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Mrs. Sparsit is a widow who has fallen on hard times. She is retained in Mr. Bounderby's service until her snooping gets her fired.
As for Mr. Sparsit's death, we are told the following;
Thus, when he died, at twenty-four (the scene of his decease, Calais, and the cause, brandy), he did not leave his widow, from whom he had been separated soon after the honeymoon, in affluent circumstances.