Jul 17, 2007


Daniel Dancer is the world’s most miserly man as per records. In fact he has attained post-humus fame for his legendary miserliness. His entire life was devoted for miserly pursuits. He has been tagged as the King of Misers as his exploits would put any miser to a blue shame.

Dancer was the son of a miser and the grandson of another. On their death he inherited a tract of land in northern London, which provided him with a considerable annual income. He took meals just once in a day, which also, was just a meager scrap of meat and a single cold dumpling.

Once he found a dead sheep on a field, despite the repelling odor from the decomposing body, Dancer took it home to lock it up in his trunk.

Lady Tempest was a kindly lady; she sent him a gift of a trout cooked in claret. The weather was cold and the trout arrived frozen, to save requirements for heating it, Dancer sat over the fish until it was thawed enough to be eaten.

Dancer’s lifestyle was sleeping in a sack, his clothes consisted largely of rags and bundle of straws. On one of his rare visits to London, he was mistook for a beggar and tossed a halfpenny. Dancer pocketed it, “Every little helps,” he commented.

However he did have a guilty extravagance, once a year he brought a second hand shirt, which he would then wear until it perished to pieces.

His brotherly ‘love’ was another quality in him. In 1766, his sister, who worked as a housekeeper fell ill. He refused to call a doctor, “Why should I waste my money in wickedly endeavoring to counteract the will of Providence? If the old girl’s time is come…she may as well die now as at any future period.”

Lady Tempest, to whom she intended to leave her forune, looked after Miss Dancer. However, when Miss Dancer died, it was learnt she had not prescribed a Will. Dancer acquired two-thirds of the estimate by claiming 30 years back rent for her accommodation and food.

Dancer delighted in hiding his money, he hid it under piles of farmyard manure. In fact he barricaded himself in his house, fearing from robbers.

Finally, Dancer died in 1794. The kindly Lady Tempest inherited his estate. Unfortunately, as she nursed Dancer on his deathbed, she took ill as well. Within four months she too was dead.

No comments: