My Family History

Trace your ancestors and then immortalise them!

                                                   The Horners

An occupational surname coming from the word horn itself and means one who makes or blows horns. It can also mean one who makes spoons, combs etc from cow horns.
“Horner, Popham, Wyndham and Thynne,
When the monks went out, they came in”

After the dissolution of the monasteries, these four families were granted Abbey lands. Legend has it that a John Horner was steward to the last Abbot of Glastonbury. The monks sent him to London with the title deeds of their estates concealed in a pie. Hunger overtook him and he started to eat the pie, discovering the deeds inside. He managed to get them vested in himself and so the plum of the nursery rhyme is his acquistion of these estates. Some accounts have Thomas, not John,as the Horner concerned. So is Little Jack Horner an ancestor of ours? It would be nice to think so.

A Wakefield saying goes:
“Horner, Horner,
There’s one in every corner”

Our Horners were indeed from the Wakefield area in Yorkshire, with our main branch of the Horners eventually moving to Lancashire. There is a booklet entitled “The Horner Family of Wakefield”, published in 1879, which I have had the good fortune to read and it has extended this section of the family tree considerably. Thanks to Mark, Patrick and Diana Clements for sending me that.

One theory of how Wakefield gained its name is that it was named after the Anglo-Saxon settler who first made his home there–a man named Waca–and that the name derives from Waca’s feld or field. Therefore the first spelling would probably have been Wacanfeld.

The settlement grew up around a little church and preaching cross at the top of the hill, where three lanes met–to be known as Westgate, Kirkgate and Northgate. These had gates which were shut at 8pm each night to prevent stray animals entering. In the year 867 A.D.,York was captured by the Vikings, and the county came under Norse rule. These settlers introduced the three Ridings, and their sub-division into Wapentakes.Wakefield was mainly settled by Danes, and was the centre of the wapentake of Agbrigg.

                                         Westgate Wakefield                                                                 Northgate Wakefield                                                               Kirkgate with Wakefield Cathedral  

 This section was going to start with Joseph Horner of Ardsley,born in 1754. However, thanks to the Horner Family of Wakefield booklet, 1879, compiled from Public Records and Family Archives, we will start around 1550 instead. Quite a change of plan! 

It was then that Thomas Horner was born. He married Jane Foxcroft in Batley on the 15th of June and started an unbroken line of descendents to myself in 1950. The same source also names Thomas’ wife as Elizabeth Foxcroft. However, in the Records of the Transfer of Land and Property, from the Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series, there is a reference to ‘Thomas Horner and Jane his wife’ having ‘4 messuages and a shop in Wakefeild and Pontefractein 1589. So I take Jane to be his wife and Elizabeth as an error in the booklet.

Francis Horner, their son, is our next direct ancestor. We don’t know when he was born, 1573 at the earliest, but we know that he died in 1616 and was buried in the parish churchyard in Wakefield. We don’t know his wife’s name but we do know that he had a son called James Horner who married Jane Smithson at the parish church in Wakefield in the July of 1634.

The dates of birth of James and Jane are not known, but they continue our branch of the family with the birth of James Horner in 1635 in Ardsley and baptised in April at Wakefield parish church. He married Mary Twigg at Ardsley Church in East Ardley, Wakefield on August the 9th 1663. Ardsley is two miles from Wakefield. Their son, James, born in 1665, continues our line.

We don’t know the name of his wife but with his only daughter, Ellen, born in 1692,  it’s a fair assertion that his wife was called Ellen, too, and that they married in 1691. They had three sons. William was born in 1699, John in 1695, and James in 1694. All their children were baptised at Wood Church. It is their eldest son, James, who continues our line.

James married Dorothy some time around 1721 with their son James born in 1722 and christened on September the 23rd at Wood Church. The IGI has this christening date, but with Samuel Horner as the father not James. I have found no leads from this one and must go with the Horner Family book’s James and Dorothy as the parents of our James here. However their other children listed in the H F book, are not born until the 1730s, with James given as the father. Something further to research here. Dorothy, it says, was buried at Wood Church in 1747, and her husband James the following year.
But the H F of W book is clear about James being the son of James and Dorothy and it is he who continues our line.


From now on the records are very definite. James Horner married Mary Rayner on the 21st of August, 1745 at Woodchurch. She was born in 1726. This marriage is recorded by both the H F of W book and by the IGI (they refer to Woodchurch as Woodkirk)
This was the year that Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite army marched from Scotland towards London but turned back at Derby. The Horner Family of Wakefield books relates that James and his neighbours hid and even buried valuables at the time. James was an active anti-Jacobite, as well as one of a congregation of independent dissenters who worshipped at Morley.

Hannah Horner was their first born in 1745 at Ardsley and christened on the 18th of December at the Morley Congregational Church. Mary Horner is recorded as being christened on September the 1st, 1751 at the church above. She married George Craven. There is no christening date for Elizabeth but she married Jeremiah Stott of Wakefield in 1788 at Wakefield. James Horner was born in Ardsley in 1765 and married Mary Wood of Harewood. He died in 1814.
Their eldest son was Joseph Horner who was born in Ardsley and christened on
the 30th of December 1753 at Old Chapel Independent, MorleyThis record is from the IGI. The H F of W book just has him born in 1754 (well he nearly was!)
He was to have started our line (see the beginning of this section) but instead he continues the line started by Thomas Horner.

                                                  Joseph Horner 1753-1814  and Mary Blackburn 1757-1815 

Joseph was a merchant by trade. Most likely he was involved in the local Wool Industry like the Races (see their section)
In 1777 he decided that Mary Blackburn of Tingley Moor was the woman for him, and the IGI records show that they were married on the 23rd of December at Saint Peter’s in Leeds. They must have been very much in love because they had a second wedding in 1778. More likely this one is an error in the HF of W book. Mary was born in 1757 and her father was William Blackburn. Tingley Moor was close to Wakefield. Notable Morleians include Prime Minister Asquith and cyclist Beryl Burton. Ernie Wise grew up in Ardsley.

Joseph, living in Wakefield, had to walk six miles to worship at Morley Independent Chapel. Being a strict Sabbatarian he couldn’t ride. Consequently, he became an active promoter of Zion and Salem independent chapels. He eventually withdrew from Zion in order to concentrate on Salem and the building of a chapel in Wakefield. The H F of W book relates that it was said of him that “he had Christian faith enough to have walked on the water.” He took great interest in the working classes and gave a course of lectures on Bunyon’s Pilgrim’s Progress, which was unique for that time. His death on December 23rd 1814 was such that “every Christian felt he had lost a brother, and every poor man a friend.” He was buried at Salem Chapel. Mary died on the 25th of January 1815.

Joseph and Mary had nine children between 1779 and 1794. Their middle child, James, is the one who continues our line but before meeting him, we should consider some of his siblings.

                                 Morley Old Chapel                                                                                                     Old Chapel Parsonage

                                THE CHILDREN OF JOSEPH HORNER 1753 AND  MARY BLACKBURN 1757

John Horner 1779-1829 and Family.
John was the eldest son, born on the 21st of January 1779 in Wakefield. He married Sarah Hall,also of Wakefield, on the 2nd of February 1804. Sarah was born on August the 24th 1788 which  means that, according to the H F of W book, she was only fifteen when she married John.T hey lived at Horner’s Place and their children were all born in Wakefield. Sarah was still only 26 at the birth of her seventh child.
was John and Sarah Horner's first child, born on the 26th of February, 1805.She remained single and died on
May the 16th,1857.
was born on the 30th of September 1806. She died, just after her twenty-first birthday, on
December the 27th 1827.
was born on the 18th of October 1808. He married Frances Stead on
the 12th of May 1833 at Rothwell,Yorkshire. They didn’t have any children. William died on January the 5th, 1860.

Sophia Horner was born on May the 28th 1810. She married William Dawson Mortimer of Bradford about 1837. William was christened on the 6th of November 1814 in Tong,Yorkshire, the son of William and Elizabeth Mortimer. Sophia and William lived in Bradford, where William Alexander Mortimer was born in 1838, and Walter Hall Mortimer was born in 1846. Walter had been given his grandmother Sarah’s maiden name as his middle name, a common practice and helpful to genealogists! Walter became a wholesale tea dealer, and he and his wife Jemima lived at Ropley Lodge in Middlesex with their four children and four servants.
Sophia and William moved to Lewisham in the 1860s where William died in 1872. Sophia passed away six years later.

Emma Horner was born in 1811. She married John Fawcett of Wakefield on April the 1st 1832 in Wakefield. They had one daughter who became a farmer’s wife, marrying John Rogerson.
Sarah became Joseph and Mary’s 6th child when she was born on
the 13th of March 1813 in the Stanley area of Wakefield.. She married Joseph Sykes about 1836, and they had one child,Walter Sykes, born in 1837 and christened in the 30th of April in Swinton by Sheffield. Walter qualified as a doctor at Edinburgh University and went into practice in Batley.
John Horner was the 7th and last child, born in 1815. Sadly he died aged eight in 1823.

                        Joseph Horner 1780–1853 and Family
Joseph was Joseph and Mary's second child, born on the 30th of September 1780 and christened at the New Chapel Independent, Morley on the 26th of October. Taking both his father’s name and his christian vocation, he was one of the most energetic and liberal supporters of Salem Chapel. He was also active in political reform and was charitable to all people regardless of their creed or political party. Not surprisingly, he was a Libra starsign. He spared no expense in the education of his eight children and his wife’s nieces and nephews.

He married Elizabeth Jubb on the 20th of December 1809 at St Peter’s church in Leeds. Elizabeth was the daughter of John Jubb of Churwell who had two other daughters called Mary and Martha. Elizabeth was born on the 7th of April 1783 and baptised on the 16th of May at Morley Congregational. As an aries she would have had great dynamics with her husband and their life together would never have had a dull moment!

He was a corn miller and had a successful career in commerce as head of Horner, Drake and Company as well as Joseph Horner and Sons. Joseph was as beloved by the poor as his father was. After he retired from business “he was wont to drive out constantly in the neighbourhood of Wakefield, and his carriage usually contained half-a-dozen pet children or an invalid friend to whom fresh air was life itself. Many were the sufferers who in this way owed their restoration to health to his kindness.”

Joseph was quite a local celebrity and used to relate amusing anecdotes of his earlier life. He was a very active opponent of Slavery, particularly that in the West Indies. He believed that christians should be active in politics and society at large as well as in their religion. Together with his sons John and Joseph, he was elected to Wakefield Town Council, having compaigned vigorously to have Wakefield granted its charter.

When he died on the 16th of March 1853, there were tributes paid to him in the Leeds Mercury and the Leeds Times. The latter acknowledged his contribution to the “Liberal cause and every movement of progress” while the Mercury wrote “Mr Horner’s memory will long be cherished by his bereaved friends and relatives,and especially by the poor, to whom his charities were very extensive, but quite unostentateous”

His wife, Elizabeth, had passed away thirteen years earlier, on the 2nd of November 1840. She was as beloved in the Wakefield community as Joseph. Her son, John, erected a tablet at Salem Chapel, saying of her “She stretched out her hand to the poor; yea she reached out her hand to the needy…………” Her children related a story of how she gave away three new suits, intended for her sons, to a poor woman, who, had remarked that she wished she could give her own sons such fine clothes. Elizabeth said to her own disappointed sons, “Never mind, my dears, you shall have some more clothes.”

                                  Salem chapel,Wakefield                                                                   Zion chapel,George street,Wakefield 

Ann Horner  1782
Ann, known as Annie, was
Joseph Horner and Mary Blackburn's third child. She died in infancy.

Mary Horner  c.1784
Not sure of the exact year of her birth but after 1783 and before 1786. She married William Nicholson on
the 9th  of May,1811 in Wakefield. William was born in 1783 to Robert and Mary Nicholson. They emigrated to the USA, and I have no more information on them.

James Horner 1786
The fifth child of Joseph and Mary. He was baptised at the New Zion Independent Church in Wakefield on the 23rd April. He was a corn merchant by trade, like other members of his family. It is his marriage to Jane Race that begins the branch of the Horners which eventually connects to the Chaddock-Lowndes and then back to the Races. Jane was born in 1783 and baptised on the 16th of November at Sandal Magna, two miles south east of Wakefield and three miles east of Horbury. She was one of five children born to Joseph and Sarah Race of Horbury. More about them in the Race section.

Jane eventually became a June bride when James married her on the 19th of June 1815, at St John’s Church in Wakefield. Already thirty-two, Jane wasted no time in starting a family with Joseph arriving the following year. With both their parents named Joseph, choosing a name wasn’t difficult. Thank goodness Jane gave Joseph Race as his middle name because records show that James Horner married a Jane Peace rather than Jane Race. It fooled me for a while.

James named their next son after himself, giving him the middle name of Richard. This is a traditional Race christian name. In 1821, they had a daughter who,of course, was named Jane. They were all born and lived in the Wakefield area.
So this union brought together the Races and the Horners in the family tree. Jane’s brother, Thomas was to ultimately bring together the Races and the Hunters, through his granddaughter Sarah.

William Horner 1787 and his children
Joseph and Mary's sixth child, William, was born on the 1st of January 1787 and christened at the Zion Independent Church in Wakefield. He married Mary Martha Blackwell on the 14th of December 1815 at St Martins in Lincoln. She was the daughter of William Blackwell, a local merchant.
They had four children in all and lived in Wakefield. Interestingly,William was buried in 1839 at
Bunhill Fields Cemetery in East London where William Blake, Daniel Defoe and John Bunyon were also laid to rest. Mary Martha died in 1865 and was buried in Eccleshall, Sheffield.

Joseph Lamb Horner was their eldest child, born in 1816. He died in 1833, aged just seventeen.

William Blackwell Horner was their 2nd child, born in 1818 in Wakefield. He travelled extensively during his life. He was a newspaper editor in the United States, and a journalist and publisher at Paternoster Row, London. His "Horner's Penny Stories For The People" were a late Victorian phenomena. By 1889, 147 novels had been published, and novel number 1000 came out in 1912. The emphasis was on wholesale rather than sensational cheap fiction. He lived at 'Grassmead ', Reigate Road, Reigate.

He married Frances Eadon of Sheffield and they had two sons, William Whitfield Horner and Milton Horner. They had two daughters, Fanny Eadon Horner and Victoria. Milton and Victoria were born in the USA. The 1881 census tells us that Milton became a publisher of religous works like his father. Fanny wrote many romantic novels under the pen name of Fannie Eden, published by her father's W.B.Horner and Son. She contributed greatly to the popularity and success of her father's Penny Stories. Her stories such as "When a maiden reigns" and "Sweet Molly Brierly" often surface on ebay and Fanny died in Reigate on June 8th, 1945.

Fanny was to have a very special grandson. She married John Edward Harley, and Grace Eadon Harley was born in 1869 in Manchester. Grace married Edward Ayearst Reeves, Map Surveyor to the Royal Geographical Society and a key figure in victorian exploration. Their son Alec Harley Reeves, 1802-1971, was to invent Pulse Code Modulation, which is the basis for all modern digital communications and media. He also led the team that discovered Optical Fibre Communications. He was awarded the Stuart Ballantine Medal in 1965 and also the CBE.

Many thanks to David Robertson for this information. He kindly contacted me and made this section what it now is. He is writing a biography of Alec, who comes from a long line of Horners who made their mark in the world!

William and Mary's third child was Henry Horner, born on the 15th of May 1819. He  had his own firm, Henry Horner and Son, Land Agents in Sheffield, as well as being in partnership with his brothers earlier. He married Anna Clift of Westbury,Wiltshire and they had three children: Richard Clift Horner, born in October 1846, Anna  Clift Horner, born March 1848, and Hester Clift Horner, born May 5th 1852. His second wife was Jane Blackwell of Newcastle.

Frederick Horner was their 4th child, born in 1822 and died in 1878. He had no children.


                      Continuing the Children of Joseph Horner and Mary Blackburn

Lucy Horner   1789
Lucy was born on the 30th of September 1789 and christened on the 8th of November at the Zion Independant. She married John Pape, a merchant from Wakefield,on the 16th of April 1816 at Wakefield Parish Church.

Hannah Horner 1791

Hannah was born on the 18th  of September 1891 and christened on the 1st of November at the Zion Independant. She married  William Wilman of Wakefield
Lydia Horner  1794  Lydia was born on the 13th of February 1794 in Wakefield and christened on the 30th of March. She married Benjamin Waterer of Betchworth,Surrey.



                                  (and therefore the grandchildren of Joseph Horner and Mary Blackburn)

                                                                           Jane Horner 1821

Jane was born on the 18th of April 1821 and christened on the 8th of January 1822 at Salem Chapel George Street-Independent,Wakefield. At the age of eighteen, she married Joseph Hurst, a Tin Plate Worker, on February 27th, 1840 at St Michael, Ashton Under Lyne, Lancashire. Joseph was from Ashton, born in 1818. He was the youngest son of John and Lucy Hurst. John was a shoemaker, and had another son, Thomas, born in 1816, as well as daughters, Sarah Ann, 1814; Mary, 1912; Betty, 1810; and Hannah born in 1808. John and Lucy were meticulous family planners!

Joseph Horner Harold Hurst was Jane and Joseph's first child, born in the last quarter of 1840, and christened on January 22nd 1841 at St Michael. Lavinia was born four years later in Manchester.

The 1851 census suggests that Joseph may have died, because he is not with the family. Nor does he appear in subsequent censuses, except for the 1861 census. This records a Joseph Hurst, aged forty, who is a Tin Plate Worker lodging in Bethnal Green. Lavinia is staying with her Uncle Thomas Horner in Cheetham, Lancashire, and Jane is a governess in Roundhay, Yorkshire. By the 1861 census, Jane and Lavinia are together again, helping out in the household of Jane's brother Joseph Race Horner in Hastings. With her experience as a governess and child nurse, Jane must have invaluable to Joseph and Ann.

It is not known where Joseph Jr was during this time as he doesn't show in either census. The 1871 Census shows Jane visiting Lavinia at St Mary Newington, Lambeth, London, after her daughter's marriage to Thomas March in 1869. With two very young children, Lavinia and Thomas must have found Jane a great help at that time. She is not recorded as a widow but as married. So the mystery of her husband Joseph and his whereabouts continues. Similarly, their marital relationship.

I am grateful to Richard Hirst, a great-great-grandson of Jane and Joseph for some interesting insight here. He was told that the Hirst Family had a taboo against gambling because an antecedent had squandered significant family wealth. That person may have been Joseph Hurst. Jane, apparently, came from a wealthy background and may have brought money into the marriage. If Joseph gambled away this money, it might explain their apparent separation. One would have expected Jane to have been married from her home town of Wakefield rather than Joseph's in Ashton. She was only eighteen when she married. It may have been that her parents were not happy with the situation at all or with their prospective son-in-law, and it seems, justifiably so. However, this is pure speculation ...

What became of Jane after 1971 is equally intriguing. A Jane Hirst, born about 1821, died in Camberwell in 1874. This is the area where she was living with Lavinia. However, the 1881 census, records a Jane Hirst, boarding at 3, Vaughan Parade, Tormoham, Devon, aged sixty and born in Wakefield. She is of independant means. She is still there in 1891 and 1901. I originally thought that the Camberwell death was more likely because I couldn't see why Jane would move so far from her family. However the Devon information gives her as born in Wakefield whereas the Camberwell death doesn't give the place of birth. Yet another mystery ... why did Jane not remain closer to her daughter and grandchildren?

It's interesting that both Jane and Joseph's children married Londoners. I think that Joseph was from London originally, although I cannot confirm this. Perhaps Joseph junior went to school there whilst his mother and sister were living up north and then in Hastings. Also, the spelling of Jane's married name Hurst changed to Hirst soon after the birth of her son Joseph. His birth spelling is Hurst but the 1841 Census spelling is Hirst, as are his parents.

Joseph Horner Harold Hurst  1840-1904

We know he spent his early years in Ashton Under Lyne, and may have lost his father at an early age. It's not until the 1871 census that we meet him again. He has married Sophia Elizabeth Austin and they are living in Bermondsey with a child, Charles Race Hirst, born in March 1871. A descendant of Joseph's has the marriage dated for 1866. Sophia was born in Hoxton, London early in 1845, daughter of William and Sarah Austin. The 1881 census shows Joseph and Sarah living at 9, Parfitt Road, Rotherhithe with five children. Joseph is a solicitor's clerk. His great-grandson reminded me that Joseph's uncle, Joseph Race Horner, was a solicitor. Perhaps a family connection, though Joseph's uncle was in Cheshire at this time.

By 1891, they had eight children: Charles,William, Lannie, Walter, Alfred, Cecilia, Clara, and Henry. Alfred married Sarah Eliza Brown in 1905, and they had four sons.

It was Alfred's great-grand-daughter, Nicola, whose information helped me develop this part of the Horner Family Tree, and her father Richard who helped me complete it and correct errors I had made interpreting some of the Censuses. Joseph died in 1904 in Bermondsey, but it remains a mystery as to what became of him during the 1850s and 60s. His widow, Sophia, moved to West Ham with her eldest son Charles. She died in 1919.

Lavinia Hirst  1845

See details of her early life in Jane Horner's section. She married Thomas March circa 1868, and they set up home in Newington, London. Thomas was from Hackney, born on January 23rd, 1837, and the son of Thomas and Maria March. He was a leather seller by trade. Their first-born child was Thomas Harold, born in the second quarter of 1869, with Lavinia Jane born in October 1870. As previously mentioned, Jane Horner lived with them initially.

The 1881 Census records them living at 96, Great Dover Street, Newington. They now have a third child, Charles Herbert Horner March (known as Bertie) born early in 1874, and young Thomas is now known as Harold. Thomas Harold married Marion Edith Harrison who was born in 1875, and their daughter Marion Elsie was born in 1899. They moved to Kingston, Surrey. Thomas and Lavinia moved to Bromley, and the 1911 Census shows their daughter Lavinia Jane is still with them. Bertie was married in Bromley in 1899 and moved to Barnet. He had a son, George Herbert, born in 1903. 


                                                                   Thomas Horner  1819

Thomas was born in 1819 in Wakefield. He married Sarah Ellen Hoyle Wheelwright in late 1847 in Halifax. Sarah was born in Rishworth, Yorkshire, daughter of John and Sarah Wheelwright. According to the IGI, she was christened in Scammonden, Yorkshire on the 5th of September 1819. The 1861 census shows Thomas and Sarah living at Parkfield Lodge, Scammonden, Yorkshire but their four daughters were all born in Lancashire.

By 1871, the family were back in Lancashire living in Blackpool. The 1881 census is very interesting. Daughters Ann, Sarah, Mary and Clara are all teaching in a school in Albert Road, Birkdale with niece, Irene Procter one of the fifteen pupils. Their mother Sarah is living on the premises. Thomas, however, is living at 19, Queen Street, Layton with Warbreck, Lancs, with housekeeper Mary Goodier. The vicar of Hanslope’s wife and daughter are visitors. He is now a  retired house factor. The 1891 census shows his wife Sarah, now 74, still living at the school with just one of her daughters, Sarah, teaching there. Sarah died later that year. There is no record of Thomas for this census. 

                                                  The Daughters of Thomas and Sarah Horner.
Annie Jane Horner  1849
                                                                                                                                                           Anni was born in Cheetham, near Manchester in 1849 and christened at Manchester Cathedral on the 17th of January. She became a scoolteacher and worked with her three sisters at the Horners’ school in Birkdale. I believe that she remained single.
Sarah Anne Horner  1851
Sarah was born in Manchester in 1851 and worked at the Birkdale school with her sisters. She continued there after her sisters left.
Mary Ada Horner  1852
Mary was born in Manthorpe, Manchester in 1852 and also taught at the Birkdale school. She had left by 1891. There are a few Mary A Horners who married in Lancashire during that period. Nothing definite for our Mary.
Clara Blanche Horner 1855
Clara was born in Burnage, Lancashire in 1855 and christened at Manchester Cathedral on the 21st of September. She was the youngest of the Horner teachers, but in 1882, she put down her chalk and married Edward Gordon Cockrell at St Paul’s Southport. Gordon Lawrence was born in 1883, Dorothea Grace in 1887, and Addison Noel in 1894. Gordon married Evelyn Wainright in 1918 in Salford. Noel married Elsie Kingswell Allen in 1924 in Southport. Their children were Michael and Angela. They lived in Wimbledon with Michael becoming a gardener at Hampton Court. Noel died in 1967, three years before his sister Dorothea. She took after her mother Clara Blanche and her aunts by becoming a teacher. She was Principal at Saxenholme Girls School in Birkdale.


                                                                   Joseph Race Horner 1816-1900  
Joseph was James and Jane's eldest son, born on the 10th March 1816 in Wakefield. Unusually, he wasn’t baptised until the 28th February, 1817 at Salem Chapel George Street-Independent,Wakefield. His siblings, James and Jane had similar gaps between birth and christening. Both his grandfathers were called Joseph and he was given his mother Jane’s maiden name, Race, as his middle name which was just as well for genealogists! Joseph is one of my maternal great-great-grandfathers, along with William Chaddock.

He moved to Manchester and worked as a solicitor. Living in Manchester, he got to know the novelist Thomas De Quincy, as well as Wordsworth, Coleridge and others. Despite being several decades younger than these digniteries, the young Joseph mixed freely in these circles. Joseph had an interest in sketching too. I have a watercolour of a boat painted by Joseph in 1887, the year after his brother James died. It’s in one of my Granny Ione’s albums. She knew him as Grandpa Horner.


Joseph met Anne Potts of Hayfield, Derbyshire (above) and they were married at The Cathedral of Manchester on the 2nd October, 1848. Ann was born in 1830, the eldest child of Thomas Potts, a cotton spinner, and Mary Ernil. Thomas and Mary had married on the 26th of July 1829 in Glossop. Hayfield is a picturesque village (see above) sometimes called the gateway to the Peak District. The actor,Arthur Lowe was also born there. It is close to the town of Newmills.

From Yorkshire to Lancashire to Derbyshire. Already,Joseph was on the move.  He and Anne started their family in Deansgate, Manchester with the birth of Annie Louisa in 1850, followed by Emilie Race in 1851. More about Annie and Emilie can be found in the Procter and Chaddock-Lowndes sections respectively.

Joseph and Anne moved to Levenshulme in Lancashire where Joseph Arthur was born in 1854. Joseph and Anne then moved to Bowden, Cheshire, where Edith Paulina was born in 1858. Her middle name was chosen by their daughter Emilie as the christian name for her second daughter in 1890. Sadly,Pauline Grace Chaddock-Lowndes died after three days.

Joseph and Anne still had itchy feet,m and they next moved on to Hastings by the sea where Horace Hastings Horner saw the light of day in 1864. We know they had been there for at least three years because of the 1861 census. Interestingly, Elizabeth Chaddock had also moved to Hastings at that time. Perhaps this is where the two families met and got to know each other,although they did come from neighbouring counties. Either way, Emilie met her future husband Thomas through this association.

By the time their sixth and final child was born, Charles Eric Horner, in 1868, the family had moved to Head Street, Sale in Cheshire and on to Broomfield Wardle Road by the time of the 1881 census. Some interesting information is derived from this census. Joseph is still a solicitor, though his clients must have found it hard to keep track of his movements during the last few decades. His son, Joseph Arthur,was also a solicitorthe son in Horner and Son. He was now aged twenty-seven and still living at home, as was Edith. They had a resident cook and a housemaid. Horace must have been away at school or college, and Annie had married. Emilie was also married and living in Hastings. Eventually she would take up residence at Ramsdell Hall and the Horners’ descendants would be frequent visitors, making entries in their cousins’ autograph and sketch books.

The 1891 census told us that Joseph was now widowed and lodging at Birkenhead with the Tiplady family. He died in 1900. However, the 1891 Census also recorded that Anne was living at 21, Washway Road, Sale, with her widowed son Joseph Arthur, and his children Annie Cecily, and John Gerard. Furthermore, Anne was widowed! Curiouser and curiouser! It would seem that each regarded the other as deceased ...


                                                     THE CHILDREN OF JOSEPH HORNER AND ANNE POTT

Clara C Horner  1851

The only reference to Clara is in the 1851 census. She is recorded as Joseph and Ann's daughter, less than one month old. With Emilie born during the second quadrant of 1851, this rules out their being twins. The census took place on March 31st, which explains and confirms Emilie's birth later. A real genealogical mystery which continues to puzzle me.

Annie Louisa Horner  1849-1936
See mainly in the Procters section where you will also find her photograph. She was my mother’s great-aunt, and it was her daughter Irene who painted several pictures of Ramsdell Hall.

Emilie Race Horner  1851-1918
See mainly in the Chaddock-Lowndes section including a photograph. You’ll notice that Emilie was given her paternal grandmother’s maiden name as her middle name just as her father had. Names play such an important part in genealogical research. We would be lost without them! She was my mother’s maternal grandmother and a direct ancestor.

Joseph Arthur Horner 1853 - 1933

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Ethel taking temperatures at Rode Hall in 1917                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Thank you to for the above photo and biography. It comes from "Manchester and Salford at the Close of the 19th Century: Contemporary Biographies, page 173. held by the Manchester Library and Information Service. Thank you also to a descendant of Joseph, whose guest book entry here informed me about Joseph's first wife, causing me to completely re-write this section. During the process, as is so often the case, I uncovered new information about Joseph and his family.

Joseph Arthur Horner was the eldest son of Joseph and Anne. Like his father, he took up the Law and became a solicitor in the firm that his father headed, Horner, Son and Brookes. He married Anne Robinson, born in 1854, at All Saints Church, Southport in 1881. The Elector's Lists for that period show that they lived in Sale, Cheshire throughout their marriage. Sale was also where Joseph's parents still lived. Joseph and Anne had to wait until 1884 before their first child was born. Joseph Arthur Cecil Horner was christened at St John the Divine, Baguley, Cheshire on the 21st of  September. Sadly, he died in infancy, aged just one.

John Gerard Horner was born in Sale on October 19, 1885, and christened at St John the Divine on February 7, 1886. He, like the rest of the family, was a frequent visitor to Ramsdell Hall where he met Iris Chaddock-Lowndes (see her own section) They featured in the 1925 double wedding alongside Iris’ brother Roddie and John’s cousin Marjorie. Keeping it in the family, John became a solicitor. He died in 1939, and Iris died in 1942. Both were only in their early 50s. Their daughter, Asphodel, born in 1930, is still alive and playing an active part in her local community.

Annie Cecily Horner was born in Sale on September 19, 1887. She was also known by her middle name, Cecily, as the poem below shows. Details of her mother or her maternal grandparents are not yet known to me, but I would expect there to be a Cecil or Cecily somewhere, given her brother's middle name too. Annie married Wilfred Taylor Corbishley in 1912 at St James Church, Macclesfield. Wilfred was born in Macclesfield on February 6, 1887. He was the youngest son of George Hamilton Corbishley, a silkman and agent born in 1841, and Ruth Taylor, born in 1842. Census records show that in 1911, Wilfred was staying or living with his older brother George and his family in the Okanagan area of British Columbia. Both George and his wife Elizabeth died in Penticton, and that is almost certainly the city they lived in at the time of the census too. Consequently, it is likely that Wilfred took Annie to live there too. A George Corbishley was born in Macclesfield between 1912 and 1914. This may have been their son, named after Wilfred's father, and also his elder brother, but I have found no American records for him or other possible children.

Wilfred died on August 18, 1949 in Victoria, BC, and Annie died on January 5, 1976, also in Victoria. I recall my mother Ina once telling me that a relative was very excited because Alexis Smith, a girl from their town had made it big in Hollywood. Alexis, though raised in Los Angeles, was born in Penticton, BC. Although Penticton is over a hundred miles from Victoria, it is part of the Okanagan Lake and Valley where Wilfred's brother lived. Further confirmation that Wilfred and Annie initially lived in the city of Penticton.

In 1917, Annie's cousin Lionel Procter was married in Summerland, five miles from Penticton, though he and Edna moved to the States the following year. Perhaps Lionel had met Edna by way of his cousin.

Returning now to Annie Cecily's parents. Sadly in 1888, Annie Horner died at the age of thirty-four, and Joseph Arthur found himself not only widowed, but with two very young children to bring up. His mother Anne stepped into the breach, as the 1891 Census showed, with the four of them living at 21 Washway Road, Sale. Anne was recorded as widowed, but in fact her husband Joseph Race was lodging with the Tiplady family in Birkenhead. Curiously, he was also recorded as being widowed.

Joseph eventually met Ethel Cope. She was born in Alsager in 1866, and christened on October 28 at Church-Lawton. Ethel was the daughter of Charles Cope from Norton In The Moors, and Hannah Kent who came from Hanley. Charles, an engineer, had died in 1879, aged just forty-six. Joseph married Ethel on  January 7th, 1892 at All Saints Church in Odd Rode.

 Charles Cope Horner 1893-1982

As well as being a family of solicitors over the years, the Horners were also very creative! Charles was of the latter persuasion. Following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Charles, and Uncle Charles, both engineers, he became an architect draughtsman, and he designed a Tractor aeroplane which A.Curven of Chicago,USA built, and which, at the time, won the official record flight for the USA, duration 26 seconds, 621 feet. This was published in "Flight" the official organ of the Royal Aero Club of the UK. It would be interesting to know more of Charles’ work.
During World War One, he was a member of the 7th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, 8th Manchester Regiment. He married Marjorie Goodwin in 1916 in Macclesfield. Marjorie was born in 1894, daughter of Harry and Annie Goodwin. Their first child was born in 1917, and they named him Joseph, after Charles' father. Sheila Marjorie was born circa 1919. Charles died in 1982 at the age of eighty-nine, and Marjorie in 1979.

An interesting note about the two pictures above. If you search Charles Cope Horner at, they both come up as private member photos, but cannot be viewed without permission. "This photo is hidden by the owner's request." I am the actual owner of these 'photos'. Ironically, I cannot contact the 'alleged' owner without taking out a month's subscription to Ancestry. So, if you are reading this now, and have noticed the above at, it is my wish that the photos should be viewable to the public, as many are at Ancestry.

Five years after Charles Cope's birth, Beryl Horner was born in the last quarter of 1898, and christened on October 2nd in Rainow-with-Saltersford (pictured below) Here are two drawings by Beryl on March 31st, 1912. Otherwise, I have been unable to find any trace of Beryl.


Joseph and Ethel were now living at Marsh House in Rainow, Cheshire. In due course, they moved to 37, Balkeslow, Macclesfield where the 1911 census found them with their four children still with them. Ethel worked at Rode Hospital during World War One along with her neices, Ione and Iris Chaddock-Lowndes. She died in 1927. A Joseph Arthur Horner died in Lancashire in 1933. I think he was our Joseph.

                                       BACK TO THE CHILDREN OF JOSEPH HORNER AND ANNE POTT

Edith Paulina Horner  1858
Edith was born in Bowden, Cheshire in 1858. She married thirty-year-old Thomas Whitwell Jacques of Bedminster in Gloucestershire, on the 23rd August 1883 at Manchester Cathedral. Frederick Douglas Ashton Jacques was born in 1885, and Frances Dorothy Edith Jacques was born three years later. Marjorie Violet Emma Jacques was born in 1895. They lived in Mangotsfield, Gloucestershire. Edith's sister Emilie named one of her daughters Paulina. I couldn't find records of Edith or Thomas in the 1901 or 1911 censuses.

Horace Hastings Horner  1864
The wonderfully named Horace Hastings Horner was, of course, born in Hastings, in 1864 and then baptised at Manchester Cathedral in 1868. Sadly, he died of influenza at WankeringaSouth Australia on August the 19th, 1891, aged only twenty-seven. Bless you Horace.

Charles Eric Horner 1868

He was born in Sale, Cheshire during the 3rd quadrant of 1868. He attended Conway College in Wales, but after that, nothing is known for certain about him. He cannot be found in the three censuses since 1881.


                                                       James Richard Horner 1817- 1886

James was the second child of James Horner and Jane Race. He was a year younger than his brother Joseph Race Horner but started his family five years earlier. He married Mary Bullman Bernard in 1843 at St Mary’s, Oldham which is close to Ashton Under Lyme where they settled and raised their five children. Mary Bernard was born in 1821 in Oldham, daughter of George Bernard.

James was a merchant and dealer and lived first at Taunton Lodge in Knott Lanes and then in Gas Street. He was a man of some means because the 1881 census describes him as a Gentleman. He and Mary suffered two great losses as parents. Their fourth child Emma Jane, born on January 26th 1850, died the following year. Their fifth child Margaret Ann was born on July 6th 1853 but died in 1860 before her seventh birthday.

The loss of Mary in 1886 must have hit James hard because he died a few months after. Their eldest daughter, Mary, was still living with them at the time and the loss of both her parents in so short a time must have hit her even harder. She never married but moved to Macclesfield to live with her aunt and uncle, Anne and Thomas Lockitt. She died in 1905 aged sixty. James and Mary Horner had five children, but only their two sons went on to become parents themselves.

                                                THE SONS OF JAMES HORNER AND MARY BERNARD

George Bernard Horner 1846 -1898

George was James and Mary’s eldest son, given his mother’s maiden name as his middle one. He followed in the footsteps of his uncle Joseph, becoming a solicitor. As a libra, what better profession for him to take up! He left home and moved to Market Drayton where he lodged with Elizabeth Wilkinson at Shropshire Street.

Having qualified as a solicitor, it was time to consider marriage and family matters. This took him to Bettws in Denbighshire, Wales where he met Jane Jones, aged twenty-four, sometime around 1874. They had a daughter early in 1875 who they also named Jane, and who was born in Denbighshire. So it looks like George lived for a short time in Wales. The next port of call was 47 Stafford St, Liverpool where we find the family for the 1881 census with George established as a solicitor in practice. George, like uncle Joseph, liked to move around. No records of George after this, or of subsequent children, but the 1891 Census of Wales records his daughter, Jane, in Flintshire. George died in Liverpool in the last quarter of 1898. What became of his marital circumstances after 1881 remain unclear.

James Horner 1848-1924
Born on the 20th April 1848, James took a different vocational path to his brother George, going into the timber business. Taureans tend to be good with their hands and have a bond with nature. Like his sister, Mary, he stayed longer with his parental family, but eventually he moved out. The 1881 census finds him living in 286, Wellington Rd, Stockport with Eliza Derbyshire as his housekeeper.

Not for long, however, because he married Luna Proctor early in 1885 at Prestwich Registry Office. His cousin, Annie Horner also married a Procter, James. So Annie Horner becomes Annie Procter, and Luna Procter becomes Luna Horner. As far as I know the Procters were unrelated. Also, James’ branch ended in ‘er’, and Luna’s ended in ‘or’.

Luna was born in 1866 in Doncaster, one of six children. She was a domestic servant in the Fletchers household in Stockport at the time of the 1881 census. She and James stayed in Stockport to raise their children, Luna, Bernard, May and Marjorie. James died in 1924, and Luna in 1937.

James was remembered in Wisden's cricket obituaries for 1924: "HORNER, MR. JAMES, born at Ashton-under-Lyne on April 20, 1848, died at Stockport on July 18, aged 76. He was for thirty years Honorary Secretary of the Stockport C.C. For some years, too, he was Hon. Treasurer of the Lancashire County C.C. and at the time of his death was a Vice-President of the Club."

In fact, James served even longer, as this entry at Stockport CC relates: "One of the great local names with Stockport Cricket Club around this time was the late James Horner, a JP who was honorary secretary for 52 years, being also an honorary treasurer for Lancashire for 10 years. Mr Horner played against the Australians and was not out on four occasions."

One of the matches in question took place at Stockport Cricket Ground, August 26-28, 1880 with James batting at number 18!! Australia fielded the usual eleven players but allowed Stockport to play eighteen ... presumably only eleven when fielding. James was 0 not out in the first innings and scored 2 not out in the second. Stockport won the match, having lost the fixture in 1878. Stockport did field three Test players from Yorkshire who all contributed significantly to the victory. But in four attempts, no Aussie bowler could take James' wicket! James' great-grandson has a portrait of James from 1878, painted in oils by Davenport Bates, which was commissioned by Stockport CC. Grateful thanks to the excellent for the images below.



                                  THE CHILDREN OF JAMES HORNER 1848 AND LUNA PROCTOR 1866

Luna Horner 1887

Luna saw the light of day in Stockport in 1887, and despite erroneous references to her as Lima and Laura in various censuses (both fine names) she is indeed Luna, as in the moon, like her mother. She went to a boarding school in Birkdale, run by her aunts Sarah and Mary Horner, which her cousin Irene Procter also attended a few years before.

In 1920, she married Thomas Edward Forster at St Thomas Church in Stockport. One of her children is a good example of how our names are often steeped in family tradition. Edward Bernard Forster, born in 1927, takes Edward from his father’s middle name and Bernard comes from Luna’s brother as well as being the maiden name of her paternal grandmother. Edward’s elder sister, Mary Bernard Forster, is even better. She has her great-grandmother’s christian and maiden name in hers. Mary married Alastair Hector Mackay in 1949 at St Michael and All Saints Church in Bramhall, Stockport and moved to a farm in Oxfordshire where Mary's Aunt Marjorie lived out her last few years (see later here) Their son, Andy has contributed to this website.

Bernard Horner 1891 - 1917

Bernard Horner was James and Luna’s only son, born in January, 1891. His christian name was his grandmother’s maiden name. Like his father, Bernard played for Stockport Cricket Club. He also played for Cheshire Gentlemen, Old Rossallions, and Manchester. He lived at 164, Shaw Heath, Stockport. During World War One, he was a second lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers. He died on March 5th, 1917 aged just twenty-six. He is remembered in Wisden's Obituaries just as his father was.

May Horner 1894  

Her signature below (in her cousin Ione Chaddock-Lowndes album) tells us that she visited Ramsdell Hall in October 1907. She married Robert Ernest Humphry in 1919 at Stockport. No further details known, including no children found, but a May Humphry died in London in 1933.

Marjorie Horner 1900


Marjorie Horner was James and Luna’s youngest child, born in the summer of 1900. Like her siblings, she often visited Ramsdell Hall where she features in some of the photos I have. She grew close to Roddie who was the youngest of the Chaddock-Lowndes, and they married in June of 1925 at St Mary’s Church, Stockport. This is one of the special moments in the Family History because St Mary’s witnessed two June brides that day. Roddie’s sister, Iris, also married a Horner in a double wedding. John Horner being a cousin of Marjorie’s and another of the family’s solicitors.

Marjorie had only one child, Isabel Luna Chaddock-Lowndes who was handicapped. She was born in Cheadle on the 2nd of November, 1926, the same year as my mother, Ina. Isabel lived until she was sixty-seven and died in Bullingdon, Oxfordshire. Marjorie was also known as Aunt Tiggy and after Roddie's death, she lived on an Oxfordshire farm - close to her daughter - with her niece Mary Bernard Mackay until her death in 1978.


                                                            THE PROCTERS

An occupational surname from the Middle English word "prok(e)tur", a contracted version of the Old French "procuraterour", from the latin "procurator", meaning "agent", from "pro" meaning "for", "on behalf of" and "curare" to deal with.In medieval times, a proctor was an attorney in a spiritual court, or a collector of alms on behalf of monks. Some were collectors of taxes.

When my Great-Grandaunt Annie Louisa Horner married James Procter, she brought the extraordinary Procters into our Family History. The almost disproportionate space I have afforded them is partly due to a document that I was fortunate enough to obtain, containing recollections of her family by Florence Mona Caiger (nee Procter) written in the 1950s. I refer to her as FMP. It is a wonderful,colourful read and contains photographs added by her granddaughter Belinda Fairthorne whose partner Simon sent me the document.

Much of this section is taken from FMP’s notes but also from my own independent research.I even sent for Irene Procter’s birth certificate which was necessary for my Time Travel novel 'Ramsdell Hall'. I digress. Without further ado, I now present the amazing Procters in all their glory.

We start our journey in deepest Lancashire with the two people who began it all.

                                           Blackley                                                                                                                                         Birkdale

                                                 James Procter 1808-1891  and Hannah Dawson 1813-1899

James Procter was born in Blackley, Lancashire on the 10th July, 1808. He lived and worked in Manchester as a colour manufacturer. Blackley was renowned for its cotton manufactures and its extensive dye-works. Methodism was strong in the village with two Wesleyan chapels, compared to one Roman Catholic church. James was brought up as a methodist, but in 1836, he caused a sensation by eloping with Hannah Dawson. She was the daughter of Isaac and Sarah Dawson, also from Blackley. They were married on the 19th October 1836 in Prestwich. Hannah also embraced Methodism but more fervently than James. They began married life in Blackley, where Samuel was born in 1838. Hanna’s two grandfathers and uncle were all called Samuel, so not much doubt about their choice of name. John Wesley, founder of Methodism, had a father called Samuel.

The Procters moved to Entwistle, Bolton, where James was born in 1841. This time James senior clearly had the choice of names. In her family notes, FNP says that James and Hannah had many children over the years but only four survived. The 1871 census lists a Mary born in 1845, but there is no other record of her, and she’s born in Middlesex. The family had now moved to Ardwick and in 1850, Sarah Alice, named after Hannah’s mum, was born. No further records can be found for Sarah. Alfred was born in 1853 and holds a special place in this family history. It is his daughter, whom he hardly knew, Florence Mona Procter,who compiled the history on which this section is partly based.

Four years later, Mary Hannah Procter was born. Why two Marys? Maybe the Mary born twelve years earlier in Middlesex died. Mary Hannah, herself, is an enigma because FMP only refers to her as Annie but she is clearly one and the same. Finally,and unusually, in 1871, Hannah gave birth to Ada at the age of 57. This is not Samuel’s daughter Ada Thwaites Procter because she is two years older. This Ada is listed in the 1871 census as being two months old and as Hannah’s daughter. No further records of her either.

So Hannah and James raised several children between 1838 and 1857, and it would seem up to 1871 too. Only Samuel, James, Alfred and Mary Hannah (Annie) made it into adulthood, and only two of them lived into old age. Annie and Alfred died in their thirties. Hannah and James retired to the Southport area, first living at Cemetery Road, North Meolstempting providence perhapsand later, Alma Road, Birkdalea sensible move. Hannah,apparently, didn’t like members of the household,or visitors, staying out late and she would wait up for them until they returned, refusing them the “latch” as FMP recalled. Alfred and Edmund would have known what that meant. But then Hannah did have strict morals befitting a devout methodist.

One wonders what Hannah,and indeed James, made of their sons and their foreign enterprises. What tales they must have heard and what letters received. James was very much a Lancashire man, working in a traditional industry and of course, like Hannah, a devout methodist. Their religion had broken new ground, providing an alternative to Roman Catholicism and Church of England. Their sonsin forming The Procter Brothers and trading in Madagascar and other far-off placeswere certainly opening new frontiers. Brave, bold and committed, like the Wesley Brothers themselves. And staying out late might be a requirement of the job! James, himself, had been a commercial traveller since his earlier colour manufacturing days in Blackley. So travelling was in the blood and certainly in his sons’.

For Hannah, a darkness was descending with her eightieth year approaching. As if she hadn’t experienced enough deaths in her family, 1891 was a terrible year for her. Over in neighbouring Cheshire, her daughter-in-law Annie’s sister Emilie was celebrating the birth of twins, seventeen years since her last child. Hannah, by contrast, lost, first her husband, and then her son, Alfred. James had lived much longer than his children had but finally passed away in the summer. In October, Alfred died aged just thirty-eight.

Poor Hannah had worse to come because two years later, her daughter Mary, who had never been strong, died. Even though married for nine years, she’d remained with her parents. So an even greater loss for Hannah, particularly as Mary had left two daughters behind as well as Edmund. He re-married, co-incidentally to another Mary, which then had Hannah’s mind working overtime. In the last year of her life, she’d been taken to Buxton,for her health, but instead had nightmares about Edmund’s new wife mistreating her stepdaughters. Hannah died in the summer of 1899 at the age of eighty-six. The one member of the Procter family who reached a grand old age.


                                   THE CHILDREN OF JAMES AND HANNAH AND THEIR FAMILIES

  James Procter 1841-1909  Annie Louisa Horner  1849-1936

     James as the Earl of Essex                      Annie as Queen Elizabeth                      Adeline, Irene, and Winefred                            Painting of Ramsdell Hall by Irene  c.1896
Annie, my great-great-aunt, was the eldest child of Joseph and Anne Horner and one of the most interesting members of the family. She was born in Manchester on the 16th of September 1849 and became a schoolteacher. She married James Procter at Manchester Cathedral on the 28th of  January 1871. James was born on the 24th of November 1841 in Entwistle in Lancashire, son of James and Hannah Procter. He joined the family export business of Procter Brothers which his brother Samuel had started, but his heart was not really in it. He went to Madagascar as part of the business but it was the natural history aspects of Madagascar that interested him more. His fiance came out to marry him there but had fallen in love with another on the boat there; and instead she sailed on to Australia with him.

So it was back to England for James where he met the rather beautiful Annie Horner. The prospect of moving to Madagascar with her husband wasn’t unattractive to Annie, and there they lived for a few years. Irene Hortense Horner Procter was born on the 14th December, 1873, followed by Lionel Claude Race Procter on August 6th 1875, and Ethel Winifred Procter on 10th September 1876. When it came to choosing names for their children they didn’t hold back. Not everyone names their two eldest sons after lions. You can see an interesting family photograph of Annie posing as Elizabeth and James as the Earl of Essex (above)

They returned to England, and in 1878, Leopold Alfred Procter was born in Forest Hill in South London. Adeline Cecile came along at the end of 1879, by which time they had moved to Norwood. James was still working for Procter Brothers, and he and Annie returned to Madagascar in 1880. Adeline and Leopold stayed with their grandparents, James and Hannah, in North Meols until their parents’ return.

Both Annie and James had interests and skills beyond just being parents, and one might have thought that a family of five children was more than enough. But twins Samuel and James suddenly arrived in 1885. Clearly they had now lost their earlier creativity in nameology and the poor boys didn’t even get a middle name. They had moved to Tooting and then on to Paddington.

The 1901 census saw Annie and James still together, now in Spencer House, Twickenham but not for much longer. James was now turning sixty whereas his wife was a sprightly fifty-one. She had raised seven children and moved house several times. With the twins now sixteen, something was stirring inside of her.

She’d turned to Spritualism and during a séance, she was informed that her husband was going to murder her. Leaving nothing to chance, she decided to leave him and moved to Worthing. Poor James must have wondered what was going on but at least he had the support of a large family around him to see him through such a bizarre situation. Irene, particularly, was a great comfort and kept house for him in Westcliffe-On-Sea until his death on the 15th of March 1909 at 3, Winton Avenue. He left effects of £457. Annie continued to live in Worthing, where Irene joined her.

Annie became a British Israelite, which was a movement within the Church of England that emerged in the 1870s and formed a relatively powerful and influential voice in British middle-class Christianity. Its unique, sometimes bizarre beliefs showed that she was as uncompromising as ever. She was happy to send pamplets to relatives such as her niece Florence’s husband Stephen but was intolerant of her daughter Adeline’s choice of religion, Roman Catholicism. She continued her feud with Adeline even when she brought her young son, Antony, to Worthing.The door was closed to them both. Annie packed a lot into her life and lived until she was eighty-seven, dying on June 26, 1936 at 3, Margaret St, Brighton. She left her personal effects of £605 to Irene.

                                                 THE CHILDREN OF JAMES AND ANNIE

                    Irene                                                   Ethel Winifred                                 Adeline                                    Sam and James                  Leopold aged 14

  Irene Hortense Procter 1873 - 1950

  Irene holds a very special place in our family history. For many years we have had two oil paintings of Ramsdell Hall which are amongst our most treasured possessions. Grandpa Franz Rudolf Hunter brought them with him when he came to live with us at Rushbanks.For forty years, we didn’t know who the artist was, but in 2009, we finally matched the name on the painting to that of Irene Procter. As a niece of the Chaddock-Lowndes, she would have known Ramsdell Hall well and loved it as much as we do. The paintings date from about 1896, so she would have been about twenty-three at the time, having been born at 9 a.m on the 14th of December 1873, in Antananarivo, Madagascar, where her father worked.

By the time the family moved back to England in 1877, Irene had a brother, Lionel, and a sister,Winifred, with four more siblings to follow in due course. At an early age, she was sent to her Aunt Ann Horner’s school in Birkdale, Lancs, run by Ann and her three sisters. She was now eleven and showing promise as an artist. Later, she went to North London Collegiate, as would her sisters and cousins in time. She studied painting in Paris and went on to exhibit at the Royal Academy, later specialising in miniature portraits. When her mother left her father, she kept house for him in Westcliff-on-Sea until his death in 1909.

During this period, she had met and married William Fay on the 11th of April 1906 and had a daughter called Seraphina. Her brothers had forced him to marry her. Seraphina was born in France in 1906 which is interesting because Irene would have known Paris quite well from earlier days there. William died on September the 13th 1908. It was round about this time that Annie had left James. I would think it was after returning with Seraphina to England,that Irene went to her father at Westlcliffe. Seraphina became known, by the family, as Serapheme, and eventually, Sylvia.

Having kept on good terms with her mother, Irene and Serepheme went to live with her in Margaret Street, Brighton, following James’ passing. With such contrasting personalities, they were perhaps very good for each other. Irene’s ethereal presence probably had a soothing, calming effect on Annie. There being no husband or father-figure around, Irene’s entrepreneur brothers helped out as they could. They were particularly keen for Serapheme to be sent away to a good school but she didn’t want to go, and Irene wasn’t prepared to make her go against her wishes. After her mother died ,Irene lived on a houseboat at Southampton Water for several years. Suffering severely from rheumatism, she was advised by her doctor to move onshore. A caravan was arranged for her but she died in the first quarter of 1950 before she could move in.

Florence Procter, in her notes, describes Irene as a gentle, dreamy creature and if I had a wish, it would be to be sitting alongside her as she painted Ramsdell Hall, surrounded by nature and the things she loved dear. Failing that one could write a novel depicting such a scene ... ah that's been done already.

Seraphina Fay 1906-1997

Serapheme, having lived on a boat, eventually became a stewardess on one, and in true Procter style, had a penchant for travelling to far-off places. She sent Florence postcards from New Zealand, Trinidad and South America, and she was very keen to get to the USA to visit the widow of her Uncle Lionel. I don’t know if she did but clearly she was a free spirit like both her mum and her grandmother Annie. She had a particular passion for rescuing ships cats. I think Irene would have approved. Some of her family considered her a little irresponsible but I, for one,would love to have met her.  She was Sylvia Fay when, at the age of fifty-six, she married George R Mann in Plymouth during the last quarter of 1962. The daughter of her cousin Sheila Buchanan tells me that Seraphina died in 1997.

Ethel Winifred Procter 1876-1968

Rarely, if ever, known as Ethel, Winifred was born in on the 10th September 1876 in Antananarivo, just before her parents moved back to England. She would return there after Adeline’s birth but then was back to England again, by the time she was six. She trained as a singer and her father spent £1000 on an opening concert under the wing of Madame Albani. Unfortunately, the reviews were not good and instead of a career in music, she married John George Buchanan of the the Credit Nationale on the 14th of January 1902 in Brentford. The photo I have of her shows that she inherited her mother’s looks.

She was the first of the Procters that I ever came across when I was perusing the 1901 census for Ramsdell Hall. Who was this cousin that my granny Ione had from Madagascar? Seven years on, all is now clear. Winefred’s husband then became manager of the New York branch.of the bank and their two children were born there.

Later he joined the Midland as director and head of the Foreign Department. They both lived into their 80s and took a flat in Hastings with a balcony overlooking the sea where James’ man used to wheel him out daily. Their daughter, Sheila, married a stockbroker and in due course they bought a farm. Their son John James Buchanan became head boy at Harrow School, studying cotton manufacturing. He became a bullion broker and a Councillor for Westminster. He and his wife Phebe, a quaker, had five children before she died rather suddenly.

Adeline Cecile Francess Procter  1879-1967

Adeline was the only daughter born in England, on November the 10th 1879 at Norwood, Surrey. Unfortunately, she had a very unhappy home life as her mother didn’t like her. She was sent to a convent school in Brussels where the nuns were kind to her. At the age of twenty-three, she announced that she was a Roman Catholic and had been so since her convent days. Her mother wouldn’t have her at home lest she contaminate the others she said. Outrageous as this sounds, it does show how hit and miss life must have been for the family with Annie’s views and tendencies.

Adeline trained as a nurse but had to do so at a workhouse hospital where she had a hard time. Her father, it seems, didn’t pay the necessary premium to send her to Guys Hospital. Once qualified, Adeline went back to Belgium and the happy memories she had there. Irene painted, Winifred sang and Adeline played guitar in a small orchestra. In 1915, aged thirty-six, she married Francis Allison in Whitechapel. He was twelve years younger than her and had a chemist shop in Arundel and an opticians in Bognor.

They had two children, Antony and Gabrielle. Antony, born in 1916, took a degree at Southampton and was a librarian in Leicester, before moving on to the British Museum. He married in 1941 and had three children. Adeline took him as a young boy to visit his grandmother, Annie, in Worthing, but the door was closed to them. It must have been difficult for Adeline to keep in touch with her sister Irene, who,as we know, was living with Annie. Hopefully Antony got to see something of his cousin Seraphina eventually.

Gabrielle was born in 1919 and went to various convent schools. At one time she helped her father deliver books from his printing press to shops, driving a car he had bought her for this purpose. As ever,the Procters (or those married into the family)were entrenepeurs.


Lionel Claude Race Dunrobin Procter 1875-1950
Florence Caiger refers to him as Lionel Race Dunrobin Procter, whereas the census of 1901 has him as Lionel Claude Race Procter. Either way, he and I are both descended from Joseph Race Horner from whom he takes his middle name. In fact, Lionel changed his name to Dunrobin, as the above document shows. Well, he did become an actor.

Lionel was born on August the 6th 1875 in Tamatave, Madagascar, but brought up in London. He was articled to a solicitor, in true Horner tradition, but being a Procter of the Annie Procter branch, he was a freer spirit than that. He was still living with his family in Twickenham at the time of the 1901 Census, but soon after he left home (FNP says that he ran away) to go on the stage. By 1902, he was working at the Grand Theatre in Southampton. He was fortunate to work with Julia Neilson and Fred Terry for many years. Fred was the younger brother of the legendary Ellen Terry. FNP recalls seeing them in The Scarlet Pimpernel, which opened on January 5, 1905 at the New Theatre, London. Lionel used Mr. L. Race Dunrobin as his stage name, and played the part of Armand St. Just (see above) a Republican in his views, but horrified at the carnage committed in Paris in the name of liberty.

Lionel and the company toured provincal theatres with the play, including the Grand Theatre, Southampton from 1907-1909. Other plays he appeared in were: Sweet Nell of Old Drury 1902–1903, also in Southampton, and at the Prince's Theatre, Bristol. Marguerite in 1904-5 and Mrs Dane's Defence, the same year, both in Bristol. Colonel Newcombe 1905-1906 at His Majesty's Theatre, Haymarket, London, which Fred and Julia Terry then owned. Lionel also worked with Henry Irving in Dante in 1903 at The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. 

On June 11, 1909, he left Liverpool on board the SS Arabic of the White Star Line, arriving in New York on June 20. If there is one trait that the Procters had, it was the thirst for adventure and travel. Lionel was no exception. Interesting that he was now thirty-three, but only twenty-nine on the passenger list. Actors are allowed such fluidity of age. He appeared in the Broadway production of Beethoven from April 11, 1910 until May, 1910. He returned to England, but left Liverpool in July 1911, arriving in New York on August 4th, two days before his thirty-sixth birthday. He was now known as Lionel R Dunrobin, and he was here to stay. FMP wrote "he was too short to star, but seemed to be in regular work." As well as acting, he was a writer. He wrote "Twin Wives"[or, The adventures of a newly married couple], a laughter-maker in 3 acts, in collaboration with R. Manifold Craig. c.April 14, 1919, New York. He also wrote Krishnaji, a poem published in The Star: An International Magazine (see above)

But in 1917 something else was stirring in Lionel's heart, or rather, someone. Her name was Edna Mayhew Clouston, daughter of Robert Clouston and Edith St Julien Cox of Summerland, British Columbia. Robert was of Scottish heritage, and Edith was from Minnesota, daughter of a district judge. Edna was born on May 30, 1886 in Wildwood, Wisconsin, and had been brought up in the delightfully named Crow Wing, Minnesota. She had an older sister, Edith, and a younger brother, Arthur. The family had moved to Summerland between 1905 and 1911. Lionel and Edna were duly married on October 16, 1917 in Summerland. His married cousin, Annie Cecily Horner, lived just five miles away in Penticton (see her section) and her brother-in-law, George Corbishley too. Perhaps this was how Lionel came to meet Edna.

As groom, his name was given as Lionel Claud Procter, but when he and Edna arrived in Buffalo, New York on  25 Feb 1918, they were Mr and Mrs Dunrobin. The USA was now to be their home. Acting was still his other love. As the January 24, 1918 edition of Alberta's Macleod News said "lionel dunrobin is an actor of a rare type." But now it was California Here I Come for Lionel. FMP wrote "He married an American actress, and went to California where he had an orange farm. When the talkies started he had the job of teaching the film people English." Whether he continued his acting, or indeed, whether Edna was or became the "American actress", I don't know. They lived in Los Angeles, as the 1830 Census records, and on 15 Jun 1936, Lionel was granted USA citizenship (see document above) He died in Los Angeles on August 15, 1950 at the age of seventy-five. His sister, Irene, had died earlier that year. And I was born the very same year. Edna died on October 23, 1965, in Tarzana, LA, aged seventy-nine.

An interesting footnote to Lionel's life. At Okanagan Lake, BC, there is a bay which, during World War Two, was used for a British special unit that use to train Commandos to work behind enemy lines. Locals, accordingly, re-named the bay Commando Bay, a name it still carries. It's previous name? Dunrobin’s Bay, named after L. Race Dunrobin. I don't know why it was originally named after Lionel, but Summerland lies close by, and perhaps it was a wedding gift from Edna's family. Her father, Robert, was almost certainly, the son of the famous Hudson Bay fur-trapper Robert Clouston who was a Canadian legend. Just a thought.

Leopold Alfred Procter 1878
Leopold was born on March 1st, 1878, in Forest Hill, the second son of James and Annie. FNP describes him as the black sheep of the family. He was certainly a character and a daredevil in his youth, climbing rooftops amongst other things. He fought in the Boer War with his twin brothers, Sam and James. After that he did most of his travelling within these shores, unlike his three brothers, and amongst other jobs he had, he ran a boxing salon in Oxford. He also lived in Cheshire. The 1911 census shows him working as a kiln fireman at a pottery in Stoke, boarding with Thomas and Florence Procter. FMP says that Sam’s wife, Eileen, left Sam for Leopold, but whether they got married or not is not known. Leopold died in the summer of 1939. Quite a character.

Samuel Procter  1884 and James Procter 1884 [Sam and Jim]

The Heavenly Twins as their mother described them in her book about them of the same name. They were themselves the teenage authors of "Those Dreadful Twins. Their Adventures. By Themselves." (T. Fisher Unwin 1897).

They were born on April the 18th 1884 in Tooting, and had they known Wolfie would most certainly have joined the Tooting Popular Front. James was fifteen minutes older than Sam, being born at 3.45 a.m. Sam was working in a stockbrokers office when the Boer War started in the October of 1899. He and James were only fifteen and a half, but already six foot tall, and they decided to join up. They had inherited the Procter Spirit of Adventure.

Upon discharge, Sam returned to South Africa, and ran a cattle farm in Grahamstown. He sent the first ever live cattle to Liverpool. He married Eileen Audrey Tatlow from Cape Town on December the 21st 1909. They lived at 5, Canterbury Mansions, West Hampstead. The 1911 census records him as being a produce broker. After Eileen had left him for Leopold, he married a widow who had grown-up children. Eileen died in Dover in 1962 at the age of seventy-five. Sam died in Bournemouth in 1967 at the age of eighty-two, outliving his twin brother by twelve years.

James, after the Boer War, went to Tokyo to work in a bank.When his fiancee jilted him, he returned to England. His brother-in-law and banker, James Buchanan, got him a job with the Ottoman Bank as manager of their Manchester Branch. He married Pauline, born in 1892, who had sung at the Scala Opera House. He was promoted to be manager of the head branch in Constantinople, and during World War One, he worked as an undercover agent in the Greek Islands.

After the war, he came into money from government work, and he started building a house on the Riviera but lost his money in the Hatry crash. After a difficult period, including his wife’s breakdown, James Buchanan helped him again and got him an executive job in the Credit Lyonaise. When the 2nd World War started, James was already fifty-five but still managed undercover work in North Africa. He died in Hampshire in 1955, aged seventy. Pauline, now living in Richmond, found her niche writing poetry and had some of it published.


                                                     Samuel Procter 1838-1900 and Mary Thwaites
Just to put him into our family context, Samuel was a brother-in-law to my Great-Great-Aunt Annie Horner. He was James and Hannah’s eldest child, born on the 25th of August 1838 in Blackley, Lancashire. He worked for a Madagascar export company as a shipping clerk which he later took over. He married Mary Thwaites, an orphan from London, in 1870 at Manchester Registry Office. She had her own money which no doubt helped the newly formed Procter Brothers which also included James and Alfred. Ada was their first child, born in early 1871 and stayed with her grandparents at Crumpsall while Samuel and Mary went out to Madagascar. At the end of the year, Frederick was born. They lived at Tamatave, and Samuel went on to become Acting British Consul with all the paraphernalia that went with it, including a rather splendid uniform. Eleanor Jane, known as Jeannie, was born on Reunion Island in 1873.

The following pictures put the lives and work of the Procter Brothers into context. On the left is their office in Tamatave, and the middle photograph shows the office staff who worked there. The photo on the right is of AT Windley going on a journey into the interior. He lived in Madagascar from 1894 until 1915 and worked for the Procter Brothers. These pictures were kindly sent to me by his granddaughter, Lena Smissen, who discovered this website while researching him. They are but three of several interesting ones that show the world that Irene and Winifred Procter and others were born into. Lena's interest here shows how people, unrelated to us, have made telling contributions to our family history. Welcome on board Lena and AT Windley, and thank you.


Samuel didn’t have a lot of luck with James and Alfred as far as the Procter Brothers were concerned. Neither were really cut out for this line of work, lacking Samuel’s business acumen and dedication to the family firm. He started to spend more time in London, living in Streatham, Tulse Hill and Penge. FMP writes of enjoyable Christmases spent with them. Mary developed heart problems but Samuel remained strong and vibrant. He was successful in the Stock Market and took it upon himself to help members of the family with their finances such as Alfred’s widow,Florence. He had his failures, such as investing money left to Alfred’s daughter, FMP, and Mary Holden’s daughters by his father James, in firms that went into liquidation. But he meant well and was forgiven.

He went to the Paris Exhibition of 1900 but died in bed after a day at the exhibition, one year after his mother. She had been spared that sadness at least. Unusually for a Procter, he had reached his sixties and lived long enough to see Ada married in 1899. Mary still had Jeannie living with her for company. This was extended in 1903 with Mary suggesting that her sister-in-law, Florence, Alfred’s widow, should join them and share expenses. Mary had taken a house at Heaton Moor near Manchester. The additional company of thirteen year old FMP would bring youthful spirit to the household. The arrangement only lasted three years before Florence and FMP moved to Rusholme. Jeannie and Mary took Frederick’s fiancee Winnie out to Madagascar to marry Frederick who wasn’t doing too well. The family kept the news of his suicide from Mary, given her heart condition. I don’t have a record of her death.

                                          THE CHILDREN OF SAMUEL AND MARY PROCTER

                             Ada, Mary, Frederick, Eleanor, Samuel                                             Ada,Samuel,Frederick,Mary,Eleanor                                                            Samuel

Ada Thwaites Procter   c1871

Ada was Samuel’s eldest child. FMP has her as born in Madagascar, but the 1871 census suggests that she was born in Didsbury, Lancashire in January 1871. When her parents went out to Madagascar that year, Ada stayed behind with her paternal grandparents, James and Hannah at Crumpsall, Manchester. The census of April refers to her as Hannah’s daughter,aged two months, but given Hannah’s age fifty-seven, grandaughter it must be. However Ada did go out to Madagascar at an early age where her parents feared for her state of mind because she talked gibberish for so long. A doctor said that this was caused by her trying to cope with three languages at the same time, English, Malagasy and French. Plus her Indian nana was giving her opium to calm her down.

Ada overcame this and developed a gift for languages and accents. A spell at the Horners’ school gave her a Lancastrian accent and a world trip with her parents ended with her having an American accent. She also studied at the North London Collegiate and studied music in Germany.

She met Charlie Briggs in St Annes where he was on a cycling holiday, and they married in Lambeth in the summer of 1899. They honeymooned in the Italian Lakes. Charlie was fifteen years older than Ada, and though Samuel approved of him as a son-in-law, Mary was less convinced. The Briggs and the Procters were old family friends. Charlie had one of the first cars,an Amercian steam car,then a Humber.Ada and Charlie didn’t have children, although Ada suffered a miscarriage in 1909.Having travelled much in her youth, Ada remained in the UK during her marriage because Charlie didn’t like going abroad.They lived in the Buxton area until Charlie’s death.Finances had suffered over the years but Ada and Jeannie did manage to go out to Rapallo in Italy for six months where Italian was added to Ada’a languages.Jeannie lived with Ada in Buxton until her death, supporting her through her illness.

Eleanor Jane Proctor(Jeannie)  1873

Jeannie was born on Reunion Island on the 2nd May 1873, the youngest child of Samuel and Mary Procter. She was a delicate child and used a backboard at school. Like Ada, she attended the North London Collegiate and went to France for a couple of years. James Procter’s daughters had taken a similar educational path. Jeannie never married but instead took on a supportive role to relatives. She was very close to her mother and to her sister, Ada. When Ada married and her father died, she lived with her mother. The 1901 census records them staying in Bishops Teignton, Devon. She and Mary took Winnie Currie out to Madagascar to marry her brother Frederick, and then they moved to Heaton Moor where they shared a house with Florence Procter and her daughter. Such all-female households were not uncommon.

Later she moved to Southport and studied shorthand and domestic science before taking a Teaching job there. She had an unhappy time teaching and her mother died during this period. She lived in Nantwich for a while, as a lady’s help at the Richardson School. Then with Ada in Buxton, after Charlie’s death. When Ada died, Jeannie moved to Bexhill, where the Richardsons had another school. She stayed on in Bexhill, sharing a house there with a Miss Prunier and spent her latter years travelling and keeping in touch with the family. She died around the age of eighty, and she was buried at South Norwood Crematorium along with her parents, after a service at the local Methodist Church.

Frederick W Procter 1872
Fred, as he was known, was born around 1872 in Madagascar, soon after Samuel and Mary had gone out there. He was educated at the Leys School, Cambridge and went into the family business. He used to go into the city with Samuel on Stock Exchange business. Eventually he went out to Madagascar in the early 1890s. He had become engaged to Winifred Flora Currie, daughter of Donald Currie, a West Indian Merchant. Her mother had died when she was five and her father raised the family alone after that. Winnie was born in British Guiana in 1874 but grew up in London. In the early 1900s, she went out to Madagascar to marry Frederick, accompanied by Mary and Jeannie Procter.

Fred’s family business was struggling and the creditors took over for a time on condition none of the family was included. Fred bought bought a vanilla plantation for £30,000 at one time. Winnie had brothers in South Africa and they found work for Fred in Johannesburg. Winnie left hospital with her baby son, Graham, and stayed with a brother and her father. Fred was to join them later. However, he was found dead in his office. The verdict was suicide. Poor Frederick was yet another Procter who died young and illustrated what a precarious and gruelling business it was being a merchant abroad.

Three years later, Winnie brought Graham to England. Then she returned to South Africa and married a mining engineer, having another son. Graham went to boarding school in Grahamstown. Winnie was having severe problems with her state of mind and eventually went to a mental hospital where she lived for many years. Graham went into real estate and married but had no children. He died a month before Jeannie in the early 1950s.

                        Ada                                                            Eleanor                                                        Frederick                                Alfred Procter and Florence Fish         Florence Mona Procter                        

Alfred Procter  1853-1891 and Florence Nightingale Fish 1856-1922

Alfred was Samuel and Mary’s third son, born on the 4th June 1853 in Ardwick. Another of Annie Horner’s brother-in-laws. At the age of sixteen, he went out to Madagascar, a journey that took six months and left him feeling very homesick. He found life there difficult and contacted malaria. When company representatives were sent out to see how he was doing, they found him sitting outside his hut, delirious but he soldiered on in the tropics.

At twenty-seven,and home on leave, a friend introduced him to his cousin, Florence Nightingale Fish in Blackpool, and a bond was formed. Florence was a schoolteacher as was her sister Sarah. Her eldest sister, Elizabeth was a dressmaker, and Annie worked in the newsagents that her mother, Elizabeth ran. Her husband William Fish had died in his 40s. An all female household, rather like Elizabeth Chaddock’s over in Cheshire. The 1871 census shows their next-door neighbours to be the Dolphins, and one wonders how two-year old William Dolphin got on with all these Fish. Swimmingly no doubt, considering the rainfall in Blackburn.

In 1885, during another leave, Alfred married Florence at St Peter’s, Blackburn. They honeymooned in Paris and the Isle of Man. On their return to Madagascar, Florence was deep into pregnancy and the Tamatave French doctor was on leave. After a hazardous journey of six weekscrossing crocodile riversthey arrived in Antanarivo, and Alfred William Procter emerged a healthy baby."Billy” had a penchant for pulling the pigtails of his peers in his early years. In 1889 the family returned to England on leave, and while staying in Kent, Billy caught diphtheria and died. He’s buried in at Over Darwen cemetery. Florence was expectant again, and on their return to Tamatave, Florence Mona Procter (FMP) was born on the 31st August 1890 ... six days before my grandfather Franz was born in Germany.

Poor Afred became increasingly ill and was sent to Mauritius for medical treatment. There he died on the 31st October, 1891, aged just thirty-eight. For twenty two years he had been moving between England and Madagascar, fighting malaria for much of the time. Much better had he settled permanently in England as his brothers eventually did. Florence was now a widow at thiry-five.She never re-married, so her daughter missed out on a father-figure in her life. Florence couldn’t even attend her husband’s funeral because it was thought that little Florence was dying from dysentry.

Florence and her daughter went to Londonmeeting a peasoup fog as FMP recalledand then up to Blackburn. In FMP’s words “to my Fish grandmother”. Florence took a cottage in Dinkley, and FMP recalls lots of holidays and outings. She tried sharing a house at Heaton Moor with her brother Samuel’s widow,Mary and daughter Jeannie, but the arrangement never quite worked out. So she moved to Rusholme which was nearer to her daughter’s school. Following her daughter’s marriage in 1913 to Stephen Caiger, she moved to Southport after trying to live with Florence at Chorlton-cum-Hardy. Her malaria never went away and, after falling seriously ill at her home in Southport, she went to live with her daughter and her son-in-law in Derby where he was now a vicar. She died there in 1922, eight months after moving in, the result of persistent malaria, and is buried at Over Darwen.  

Florence Mona Procter 1890-1974
It is to Florence that I am indebted, as the fairy godmother of this section of the Family History. She was born on the 31st August 1890 at Tamatave, Madagascar,the only daughter of Alfred and Florence Procter. She never met her brother Billy who died the previous year of diptheria. Little Florence had hardly known her father who died fourteen months after her birth. She, herself , was thought to be dying of dysentry at the time, causing her mother to miss her husband’s funeral. She was a Bengers baby as her mother suffered badly from malaria, but young Florence also caught it and had malaria attacks over the years.

Following her father’s death, Florence and her mother moved back to England, and up to Blackburn where her maternal grandmother Elizabeth Fish still lived. She grew up in the township of Dinkley, six miles north of Blackburn, in the Ribble Valley where her mother had taken a cottage. A close friend of her mother’s lived in the next cottage with ten children. So there was plenty of company when they were home from boarding school. She went away to Blackpool, two or three times a year, and occasionally, Barmouth and the Isle of Man. Christmases were spent with her father’s brother,Samuel, in London. Although she had no real father figure in her life, Samuel did what he could for both his niece and his sister-in-law, particular with his financial acumen.

Florence was educated at home by her mother until she was twelve. Then she attended Morton's Church School in Little Harwood and afterwards Manchester High School, following their move to Heaton Moor and a house-share with her Aunt Mary and cousin Jeannie. After three years, they moved to Rusholme, which was even nearer to the High School. She met Stephen Langrish Caiger, the brother of her school friend, Mildred, and they became engaged. Stephen, born in 1886, was the son of Catherine and William Stephen Caiger, a Clerk in Holy Orders. Having graduated from Cambridge University with honours, Stephen studied at Manchester Theological College and Manchester University.

On June 3, 1913, Stephen and Florence were married at St James, Birch, Rusholme. They moved to Chorlton-cum-Hardy where Catherine Mary Caiger was born on the 18th September, 1914. Later, in 1921, they moved to St Thomas Vicarage in Derby where Stephen was the vicar until 1935. 1922 saw the death of Florence’s mother in May and the birth of their second daughter, Elizabeth, on the 20th of November. In 1935, Stephen became the Vicar of Wirksworth and Alderwasley with Carsington until 1951. During this period, he was also the Rural Dean of Wirksworth for 10 years and Curate-in-Charge of Idridgehay for 8 years. In 1951, he became the Vicar of Osmaston with Edlaston in the Diocese of Derby. He wrote several books including Lives of the Prophets in 1936, Archaeology and the New Testament in 1939,and British Honduras in 1951. The latter resulting from his Missionary work there, first in 1917, and later in 1929. 

Florence’s grandmother Fish had been honoured in the naming of Elizabeth,  just as Stephen’s mother had been in the naming of Catherine. Elizabeth went on to have a family of boys (except for Sarah) and Catherine a family of four girls. As was the case with the Procters, it was the woman who considerably outlived the man. Stephen passing away in 1956 at the age of sixty-nine, and Florence in 1974 at the age of eighty-three.

Mary Hannah Procter[Annie]  1857-1893
Annie, as she was better known, was the only daughter of James and Hannah to reach adulthood. Annie Horner was her sister-in-law. She was rather delicate and lived with her parents throughout her life. Despite this, she met and married Edmund Holden in 1884 at Ormskirk Registery Office. Edmund was a joiner and apparently, Annie’s brothers disapproved of the marriage. He was the eldest child of Elizabeth and James Holden, “goodlooking, gentle, weak” as FMP remembered. Edmund lived with Annie and her parents at Birkdale along with their children, Ada Treece (Irene) and Mary (Marie) Annie, though delicate, had a forceful personality and insisted that her brothers helped Edmund. Madagascar it was to be but fortunatelyfor his future survivalEdmund got homesick and wisely returned to Birkdale.

As we know, Madagascar can seriously damage your health. Annie’s own health eventually got the better of her and she passed away in 1893, aged thirty-six. Edmund re-married in 1898. She was also called Mary and they had a girl, Cathaline, in September 1900. They lived in Bilsdale, and despite his late mother-in-law’s fears, FMP wrote that Mary was ”a nice homely woman so grandmother needn’t have worried about Marie. She was eight, and very fond of her stepmother, and adored her stepsister Kathleen”

His mother, Betty also lived with them. Irene married and emigrated to Australia but died having her third child and the families lost touch with each other. Marie had a milliners shop in Liverpool and was engaged to be married, but both fell through. She was manageress of a shop in Manchester and later Harrogate.

This brings to a close the Procter part of our family history. I had to do justice to FMP's wonderful family notes, so no apologies for its length!


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