Notice: Book spoilers!
- "I have yet to meet the man who could better me."
- —Agatha to Elizabeth Warleggan
Agatha Mary Poldark (1697 - 1795) was the great-aunt of Francis Poldark, Verity Poldark and Ross Poldark. She had extensive knowledge of the Poldark family history and claimed to have witnessed six generations of her family, starting with her own grandparents.
Agatha was born in 1697, the eldest child of Charles Vivian Raffe Poldarque and Anna Maria Trenwith. She had three younger siblings, Claude Poldark, and Mary Ellen Poldark and Robert Poldark who died young. Through Claude Henry, she had a niece and two nephews, Maria, Charles and Joshua Poldark.
Agatha was very close to a few of her great-nieces and great-nephews. She was a spinster and probably served as housekeeper for some time until Verity came of age. She had a lack of contemporary family members as opposed to potential status as a widow.
Agatha frequently acted as though she was deaf, and while she may be hard of hearing, she certainly heard better than she let on. She was known for speaking her mind and guarded many family secrets.
Return of Ross
In September 1783, Agatha was celebrating the engagement of her great-nephew Francis to Elizabeth when Ross returned home. He had fought in the Revolutionary War and was presumed long dead, but Ross and Elizabeth were in love.
Agatha attended Francis and Elizabeth's wedding and held a tarot card reading for the reception. Her reading was vaguely and purposely connected it to Ross and Francis. She thought dark would be set against the fair, one would rise and the other would fall because everything was fair in love and war. Her reading worried Charles because he knew Francis had lost confidence.
Agatha became very close to Elizabeth Warleggan, the wife of her late great-nephew, Francis Poldark. She provided advice and company for her, particularly in times of trouble. However, she was unhappy about her second marriage to George Warleggan. She accepted George's tendency for scheming but was unafraid of standing up to him. She supported her great-great nephew's abundance of opposing George and became very close to him.
She adored Verity and was joyed when she would pop by Trenwith. She knew the true father of Valentine Warleggan, something which she would hint at. She was treated poorly by George, who was unhappy by her presence and outspoken ways. She was a staunch protector of her family and was hurt when Ross would no longer come to see her at Trenwith, even saying he was no longer part of their family anymore.
However, she knew that he and George were far from friends and was delighted when her great-great nephew informed her that Ross missed her, and she had the same sentiment. She did not know that Ross had made a deal with George that he would stay out of his life provided that George treated her and Geoffrey Charles well.
She showed defiance against the idea that the Warleggan family name should replace the Poldark name at Trenwith. She hoped that her great-great nephew would put Trenwith back to the way she thought it should be, even supporting him when he wouldn't to change his name to Warleggan and stop seeing his extended family, telling him "quite right"!
Agatha continued to be treated poorly by George and they both enjoyed annoying each other with snarky comments . She stayed at Trenwith when her family went to stay at Warleggan House, where she was poorly cared for in her cold house. Ross went by to see her, where he demanded the carers should care for her better.
When George and Elizabeth came home, Agatha and George had not changed. Agatha was about to celebrate her birthday, and was very excited about having a party. However, when George told Agatha, who was preparing for her party, that she wouldn't have one, Agatha was devastated. She wanted to hurt George in the way she was, and told him that Valentine was not his child. George was now upset as she was, but in shock and walked away.
The stress of their argument deeply affected Agatha, who felt sudden pain. When Elizabeth found her, she kept apologising for telling George. Elizabeth wasn't certain what she meant, and Agatha continued to experience pain and became weaker and frailer. While Elizabeth asked her what she meant, Agatha passed away in her chair, holding Elizabeth's hand.
Elizabeth was upset by her death, while George, who was in quiet shock from what Agatha had told him, said nothing. The news of her death upset her family in Nampara, with Ross calling Agatha his "beloved aunt", and was saddened that she had no Poldark family at her side when she died.
George had arranged a secret funeral with the usual lack of care, and when Ross found out about the poorly arranged funeral, he demanded that he be allowed to bury her, giving her the loving burial she deserved, but without a service. They later arranged a proper service and burial for her a few years later, attended by family and many old friends (and George).