Jane Anderson

Jane was the wife of an advocate with a small country house in East Lothian. Her will (below) is remarkable for its attention to the details of people and things. She made it in 1860 before her husband's death, when she had no financial wealth to bequeath, but describes in great detail which keepsake should be left to whom and why. It is a tantalising glimpse into a Victorian woman's home and heart.

Lived
-1866
Origin
Inchyra, Perthshire
Father
John Anderson. He has a memorial in St John's graveyard: John Anderson Esq of Inchyra died there 18 Jun 1814, buried Kinnoul churchyard
Mother
Janet Mitchelson, died 18 May 1831. As a widow she resided at 34 Charlotte Square, and died with £3286. (8)
Address
37 Charlotte Square
Wealth at death
£1,500-2,000
Story
She made a will in 1860 before her husband's death filled with keepsakes: 'I wish in the event of my Death that all my Trinkets, lace, shawls, I have not otherwise bequeathed , should be given to my dearest daughter Jeannette. Also any dresses she may like to have such as velvet ones. All my other dresses and cloaks I wish my maid Haldane to have. I bequeath to my sister Mrs Pitman my black lace scarf and the Diamond Ring with my aunt Mrs James Anderson's hair in it. To Annie Pitman the Malakite Brooch which belonged to Jeannette Pitman, to my Grand Daughter Amelia Wilson the stair-bracelet of her mother's hair with the diamond clasp, to my Daughter Emma the Bracelet and Brooch of [----] Also the bracelet and Locket of Malakite, my hair and my beloved husbands to be put into the locket, also my Diamond Hoop Ring 2 pearl Hoops, my Brussels lace Scarf. To my Grand Daughter Mary Isabella the Gold Bracelet which belonged to my own dearest Isabella given to her by Lord Anderson, my diamond pin and also onix [sic] one to be give to my beloved husband in hopes he will wear them in memory of me - any other pins or anything he can wear to be given to my dear John to be worn by him in memory of me. To my dear son George my Topaz Ring set in pearl and my large turquoise give to me by my dearest Jeannette both to be worn by him in memory of me. To my maid Haldane £20.' Jane also seems to have made the list of paintings which appears in her husband's will: 'Madonna and Child by Fiarin. St John by Genevei purchased by me at Parina. The Monalisa said to be by Leonardo da Vinci probably a copy by Laini or Marco Ugeoni purchased in Rome by Alexander. The portrait of a lady by Georgeone. The St Cecilia by Domenichino. The Monchorin Landscape presented to me by Mrs Macdoald Home. more than one Bonificios. A landscape by Hobbina. View of Florence by Andrew Wilson. Large copy of Peronisis Views. The small Vangrigen (?) thought by O'Neil to be an early Cuyp. The sea piece by ?Stork.
Chapel connection
1815 (wedding) (4)
Married on
18 Dec 1815
Spouse
Alexander Wood
Children
Janet (1817), George (1818), John (1819), Isabella (1820), Alexander (1821)

Sources

  1. Registers of Charlotte Chapel (NAS CH12/3)
  2. Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1818
  3. Gazetteer of the British Isles (Edinburgh: Bartholomew and son, 1966)
  4. Caledonian Mercury
  5. John F. Mitchell, Edinburgh Monumental Inscriptions pre 1855, volume 3: St John's Episopal Churchyard (The Scottish Genealogy Society, Edinburgh 2003)
  6. Inventory NAS SC70/1/132/865
  7. Jane Anderson's Will, National Archives of Scotland SC70/4/107/437
  8. Janet Mitchelson's Will, National Archives of Scotland SC70/1/74/55

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