S2.10 – Miranda Duggan (unmarked?)

Miranda (Scholfield) Duggan is at S2.10, under the school…well, she isn’t under the school, not really, because (in theory) that row and plot are above ground still. She lies next to the wall that drops down to the cricket club. It seems as though we know she’s there thanks to the sexton’s book rather than the 1980s transcript so we don’t expect that she has a stone hiding somewhere (although god almighty, who even knows anymore).

Miranda was born in 1856 to Whittaker and Betty (Stephenson) Scholfield, the youngest child in their family. Whittaker was a whitesmith and the family lived at Back Salford. Miranda became a cotton weaver once she was old enough to leave school. The family were by no means well off – later they were living at 52 Wellfield Terrace, in a now-demolished set of back to back terraces that originally weren’t just two houses but THREE in each “footprint” – one at the back with a flying freehold over the front, one at the front that was a two-floor overdwelling, and a one-room underdwelling underneath that one.

Once Whittaker retired, his unmarried daughters took over earning the household’s money, and even some of the married ones returned home with grandchildren in tow to help out. Miranda remained unmarried, and after Whittaker died in 1881 and Betty in 1890, she moved in with her sister Sarah Jane at 3 Queen Street.

Romance came calling in the form of a widowed, retired mariner, believe it or not. William Wigglesworth Duggan was 13 years Miranda’s senior, born in Silkstone to a jeweller and his wife. His first life was spent alternating between being a sailor and a coal merchant’s clerk with his wife Harriet Isabella, aka Isabella. They moved from the Isle of Man to Liverpool, then to Leeds. Harriet died in 1896, William retired from the sea, and somehow he and Miranda met. The two married in Halifax and he took Miranda back to his home in Headingley where they lived for the rest of their lives together.

William died in 1916 and is buried in Leeds. Miranda moved back to Todmorden, and she died in 1923 living at 50 Wellington Road. With no children of her own due to her late marriage, she left her estate to her sister Asenath Winnard.

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, May 21st 1917

This is where what was once a confusing, potential error might find itself cleared up. Where Miranda was buried, now stands Eric Mitchell‘s CWGC stone. The CWGC was told back in 1959 that Eric was buried in the “10th plot west of the path, 2 rows south of the caretaker’s hut”. All well and good except that that’s where Miranda is buried according to the sexton’s book! Eric, meanwhile, was demarcated in the early 1980s by the Youth Action for Todmorden volunteers are being located at S2.8. So are they related? The answer, surprisingly, is yes. Because Miranda’s sister Asenath Winnard was once Asenath Scholfield obviously…and in between those names, she was known as Asenath Greenwood. She married James Greenwood in 1869 and one of their daughters, Betsy, married John Robert Cunliffe. The Cunliffes of course are buried at S2.9. One of Betsy and John Robert’s daughters was named Ruth. That’s right, Ruth Cunliffe, Eric’s mother.

Never a dull moment in the graveyard…

One Comment

  1. Pingback:S2.8 (or S2.10) Eric Mitchell – F.O.C.C.T.

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