Agnes Spencer

Agnes Spencer

Agnes Spencer Whitfield was born in the village of Marton, now a part of Middlesbrough, in 1860.  In 1892 she married Thomas Spencer, a cashier from the Leeds wholesale company I.J Dewhirst.  In 1894 he joined forces with Michael Marks to form Marks & Spencer and invested £300 in return for a half-share in the business. In 1903, Marks & Spencer became a limited company and Spencer’s original £300 investment had grown to a value of £15,000.  After his death  in 1905 Agnes continued her involvement in the company’s charitable works.  In 1957 she established the Agnes Spencer Charitable Trust which has supported charitable causes within the local area ever since. She died in 1959 at the age of 98 and is buried in the graveyard of St Cuthbert’s Parish Church in Marton.