Click here to return to the main site entry page
Click here to return to the previous page

Charles William Horrell
1865 - 1948

The Laurels - the family home
The Laurels - the family home

Charles William Horrell was born 6 February at Higham Ferrers in 1865 and Baptised on 19 March at the Higham Ferrers Methodist Church.  His parents were Charles Horrell and Elizabeth MacCarthy who married in 1857 and had three older children Annie, John and Mary Elizabeth. Elizabeth Horrell was widowed 2 months before Charles William was born losing John as an infant in 1862 and Annie aged 6 in May 1865.

As a young man Charles W Horrell played football for Higham Ferrers Town and also appeared in East Midlands County matches.  He was a liberal patron of sport, especially cricket and football and was for many years chairman of Rushden Sports, Ltd.

Mr Horrell prepared himself for industry by hard work as a technical student, being one of the first to join the boot and shoe technical classes conducted by Mr E J Swaysland.  His father was the first man in the district to acquire a closing machine.

Becoming a clicker, he also studied pattern cutting.  The swift growth of boot work in the town attracted him to Rushden, and as a young man he worked for Messrs Cunnington Bros.

In 1887 Charles married Mary Ann Denton who lived with her parents, William and Mary Denton, and 7 siblings at 44 High Street, Rushden.  William Denton is recorded in the 1871 census as a Shoemaker.  Charles and Mary became parents to William MacCarthy Horrell in 1888 -  their only child.

Charles and Mary lived in Crabb Street, Rushden in 1891, and at that time, Charles was a boot clicker.  In 1895 he established his own boot and shoe business, which became well known as C W Horrell Ltd.

When Rushden and district manufacturers formed an association, Mr Horrell was quick to see the value of organisation. He was prominent in the Rushden District Boot Manufacturers’ Association from its early days, served as president for several years and received the industry’s full tribute in 1925 when he succeeded Mr H J Bostock of Stafford, as president of the Boot Manufacturers Federation of Great Britain and Ireland, holding the position for two years.

He served as president of the Boot Trade Benevolent Fund and held the post for many years.  His talent for this particular work was freely acknowledged on both sides of the table, and the general harmony in the industry locally was an obvious tribute to his success.

Mr Horrell served the industry in many other ways, and certainly did all in his power to encourage young technical students.  He was chairman of the governors at the Rushden Boot and Shoe School.

He became chairman of the Rushden and District Boot Trade Arbitration Board at its establishment in 1933 and held the post for many years.

In the years between the two world wars Rushden had no busier or more influential public figure that Ald. Charles William Horrell, J.P.  He had great energy, accepted progressive ideas and enjoyed good health and employed himself to the full.

Elected to Rushden Urban Council as a Liberal in 1919, Mr Horrell became Chairman in 1925.  The public swimming bath scheme was a much-disputed problem at that time, but Mr Horrell handled it skilfully and helped materially towards its ultimate fulfilment

Mr Horrell’s County Council service began in 1922 when he was appointed direct to the Aldermanic bench.  His talent for committee work assisted many branches of county council administration and his colleagues held him in great respect as one who went straight to the point and always worked from the practical angle. 

From the time of the First World War, Mr Horrell was a member of Wellingborough Divisional Liberal Association and worked vigorously in several Parliamentary election campaigns.

Mr Horrell became a Justice of the Peace in 1934 and in the same year was chosen as the first president of Rushden Rotary Club.

A life-long Methodist, Mr Horrell was for many years a leading figure in the Higham Ferrers Circuit and had a great knowledge of the Methodist movement and its ministers, many of whom he entertained in his home.

It was largely due to Mr Horrell’s advocacy that Rushden Trades Hospital Committee – and later Rushden Hospital Committee – was established.  He wanted to ensure that Northampton Hospital had a regular income from Rushden and the method he favoured was regular contributions by employers and employed, was strikingly successful.

For several years Mr Horrell was a director of the Northamptonshire Printing and Publishing Company Ltd.

Charles William Horrell died aged 83 years, on 20 February 1948.

Rushden Echo & Argus, 14th July 1944, transcribed by Kay Collins

Garden Party—The “Laurels”, Wellingborough-road, Rushden, residence of Ald. and Mrs C W Horrell, was the scene of the Park-road Methodist Church’s garden party on Saturday.

Click here to return to the main index of features
Click here to return to the People & Families index
Click here to e-mail us