Richard Pigott, a journalist and forger, was the son of George Pigott, clerk to Peter Purcell, the Dublin coach proprietor who later entered the office of the Dublin journal Monitor and the newspaper Tablet. He was married with two sons.
Pigott began as an errand boy for the Nation, and subsequently worked as a clerk for the Ulsterman. He acted as manager when the paper was transferred to Dublin in 1858 under the name The Irishman. In 1862 the Nation brought a libel action against Pigott. In 1866 he started the weekly magazines The Shamrock and The Flag of Ireland. The political views of his papers were extremely nationalist and supported the fenian movement, and he was given prison sentences in 1867 and 1871. He then began blackmailing his political associates. In 1882 he published Reminiscences of an Irish National Journalist. In 1886 he sold information concerning Charles Stewart Parnell and the leading Irish home-rulers to the officers of the Irish Loyal and Patriotic Union. He also forged incriminating letters and sent them to the Times. On discovery he fled to Madrid where he shot himself.
Pigott, Richard, Reminiscences of an Irish National Journalist, Dublin, 1882; Lee, Sidney (ed.), Dictionary of National Biography, 58 vols, London, 1896.