This is an extract taken
from a article
The life of the Horne's of Mattishall
is vast. The whole story would take up many words. I am following
a particular branch of their family tree. The main men in our
story are printed boldly. Other family members are mentioned
and can be seen on the Family Tree.
In The Beginning
In 1755, William Horne was christened
in East Dereham at St. Nicolas, Church of England. Little is known
of his childhood or education, what is known is that at the time
of his marriage 25th January 1791, again at St Nicolas, to Mary
Tennent, is that neither he or his wife could write their names.
It is recorded that they 'made their mark'. They went on to have
5 children of which 3 survived. William Horne, born 18th
September 1801, Ann Horne 3rd February 1804 and Thomas Horne 15th
November 1807. All were baptised at St Nicolas in Dereham.
The Mattishall Connection.
Around this time in Mattishall a man by the name
of John Carter, a ministerial academic from East Tuddenham and
a Non Conformist, came back from college to found the Old Moor
Chapel on Badley Moor. This saw the nearest Non-Conformist Chapel
(other than the Quaker's in Baxter Row in Dereham) to Norwich.
Non Conformists were often married baptised and buried in Church
of England Chapels. It was illegal at this time to perform and
ceremonies at an Independent church. Today a registrar is still
needed if a ceremony takes place in an Independent Church. However,
John Carter was a pioneer of The Congregationalist movement and
fortunately for Mattishall he found a small but willing congregation.
This man, possibly, is the key to the beginning
of the Horne family coming to Mattishall from Dereham.
William Godfrey was born in Mattishall in 1801
the same year as William Horne. His father, Clement Godfrey,
was an early member of the Old Moor Chapel, Mattishall's Congregational
Chapel. Ann Horne was to marry William Godfrey in 1827 at St Nicolas's,
Dereham. Although William Godfrey was a Congregationalist, it
was tradition that the wedding took place in the Bride's birthplace.
At the time of their marriage, William was a Cooper8 and Ann was
a Straw Bonnet Maker. There was a brewery at this time in Mattishall
but William was self-employed. His father was a large landowner,
some of it on Badley Moor where the Old Moor Chapel was built.
The couple leased a cottage from him, possibly in Yaxham Road,
as this is where the couple lived in 1851.
William Horne, the younger, had also married.
Mary Ann Mann from Swanton Morley. William was a Tailor Journeyman
at this time, which would have taken him across the County. He
possibly met Mary Ann on his travels selling cloth. There is no
record of their marriage, they may never have, but their first
son George Horn 10 was born 26 May 1827. This family came and
settled in Mattishall. Whether it was due to Ann being in Mattishall
or whether it was again down to the wish to be a member of the
Congregational Chapel, we will never know. I think it was probably
a bit of both. The Mattishall connection grew even stronger when
Thomas Horne married Esther Lark, a resident of Mattishall. They
were married second April 1832 at All Saints Church in Mattishall,
Church of England and very opposed to the Congregational movement.
Esther Lark proved difficult for me to follow as no birth or death
records have been found. However, in 1833 one year after their
marriage both were admitted to Mattishall Congregational Chapel
and Esther was baptised in 1845. In the extensive notes that were
taken from all manner of meetings and services it is noted that
when they joined it was " from Independent Church in Dereham".
This was probably a Baptist church as Esther's parents were Baptists.
The Growth of the Horne Congregational
William and Ann Horne had been admitted
to the Congregational Chapel in 1828, William becoming
Deacon the same year. William and Ann Godfrey may have attended
their church infrequently but the records show their admittance
in 1848, much later than the other two Horne families. All the
three original Horne siblings had their children baptised at the
By 1828 The Congregational Chapel had seen the
retirement of the well loved John Carter, and in 1817 Richard
Fairbrother of Abingdon had followed as the 2nd minister of the
Chapel he was the husband of John Carter's granddaughter. Thomas
Wilson became the pastor; it is because of him that the diligently
kept records of life in their congregation are so precise. He
stopped his work for a while due to illness and the records slip
in quality and quantity. He recovered and took up his old position
and after 25 years as pastor Mr Wilson became Minister in charge
at Mattishall. Again he was a respected man and when the suggestion
of worship place nearer the centre of the village was opened up
for discussion. He sowed the seed resulting in the Lecture Hall
at Welgate10 to enable better attendance figures at evening service.
If you look on the map Old Moor Chapel is quite a distance to
travel to worship, however it did need a certain amount of isolation
because of the bad feeling that reared up every now and then between
opposing faiths. The Lecture Hall was opened on 12th October 1856.
A Miss Taylor (who I believe leased a property to Thomas Horne
and family) had donated the land. Shortly after this Mr Wilson
became ill again and retired. Rev. Henry Kiddle of Cadham was
appointed in 1859 and he was to prove a thorn in the side of the
In the 1851 Census the families I am following
1851: - Mattishall Census: page 45: Schedule no 198: Yaxham
William Horne, Head, Married, Aged 49 Tailor & Draper (employing
born East Dereham.
Mary Ann Horne, Wife, Married, aged 43, born Swanton Morley
George Horne, Son, Unmarried, aged 23 tailor, born Mattishall.
1851:- Mattishall Census: page 40 : Schedule
No 175: Yaxham Road.
William Godfrey, Head, Married, aged 50, Cooper, born Mattishall
Ann Godfrey,Wife, Married, aged 46, born East Dereham
Eliza Godfrey, Daughter, Un-Married, aged 21, Apprentice, born
William Godfrey, Son, aged 14, born Mattishall
Elizabeth Godfrey, Daughter, aged 8, born Mattishall
Clara Godfrey, Daughter, aged 5 born Mattishall
1851:-Mattishall Census: page 38: Schedule
No 165: Yaxham Road
Thomas Horne, Head, Married, aged 43 Tailor journeyman, born
Esther Horne, Wife, Married, aged 45, born Mattishall
Anna Horne, Daughter, aged 11, Scholar, Born Mattishall
John Horne, Son aged 3, born Mattishall
The figures from the 1851 Religious Census:-
Morning Attendance 114 (scholars 55) Held at Old Moor
Afternoon Attendance 226 (scholars 55) Held at Old Moor. Evening
Attendance 64 Held at the new Lecture Hall
A Change in Direction
By 1853 William Horne's wife, Mary Ann,
had died. She was buried 10th August, at Old Moor Chapel. There
is a gravestone in her memory in the burial ground of the Chapel.
The same year on 26th of September George Horne, William's
son married Susanna Harriet Poll of North Tuddenham. The marriage
took place in North Tuddenham; a stone throw from Mattishall,
at the Parish Church.
George had been admitted to The Congregational Chapel in
1844. Susanna was admitted in 1861 but we can assume she attended
regularly with her husband and ever expanding family as the 1871
census will show. George's father William was in
1862 appointed treasurer by Rev. Kiddle and formed a committee
to arrange for the purchase of a Manse. With William being
more involved in the running of the church, he and his son George
seem to have rubbed Rev. Kiddle up the wrong way. The clash of
personalities came to a head. William resigned his office
as Treasurer and Deacon and his new wife Elizabeth were shown
to have left with him. George and his wife Susanna became
'excluded'. The notes show George and Susanna "Excluded
February 27th 1862 for non-attendance and manifestation of an
unchristian spirit". William and Ann Godfrey seem to have stayed
but Thomas and Esther do seem to have gone also, notes are vague
here but by Esther's name, it says, "Left with Husband to attend
Strangely, on 28th April 1864, George
and Susanna were readmitted to the Congregational Chapel and continued
to attend. Until notes from the Methodist Chapel, that talk of
the main preaching families of Mattishall, " Mr. George Horne
received a 'Note of Liberty' in September 186514. A note of Liberty
was given to those of a high standard of preaching. We must assume
here that George had taken up with the Methodist's possibly in
1862 and continued to preach and attend at both Chapels.
This takes our journey in a slightly different
Robert Key, Pioneer of Methodism
Primitive Methodists, like the Congregationalists,
were a branch of the Independent churches. Rev. Robert Key influenced
Methodism in Mattishall. He was an influential preacher in Mid-Norfolk
in 1830. His base became Mattishall; he hired a small cottage
and lived frugally. He went out to the entire small towns and
villages of mid-Norfolk spreading the word of the Primitives.
In some places, he was a little too primitive but he went on with
unrelentless spirit. Robert Key found a derelict Chapel in Garvestone
Road, which had once been a Congregational Chapel. It was restored
and he hired it for a time. It was used until 1852 when it was
put up for sale and the Vicar of All Saints bought it from under
Robert's feet to the amusement of the Church of England Congregation!
So instead a small school- room just 50 yards from All Saints
(still standing behind the present butchers shop, Church Plain.)
was purchased and replaced in 1856 by a larger Chapel with 90
seats. Can you imagine the Vicars face everytime he passed it?
This brought Independent worship to the heart of the village.
One thing stays in my mind as I research this history of religion
in Mattishall; there was an enormous amount of notes taken by
the Independent religions on the welfare and state of mind of
all their congregations. I unfortunately cannot go into the depths
of these notes in this project but it's enough to say they show
how deeply involved these worshippers were in each others lives
and how much personal thought was told to their Ministers. Here
is an Example from 1842 at a Local Preachers' Meeting to discuss
the reprimands given to their local Preachers.
1. One brother was removed from the plan for various
reasons including that of 'going to America without informing
2. One of the Travelling Preachers were reprimanded
for boxin his son's ears too soundly.
3. A preacher was suspended for six months for
wasting time sitting in a public house.
4. Four Preachers did 'sink one place' and 'two
5. Another Preacher was admonished for agitating
the Bawdeswell society.
Our Journey Continues
I return to the Horne Family. I am going to follow
William, Elizabeth, George, and Susanna, as this
is the ancestral line, which will take me through to the present
Horne's of Mattishall. I am going to skip a few decades to 1881
and the Census of this year gives me a good idea of the families.
1881:- Mattishall Census: page 5: 9 Dereham
William Horne, Head, Married aged 79, Tailor and Draper (employing4
men), born East Dereham
Elizabeth Horne, Wife, Married, aged 80, born Yaxham.
1881:- Mattishall Census: page 5: 10 Dereham
George Horne, Head, Married, aged 53, Tailor and Draper,
Susanna Horne, Married, Wife, aged 49, born North Tuddenham.
Emma M. Horne, Daughter, Unmarried, aged 25 born Mattishall.
Eliza J. Horne, Daughter, Unmarried, aged 24, born Mattishall
William M. Horne, Son, Unmarried, aged 23, Tailor Journeyman,
George A. Horne, Son, Unmarried, aged 20, Carpenter and Joiner,
Anna A. Horne, Daughter, Unmarried, aged 16 Drapers Assistant,
Herbert E. Horne, Son, Unmarried, aged 14 Tailors Apprentice,
Ellen M. Horne, Daughter, Unmarried, aged 13, Scholar, born Mattishall.
Walter H. Horne, Son, aged 12, Scholar, born Mattishall.
Katie S. Horne, Daughter aged 8, Scholar, born Mattishall.
Frederick C. Horne, Son, aged 6, Scholar, born Mattishall.
We can see here the inherited trades of Tailors
and Drapers and a new profession of Carpenter and Joiner. Since
we know that George was preaching at the Primitive Methodist
Chapel in 1865, we must assume that he and his whole family was
attending. Great times were had at the new Methodist Chapel .A
converted actress in the 1880's Miss Grace Knowles was a resounding
success and a large number of conversions took place. It must
have seemed very modern and exciting experience have been involved
in such a religious community. In 1875, William and Elizabeth
had returned to the Congregationalist Chapel. Perhaps they were
one of many who saw the Primitives as too much for they restrained
In 1882, George's son William Mann
Horne married Bertha Dann of Great Witchingham. Again, he
was a Journeyman selling cloth so he possibly met Bertha as George
had met Susanna. These were the first Horne's to be married in
a Primitive Methodist Chapel in Sparham. They went on to have
Herbert, Eva, and Flora. By 1887 possibly May, William Horne
was dead and he was buried in Old Moor Chapel burial site.
Next to his name, it states 'died full of hope May 1887'. His
wife Elizabeth was on the 1881 Census but did not appear again.
No record of her death except for a Horne, buried August 10 1895,
this could have been Elizabeth.
In 1888, Kelly's Directory of Norfolk- under
Mattishall shows William Mann Horne as a Grocer. He must
have wanted a settled life rather than the travelling he was used
to. For in 1889 a son was born, Arthur Edward Horne came
into the world on 1st January. Sadly, 13 weeks later, Bertha died
of a flu epidemic; she was 30. She was buried in All Saints Graveyard
and was the last person to be buried there. This left William
Mann on his own with a new baby and 3 children under 6. He
must have had a large family network to support him, including
his sister Katie Selina who went on to marry fellow Methodist
and local builder, Lebbell King. Lebbell always had a soft spot
for the unfortunate Arthur and was to prove important in
his future. In addition, his religion must have been a comfort
during this difficult time. However, he met and married within
18 months of Bertha's death. Alice Arthurton a farmers daughter
from Mattishall. Again, he married in Sparham Methodist Chapel
on 7th October 1890. Alice was in all probability one of the congregation
at the Methodist Chapel in Mattishall. To William Mann
and Alice Horne, daughters followed; Ellen Maria, Kate Millicent,
Agnes May, and finally Edith Emma at the turn of the century.
During this time, the Methodist Chapel in Church Plain became
far too small and in 1895, it was decided to build another. On
the main road a pub and a row of cottages stood. In 1896 William
and Sarah Horne, William Mann Horne's uncle and aunt, bought
the Duke of Edinburgh Public House with the cottages and the land
for £175 from Steward and Patterson. Part of the property and
land in the front of the pub was sold for something over £80 to
build the new Methodist Chapel. It was Lebbell King, a master
builder and undertaker and a beloved member of the society, who
built the church. It cost about £700. The foundation stone was
laid on Easter Monday, 16th April 1900, although heavy rain interfered
so much as to halt proceedings half way through, the ceremony
was finished in the Parish schoolroom. George Horne was
a steward along with R. Southgate and the membership stood at
50. The local preachers at this time were:-
Mrs. Sophia King (lebbell's first wife)
The new Chapel was a huge success; people from
miles around came to join in with twice yearly camps. Mattishall
had the largest membership on the circuit, in 1927 it was 63.
A New Chapter for the Horne
The Horne family was becoming a very important
part in the community. By 1907 both of George's sons, William
Mann and Fredrick were Parish councillors. Lebbell King was
elected as well, all Methodists and quite unique for Mattishall
Parish Council. Only in 1894 George had been turned down as a
member of the Parish Council. So times were changing. In 1903
Susanna, George's wife died. She was 71 and buried in Mattishall
Cemetery. 18 months later George also died and was buried with
his wife, he was 77.
Arthur Horne had become apprentice to
his Uncle Lebbell. From diaries kept by Arthur for most
of his life we know that they were kept busy by both of the branches
of their business; building and undertaking. 1914 saw the death
of William Mann's second wife, Alice. She was buried in
Mattishall Cemetery. At the age of 59, William married for a third
and last time. Alice Benn and William Mann were married
at the Mission Hall in Blofield. His son Arthur married
in 1918 to Elsie Fisher (another prominent family still in Mattishall
today).22 This time the wedding ceremony took place in Mattishall
Primitive Methodist Chapel. The Horne family began to grow again
as Arthur and Elsie produced yet more daughters, already the predominant
sex in the family. Ivy Elsie, born 1919, Katie (Kay), born1921,
Bertha, born 1923 and finally two sons, Stephen in 1926 and Russell
William in 1929. Unfortunately William Mann never lived
to see his 2 Grandsons.
A Tragic Accident
Entry in Aldergate Magazine:- "In the passing
of William Mann Horne of Mattishall at the age of 63 the
East Dereham Circuit looses one of it's most loyal members and
energetic local preachers. When quite a young man he accepted
the call of the Church to preach the Word and over 44 years has
served with faithfulness and diligence. His home was ever graced
by the practice of true religion, with the result that all his
sons and daughters are in connection with the Church of their
father, and supporting it's work by the means within their powers;
in the case of his sons, by emulating the father's love for preaching.
The call came to our brother in a sudden fashion. A fall from
his cart severely injured his spine, and after a few days of helpless
suffering God took him on May 5th 1921. The funeral service was
conducted by the Rev. A. E. H. Tucker, and the large number of
friends from near and far who followed his body to it's resting
place gave evidence of the esteem in which he was held." William
Mann was 63 and buried in Mattishall Cemetery.
Life Goes On
Arthur and Elsie continued to take an
active part in Methodist and community life. The installation
of their first telephone, in 1936, was greeted by much excitement,
it was noted in Arthur's diary that Flora Horne, Arthur's sister
had phoned them first. Arthur's diaries have given his
surviving family a massive and interesting look back on the way
life was conducted. Especially since all building and funeral
work was noted in them. However, a sad day in 1937 brought the
village to a close. Lebbell King 23died at the great age of 86
and was childless. Arthur inherited the building and undertaking
business that he had been a part of for 35 years.
The Next Generation
Russell, Arthur's youngest son had left
school at 14 and along with his brother Stephen, started to work
for his father. Russell was an enthusiastic member of the
Methodist Church and like his Grandfather, William Mann,
became a preacher. Four generations of the Horne family had worked
to spread the Word. After the World War Two, Russell, was
called up in 1947 for National Service. He was based at Reading,
and it was here he met his future wife, Irene, whilst attending
a church service. It wasn't until 1953 they married and started
their life together in Mattishall.24 He remained a builder; the
undertaking side of the business petered out. Then the last twist
to this history took place. Little is spoken of when we come to
this chapter of religion in Mattishall. We do know that in 1968
a group of longstanding Methodists found a certain amount of contention
with the direction that their Church was going. This lead to a
big split of the congregation. The whole of the Horne family left
to form, with other like-minded families, a church, which Russell
was commissioned to build. Mrs Allum donated a large piece of
land, on the main road through Mattishall. The first part of The
Evangelical Church was opened the same year and the Horne families
worshipped and preached there for many years. The Church has since
been extended and still is welcoming members today. A couple of
years after the opening of The Evangelical Church, Arthur's
wife Elsie died the West Norwich Hospital and was buried in
Mattishall Cemetery. She was 78. It was 9 years later that Arthur
died; he was 90 and was buried in Mattishall Cemetery.
The Last Generation
So, what of the Horne family in Mattishall today?
Russell and Irene had over the years, 4 daughters. They still
live in Mattishall, Russell retired from the building business
in 1991 leaving a legacy nearly as big as his village of buildings
and many many funerals behind him. This is the end of this particular
branch of the tree.
more to come.........