A SPINSTER has left more than £1 million in her will to charity after quietly amassing an estate worth £1.6m by playing the stock market.
Friends of Gillian Campbell, who died last November at the age of 78, were stunned to discover her fortune and believe she used money inherited from her mother and sister to invest.
She never married or had any children but was known for her love of animals and travel. Friends said she was a keen bird watcher and kept cats.
A series of charities are now set to benefit from a windfall including Children 1st, the Scottish SPCA, Marie Curie Cancer Care Scotland, the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland, Shelter Scotland and Foundation Scotland.
Miss Campbell, who became the youngest ever HM Inspector of Schools when she was appointed to the role aged just 30, also left gifts for friends and relatives, but instructed that the bulk of her fortune be split between 11 different charities.
She made much of her money from a large shares and investment portfolio and had a £340,000 flat in the Grange area.
Friend Gillian Donaldson, 70, a retired accountant, said she had always been a kind and generous woman.
She said: “Gillian was a very kind woman with a very good brain.
“She had subscribed to a number of charities and it’s wonderful that they will benefit from her will.
“She was a big animal lover and she would meet up with friends to go walks and go bird watching.
“She had inherited money from her parents and her sister when they died but the size of her estate was still a bit of a surprise.”
Nick Addington, head of philanthropy services at Foundation Scotland, led the tributes to Miss Campbell.
He said: “We are delighted to be able to continue Gillian Campbell’s legacy of support for a wide range of local charities and communities groups by making grants from the fund she established with us.”
Cancer Research, the British Red Cross in Scotland, the RNLI, Action Aid and Mary’s Meals were also beneficiaries.
Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, the founder of Mary’s Meals, said it would go towards supporting some of the poorest communities in the world.
He said: “The legacy gifted by Miss Campbell will go towards supporting the school feeding projects set up by Mary’s Meals in some of the world’s poorest communities, where hunger and poverty prevent children from gaining an education.
“Leaving a legacy is a wonderful way of helping the work of Mary’s Meals and we are very grateful to all the supporters who have remembered hungry children in their wills.”
Miss Campbell was born in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, in 1934 to Donald and Jeanie Campbell who were both teachers.
After graduating from Glasgow University she taught English at her old school, Hamilton Academy, before taking up her role as an inspector which required her to travel around the country.
She loved travelling and in later life enjoyed a camping holiday in Canada’s Rocky Mountains as well as trips to Alaska, North Africa, Costa Rica and China.
A spokeswoman from Marie Curie Cancer Care said the money would help provide invaluable support to people in the Capital hospice.
She said: “We’re hugely grateful for the very generous bequest Miss Campbell has left the Marie Curie Hospice, Edinburgh.
“This substantial donation will help us to continue to provide free end-of-life care and support to local people and their families.”
Last year, we told how spinster Emily Irving left the bulk of a £3m fortune to charities. The 90-year-old from Merchiston never worked but devoted her life to caring for others.