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Home comment Mark's History: Mysterious deaths of two Farsley sisters

Mark’s History: Mysterious deaths of two Farsley sisters

Words & Photos: Mark Stevenson

Jane Fielding was born in Londonderry, Ireland in 1842. She had been in England for around 15 years and in 1888 she was living in Bramley. Jane lived at New Row, roughly where Wesley Close is now.

As I am writing this Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile is on TV, which is apt as this is a bit of a murder mystery as well. 

Jane had twin daughters, Pollie and Ann, who were born in Farsley in 1869. In February 1888 both Pollie and Ann went missing.

In March their bodies were found, one in the river at Apperley Bridge and the other at Moss Bridge in Rodley. Was this murder or suicide?

There was no reason for either girl to be at Apperley Bridge. The river runs from Apperley Bridge towards Bramley so how did one of the bodies get there? The body would have floated down river towards Town, not upriver had it been either suicide or an accident.

River Aire at Apperley Bridge. Photo: Mark Stevenson

What makes it more mysterious is that one of the sisters was found in the canal in Rodley, why not the river?  If both girls were killed in Apperley Bridge how did the body found in Rodley get there?

I can see Poirot on TV now solving the mystery of the Death on the Nile. I’m sure Jane would have appreciated someone like him solving the death of her daughters. Nothing is known as to the cause of the girls leaving home or their deaths.

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