Mr Biggs the Builder

The Abbey Lane trustees’ minutes (12 November 1810) state that the contract for building the new meeting house was given to William Biggs of Linton.

Linton Free Church still owns a plaster bust, inscribed ‘Gulielmus Biggs.  Aetat.43.  1816’.  If he was 43 years old in 1816, he would have been about 37 when he started the Abbey Lane job.  Biggs is not an uncommon name locally, but it is reasonable to conjecture that William was related to J. P. Biggs who sculpted various monuments at Linton and Buntingford Independent churches around this time and may well have made the portrait bust.

Our builder was evidently a go-ahead entrepreneur, alive to various business opportunities.  He can be found in the records of Essex and Cambridgeshire as surveyor and auctioneer, as well as builder.  A few years after the completion of our church building he rebuilt Linton Independent meeting house (1818) in a very similar style but much less expensively.  Later still he was described as the ‘architect’ of Linton British School (1847).

Both Linton and Abbey Lane congregations still use the buildings he provided