Jane Green Fea and William Spence

Jane Green Fea (b. 31st March 1797) was a daughter of Thomas Fea and Jane Green.

She married William Spence (b. 1782) on 13th April 1815, at Lerwick. William was the son of Gilbert Spence. William's earlier life as a surgeon in the British Army and also family is covered in part of a paper by Graham Simpson, a descendent of William Spence. He retired apparently to Lerwick rather than the Spence family home in Unst, Shetland.

William and Jane had twelve children:

Grant's Zetland history is replete with the genealogy of the Spence family indicating that it was high on the list of landed Scottish families and in the late 1700's the Spence family was named the fourth in terms of size of landholding on Unst. Grant comments about Dr.William Spence in Lerwick, "that Dr. Spence's Park was where the Anderson High School now stands. The house of Greenfield was built in 1822. Dr. Spence was a member of the Parochial Board and attended its inaugural meeting on 3rd Dec. 1845." He was clearly someone of standing in the community.

William died on 19th July 1849, in Lerwick, Shetland. Jane died 18 May 1865 at age 68.

The paper referred to above also mentions his will covering his estate on death.

William and Jane's gravestone reads as follows:

In the Memory of William Spence Esq. of Greenfield, Staff Surgeon in the British Army who died 19th July 1849 aged 67.

Also his mother, Janet Hay who died October 30th 1834,aged 85 and the following of his children.

Thos Fea 22nd Nov.1848 aged 20.

Margaret, Edward, William, Ann and Elizabeth who died in infancy and Elizabeth T. Paterson his grandchild 12 May, 1849, aged 6 months.

The five infant deaths are testimony to the high incidence of mortality in children at that period when bacteria were unknown and hygiene was primitive.