A SPINSTER who devoted her life to caring for others has left the bulk of a £3 million fortune to charities.
Emily Irving passed away earlier this year aged 90. Born in Georgetown, British Guyana, she moved with her parents to Edinburgh when she was around three years old. She lived in the city for the rest of her life but never raised a family of her own.
Instead, she dedicated herself to helping others and caring for her mother and aunt.
Miss Irving never worked but volunteered with many charities, including helping to look after orphaned babies.
A committed Christian, she regularly attended the Morningside United Reform Church and helped with fundraisers.
Following the death of her father, Henry, a former commissioner of police in southern Nigeria, in 1941, and mother Jessie in 1974, Miss Irving lived in the family home in the Merchiston area.
Tributes have now been paid to her after it emerged the majority of her £2,962,440 estate had been earmarked for good causes.
After leaving a number of small bequests totalling just £15,000 to family and friends, she ordered that the remainder of her wealth should be split between ten charities.
Gordon Cameron, Miss Irving’s lawyer, said: “She was an extraordinary woman. She loved children even though she didn’t have any of her own, and would go out of her way to help people.
“All the charities that she left money to were close to her heart and they will benefit greatly.”
Miss Irving’s estate included more than £257,000 held in bank accounts and a large stocks and shares portfolio worth around £1.3m.
Her Edinburgh home was valued at £1.2m and her personal possessions were valued at £37,000.
She left around £300,000 each to charities such as Life Care Edinburgh, Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society, The Royal United Kingdom Benefit Association and The Thistle Foundation.
Su Millar, chief executive at Life Care Edinburgh, said: “Miss Irving was a long- standing supporter and her donation is fantastic.
“Her legacy will make a huge difference and we are immensely grateful to her.”
A former neighbour of Miss Irving said: “It doesn’t surprise me that she left her money to charities, but I am stunned at the amount. She didn’t have a car and even though she had a large house she never showed any great wealth.”