Francis Hornor & Son; 1794-1996; Norfolk

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Francis Hornor & Son; 1794-1996; Norfolk

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The land agency, Messrs Francis Hornor and Son of Norwich, was established in 1794 by Norwich surveyor, Robert Pratt. The firm undertook much enclosure commission work in its early years throughout Norfolk, in which Pratt appears to have collaberated with another local surveyor, Robert Chasteney, variously described as being of Trowse, Bracondale or of Norwich. Pratt also acted as surveyor to the sea breach commissioners, particularly concerning himself with the coastal defences of East and North Norfolk. Later partners were much involved with tithe commission and railway development work, and acted as land agents for many private and official estate owners in Norwich, Norfolk and elsewhere in East Anglia.
Pratt's nephew, Charles J. Hornor, aged 22, joined the firm in the 1850s, and the firm was known as Messrs Pratt, Son and Hornor from about 1853, , later becoming Charles Hornor and Son, then Francis Hornor and Son. By the 1860s, the business had moved to its long-standing address in Queen Street, Norwich and the Pratts retired from the partnership, leaving Charles Hornor to continue alone. By 1882, he had been joined by his sons, Charles Jared (b. 1855, d. 1922) and Francis Hornor (b. 1859, d. 1932), and later still, the firm was joined by his grandson, Bassett Hornor (b. 1889, d. 1964) and great-grandson Samuel.
Charles [snr] and Francis's partnership was dissolved c 1893, possibly due to Charle's failing health.
Bassett Hornor became a partner in the firm in 1910.
Charles Jared and his father had a serious falling out during the 1890s and the younger man left the firm to set up his own land agency, often operating in competition with his father and brother.
From the late nineteenth century onwards, partners of the firm also served as stewards and clerks of Norwich-based charities and trusts such as the Norwich Town Close Charity, the Norwich Great Hospital, Alderman Norman's Foundation, the Bethel Hospital and others. In addition, both Pratt and Charles Hornor appear to have been active agents for the Norwich Union Fire Office, selling insurance policies to property owners throughout the county.
The firm merged with Brown & Co. in 1996.



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Created on: 24/03/2015 by Droab




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