Emmerdale Wiki
Emmerdale Wiki

Margaret "Peggy" Skilbeck (née Sugden) was the daughter of Annie Sugden and the wife of Matt Skilbeck.



Peggy Sugden was born on the 28th August 1948 at Emmerdale Farm. She is the second child and only daughter of farmer Jacob Sugden and his wife Annie. Peggy met and married farm labourer Matt Skilbeck in August] 1968 when she was 19. In the autumn of 1972 she became pregnant and her father also died of pneumonia.


Peggy was the accountant at Emmerdale Farm and had shares in the farm. She found out she was pregnant and dreamed of swapping the quiet Beckindale village for suburbia. She persuaded Matt to take a job in Bradford. He was ashamed to be called an unskilled labourer so they remained in Beckindale. Matt and Peggy moved into Hawthorn Cottage shortly before the twins were born.

Peggy gave birth to twins Sam and Sally Skilbeck on the 16th April 1973. In July that year she was complaining of headaches and went up to bed at 9pm during a party at Hawthorn Cottage. She woke up and as she got up she collapsed and went into a coma. Matt dashed back to Emmerdale to say to Annie that he cannot wake her. Dr Scott was called, and she did everything she could but Peggy could not be saved, and was pronounced dead at 11pm. Dr Scott said Peggy died of a subarachnoid haemorrhage at 11pm on the night of the 16th July 1973. She was buried in Beckindale Churchyard next to her father Jacob.


Peggy's legacy would live on. Shortly after Peggy was buried, Bob Molesworth tried to poach Matt from Emmerdale but Annie saw him off. Matt bought up the twins with help from his aunty Beattie Dowton and her husband Ben Dowton. The twins, and Beattie were tragically killed in a tran smash in January 1976. When Matt married Dolly Acaster in June 1978, Peggy was referred to. She was mentioned several times in the coming years. In 1988, when Dolly cheated on Matt, Matt blamed himself partly, as Dolly was his 2nd wife and Matt always saw her the way he saw Peggy.

In 1993 when the original farmhouse had to be vacated due to subsidence, Jack reminisced about Peggy. In 1995, Joe Sugden died in a car crash in Spain and had his funeral in Emmerdale. Annie had to bury one more of her children.

In 2009, when Jack died aged 61, Annie Sugden said she has buried the last of her children. In September 2020, almost 50 years after her death, Peggy was mentioned by her niece Victoria Sugden when she said Annie buried her 3 children.

Background Information

  • Jo Kendall left the role of Peggy in early 1973. Peggy was killed off in July 1973.
  • Peggy's headstone, which appears in Episode 104 (16th October 1973) displays her date of death as 12th May 1973. This date would later change to reflect the transmission date of the episode featuring her death - 16th July 1973.
  • Peggy's birthdate is also inconsistent. Her headstone in Episode 104 says she was born 8th August 1946 but in Episode 716 (25th February 1982) her headstone says she died 16th July 1973 aged 29 years, thus giving a 1943/1944 birthdate.
  • Peggy’s always been the second oldest making her DOB as 28th August 1948. Jack being the oldest making birth year is 1947, Joe being the youngest makes his birth year is 1949


"Matt, who's she?" (First line (upon seeing Marian Wilks on horseback passing by. This was the first line spoken in Emmerdale)

"Well, to be quite honest Janie, I was in two minds about having them christened at all, but it's probably all for t'best, taking into account how t'family feel about it." (Final line)

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