Margery Jackson – the Miser by Dawn Hurton
History is littered with stories of families feuding over family fortunes. Margery Jackson’s strict, orphaned upbringing and the 16-year battle for her inheritance created in her a fear of being penniless and a mistrust of bankers and lawyers.
Once she had retrieved what was rightfully hers, she hoarded every gold coin that came her way, keeping the sovereigns and half sovereigns at home in a great metal trunk. Spending little on her household vittles and caring even less for her reputation, she stalked Carlisle’s streets in ragged garments, leading her dog on a length of twine. Even her servants abandoned her – with the famous exception of the long suffering Croglin Watty.
When Margery died it took eight hours to count her cash and she was worth nearly £4 million in today’s money.
Nowadays the details of Margery’s story can be found in letters held by Cumbria Archive Service, in the London court records and, in her clothes, and household goods preserved at Tullie House.
About the artist
Dawn Hurton is an artist who specialises in making story boxes and kinetic sculptures celebrating the lives of interesting and unique individuals who lived in the region around Penrith Beacon. Her series of sculptures of historical figures were displayed around Penrith during the summer of 2018 in an exhibition co-funded by Arts Council England, Penrith BID and Penrith Town Council. Dawn is currently reworking the characters to create a permanent collection.