Emily Jackson was born in Darlington in around 1867. She is listed in the 1871 census, aged 3 years, together with her parents William Askew Jackson and Elizabeth Jackson, her two older brothers Albert and William, and her younger sister Kate. They lived at the Queen’s Head in Tubwell Row, Darlington, where her father was the innkeeper.
By the time of the 1881 census the family were living at 39 Victoria Road but Emily is incorrectly recorded as being called Elizabeth, aged 14, a scholar and the daughter of WAJ and Elizabeth. By 1891 the family had moved again, this time to 5 Arden Street. Advertisements in the Northern Echo newspaper show that this was one of a number of houses that her mother let to tenants.
By 1896 when the first of her letters to Albert was written, Emily was in her late 20’s. Both of her brothers had moved away and Kate had died in early childhood leaving her with just her parents in the house in Victoria Road. Her father was a bankrupt, violent drunk and her mother’s health was failing. Increasingly the management of the family finances fell to Emily. There were constant worries about juggling mortgage payments on properties that the family rented and desperation in trying to let rooms to lodgers to increase their income.
Emily’s later life
Following the death of her mother in 1903 Emily left Darlington to start a new life in Cambridgeshire. By the time of the 1911 census she was living at Far View Villa in Landbeach where she was housekeeper to an elderly lady, Elizabeth Money.
Emily died on 28 September 1939, at which time she was living at 47 Station Road, Ely. She left almost all of her possessions to her friend Ada Violet Hawkes, in whose house she had lived for her last few years of her life.
Emily Jane Jackson was buried in Ely Cemetery on 2nd October 1939 (grave number 797 in section F). Her grave is marked with a simple headstone which is unfortunately now in a poor condition. The inscription on the headstone is difficult to read but, with the eye of faith, it is just possible to make out the words “In loving remembrance of Emily Jane Jackson, died 28th September 1938, aged 70 years, gone but not forgotten”, which seems rather appropriate for our tale.
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