The Dinwoodie/Donwiddy/Dunwode/Dunwodey family of Scotby and Ambroseholm

John Wigham = Bette Dunwode

     |         other children

John Wigham = Ann White

      |         other children

Jane Wigham = Edward Richardson

      |         other children

Elizabeth Richardson = Robert Spence Watson

      |         other children

Mary Spence Watson = Francis Edward Pollard


Bette Dunwode was born on the 24th March 1747/8 (or perhaps 1748/9), at Ambroseholm, near Carlisle, Cumberland; her birth was registered by Scotby preparative meeting.1

As "Elizabeth Donwiddy", she married [P3] John Wigham in 1769, after which they went to live with [M19] Cuthbert Wigham. At the time of her marriage "she had not then much religion." Their children were: Jane (1770–1842, b. Woodhouse, Lambly, Northumberland), Rachel (1772 – before 1835), Amos (1774–1847), Anthony (1776–1857), Elizabeth (1779–1854), [P2] John (1781–1862), William (1783 – after 1841) (all born at Bournhouse in Coanwood), Hannah (1788–1846) and James (1790–1803).2

A few years after her marriage she came forth in the ministry, and about 1784 she and her husband went under concern to live in Scotland, taking with them their seven children. They settled first near Edinburgh, living some distance from the city, on a small farm called Cockmalanie.3

They were wont to attend Edinburgh Meeting on Sunday mornings only, and the gudewife used to give great offence to her Presbyterian neighbours by occasionally actively carrying on family washing and other housewifely duties on the afternoon of that day. These Friends lived in the most humble style, and, from religious principles, denied themselves the use of a bit of carpet. Once, one very cold winter, some kind friend had smuggled a piece into their house, but good Betty (as she was generally styled), calling to mind a poor neighbour who wanted bedclothes badly, quickly transferred the luxury to her bed.4

In 1799—a resident of Edinburgh—she travelled as far as Cumberland Quarterly Meeting with her husband.5

They later moved to Aberdeen, and after a return to Edinburgh finally took up their residence in Aberdeen in July 1807. Elizabeth Wigham travelled in various parts of England and went twice to Wales and Ireland. She also felt called several times to stay temporarily in particular meetings, with much success. She was deeply concerned for the right upbringing of her family and was a pattern of industry and frugality in her domestic life. Her ministry was lively and fervent and although not adorned with much learning, was clear, sound and pertinent. In exercise of her gift she was often favoured to speak with great clearness to the states of those whom she addressed.6

A minister over 50 years, with John she did much to put the Society on a surer footing and build up its influence in Scotland.7

She was an affectionate and sympathetic companion to John. In 1818 they were visited by Elizabeth Fry, who described them as "our beloved old friends."7

Her last illness confined her to bed for several weeks. Described as a resident of Broadfoord, Old Bachar parish, co. Aberdeen, she died quietly in Aberdeen on the 16th April 1827, and was buried in the Quaker burial ground at Kinmuck on the 20th.9

Bette Dunwode was the daughter of [P5] John and [P6] Bette Dunwode.10



1 Dictionary of Quaker Biography; John Wigham: Memoirs of the Life, Gospel Labours, and Religious Experiences of John Wigham. London: Harvey & Darton, 1842; TNA: RG 6/1388

2 DQB; George Richardson: Some Account of the Rise of the Society of Friends in Cornwood in Northumberland, especially in connexion with the family of Cuthbert Wigham. London: Charles Gilpin 1848; L.C. Coombes: 'Wigham of Coanwood.' Overprint from Archaeologia Aeliana, 4th ser. vol. xliv, 1966; Strath Maxwell; information from Karen Yeoman; Wigham (1842) p. 4; RG 6/304

3 DQB; Journal of the Friends' Historical Society 5 1908:204

4 JFHS 5 1908:204

5 Wigham (1842), p. 83; Strath Maxwell

6 Wigham (1842), p. 83; DQB


8 DQB; Susanna Corder, ed. (1855) Life of Elizabeth Fry: compiled from her journal, p295

9 Annual Monitor O.S. 16:34, Wigham (1842); Strath Maxwell; information from Karen Yeoman; her son's death certificate in 1862 spells her name "Dunwiddie".

10 RG 6/1388; DQB & Coombes (op. cit.) both say she was the daughter of John and Jane Donwiddy, but these are secondary sources, so I stick with RG 6/1388.


John Dunwode was born about 1708.1

He married [P6] Bette ____ before 1748, in which year he lived in Afrisholm. Their only known child was [P4] Bette.2

John "Donwodey" or "Dinwoodie", yeoman, of Scotby, died on the 17th January 1796, the event being registered by Scotby monthly meeting.3

His body was buried at Scotby on 19 January 1796.4


1–2 TNA: RG 6/1388

3 RG 6/383, /1388

4 RG 6/383, /493

P6. BETTE DUNWODE born ____

Bette ____ married [P5] John Dunwode before 1748, at which date she lived in Afrisholm. Their only known child was [P4] Bette.1

She died in April that year, in the catchment area of Scotby preparative meeting.2



1–2 TNA: RG 6/1388

Suggestions for further research

No further progress can be made until a record of the birth or baptism of [P5] John Dunwode is found, or a will linking him to either or both of his parents. His marriage would reveal his wife's maiden name, enabling research on her line too.

It doesn't help that the spelling of the surname is so variable.


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This page was last revised on 2023-10-23.


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