Born 24th May 1836 - Died 31st March 1915



A daughter of Archdeacon Philip Jacob, she was born on 24th May 1836, and died on 31st March 1915. After her father died, she and her sister Gertrude lived in the Cathedral Precincts of Winchester. After their brother Edgar was made Bishop of Newcasle in 1896 they went to live with him. Edith had become ill early in 1868 with 'congestion of the spine', and became bed-ridden. She wrote 'Thoughts on Invalid Life', which was sympathetically reviewed by her friend Charlotte Yonge. She founded the 'Society of Watchers and Workers', of which she was for many years the 'Warden Sister' and later in life until her death the 'Mother Warden'. She was buried beneath the shadow of the Cathedral Churh of St Albans, where her brother Bishop Egar Jacob was also buried.



Edith Sophia Jacob, born on May 24th 1836, died on Easter Day March 31st 1915, was chiefly known to the public as the founder of "The Society of Watchers and Workers". She became ill in 1868 and realised to her credit the need of an organisation that would enable invalids to take their share in the active as well as the devotional life of the Church. Linked together in "Watchers", each having his own sister or chaplain, some 700 persons carry on, either as watchers or workers, various good works in each Diocese By means of personal introduction, sympathetic intercourse or natural helpfulness between members becomes possible, by which the continual stream of intercession is directed and fused into one coporate vital whole.

Though very frail in body few lives have been as rich in fruitfulness as was Miss Jacob's. She had an arresting personality, endowed with a deep spirituality, and her conversation flavoured by a shrewd spice of humour, was often an inspiration to many. "The Gate of Paradise", though written fifty years ago,still holds its own as an allegory of regular power, with a note in it of factuality which is very remarkable.

Taken from a Manuscript among family papers (Jacob MSS)


A drawing done by Edith




Possibly Edith at the piano



Jacob MSS (Pedigrees, Correspondence)
TC & EC Jack, The Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal, The Anne of Exeter Volume, London 1907.
The Hampshire Observer, Saturday March 27th 1920.


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