William Horne (Liberal politician)

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Sir William Horne (1774 – 13 July 1860) was a British barrister and Liberal politician.

Background and education[edit]

The son of the Reverend Thomas Horne of Chiswick, Horne studied law at Lincoln's Inn, being called to the Bar in 1798.

Legal and political career[edit]

In 1812 Horne was elected as a Whig Member of Parliament for Helston in Cornwall. He only served as the town's MP for a single term, and was unseated at the next election in 1818.[1] On losing his seat, he returned to the law, becoming a king's counsel and bencher of Lincoln's Inn. He distinguished himself in the courts of chancery, and was briefly attorney-general to Queen Adelaide.[2][3]

On 26 November 1830 Horne was appointed Solicitor-General for England and Wales, at which time he was knighted.[2][3] The office required him to hold a seat in parliament, and he was duly returned as member for Bletchingley on 18 February 1831.[2] Parliament was dissolved in April of the same year, and in the ensuing general election he became member for Newton, Isle of Wight.[2][3] His tenure in this seat was also brief, as it was abolished in the following year by the Great Reform Act. Horne became one of two MPs for the newly enfranchised parliamentary borough of Marylebone, London. In November of the same year he was promoted to Attorney General for England and Wales. Horne's opposition to capital punishment and ambitions to reform the courts led to conflict with the Lord Chancellor, Lord Brougham. He resigned from the office in February 1834, returning to private practice, and did not stand at the subsequent election in 1835.[2] In 1839 he was appointed a Master in Chancery, an office he held until 1853.[2][3]


Horne married Ann Hesse of Bedfordshire in 1799. They had a large family.[2] Horne died at his London home, 49 Upper Harley Street, on 13 July 1860, aged 87.[2][3]


  1. ^ "The House of Commons constituencies beginning with "H"". Leigh Rayment. Retrieved 25 August 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h H. C. G. Matthew (2004). "Horne, Sir William (1774–1860)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 25 August 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "The Late Sir William Horne". The Times. 16 July 1860. p. 9. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir John St Aubyn
Lord Dufferin and Claneboye
Member of Parliament for Helston
1812 – 1818
With: Hugh Hammersley
Succeeded by
James Townshend
Harrington Hudson
Preceded by
Robert William Mills
Charles Tennyson
Member of Parliament for Bletchingley
With: Charles Tennyson
Succeeded by
Hon. John Ponsonby
Charles Tennyson
Preceded by
Hon. Charles Anderson Pelham
Hudson Gurney
Member of Parliament for Newtown
1831 – 1832
With: Hudson Gurney
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Marylebone
1832 – 1835
With: Edward Portman 1832 – 1833
Sir Samuel Whalley 1833 – 1835
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Bulwer
Sir Samuel Whalley
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir Edward Sugden
Solicitor General for England and Wales
1830 – 1832
Succeeded by
Sir John Campbell
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Denman
Attorney General for England and Wales
1832 – 1834
Succeeded by
Sir John Campbell