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RIGBY, JOSEPH (d. 1671), parliamentarian, of Aspull, near Wigan, Lancashire, was third son of Alexander Rigby of Wigan, and brother of Alexander Rigby [q. v.], baron of the exchequer, and of George Rigby, one of the commanders at the siege of Lathom House. He was educated at Eton. At the outbreak of the civil war he joined the parliamentary army, and rose to be lieutenant-colonel, to which office he was appointed on 16 April 1650. In September 1644 he distinguished himself in the attack on Greenhaugh Castle. In April 1650 his offer to bring a regiment to the waterside for service in Ireland was under consideration by the council. Like many other members of his family, he held the office of clerk of the peace for Lancashire. In 1653 and afterwards there was much litigation concerning the profits of the office, part of which was claimed for the children of his brother George. He was in 1654 committed for contempt for refusing to deliver up his books and papers, but he regained his liberty, and continued in office until the Restoration.

He published in 1656 a duodecimo volume of verse, entitled ‘The Drunkard's Prospective, or Burning Glasse,’ directed against the evils of alcoholic drink. The volume contains a number of complimentary verses addressed to the author by Charles Hotham and other literary friends. He also wrote a poem on repentance, from which extracts are given in Heywood's ‘Observations in Verse’ (Chetham Society, 1869). The original manuscript is in the Wigan Free Library. Rigby died in November 1671. He married Margaret, daughter of Gabriel Haighton or Houghton of Knowsley, Lancashire.

[Palatine Note-book, iii. 166, iv. 144; Dugdale's Visitation of Lancashire (Chetham Soc.), iii. 243; Discourse of the Warr in Lancashire (Chetham Soc.), pp. 58, 144; Lancashire Lieutenancy (Chetham Soc.) p. 292; Brydges's Restituta, iv. 296; Book Lore, 1885, i. 55; Kenyon MSS. (Hist. MSS. Comm.), 1894, p. 90; Cal. State Papers, Dom. Ser. 1645–7, 1649–50, 1650, 1653–4, 1654, and 1660–1.]

C. W. S.