This family of HORNBY originally DE HORNEBY or DE HORNEBIE -- traces its origins from the neighbourhood of HORNBY-IN-LONSDALE, North Lancashire.

In the late 13th. and early 14th. centuries, there were several families resident in the locality who used the name - e.g. "Adam (the Tanner) of Hornby", whose son, William, became known simply as "William of Hornby".

From Some of these "of Hornby" groups came the Forest Officers in the time of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster (beheaded in 1322). William de Horneby was Keeper of the Lonsdale and Amounderness Forests in 1313, and until January, 1315, and he was probably the "William, son of Ralph de Horneby" who was a member of tho inquest on the lands of Margaret de Nevill, of Hornby Castle, in 1319.

In 1316/17, this same Margaret de Nevill, as Lady of Hornby, granted Ulthewaite, in the hamlet of Wray to the occupier, "Adam the Tanur of Hornby, with remainder to his son, William de Horneby, and issue. Sir Robert de Nevill released to Adam the Tanner and his heirs the title to the lands held by Adam for life in Hornby, Wray and Melling.

Others of the name "de Horneby" were receivers or clerks under the Dukes of Lancaster, and were rewarded by grants of rectories - among them Tatham, Ribchester and Kirkham.

A John de Horneby obtained lands from Benedict de Brerelay in Hornby and Farleton in 1307, and in 1314 he claimed further lands in Caton and Claughton against John de Caton. The same John de Horneby in 1321, obtained a messuage and fourteen acres in Hornby from Adam de Berdeseye for 20.

On 5th. March, 1323 it was stated in an inquisition at Garstang that John de Rigmaidene (of Wedacre) granted to John de Horneby and others two caracates and one hundred acres of land, five hundred acres of wood, and the moiety of a mill in Garstang in Wyresdale. John de Horneby was in remainder.

A precept of the Sheriff in 1326 summoned "a jury of the Garstang neighbourhood to enquire if the Abbot of Cockersand and others had cut down the young oaks belonging to John de Horneby, and had carried off the trees (value 20)".

This John de Horneby was the father of Edmund de Horneby, and in 1325 Hugh of Kernetby was licensed to enfeoff John and Edmund de Horneby of a moiety of the manor of Claughton, then held on chief-of-the-King.

In 1328 Edmund de Horneby was under age, and a settlement was made. In 1337/8, this same Edmund mentioned as "the son of John de Horneby 'the elder'", made a settlement of his manors of Ireby, Tunstall and Claughton. In 1342, Sir John de Herrington required Edmund de Horneby to fulfil an agreement respecting the third part of lands in Claughton. In 1346, Edmund de Horneby still held three oxgangs in Claughton-in-Lonsdale.

A second William de Horneby -- not the William de Horneby who was Keeper of the Lonsdale and Amounderness Forests (Forester of Quernmore) (see above)-- was baptised at Tunstall about this time, and he was descended from the John de Horneby also mentioned extensively above. This William de Horneby lived circa 1340 to 1401, and was a "Clerk in Office" in 1363 and at other dates to 18th. February, 1390. He was also a Chancellor of the Exchequer for the Duchy of Lancaster and Clerk of the Lanaper at Lancaster. He was rewarded by the parsonages of Ribchester and St. Michael's-on-Wyre, being Rector of the former parish in 1363/4 and of the latter from 1375 until about 1389 or 1390. In 1363, he was a Canon of Lincoln. The name of this William de Horneby appears frequently in the Duchy Records, and for many recognizances for debts to him were enrolled between 1378 and 1387.

John de Skerton, by deed dated "Monday next after the feast of St. Michael", 49th. Edward III (1375), granted to "William de Horneby, person of the Church of St. Michael's-upon-Wire, Adam Skillingcorn and others" certain burgages which he (John de Skerton) held in the town of Lancaster, and which they afterward conveyed to Robert de Plesington.

In 1381/2, Robert de Wassington granted all his lands and tenements in Carleton-in-Amounderness to "William de Horneby, person of the Church of St. Michael's-upon-Wire", for the rent of a rose per annum for the first eight years, and afterwards at a rental of 20 per annum.

By grant dated 20th. March 1384, Richard de Hoghton son of Adam de Hoghton, knight, acting for William de Horneby, had conveyed to the latter the lands of Henry de Kighley, knight, and the wardship of the marriage of Richard, son and heir of Sir Henry de Kighley.

In 1391, this same William de Horneby was employed by Henry, Earl of Derby, and he died between 4th. and 8th. November, 1401.

The above William was probably a connection of another John de Horneby, his contemporary, who was Rector of Tatham in 1382, and who is mentioned again shortly, and of another contemporary, Robert de Horneby.

The de Horneby officials of the Duchy of Lancaster in many cases also held the offices of Mastar Forester Or the bailiwicks of Lonsdale and Quernmore (as illustrated above), and were invariably associated with Hornby Castle as the local point of control.

On 15th. June 1371, John de Horneby, parson of Tatham, (see above), William de Sotheworth, chaplain (feoffee) and John de Smalwode obtained from Adam de Skillingcorn (of Preese) nine messuages eighty-six acres of land and two acres of meadow in Newton (near Kirkham), Preese, Sidford and Lancaster for one hundred marks.

In the mid-4th. century, Margaret, daughter of Robert de Horneby, had married John, son of Thomas de Rigmaidene and on 25th. September, 1354, "Robert de Horneby and Margaret his wife acquired a toft and six acres in Upper Rawcliffe-with-Tarnacre from Roger the Miller, of Hambleton".

In 1395/6, a John de Horneby of Warrington, "saddler and nephew and heir of John de Horneby, late Rector of Tatham", granted to feoffees all his interests in Caton and Claughton, on which the same lands were conveyed to Sir Robert of Urswick.

From 1394 to 1416, Thomas de Horneby was Vicar of Kirkham, and this member of the family appears to have been a chaplain to the Nevills of Hornby. He is associated with William Tynder, parson of Tatham (29th. January,1416), as a feoffee of Sir John Southworth. he was also a feoffee for a portion of Croston, enfeoffed by Sir Robert Nevill of Hornby. Some authorities have suggested that this Thomas de Horneby was a brother of William de Horneby, Rector of St. Michael's-on-Wyre (see previous page),

From these records, it can be seen that, originating in the immediate vicinity of Hornby-in-Lonsdale itself, at the end of the 13th. century, the family of HORNBY OF NORTH LANCASHIRE _ through services to the Nevills of Hornby Castle, to the Crown and to the Duchy of Lancaster - gradually acquired extensive lands, and in some cases rectories and parsonages.

Initially, these lands acquired by members of the family were all in the Lonsdale area of North Lancashire, but in time interests were also acquired in the Garstang district, and subsequently in the Fylde area of Amounderness.

Ultimately, the family's connections with the township of Hornby itself lapsed entirely, and it is in the Fylde -- during the 15th. and 16th. centuries -- that the later origins of the family are to be traced.

It will be seen above that lands were acquired in Garstng, Upper Rawcliffe-with-Tarnacre (St. Michael's-on-Wyre), and later in Newton (near Kirkham), and it is in the area immediately around Kirkham, in Newton, Medlar, Hardhorn and Singleton -- that the Family was most concentrated in the 15th. and 16th. centuries. Both Medlar and Singleton contained lands owned by the Abbot of Coskersand Abbey, and during the two centuries in question, members of the Hornby family were established as tenant farmers, of the Abbey lands. In 1501, William and James Hornby were tenants of the Abbey farm in Medlar. A Thomas Hornby is mentioned as being resident "near Kirkham" in 1508/9, and a Robert Hornby was living in Kirkham itself in 1531.

In 1538, the Abbey of Coskersand demesned all its Medlar lands to the Westbys of Mowbreck (Kirkham) and William and Robert Hornby were named among the tenants at this time.

The list of Amounderness wills in this period shows many Hornbys resident in the Fylde townships of Kirkham, Medlar, Hardhorn, Singleton, Wesham, Inskip, Roseacre, Newton and Upper Rawcliffe, and the name of Hornby is very common in the first Kirkham parish registers (circa 1539 onwards). A Hugh Hornby was living in Kirkham around 1540, and his family is amongst those named in the early registers. A George Hornby married Margaret Eccleston at Kirkham on 10th. April, 1553, and a Richard Hornby was buried at Kirkham on 2nd. December, 1562. In 1570, Robert Hornby was a "30--man" (leading citizen and administrator) for Wesham.

In the mid-16th. century Court Leet of Kirkham Borough several Hornbys are named on the Jury, etc.; others were Burgesses of the Vill, and in 1572/3, Robert and Henry Hornby were named on the Court Roll.

From some of these last-named members of the family descended RICHARD HORNBY of Newton-with-Scales; HUGH HORNBY, of Bankfield, Little Singleton; and probably WILLIAM HORNBY of The Hook, Hampshire (for all of whom, see the detailed pedigree on succeeding pages), who form the first positive starting-point for the continuous lineage of the three main HORNBY families that trace their origins to North Lancashire. Two of these three main branches - the HORNBYS of NEWTON, KIRKHAM, RIBBY HALL, LIVERPOOL, PUSEY HOUSE, BLACKBURN, NANTWICH, NORTHUMBERLAND and ST. MICHAEL'S-ON-WYRE on the one hand; and those of BANKFIELD, POULTON--LE-FYLDE, SCALE HALL, WINWICK, DALTON HALL, LITTLEGREEN and LORDINGTON on the other - subsequently became linked through inter-marriage. It is impossible to discover a common ancestor for all three main branches, and definitely to link all three families together, during the 16th. or 17th. centuries, owing to the absence of comprehensive parish registers for the period involved. It is, however probably safe to assume that all three families descend from a common ancestor living in the Kirkham or Singleton vicinity between 1550 and 1600.

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Last Updated 02 July, 2003 by David Birley