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Arthur Triggs

1868 – 1936

Arthur Triggs (1868-1936), pastoralist and collector, is sometimes referred to as the 'Kidman of the wool industry'. Triggs was born in London and educated in England before coming to Sydney at the age of 19. Having joined the Bank of New South Wales, he found himself at the Yass branch as an accountant in late 1888. Settling in Yass, he married, and in 1896 bought his first 8000 wethers. The following year, having sold them at a profit, he resigned from the bank. From that time on, Triggs bought and leased properties studded along lines from Bourke to Kiandra, establishing a pattern of running between 250 000 and 500 000 sheep and some cattle at any one time. It became a truism that when Triggs prospered, so did Yass; he masterminded his operations from the town until 1915, when he moved his office to Sydney. That year, through the combination of drought and war, he went bankrupt, but by 1921 he had paid off all his creditors, with interest. Triggs travelled often to London, where he indulged his passion for old books and manuscripts, coins and pictures, while his second wife, Mary, bought up specimens of antique lace. His ambition to establish a museum of Dickensiana at Yass went unrealised, but his contributions to the local hospital, sporting bodies and other institutions were generous. After he died, a distinctive gateway, funded by public subscription, was erected in his honour in the town's Victoria Park. In 1945, his coins having already gone to the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney, the contents of his home, Linton, were auctioned in a notable three-day sale.

Updated 2018