Vigors was born at Old Leighlin, County Carlow. He studied at Trinity College, Oxford. He served in the army during the Peninsular War from 1809 to 1811. He then returned to Oxford, graduating with a B.A. in 1815 and in 1817 with an M.A., he practiced as a barrister and was awarded the D.C.L. in 1832.
Vigors was a co-founder of the Zoological Society of London in 1826, and its first secretary until 1833. In that year, he founded what became the Royal Entomological Society of London. He was a fellow of the Linnean Society and the Royal Society. He was the author of 40 papers, mostly on ornithology. He provided the text for John Gould's A Century of Birds from the Himalaya Mountains (1830–32).
Vigors succeeded to his father's estate in 1828. He was MP for the borough of Carlow from 1832 until 1835. He briefly represented the constituency of County Carlow in 1835. Vigors had been elected in a by-election in June after the Conservative MPs originally returned at the United Kingdom general election, 1835 were unseated on petition and a new writ issued. On 19 August 1835 Vigors and his running mate, in the two member county constituency, were unseated on petition. The same two Conservatives who had previously been unseated were awarded the seats. On the death of one of them, Vigors won the subsequent by-election in 1837 and retained the seat until his own death.
- Template:Cite IrishBio
- Kavanagh, P. J. (1983). "Nicholas Aylward Vigors, MP, 1786-1840". Carloviana: [Journal of the Old Carlow Society]. 30: 15–19.
- Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801-1922, edited by B.M. Walker (Royal Irish Academy 1978)
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