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King of Wiggley

Of all the gorgets in the Museum’s collection this one is the most similar in design to a military gorget. It is embellished with a coronet, leafy branches and an inscription which all suggest the king’s crown and insignia surrounded with laurels that was the usual device of military gorgets in Australia.

It is a very old plate with a dark and worn surface, perhaps caused by its long burial in the ground.

Engraved breastplate.
Jemmy Muggle, King of Wiggley

The only information yet discovered about Jemmy Muggle and his gorget is in a note made by Edmund Milne in about 1910. Information in the note suggests that the gorget probably dates to the 1820s when the district was being settled:

This Crown plate is said to have belonged to Jemmy Muggle an Aboriginal King whom it is thought was in this district perhaps about 100 years ago Mr William McCarthy states that he ploughed this plate out from one of his paddocks which is said was a camping place, near the fresh water on the Nelligen Creek ... Mr McCarthy had this plate for about 28 years. None of the old hands remembers anything about this black. No such place as Wiggley is known in this district. [1]

Footnotes

[1] Anon, The Milne Anthropological Collection, manuscript, National Museum of Australia, EO Milne Collection file no. 85/310 folio 159

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