Sunday, February 18, 2007

William Hornigold

(* Let's see... finish the translation of The Hounds of Marduk for the seventh Storm collection: check. Finish the introduction for same: check. Any photos you want to upload? No! Check John's blog to see if you can add anything...? Not yet...)

A couple of recent posts on John's Oliver Oyl blog about a penny blood illustrator variously called W. Hornegold, W. Hornigold and possibly also George Honygold sent me digging around various genealogical records and I seem to have struck gold first time out. John quotes an account by John Diprose from Some Account of the Parish of St. Clement Danes (1868) where he discusses an artist named George Honygold, an artist of inconsiderable talent, and illustrator of pasteboard theatre sheets. John quotes Diprose as saying 'Honygold', "was a very agreeable companion, having collected a rare and racy fund of anecdotes; this led him much into company, and caused him to indulge too much in intemperate habits, which ended, we regret to say, in an untimely death. He constantly used the noted "No. 9", a gin-palace in Clare Market. He afterwards frequented the "Fountain", No. 4, Clare Street. In this house he imbibed his last drop; he had been indulging freely, and when the house was cleared, being deeply intoxicated, he fell down. He was taken to the Charing Cross Hospital, where he expired, at the age of Sixty-nine, in the year 1866."

A search of birth, death and marriage records shows that the death (at the age of 69) of one William Hornigold was recorded in Pancras in the March 1867 quarter. As registration could take up to six weeks it is possible that the death occurred in late 1866.

He is registered in the 1851 census under the name William Horngold, artist, aged 52, born in Norfolk. At that time he was living in Charles Street in the Parish of St. Giles in the Fields, Finsbury, with his wife Jane (41), daughters Eliza (19) and Harriett (7) and son William (17). Both Eliza and William were born in Lambeth, Surrey whilst Harriett was born in St. Giles, which means they presumably moved into the area some time between c.1834 and c.1844.

In 1861 (now erroneously listed as Homegold) William is a 63-year-old theatrical artist, his birth place now listed as Borough, Surrey. He is still married to Jane Elizabeth (50) and living with daughter Harriet (17) at 4 Nags Head Court, St. Clement Dane, Westminster.

Unfortunately, Hornigold and his family remain stubbornly elusive in the 1841 census records, and official birth, marriage and death records only started in 1837, after they were married. I did, however, manage to find a Christening record for Eliza (surname given as Hornegold) which confirms her mother's name as Jane Elizabeth. Eliza was Christened at St Martin in the Fields, Westminster, on 2 November 1831.

From various other records, I believe Jane Hornigold's death was registered in Pancras in 1870 and that her daughters Harriet and Eliza married in 1871 and 1875 respectively, although all these dates need to be treated with caution.

Not a great deal added, I'm afraid, although the records seem to confirm that William Hornigold was born c.1797 and was an artist for some years whilst living in London.

Update -- 19 February

John has located a biographical sketch for Hornigold which confirms that he was born in 1797 and died at the Strand Union Workhouse on 12 February 1867 after falling down intoxicated outside the 'Fountain' pub in Clare Market and being carried to the workhouse.

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