Thirteenth Generation

4896. Hugh HORNBY14,87,95,205,258,259 was born on 19 July 1719 in Of Kirkham, Lancashire, England. He died in February 1781 at the age of 61 in Of Kirkham, Lancashire, England. BIOGRAPHY: ...settled in Kirkham. Apprenticed to Joseph Hankinson, Esq. of Kirkham, drysalter, flax and linen merchant and sail cloth manufacturer, whose daughter and ultimate sole heiress he married. After his father-in-law's death, Mr. Hugh Hornby went into partnership with his brother-in-law, Mr. Thomas Hankinson, as a flax dresser and merchant, with premises in Kirkham and at Skippool Creek, near Poulton-le-fylde, which were later moved to Wardleys, on the other side of the River Wyre. Mr. Thomas Hankinson died intestate c.1775, and Mr Hugh Hornby then became sole proprietor of the merchanting business. By this means, he inaugurated the Hornby family's extensive interests in the textile industry, which lasted well into the 20th century. Margaret HANKINSON and Hugh HORNBY were married about 1745 in Of Kirkham, Lancashire, England.

4897. Margaret HANKINSON86,87,95,258 was born on 27 October 1723 in Of Kirkham, Lancashire, England. She died on 3 August 1804 at the age of 80 in Of Kirkham, Lancashire, England. "...eventually sole heiress of her father, Joseph."

Children were:





Joseph HORNBY D. L. And J. P.86,87,95,260 was born on 22 September 1748 in Kirkham, Lancashire, England. He was christened on 30 September 1748 in Kirkham, Lancashire, England. He died on 19 March 1832 at the age of 83 in Ribby Hall, Lancashire, England. Joseph was buried in Kirkham, Lancashire, England. BIOGRAPHY: Merchant who succeeded his father in the family business in Kirkham, and who in the 1780's built Ribby Hall, Ribby-with-Wrea, which thereafter became his residence. . . In 1789, he purchased the advowson of St. Michael's-on-Wyre, Garstang, for his youngest brother, Rev. Hugh Hornby, M.A. He purchased the Bradkirk estate, Kirkham, in 1797, and was Lord of the Manor of Singleton. In 1809, he built the first Singleton Church. He also purchased very extensive lands in and around Kirkham, becoming one of the largest landowners in the vicinity. (See numerous title deeds held [1980] by William A. Hornby, of The Old House, St. Michael's-on-Wyre). In business, Mr. Joseph Hornby formed a co-partnership with his brothers, Thomas and William, trading as Messrs. J., T., and W. Hornby. This was effected by a series of conveyances in 1793. The partnership had premises in Freckleton Street, Kirkham, which included two spinning-sheds, a weaving-shop, a bowkhouse or bleach-house and two rows of workers' cottages known as Old Row and New Row, to which were later added further cottages and weaving-shops in a close called Hornby Square. Several fields were purchased in Orders Lane, Kirkham, on which the partners built another factory and bowkhouse, while in Moor Lane they had weaving shops and other buildings. Their town residences and counting-houses were in Poulton Street, Kirkham. About 1785, the partners owned a flax-spinning mill near Whitehaven, and they also owned a mill at Bentham, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. By 1824, they had in addition a factory in Redcross Street, Liverpool, and to supply these various establishments they were part owners of many ships which brought flax and hemp from the Baltic ports to Liverpool, Lancaster and Wardleys. . . With his death the Kirkham mercantile interests of the family ceased, although these interests continued in Liverpool, (see Messrs. Hugh and Joseph Hornby, of Liverpool - below).

Messrs. J., T. & W. Hornby established themselves in Bentham about 1795, and at first operated from Low Mill. They imported Baltic Flax into a warehouse on St. George's quay, Lancaster, and transported it by four horse wagons to Bentham. Initially, the brothers spun yarn at Bentham for their sailcloth factories in Kirkham, and later they built premises for weavers in Bentham, some of whom came from Kirkham. The Bentham operations were managed after about 1814 by Tony Roughsedge Esq., who continued to trade under the name of Hornby & Co., but who extended the Hornby interests there. In 1814, Mr. Hornby Roughsedge - who had formerly managed the Hornby factories in Kirkham - purchased High Hill and the residence known as Bentham House in Bentham from Charkes Oarker Esq. He also acquired the manorial rights of Ingleton, and became the leading gentleman of the district. He was a great benefactor of St. Margaret's Church, Bentham, which contains several memorials to him. In the 1830's, the sailcloth industry began to decline in Bentham, and the mills went over to the production of finer yarns by wet spinning. In 1850, Mr. Hornby Roughsedge sold the Bentham mills and Bentham House to Messrs. Waithman & Co., and retired to Foxghyll, near Ambleside. He died in September, 1859, and was buried at Grasmere. (Mr. Hornby Roughsedge was the son of Rev. Thomas Hankinson Roughsedge, Rector of Liverpool, and was a kinsman of the Hornbys through his grandmother (nee Hankinson) - see Mr. Hugh Hornby, of Kirkham (above). See also Rev. Edward James Geoffrey Hornby, M.A. Rector of Bury (below), who married Elizabeth, only daughter of Mr. Hornby Roughsedge).


Robert HORNBY86,87,95 was born on 18 July 1750 in Of Kirkham, Lancashire, England. He died in 1776/7 at the age of 27 in Of Kirkham, Lancashire, England. Unmarried


William HORNBY95 was born on 28 May 1752 in Of Kirkham, Lancashire, England. He died on 20 September 1758 at the age of 6 in Of Kirkham, Lancashire, England.


Thomas HORNBY95 was born on 12 April 1754 in Of Kirkham, Lancashire, England. He died on 12 March 1758 at the age of 3 in Of Kirkham, Lancashire, England.


John HORNBY95 was born on 21 September 1756 in Of Kirkham, Lancashire, England. He died on 15 March 1758 at the age of 1 in Of Kirkham, Lancashire, England.



Thomas HORNBY (K6QF-TJ5).


William HORNBY86,87,95 was born on 26 July 1761 in Of Kirkham, Lancashire, England. He died on 17 February 1824 at the age of 62 in Of Kirkham, Lancashire, England. BIOGRAPHY: Merchant; a partner with his elder brothers Joseph and Thomas in the family business. Shortly before his death, Mr. William Hornby purchased the Raikes Hall estate, Blackpool, which he bequeathed on his death to his younger brother, John Hornby, Esq., of Blackburn. Died unmarried.


John HORNBY86,87,95,261 was born on 2 July 1763 in Kirkham, Lancashire, England. He died on 29 January 1841 at the age of 77 in Blackburn, Lancashire, England. King Street, Blackburn. He was buried after 29 January 1841 in Blackburn, Lancashire, England. St John's Churchyard BIOGRAPHY: Merchant and Cotton manufacturer, of King Street, Blackburn, and of Raikes Hall, Blackbool. Left Kirkham for Blackburn, 1779, to learn the business of a merchant with his brother-in-law, Richard Birley, (q.v.) With part of the capital accruing to him on his father's death (1781), purchased a share in a spinning mill at Scorton, nr. Garstang. Extended this business to Blackburn, in conjunction with Richard Birley. their first warehouse was in Clayton Street, Blackburn, and here they acted as "putters-out" to handloom weavers. About 1809, the partners purchased Derrikin's Field at Brookhouse, Blackburn, and erected a size-house. Their first spinning mill was built on land adjoining in about 1828, and a much larger mill was completed in 1832. From these extended the full Brookhouse Mills organization run by the Hornby family throughout the 19th, and early 20th centuries. Mr. John Hornby's valuation of his estate in 1786 was £3,131, but by 1796 it had increased to £26,242, and was worth c. £200,000 on his death. He was a trustee for the rebuilding of Blackburn Parish Church, 1819, and was a trustee of Blackburn Savings Bank. He was also a leading contributor to the building of Blackpool Parish Church.

Industrial enterprise and endeavour

We have already seen that, by the time Charles Tiplady began recording events in his diary, Blackburn had become a thriving industrial centre. But who were the driving forces behind this success story? It was often the ambition of individual men that shaped the town's commercial and physical growth, establishing family dynasties that were to dominate cotton, engineering and brewing. The lives of three of these men will serve to illustrate that it was personalities, rather than companies, who gave Blackburn's industry that first vital spark.

Hornby is a name synonymous with Blackburn. The family not only produced the first mayor and several Members of Parliament, but also employed a huge workforce at their Brookhouse Mills. But before the industrial revolution, there were no Hornby's in Blackburn - they were a classic 'industrial family' who arrived and thrived with cotton, and John Hornby (1763-1841), as the founding father of the dynasty, was one of the town's first textile entrepreneurs. John's story is not a tale of 'rags to riches', but rather that of a determined young man from a good family of Kirkham merchants. The following extract from the Blackburn Times, chronicles his arrival:

'…he came to Blackburn as a boy of 16 to learn the business of a merchant with Richard Birley [his brother-in-law]'his capital consisted of exactly £25, invested at 5% in the family business. Arrangements were made for him to live with his sister and brother-in-law. He saved £10 out of his first year's allowance and, with gifts and earnings, immediately began to build up his little capital.'

One of the first things he invested in was a local gazetteer, familiarising himself with the area and the arrangement of the cotton trade which, at that time, was still based on the domestic system of handloom weavers producing cloth in their own cottages. Merchants such as John Hornby were essentially middle-men, known as 'putters-out'. They travelled out to the handloom weaver's colonies, providing them with spun cotton (usually on credit), returning later in the month to collect the finished cloth which was then stored or sold on from a warehouse in town. It is important to remember that while the skills of the handloom weaver were in high demand, the relationship between merchant and weaver was an unequal one - the roles of employer and employee were gradually adopted, to the extent that some merchants used their warehouses as handloom 'factories', centralizing production and paying their weavers a wage.

The introduction of mechanised spinning techniques based on the inventions of Hargreaves and Crompton saw the first textile mills constructed in Blackburn. From the profits made as a merchant, John Hornby built one of the earliest spinning mills at Brookhouse in 1828, which initially took its power from the River Blakewater. Powerloom weaving began on the site in 1830. By the time of Hornby's death in 1841, Brookhouse had been transformed into a thriving industrial village, the mills surrounded by streets of cottages built to house the mill workers. Unlike some self-made men of the period, Hornby's benevolence towards his employees and the poor in general seems to have been genuine. Whittle, in Blackburn As It Is (1852) notes:

'He was very charitable to the poor, and he invariably found out where poverty was deserving of assistance - he made a point of upholding and maintaining the wages of the weavers in times of adversity, when the state of trade rendered such protection a temporary loss to the employers.'

Of course, Hornby could afford to be generous. Since 1796 he had lived in a luxurious house on King Street, from where he watched his fortune increase year by year. He died worth a staggering £200,000, having established his family as the premier employer in Blackburn.


Rev. Hugh HORNBY M. A.86,95,200,259 was born on 22 August 1765 in Of Kirkham, Lancashire, England. He was christened on 25 September 1765 in Kirkham, Lancashire, England. He died on 4 January 1847 at the age of 81 in Garstang, Lancashire, England. Hugh was buried after 4 January 1847 in Garstang, Lancashire, England.95 St. Michael's. BIOGRAPHY: Vicar of St. Michael's-on-Wyre, Garstang. Educated (privately) at Warrington, and at Christ's College, Cambridge (B.A. 1787; M.A. 1790). Ordained deacon, 1788, and priest, 1789. Curate of St Michael's-on-Wyre, 1788-89. Instituted Vicar of St. Michaels's - to which living he was presented by his eldest brother, Joseph Hornby, Esq., of Ribby Hall (q.v.) - 19 Oct., 1789. Purchased lands in St. Michael's-on-Wyre, and inherited estates in Heywood, nr. Rochdale, through his wife. Also held the curacy (in absence) of Whitworth, in the parish of Rochdale, from 31 Jan., 1804, until 1829. The patronage of the living of St. Michael's, which has passed to Rev. Hugh Hornby from his eldest brother, passed on his death to his only surviving son, Rev. William Hornby (q.v.), who also succeeded his father as Vicar after the latter's fifty-seven years' incumbency, and who succeeded to the St. Michael's and Heywood estates.


Elizabeth HORNBY86,87,95,200 was born on 11 March 1771 in Of Kirkham, Lancashire, England. She died after 11 March 1771 at the age of 0 in Of Kirkham, Lancashire, England. Hornby: "Died in infancy"