No Brotherly Love

No Brotherly Love for the Carlisle Miser 

As these letters illustrate Margery Jackson's brother did not have much brotherly love for his sister.

The pair had long had a strained relationship due to a disputed inheritance but in this first letter Margery appeared to be holding out an olive branch of friendship to her elder brother. His sharp, uncaring reply had severe consequences as the following year, in January 1774, Margery launched a legal action against her brother, claiming from him half of the unpaid legacies from the estates of their parents. In 1775 Chancery decreed William had not administered the estates correctly and that his sister was entitled to more than she had received. The court case took its toll though and before the matter could be settled, William died in 1776 and as his will completely excluded Margery, she continued to fight on in court. Eventually successful, Margery rode back into Carlisle in a fine carriage in 1791 to claim her family home. Her insular existence, reputation for a jaundiced view of life, her meanness with money and her appearance which was more akin to a beggar of the time than a lady of money, lead to her being remembered as the Carlisle Miser. She died in 1812, leaving over £ 50,000 (a considerable sum of money in today's terms) in property and investments.

If you want to learn more about Margery Jackson, read Margery Jackson 1722-1812: The Life and Times of a Carlisle Miser by H R Hallaway (1991) or a small pamphlet Memoir of Margery Jackson, the Carlisle Mser and Misanthrope by Frances Blair (1848)

Letter from Margery Jackson to her brother Rev William Nicholson Jackson:

Dear Brother

As I had the pleasure and great satisfaction of hearing by Mr Milburn's servant ………………. that you were well …………………. I am desirous of seeing you which I have long wished for as the only person in this world I hold dear to me, I being now at Nunnery upon a visit to Cousin Aglionby ……….. having this opportunity of writing to you …………. I would not omit to beg to know when I may hope for the happiness of seeing you for I cannot think of leaving Cumberland without seeing a brother I hold near me as even that of a parent ………….. therefore beg you will let me know when and where I may enjoy so real a satisfaction such a meeting will afford me …………… I remain your most affectionate sister
.M Jackson

Nunnery June the 24th 1773

Letter from Rev William Nicholson Jackson to his sister Margery

Croglin Hall June 27th 1773

Dear Sister

I am very glad that I have the pleasure of your Letter to let me know you are alive, which for many years was a mystery to me ……….. Madam your great pride and forgetfulness of an affectionate Brother has caused in me a total disregard to you and I do not want any correspondence (with) you. My house at Carlisle shall not hold you and me after so barbarous treatment. Madam you know how to direct to me but I could not tell how to direct to (a) flying Comet.

I am Dear Sister
Your Brother
W N Jackson