Gerontology Wiki
Lucy Jane Askew
Lucy Askew
Birth: 8 September 1883
Loughton, Essex, England
Death: 9 December 1997
Loughton, Essex, England
Age: 114 years, 92 days
Country: United Kingdom UK

Lucy Jane Askew (8 September 1883 – 9 December 1997) was a British supercentenarian who was the oldest living person in Europe at the time of her death. She was also the world's last surviving person born in 1883 whose age has been validated by the Gerontology Research Group.


Early Life

Askew was born on 8 September 1883 in Loughton, Essex, England. She was one of six children born to Arthur and Susan Askew, who were prosperous landowners. Three of her siblings lived to be centenarians.

After leaving school, Askew joined the family haulage and transport firm where she kept the books. She never married. She was a devout Christian and at one time she ran a bible class for young ladies. In the 1930s, she took in an unmarried lodger who allowed his girlfriend to stay the night; Askew was disgusted and threw him out.

Later Life

Askew loved to exercise and remained fit throughout her life. She enjoyed walking to church and even at the age of 80 would refuse lifts. Her family described her as a "God-fearing teetotaller, self reliant, never bored, and unafraid of dying."

Askew lived alone until the age of 106, when she moved into a nursing home in Loughton, Essex. At the age of 108, she survived a knee operation under general anaesthetic. She continued to knit blankets until the age of 112, and remained in good health until shortly before her death on 9 December 1997 at the age of 114 years, 92 days.

Longevity Records

British Records

Askew was originally thought to have become the oldest living person in the United Kingdom following the death of 113 year-old Northern Irish woman Annie Scott on 21 April 1996. However, subsequent research has found that she actually assumed the title following the death of 112 year-old Rachel Wieselberg on 6 June 1996. Following Wieselberg's death, Askew also became the last surviving British person born in 1883.

At the time of her death, Askew was the third-oldest British person ever recorded, after Charlotte Hughes and Anna Eliza Williams. As of 2020, Askew ranks as the sixth-oldest British person ever.

International Records

Askew became the world's last surviving documented person born in 1883 following the death of 114 year-old Maria del Carmen Lopez on 3 July 1997. However, she was not last surviving person born before 1884, as there were several living people born in earlier years at the time.

Askew became the oldest living person in Europe following the death of 122 year-old Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment on 4 August 1997. However, she was not the oldest living European-born person, as Danish-born American Christian Mortensen was more than a year older.

Following Askew's death on 9 December 1997, fellow Brit Annie Jennings became the oldest living person in Europe.



Europe's Oldest Living Person Titleholders (VE)

Willem van Renterghem • Marie d'Evergroote • Lavina Hansdatter • Kirsti Skagen • Geert Adriaans Boomgaard • Margaret Ann Neve • Karen BrodbaekSophia Wijnberg • Agnete Olsdatter • Honor Coleman • Sophie Lacomte • Maria Vleminckx • Johanna Berns • Matthias Dodenhoff • Sarah Gardiner • Elisabeth Jensen • Britta Njeldsdatter • Frederick Stabbins • Jane Lister • Martha Truelove • Ann Sharp • Gertrud Kübbeler • Marie Delfairiere • Frances Smith • Katherine Plunket • Eliza Roff • Maria Montemurro • Ellen Palmer • Rachel MacArthur • Rachel Swain • Wilhelmine Olschewski • Mary Davey • Francesco Cubadda • Thomas Pope • John Francklow • Rebecca Lees • Sarah Fitt • Johanna Johansson • Elizabeth Sellwood • Petronella Braams • Matilda Coppins • Elizabeth Whitehead • Karl Glockner • Sarah Humphrey • Maria Johansson • Michelina Macchia • Caroline Beale • Josephine Marchal • Luise Rissmann • Christina Karnebeek-Backs • Marie Olsen • Willem Kostering • Ella Ille Rentel • Lovisa Svensson • Ellen Dart • Elizabeth Kensley • Auguste Pahl • Hannah Smith • John Mosley Turner • Marie Bernatkova • Ada Roe • Josefa Salas Mateo • Alice Stevenson • Frederick Butterfield • Rose Heeley • Marie-Virginie Duhem • Katharina Braun • Frederique Noel • Florence Pannell • Augustine Tessier • Jeanetta Thomas • Alice Brewster • Petronella Ribbens-Verstallen • Anna Eliza Williams • Jeanne Calment • Lucy Askew • Annie Jennings • Eva Morris • Marie Bremont • Amy Hulmes • Germaine Haye • Teresa Fumarola • Joan Riudavets-Moll • Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper • Virginia Dighero-Zolezzi • Camille Loiseau • Maria de Jesus • Manuela Fernandez-Fojaco • Lucia Lauria • Florrie Baldwin • Venere Pizzinato-Papo • Marcelle Narbonne • Marie-Therese Bardet • Maria Redaelli • Emma Morano • Ana Vela Rubio • Giuseppina Projetto • Maria Giuseppa Robucci • Lucile Randon •

United Kingdom's Oldest Living Person Titleholders (VE)

Frederick Stabbins • Jane ListerMartha Truelove • Ann Sharp • Jane Raby • Frances Smith • William Walker • Ann Russell • Eliza Roff • Ellen Palmer • Rachel MacArthur • Rachel SwainMary Davey • Thomas Pope • John Francklow • Rebecca Lees • Sarah Fitt • Elizabeth Sellwood • Matilda Coppins • Elizabeth Whitehead • Emma Rooke • Margaret Lunn • Sarah Humphrey • Caroline BealeFanny Hopkins • Elizabeth Etheridge • Sophia Wellstead • Rhoda Harris • Emma Weeks • Edith Grellier • Mary WorthingtonJane Stoneman • Ellen Dart • Elizabeth Kensley • Hannah SmithJohn Mosley TurnerAda Roe • Alice StevensonElizabeth WatkinsFrederick Butterfield • Rose Heeley • Agnes Helyar • James Harrow • Sarah Morgan • Lilias WilliamsFlorence PannellJeanetta ThomasAlice Brewster • Anna Eliza Williams • Kate Begbie • Charlotte Hughes • Daisy Adams • Rebecca Hewison • Annie Scott • Rachel Wieselberg • Lucy Askew • Annie Jennings • Eva Morris • Amy Hulmes • Nellie Bradley • Gladys Hawley • Lucy d'Abreu • Judy Ingamells • Emmeline BriceAnnie Knight • Ada Mason • Florrie Baldwin • Eunice BowmanAnnie Turnbull • Elsie SteeleMargaret Fish • Violet Wood • Grace A Jones • Ethel Lang • Gladys Hooper • Bessie CammOlive BoarGrace C JonesGwen PayneHilda ClulowBob WeightonJoan HocquardLilian PriestGertrude KingstonMollie WalkerEthel Caterham