Mary Alcock

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Mary Alcock

19th Century

A first-rate business woman, the rather eccentric Mary Alcock was the daughter of a shoemaker. When he died and she inherited his property, she set up a drapery business with Miss Jean Easson.

She made so much money – £10,000 within 20 years, worth about £600,000 in today’s terms – that she was “fear’d the Lord would turn against her”. So she retired and turned her attention to raising lawsuits against all who had offended her: she was often to be seen hobbling round the courts with armfuls of legal papers.

Later in life, she joined the Mormons and, despite saying she would make the pilgrimage to Utah, she did not fulfil that dream.

Her plaque is on the shop front at Robertson’s, Barrack Street.

19th Century sketch of shops on Barrack Street. Copyright Dundee Local Studies Library