HORNER, George I (1605-77), of Cloford, Som.
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Family and Education
bap. 3 Mar. 1605, 1st s. of Sir John Horner† of Mells by Anne, da. of Sir George Speke of White Lackington. educ. Lincoln, Oxf. 1623; L. Inn 1626, called 1633. m. Anne, da. of Sir Neville Poole† of Oaksey, Wilts., 4s. (1 d.v.p.) 4da. suc. fa. 1659; kntd. 25 June 1660.2
Commr. for assessment, Som. 1647-8, Aug. 1660-74, militia 1648, Mar. 1660, j.p. 1648-?9, Mar. 1660-d.; elder, Wells classis 1648, dep. lt. Som. June 1660-d., commr. for sewers Aug., Dec. 1660, sheriff 1667-8, commr. for recusants 1675.3
Horner’s family had been settled in Somerset since early in the 15th century, and at the dissolution of the monasteries picked the plum estate of Mells out of the monastic pie, a feat commemorated in the well-known nursery rhyme. His grandfather sat for the county in two Elizabethan Parliaments, and his father was one of the most active of the parliamentarian gentry during the Civil War. But Horner himself, though a Presbyterian, was described as ‘a known neuter, if not worse’, when he was elected as a recruiter. He took no part in politics during the Interregnum, and was regarded as a Royalist in 1659.4
Horner was returned for Somerset at the general election of 1660, and marked by Lord Wharton as a friend. Doubtless a court supporter, he was rewarded with a knighthood. He was named to no committees in the Convention, but on 28 July urged legislation to reduce the maximum rate of interest to 6 per cent. He is not likely to have stood again, and when he was pricked as sheriff in 1667, he was allowed to execute his office by deputy owing to ill health. He died on 9 Feb. 1677 and was buried at Cloford.5
Ref Volumes: 1660-1690
Authors: M. W. Helms / Irene Cassidy
- 1. Did not sit after Pride’s Purge, 6 Dec. 1648, readmitted 21 Feb. 1660.
- 2. Hutchins, Dorset, ii. 667; Misc. Gen. et Her. (n.s.) iv. 162-4.
- 3. Q. Sess. Recs. (Som. Rec. Soc. xxxiv), p. xiii; W. Prynne, County of Som. Divided into Classes, 7; Som. RO, Popham mss 167.
- 4. Collinson, Som. ii. 463; D. Underdown, Som. in the Civil War