Anthony & William Horneck
Died: 31 Jan, 1696
Field: Priest; soldier; engineer
Location in the Abbey: Nave, south transept
Type of memorial: Tablet
Type of material: Marble

Dr Anthony Horneck, clergyman, is buried in the south transept of Westminster Abbey, together with his wife, daughter Elizabeth and son William. He was a prebendary at Westminster from 1693 and was also a chaplain to King William III. On a pillar above his grave (that inscription is no longer readable) in the transept is a white marble tablet with scrolls and winged cherub heads and a shield of arms. The Latin inscription can be translated:

"To the lasting memory of Anthony Horneck, D.D. Chaplain to the King and Canon of this Church. A man of the first rank for learning and education, but chiefly for remarkable zeal to God and religion, holiness of life, gravity of manners, deeds of humanity to several in distress, and in sickness, indefatigable pains in preaching at St Mary, Savoy 26 years. His sermons which wonderfully abounded with that primitive piety and strict severity, and smooth fluid oratory, were famous far and near and procured him great fame from all good men. Worn out with great pains which he went through in discharge of his duty, he fell ill of the stone, and died of that malady, resigned his most pure soul to Heaven the last day of January 1696, aged 56".

The date on the monument is given in Old Style dating, which is now called 1697. He was born in 1641, son of Phillip Horneck, recorder of the town of Bacharach in Germany, and his wife Anna Sophia (Grammartz). Educated at Heidelberg and Oxford he was an expert in Oriental languages and was tutor to the Earl of Albemarle's son. In 1671 he was appointed preacher at the Savoy in London and held posts at Exeter cathedral and Wells. In 1672 he married Jane Bolton, daughter of Thomas and Jane. She was born in 1649 and died in April 1703. They had four children including the poet Philip Horneck. Daughter Elizabeth was married first to Dirck Barnevelt by whom she had three surviving children, Charles, Philip and Robert, and secondly to Captain Jonathan Warr. She was buried with her parents in 1735.

William Horneck

Anthony's son was buried with him on 27 April 1746 but his monument, by sculptor Peter Scheemakers, is in the north west tower chapel at the west end of the nave. This shows a statue of Minerva drawing aside a curtain to reveal a full face medallion portrait of William. At her feet are a compass, books and a square, reflecting William's profession of military engineer, and a cherub holds the plan of a fortification. His painted coat of arms shows "argent, three bugles, one in chief and two in base azure, garnished and strung or". The Latin inscription can be translated:

"In this sacred building William Horneck Esquire desired his ashes to rest next to those of his father, being Commander in Chief of Engineers in the Artillery. Throughout his life he was a true military man, inasmuch as from his first youth he was on active service under the greatest and most skilful of generals, the Duke of Marlborough. After long experience of military work he emerged not only skilful in all aspects of warfare but also without rival in the arts (to which he had particularly applied himself) of fortification and bombardment. As a result he was constantly chosen to undertake the greatest responsibilities of this kind. Among his other skilful and successful exploits, he consolidated with adequate fortifications Gibraltar and Minorca, both extremely valuable colonies of Great Britain. Thereafter, after greatly serving his country, he returned home and, in his constant desire to make further progress, he devoted himself to military engineering and by his intellectual powers, his technical knowledge and his long experience greatly advanced it - but, alas, for too short a time, for a sudden illness, becoming rapidly more serious, brought to an end the course of a life that had given such useful service, to the great grief of those close to him. He died on the 22nd April in the year of our Lord 1746, aged 62"

He joined the Royal Engineers in 1711 and rose to the rank of Director. His illegitimate son by Mary Butters was Kane William Horneck, who was also an engineer. Kane's only son Charles, by Hannah Mangles, attended Westminster School.

Photos of the monuments can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

Further reading

for Anthony and his son Philip:

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004.


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