Famous Misers in History

Silas Ou, Reporter

To start off a miser is a person who EXCESSIVELY hoards money and never spends it. Ex: Scrooge, Scrooge McDuck etc.  There are many misers in this world. But some misers put them to shame. They never spent the money and it just rotted in the ground. But these four British and Swedish misers took it to the extreme. Like eating rotten food, nearly starving themselves to death, and wearing rags for their whole lives. Somehow, despite the first three living such a horrible lifestyle in such an unhealthy environment, they all lived past the age of 74. This is amazing because the average Englishmen back then(during the early 1700s) lived to around forty according to most estimates.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • To start off our list we have John Elwes. A British parliament member, he inherited 33 million pounds (in today's money) yet never ever in his adult life ate more than a boiled egg a day. He rode around London on an old horse. His mom was also a miser. Despite inheriting 13 million pounds (in today's money too) she starved to death. But back to John. He started going to sleep at sundown so he wouldn't need to buy candles. Soon he started dressing in rags and people gave him pennies because they thought he was a beggar. And that is only the tip of the iceberg. Some say he ate rotten food and lived in vacant houses when his tenants weren't there. Despite his frugality, he gave large sums to his friends, once giving 7,000 pounds to one of his friends, (about a million pounds today) a huge sum at the time. He lived to the age of 75.

  • This man is (also British) Daniel Dancer. Here he is wearing a 14-year-old hat and probably the one new shirt he bought every YEAR. He bathed once every two weeks near the pond. He made his sister join him in his miser ways by making her cook decomposed (free) animal carcasses from the wild (which sustained them for two weeks via meat pie). He ate 2 dumplings a day and 1 1/4 pounds of rotten meat a day. She died when he didn't want to call a doctor when she was sick. Later he killed his dog to avoid being sued by his neighbor. He wore rags and went to sleep early so he didn't need to buy candles. And when someone convinced him to buy an ONE shilling hat he sold it back for a profit. Somehow, through this lifestyle, he lived to the age of 78. WOW!

  • Another English man, Jemmy Wood supposedly inspired the miser Ebeneezer Scrooge. But he put him to shame. Jemmy Woods was the richest commoner in England with a value of 900,000 pounds. Not a lot? Back in those days, the average farmer earned 16-30 pounds a year. He owned the oldest bank in Gloucester and one of the oldest in England. when a traveler was making fun of his rag like clothes Jemmy bet him five pounds that he could withdraw 100,000 pounds at this moment. He did it and the traveler handed over the money. He heated his home by stealing coal that came through the ports of England. People started pranking him by putting heated coins on the ground knowing that Jemmy would pick them up. and get burned. He somehow lived to 80 years old this way.

  • IKEA owner Ingvar Krampad (Swedish) was the head of a 58 billion dollar furniture company and yet bought all his clothes from flea markets, recycling tea bags, pocketing pepper and salt packets. He just passed away this January at the age of 92 (The average life expectancy in Sweden is 85). He also got haircuts in developing countries to get discounts. (Vietnam was his favorite). He also bought holiday items such as Christmas gift wrapping during post-holiday sales. Sorry, grandkids!

Navigate Left
Navigate Right