she was living on her own means, a lodger in the house of the Dyer family at 28 Uxford Road, Ealing. She died at Avalon, Wendover, Buckinghamshire on 11 February 1908 at the age of 52. Her effects came to £1,616 5s. 11d. and her sister Margaret was her executor.