Emmerdale Past & Present Wiki

Jacob Sugden's grave as seen in 1973.

Jacob Joseph Sugden was an unseen character in the show Emmerdale Farm. His funeral opened up the first ever episode which saw the return to the village of his prodigal son Jack Sugden to the village. Jacob was the husband of Annie Sugden and also the father of Joe Sugden and Peggy Skilbeck (Nee Sugden) and had died 6 days before his funeral on 16th October 1972. Jacob has been mentioned throughout the show since 1972. One time was in October 2002 when Jack referred to Jacobs funeral 30 years previous.



Jacob Joseph Sugden


30th January, 1916


10th October, 1972


Joseph Sugden


Margaret Sugden (Nee Oldroyd)


Annie Pearson (1945-1972)


Jack Sugden (1947), Peggy Skilbeck (1948), Joe Sugden (1949)



Played by


Jacob Sugden was born on the 30th January 1916 at Emmerdale Farm, Beckindale to Joseph Sugden and Margaret Sugden (Nee Oldroyd). He had a younger brother Edward Sugden. Jacob supposedly bought the farm off the Verney family in the 1930s. In 1946, Jacob married Annie Pearson and she moved into Emmerdale Farm. They had 3 children John Jacob “Jack “ Sugden in 1947, Peggy in 1948, and Joe in 1949.

Jacob was a very out of fashion farmer and his eldest son Jack ran away from home in 1964 because of a row with his father over intensive farming. Jacob wanted to keep hens locked up in cages whereas Jack hated this. Jack left for London in February 1964.

In his later years in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Jacob drank away the farm's profits in the local pub The Woolpack, leaving the farm in a sorry state. In 1972, Jacob's alcohol related bad health deteriorated. He left a will and died on the 10th October 1972 of pneumonia related to liver failure. He had left the farm to his eldest son Jack, as a punishment for running away, he wanted Jack to inherit the ailing farm.

Legacy left by Jacob Sugden[]

Jacob's Fold.

Once he died the village was bought kicking and screaming into the 20th century, 70 years late. Jack returned for Jacob's funeral to claim his inheritance. He however left again after a year.

Henry Wilks, a local businessman, bought shares in Emmerdale Farm to help the Sugdens out. Annie would often remember "her Jacob".

Jacobs Fold, down Church Lane, Emmerdale is named after Jacob Sugden.

Memorable info[]

Born: 30th January 1916

Died: 10th October 1972 (Aged 56)

Full Name: Jacob Joseph Sugden

Jacobs Fold, down Church Lane, Emmerdale is named after Jacob.

Notice the discrepancies is Jacob Sugden's death date and the "moving headstone"?

Originally Jacob died on the 3rd July 1972 as seen on his gravestone but the date was changed to fit in with the transmission of the first episode of the Emmerdale serial on the 16th October 1972, as having occurred on the 10th October 1972, 6 days earlier. Also, his original age at death was 62, giving him a 1909/1910 birthdate but this was later altered to 30 Janaury 1916, making him 56 when he died.


Father Joseph Sugden

Mother Margaret Sugden (Nee Oldroyd)

Siblings Edward Sugden

Grandfathers Orton Sugden, Albert Oldroyd

Great grandfathers Joshua Sugden

Spouse Annie Pearson (1946-1972)

Children Jack Sugden (1947), Peggy Skilbeck (1948), Joe Sugden (1949)

Grandchildren Jackie Merrick, Robert Sugden, Victoria Sugden, Samuel and Sally Skilbeck

Aunts/Uncles Charlie

Other relatives Paul Sugden (sibling, cousin or second cousin)


Jacob was featured in the book Emmerdale - Their Finest Hour, published in 2002 and featuring the lives of the Sugden and Pearson families in 1941.