Horniblowe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient name of Horniblowe finds its origins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from a name for a person who was employed as a hornblower. In the Middle Ages, workmen were often summoned to work by the blowing of a horn. The surname Horniblowe is derived from the Old English word hornblawere, which means hornblower. [1]

"In the Middle Ages workmen were called to work by the ringing of bells or by a horn. In 1320, at Caernarvon, Walter de la Grene was paid 1d. per week ‘for blowing the horn’ " [2]

"Cornage is a law term (Latin cornagium) for a species of tenure in grand segjeanty, 'the service of which was to blow a horn when any invasion of the Scots was perceived; and by this tenure many persons held their lands northward, about the wall, commonly called the Pict's Wall.' The person who performed this duty for the lord, probably acquired the surname. At Ripon there prevails a peculiar custom, 'which according to some is of a date prior to the Conquest, viz., to blow a horn every night at nine o'clock; and formerly if any house or shop was robbed between that hour and sunrise the loss was made good to the sufferer, by a yearly tax of fourpence, imposed on every house-keeper. The tax is now discontinued, but the custom is still kept up of blowing the horn every night, three times at the mayor's door, and three times at the market-cross. The officer who performs this duty is called the Horn-blower.' " [3]

Early Origins of the Horniblowe family

The surname Horniblowe was first found in Essex, where John and Geoffrey le Homblauere were listed in 1255 and in the Assize Rolls for 1285. Adam Horneblawer was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Yorkshire in 1301. [2]

The fictional courageous and a skilled seaman Horatio Hornblower is the protagonist in over twenty series of novels and stories by the English novelist, C.S. Forester (1899-1966).

Early History of the Horniblowe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Horniblowe research. Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1255, 1285, 1608, 1626, 1753, 1717, 1780, 1692, 1761, 1712, 1725, 1748, 1761, 1745, 1765, 1766, 1780, 1729, 1809, 1753 and 1809 are included under the topic Early Horniblowe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Horniblowe Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Horniblowe family name include Hornblow, Hornblower, Horneblow, Horneblower and others.

Early Notables of the Horniblowe family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Jonathan Hornblower (1717-1780), engineer, belonged to a family which for two generations had shown much inventive genius. "His father, Joseph Hornblower (1692?-1761), born at Broseley, Shropshire, made the acquaintance of Newcomen when the latter was building a machine at Wolverhampton in 1712, and went to Cornwall in 1725 to erect a Newcomen engine at Wheal Rose, near Truro; he afterwards erected similar engines at Wheal Bury and Polgooth, and in 1748 settled at Salem, Chacewater, and died at Bristol in 1761. Jonathan went to Cornwall to succeed his father as engineer in 1745...
Another 97 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Horniblowe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Horniblowe family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Horniblowe surname or a spelling variation of the name include : Josiah Hornblower, who immigrated to America in 1753.



  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.


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