107 year old spinster leaves £7million in will 012

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By Alexander Lawrie – Deadline press and picture agency

Note: with pics

A POPULAR 107 year-old spinster has stunned friends, family and employees – by leaving over £7 million in her will. Louise Jane Robertson passed away in May this year, and her recently published estate has revealed the true extent of the sprightly centurion’s wealth. Miss Robertson, who was born in 1899 and lived all her life in the exclusive Pollokshields area of Glasgow, was an outgoing and admired figure in the well-heeled community. Included in her legacy is the family home valued at an estimated £750,000, cash, shares and investments worth £6 million and £40,000 worth of jewellery and furniture. The philanthropic OAP’s bequest also reveals extensive gifts to charities, family and friends. Her live-in housekeeper, Hannah Melrose received £150,000 to fund a new home for herself. Miss Melrose, who is originally from Ireland, is now believed to be living with relatives in Coventry. And another long-standing companion, Connie Lockhart, inherited the Robertson’s six-bedroom family home in St Andrew’s Drive, Pollokshields. Charities and organisations that received donations include the Marie Curie Cancer Care, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the National Trust for Scotland. Miss Robertson’s portfolio contained substantial shareholdings in companies such as banking giants HBOS and Barclays, drinks company Diageo and the pharmaceutical conglomerate, GlaxoSmithKline. Up until her death last year, Miss Robertson, whose life encompassed three centuries, was a lively, sociable pensioner who regularly attended church, her local café, and the area’s drama and bridge clubs. And it has emerged that in the late 1990’s, the strict Christian, who was a valued parishioner at the near-by Pollokshields Church, anonymously donated £40,000 to the church to replace a stain glass window. Gardener Robert Duncan, 47, worked for Miss Robertson for almost 30 years. He said: “I’m absolutely staggered to find out how much Miss Robertson was worth. We all knew she was wealthy, but to find out she had over £7 million is certainly an eye-opener. “I’ve worked for her since 1980 and she was nothing but friendly and hospitable to me. She was always asking me in for cups of tea, and the like. “She was a very popular figure in the area and had lots of friends who would visit regularly.  “Unfortunately, most of them have passed away in the last few years. “Until the last couple of years, Miss Robertson was very switched on mentally, and physically she could get about no problem at all.” Miss Robertson’s wealth was inherited from her father John Robertson, an Iron Merchant who ran a large engineering works in Paisley. An only child, Miss Robertson attended the local school for girls, the select Craigholme School. When Miss Robertson attended the school between 1907 and 1915, it was named the Pollokshields Ladies School. The school became Craigholme in 1922. Unsurprisingly, Miss Robertson was the school’s oldest living ex-pupil, and the school’s current Director of Marketing and Foundation, Jude Kerrigan, remembers her fondly. She said: “Miss Robertson was full of character, sharp as a pin and had a wonderful sense of humour.   “During our school’s centenary celebration, Miss Robertson provided great insight into the school during her era. “She later donated one of her treasured childhood dolls to the school. One of our parents made a small bespoke Craigholme uniform to fit it and when we showed Miss Robertson she was absolutely tickled pink.  “She really had a wonderful smile and bright shiny eyes. She lived to a ripe old age, but you would never have guessed her years. “Towards the end of her life she became hard of hearing and had a loud voice that belied her stature and age. “She was so well thought of at the school that she was invited to raise the school flag at our centenary celebrations in 1994.” A talented piano player, Miss Robertson toured Europe singing with the Glasgow Bach Choir during the 1930’s and 1940’s, and also took part in many stage productions with a Glasgow drama group. During her lifetime, Miss Robertson was also an office bearer for Zonta International, a charitable organization dedicated to the advancement of women. Founded in 1919, Zonta International is a global organization of executives and professionals working to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. Since her 100th birthday, friends and family of Miss Robertson held a celebratory meal every year at various local hotels to commemorate her birth. And even into her 100’s, Miss Robertson was a regular customer at the famous Moyra Jane’s Brasserie, where the television advert for Scottish Blend teabags was filmed. Staff at the renowned café remember a sociable and popular patron. Waitress Karen Robertson said: “I remember Miss Robertson very well. I’m amazed at the amount of money she has left.  “There are a few wealthy older people who drop in here for a coffee, but I never imagined she had that kind of wealth. “She stopped coming in about a couple of years ago, but before that she and her friends would be in twice a week for a coffee and a blether. “She always liked to sit at her regular corner-table next to the door, so she could see everything that was going on. “All the regulars in here used to stop and chat to her, she was a very popular and well-liked customer. She was very sociable.” The impressive total of £7,210,633.57 meant that Miss Robertson’s estate paid over £2.4 million in inheritance tax. Miss Robertson passed away on May 4, 2007.  ENDS   

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