35.5 – Ann Scholfield

This plot marker has more than just initials, it has the plot owner’s name – W. Scholfield – on it. Detective work identified the person buried here as Ann Scholfield, who was buried here on December 19th 1885 at the age of 35. She was the wife of William Scholfield of Hanging Ditch, and she died a long way from where she was born.

Ann, or Anne, Collinge was born in Rickinghall, Suffolk in 1850. So she would claim later, at least, but we can’t find a birth registration for her. Either that or she lied about her age and her father’s name and occupation…when she married William Scholfield, a young blacksmith from Meadow Bottom, in 1869 she also said her father was named William and was a farmer. The only Ann Collinge we’ve found born in Suffolk within the correct range of time was actually born in 1848, and her father was Francis. The truth? We may never know. Francis Collinge, though, was a blacksmith. Coincidence?

William and Ann settled at Hanging Ditch. William was a striker, a very laborious job, and Ann worked as a cotton weaver. The pair had only one child, William Henry, who was born in 1870. 17 Hanging Ditch was where they settled and where Ann would later die, young, from uterine cancer.

In August the following year William remarried, to Grace Hollinrake of Lydgate, and moved on with his life. He and Grace had no children of their own, but her daughter Clara Halstead had married a few years previously and supplied a steady stream of grandchildren to entertain them both until his death in 1892. William Henry grew up and married Mary Ann Pemberton in 1894 but tragically he also died young, aged 36, in 1907 while still living in what used to be Hanging Ditch but was now Longfield Road. He’s buried at Cross Stone, but William is at Christ Church. Is he with Ann?

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