Thomas Spencer (businessman)
|Died||25 July 1905 (aged 53)|
|Occupation||Retail businessman and company co-founder|
|Known for||Co-founder of retail company, Marks & Spencer|
Agnes Spencer Whitfield
Marks & Spencer
Michael Marks met Spencer when he was loaned money by Dewhirst to run his stalls in Leeds. In 1894, when Marks had opened a permanent store in Leeds market he invited Spencer to become a partner in what became Marks & Spencer. Spencer decided that the £300 (£33,554 in 2020) required for a half-share in the business would be a good investment.
The running of the business was split between Spencer, who managed the office and warehouse, and Marks, who continued to run the market stalls. Spencer had developed some important contacts while working for Isaac Dewhirst and these allowed him to get the best prices for goods by dealing directly with the manufacturers.
Spencer met and married Agnes Spencer Whitfield at St Saviour, Cross Green, Leeds in 1892. Whitfield was born in the village of Marton, now a part of Middlesbrough. Together they had a son named Thomas Spencer Jr.
Spencer died in July 1905, in Whittington, Staffordshire. His wife continued to fund charitable work such as the Church of St Agnes in Easterside, Middlesbrough, after his death, and died in 1959, now buried in the graveyard of St Cuthbert's Parish Church in Marton.
- Briggs, Asa (1984). Marks & Spencer 1884-1984 A Centenary History. London: Octopus Books. ISBN 0-906320-05-4.
- "Beginnings". Marks and Spencer Company Archive. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
- "Dewhirst's and Marks & Spencer". Open Plaques. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
- "Marks and Spencer Plc Corporate Records". Archives Hub. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
- "M&S is a retail giant - but what is its historical Marton link?". Teesside Live. 13 June 2017.