|Maclean Family Tree|
Clara was born in 1870 in West Hartlepool, the third child of William Maclean. In 1893, she married Matthew Henry Horsley, known as "Harry" (1867-1925), eldest son of George & Alethea Horsley of West Hartlepool, and a partner in his father's firm George Horsley & Son, a cargo and timber merchant. The Horsleys were a prominent and wealthy shipping family in the town. In addition to transporting other people's goods, primarily timber, they also accumulated substantial interests of their own, including forests in Scandinavia, orange and lemon groves in Florida, and a grouse moor in Northumberland.
The Horsley family had been established in Northumberland for centuries. Once very prosperous, the family fortunes had begun to wane in the early 1700s. George Horsley's grandfather John George Horsley (1779-1850) had been a ferryman. His father Matthew was a local pilot, with responsibility for guiding fishing and cargo vessels in and out of Hartlepool's port. Matthew gradually acquired shares in various of these vessels, eventually becoming a shipowner in own right. Two of his sons pursued non-maritime careers (John as a chemist, Matthew Jr as a jeweller and watchmaker) but George, the eldest, was apprenticed in the shipping firm owned by ES Jobson. He eventually became Jobson's partner, and took full control of the business following the founder's death. George was a fellow member of Hartlepool's Shipowner Society along with William Maclean.
"Harry" & Clara with (presumably), Malcolm and Clare, in about 1908
Young Harry went up to Christ's College, Cambridge, but appears to have left after a year. After the marriage, the young couple took up residence in "Greenbank", a house in Elwick Road in the Stranton district of West Hartlepool. Later they moved to "Brinkburn" (which some years later became Brinkburn Grammar School for Boys). Harry Horsley became a JP and later mayor of West Hartlepool. According to his great-great-grandson Mike Carter, "Harry was a devoted liberal and was much involved in politics both locally and nationally. As a result of large donations to the war effort he was offered a baronetcy by Lloyd George but declined stating he donated the money through patriotism and wanted no 'reward'." During his lifetime he accumulated a large art collection, and was a noted philatelist, who on several occasions visited Buckingham Palace to swap stamps with King George V. He died in 1925, while holidaying with his wife in Sidmouth in Devon.
One story reported to me claimed that he suffered a heart attack on the golf course. However a newspaper report of the time appears to disprove this. "The Coroner for East Devon held an inquest today on the body of Mr Matthew Henry Horsley JP of West Hartlepool who died suddenly during Monday night.
Mrs Horsley, the widow, deposed that Mr Horsley was in his normal health on retiring at 11.15 on Monday night. About 12.45am he cried out in his sleep, as in mental anguish. She gave him brandy, and poured water on his head, but he never spoke or opened his eyes again.
Clara lived until 1961. After her husband's death she moved to London to be near her daughter, and lived in some style in a succession of large apartments in Kensington and Chelsea, accompanied by several household staff.
There were four surviving children: George Horsley (1894-1950), Henry Malcolm Horsley (1897-1987), Clare Maclean Horsley (1900-1986) and Neville Horsley (1907-1972). According to Mike Carter, "The family timber firm was I think left to them in equal shares, although George, being the oldest and most business-wise did all the work. Malcolm never worked for them and neither did Neville, as least until George's death when he looked after the sale of the business. Until then, to my knowledge, they did nothing except draw salaries."
Young George married Dorothy Motley in 1920. Latterly they lived at Greystones, a substantial house in Elwick Road, West Hartlepool. They had two children, Annette Horsley (1922-2007), and Harry Horsley (1927-1995). Annette married twice, first to Bobby Carter, a celebrated local rugby player. After his early death she married Harry Fry, an equally celebrated rugby commentator and player. She had two sons, Michael Carter and Nicholas Fry, one from each of her husbands. Harry Horsley married Patricia Morgan, and had a son, Miles.
Malcolm Horsley was academically clever, and studied at Balliol College, Oxford. According to Mike Carter, "he never did a day's work in his life or needed to; but drew money from the family firm as part of his inheritance. He was a young officer on the General Staff during the latter part of the First War. Unfortunately, even in old age he suffered from a periodic bad cough which he told me was from mustard gas during that time. What annoyed him was that it was gas produced by the allies which had blown back some 30 miles from the front line to where he was stationed. After the war he enjoyed a bachelor's existence in two mews houses in Chelsea, which he converted into one so he had room for a photographic studio. He also painted and sculpted. He then married a Swiss girl, Julienne ("Juggi") De Neuville. In 1948 they bought and moved to a 14th century manor house near Etchingham in Sussex. The house was called King John's Lodge after the French King John taken hostage to this country after the Battle of Poitiers in 1356." The house is now a rather splendid B&B hotel: King John's Lodge. Juggi died in 1985; Malcolm two years later. They had no children.
Neville Horsley married Alice (known as Eiley) Emmerson, and had one daughter Caroline. She married John Malone, a West Hartlepool GP with four children from a previous marriage, who she adopted as her own. Caroline died in 1999. (Thanks to Cath Parry, Caroline's eldest step-daughter for this).
Clare Maclean Horsley married Guy Morton, a successful writer who produced a number of short stories, books and plays, mainly under the name Peter Traill. Their son Michael Morton continued the line, with two children of his own. (My thanks to Clara Maclean's great-grandson Jeremy Morton for supplying for this information. He also has a lot more background on other members of the Horsley family).
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