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Frederick Seymour Horan (1870-1956)

Frederick Seymour Horan, known to his family as Seymour, was the Vicar of Kingston from 1932 to 1938. A year after arriving at Kingston, he married his second wife ‘Muriel’. He was aged 68 at the completion of his incumbency, after which Seymour and Muriel lived at Lobster Close, Worth and later at Ballard Estate near Studland. Seymour died in 1956 aged 85 and Muriel died in 1969 aged 81.

Seymour was born in Edinburgh in 1870. His parents were Thomas Horan and Isabella Mary Louisa de Fabeck who married in India in 1861. At that time Thomas was a Captain in the 43rd Foot (Monmouthshire) Light Infantry. By 1896, his rank in the 43rd Regiment was Lieutenant Colonel.

Seymour had two older brothers and a sister:

  • George Langmead Horan
  • Charles Trevor Horan (1863-1922), also a man of the cloth, who held various posts including Canon of St. George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem & Venerable Archdeacon of Cairo
  • Zoida Constance Isabel Horan (1873-1962) known as ‘Daisy’

He also had a step-sister from his father’s first marriage to Anne:

  • Julia Agnes Horan (1850-1925)

Seymour’s mother died when Seymour was 8 and his father died two years later. It is understood a man called General Stileman came in like a guardian angel and put him through Wellington College and Cambridge University and generally showered loving attention on him. He became a famous runner and held the ‘world record’ for the 3 mile race in 1895 (excepting in those days there were no official world records). He ensured it was Cambridge that took part in a cross-Atlantic challenge against Yale university as the following article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of 3 July 1895 shows:


In a Series of Contests on Field and Track

   London, July 3 – The annual athletic games between Oxford and Cambridge universities began at the Queen’s club grounds at 4:30 P.M. To-day. The prospects of an international contest between the winning team of to-day and a team representing Yale university has greatly increased the interest taken in the meeting. The one-quarter mile run was won by W. Fitzherbert, Cambridge in 50 seconds. Jordan, Oxford, won the 100 yards dash. Time 10 seconds. The running broad jump was won by Mendelsohn of Cambridge, who covered 22 feet, 4½ inches.

   Watson, Cambridge, won the weight putting contest with 37 feet 9 inches.

   In throwing the hammer, G. B. Robertson, Oxford, won with 116 feet 7 inches.

   The score thus stands four firsts for Oxford and four firsts for Cambridge.

   The three mile run was won by F. S. Horan of Cambridge, who thus secured the victory for his university. The time was 14 minutes 50 2-5 seconds.

   The score at the end of the games stood Cambridge, five firsts;: Oxford, four firsts.

There was great interest in America of the forthcoming international contest ibetween Cambridge and Yale at New York. The following is extracted from an article in the New York Times of 1 September 1895:

Frederick Seymour Horan, who will represent Cambridge in the half-mile run and the races at the longer distances, is the President of the Cambridge University Athletic Club, and one of the oldest men on the team. During his three years’ residence at Cambridge, he has taken part in thirty-two matches, of which number he won twenty-two, was second four times, and third on three occasions. His forte is long-distance running, and he holds the record for three miles for the Inter-’Varsity games, (14:44 3-5,) and the Cambridge record for the same distance (14:45 4-5). He also holds the Cambridge two mile record of 9:43 4-5.

Mr. Horan is a son of the late Lieut. Col. T. Horan of the Forty-third Light Infantry, and was born at Edinburgh on Aug. 27, 1870, so that he attained his twenty-fifth birthday on the day the team sailed for this country.

While but a lad at preparatory school at Wellington Horan distinguished himself as an all-round athlete, winning the two-mile run three years, the one-mile two years, and the Kingsley Steeplechase, (founded by Charles Kingsley). Having laid the foundation of his literary and athletic fame, Mr. Horan decided to see something of the world, and sailed for India, where he remained for some time. Once more in the old country, he decided to go in for holy orders, and with that object in view he entered Trinity Hall, where he soon gained wide popularity. He was induced to visit the running track, and though his friends assert he was more keen on his cricket ‘Blue’, he never stood much chance for it, though in the freshmen’s match he made 133. He matriculated in October, 1892, so that he still has another year in which to dwell in ‘Cambridge Courts’. Regret is general that the ‘Varsity will know him no more, as he is shortly to be ordained, and is spoken of as the future Private Chaplain to the Bishop of Ripon.

Once resident at Cambridge it was apparent that despite Mr. Lutyen’s wonderful running, Mr. Horan was by far the best runner at all distances that ever went up to the ‘Varsity games. Indeed, no Oxford or Cambridge man ever ran the three miles inside of 15:00, yet Mr. Horan has on half a dozen different occasions beaten those figures. He has reeled off the mile well inside 4:23 and this year finished second in the British Amateur Championship to E.C. Bredin. His best quarter is 0:51 2-5; half-mile, (at Cambridge) 1:58; two-miles, 9:43 4-5, and three miles, 14:44 3-5.

Horan is a man of charming character, earnest and much esteemed. He got his college cricket colours, and was on the Hall Rugby football fifteen. He used to ride the bicycle until induced by the athletic authorities to forsake the machine, and lately when not reading, he has taken on lawn tennis. He obtained a First Class on both parts of the theological special.

Cambridge will follow Mr. Horan’s doings in America with deep interest, and the regret is keen that he will not have an opportunity of showing the Yale ‘boys’ how to run three miles.

Coverage continued …



So Said Capt. Horan at the Dinner by Yale Alumni

The dinner given at Sherry’s last night by the Yale Alumni Association in honor of the Cambridge athletes was a rousing success and fitly closed the series of international contests. Even if the British athletes were defeated on the field, they were not allowed to forget that they were honored guests and entitled to an American ‘send-off’.

The big ballroom at Sherry’s was tastefully decorated with the Stars and Stripes, the union jack, the light blue of Cambridge, and the dark blue of Yale. When the dinner began at 8.30 o’clock, there were about 200 persons present. Judge Henry E. Howland, President of the Yale Alumni Association, presided.

Capt. Horan of the English team, when he was called upon, was greeted with enthusiastic cheers.

In the name of the Cambridge men he thanked the Yale students and athletes for the fine welcome and kind treatment that had been accorded his team while in this country. He thanked Judge Howland, too, for his pleasant remarks.

‘The best team has won,’, he said, ‘and I heartily congratulate Capt. Sheldon and all the Yale men for their wonderful performance. I say frankly that we were simply staggered at the result of the games of Sept. 21. I have always felt somewhat scetical about American ‘time,’ but I am satisfied of its accuracy now.’

Capt. Horan said that he believed in team work, and he believed in international contests. He hoped on behalf of Cambridge to see the Yale men in England next year. His team would not forget Sept. 21 and Oct. 5.

Key Events in the Life of Frederick Seymour Horan




Born Edinburgh


Death of mother


Death of father


At Boarding School in Hove, Sussex,


At Wellington College, Crowthorne, Berkshire


In Ceylon


Admitted to Trinity Hall, Cambridge


Athletics ‘blue’


Secretary, Cambridge University Athletics Club




President, Cambridge University Athletics Club


Ordained Deacon, Ripon


Held the world record for the Three Mile Race.


Ordained Priest


Domestic Chaplain to the Bishop of Ripon


Curate of St. Michael’s Liverpool (his elder brother Charles T Horan was Vicar)




Naval Chaplain, HMS Canopus


Naval Chaplain, HMS Good Hope


Chaplain and history master, Royal Naval College, Osborne


Married Mary Katherine Causton


Birth of twin sons, Forbes Trevor Horan who held the post of Bishop of Tewkesbury from 1960-1973 and Thomas Seymour Horan


Published book of 21 short sermons


Vicar of St. Paul’s, Liverpool


Chaplain to the Forces, mentioned in Secretary of State’s List for ‘valuable services’


Rector of Chilton Foliat


Death of Mary, his first wife, at Chilton Foliat. Her estate was valued at £2,915


Joint Head Master of Forres School, Swanage


After Dinner Guest Speaker at the Achilles Club Annual Dinner (his son, the Rt. Rev. Forbes Trevor Horan was the After Dinner Guest Speaker in 1964)


Vicar of Kingston


Married Lilian Muriel Willans at Huddersfield


Licenced to officiate, Diocese of Salisbury


Publication of ‘From the Crack of the Pistol, A Personal Saga’


Died aged 85

Telephone Directory 1941

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