Jane Lewson

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Jane Lewson

Jane Lewson (née Vaughan) (1700–1816), commonly known as Lady Lewson, was an eccentric centenarian. She was in born in 1700 in Strand, London. Early in life she married a wealthy man, who died when she was 26, leaving her with one daughter. When her daughter married she spent the rest of her years as an eccentric widow, living in Coldbath Square and rarely leaving her home despite her considerable wealth. She became well known during her era for the fact that until her death at the age of 116 she continued to wear the fashions of the reign of George I, and hence she became known as Lady Lewson because of her fashion style.[1] She was known for her extreme superstition and fear of getting a cold, which led her to only use one teacup, she smeared herself with pigs fat instead of washing and she would never have her windows washed in case they were broken and let in germs. By the time of her death, it was said they had become so grimy they no longer let in light.[2]

It is speculated that she was probably one of several people who furnished Charles Dickens with the model for his eccentric spinster Miss Havisham in the novel Great Expectations.[3]


  1. ^ Scott, Sir Walter. The Edinburgh Annual Register, Volume 9. John Ballantyne and Company. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Leyland, Simon. A Curious Guide to London. Random House. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Oddballs and Eccentrics, by Karl Shaw, Castle Books, 2004