National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Francis Horner (1778-1817)

Francis Horner (1778-1817)


Francis Horner was a founder of the 'Edinburgh Review' with Francis Jeffrey and others. He contributed articles to it over many years. He studied law but also had interests in science and politics. He moved from Edinburgh to London in 1803 and entered the House of Commons in 1806. There he contributed to debates on British war policy and its related tax burden, protectionism, the corn laws and slavery as well as Catholic relief and emancipation. He led the enquiry into the high price of bullion and the resulting report secured his reputation as a political economist. After a period of ill health he died in Italy on 8 February 1817 and was buried at Leghorn. His statue by Chantrey was placed in Westminster Abbey.

Birth in 1778

Francis Horner was born on 12 August 1778, the son of John Horner, merchant and Johanna Baillie. The entry in the Old Parish Register for Edinburgh gives his name as Francies and the baptism date as 29 August.

Birth and baptism entry for Francis Horner

Birth and baptism entry for Francis Horner (30 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 685-1/36, page 103