Charles Horsfall

21st Jun 1776 - 18th Jun 1846

Claimant or beneficiary


Charles Horsfall (1776-1846), merchant dealing in palm oil from West Africa in the 'legitimate trade', but previously a merchant and slave-owner in Jamaica. Awarded compensation for New Hope Estate in British Guiana and Knowsley estate in Jamaica as owner-in-fee. Awarded compensation for three further claims in Jamaica as co-executor of John Thompson. Leading member of the Liverpool West India Association. Mayor of Liverpool 1832-33. Horsfall's son Thomas Berry Horsfall (q.v.) was Conservative MP and Mayor of Liverpool 1847. Charles Horsfall's children had a significant legacy in Liverpool in the form the Horsfall Churches, of which six survive.

  1. Charles Horsfall said to be born 21/06/1776 and baptised St Peter’s, Huddersfield, Yorkshire, on 17/07/1776, the son of Joseph Horsfield and Anna Hodgson (Charles names one of his sons Charles Hodgson). Joseph and Anna married at St Peter’s, Huddersfield on 02/03/1767.

  2. Sailed to Jamaica on 20/11/1792.

  3. In Liverpool to marry Dorothy Hall Berry on 09/06/1803 at Trinity Church, Liverpool. Dorothy, a minor at the time of the marriage, was born in Kingston, Jamaica 07/10/1784, and baptised 28/10/1784, daughter of Thomas Berry and Dorothy. The marriage of Thomas Berry and Dorothy Hall said to be 27/03/1779 but no marriage appears in the Kingston, Jamaica Parish Registers for that date. Statement that Thomas Berry was a Merchant and given as the Honble Thomas Berry, owner of a slave, at the baptism of Allegonda Ann Hall in St Andrew, Jamaica in 1807 but again entry not found.

  4. Charles and Dorothy had thirteen children: Ann (1804-) Thomas Berry (1805-1878) [q.v.], Robert (1807-1881), Mary Sale (1808-), Charles Hodgson (1810-1847), Eliza Dorothy (1812-1876), Caroline (1814-), Ellen (1816-), Dorothy (1818-1899), Louisa (1818-), Sarah Sophia (1820-), William Joseph (1822-) and George Henry (1824-1900).

  5. Charles Horsfall does not seem to appear in the list of Slave Traders in Gore’s 1807 Directory for Liverpool.

  6. The History of Everton by Robert Syers states that in 1811 ‘on the North of Mr Ellison’s field’ Charles Horsfall erected ‘the elegant, commodious mansion which stands at the east part, and formed the whole into a most charming villa where he has resided ever since’.

  7. Charles Horsfall executor to the will of Isaac Fox who died 1811.

  8. In Gore’s 1824 Directory, business address given as Horsfall Charles & Co. merchts. & ship owners, 1, Exchange buildings and private address given as Horsfall Charles, merchant; h. 8, Netherfield lane, North.

  9. Charles Horsfall – Merchant recorded in 1832 in House of Commons Papers Corporate Offices and Charitable Funds. Also recorded in Liverpool Poll Book 1832 are Robert Horsfall, Broker, Oldhall Street, Liverpool and Thomas B Horsfall, Merchant, Netherfield Road North, Liverpool, both sons of Charles Horsfall.

  10. Charles Horsfall became Bailiff of Liverpool in 1829 and then Mayor 1832-1833.

  11. On 22/11/1833 the Liverpool Mercury carried a report about part of a case of bribery at elections in the Liverpool Council: this part is about family connections among Council members and Charles Horsfall is mentioned.

  12. Recorded, along with Eleanor Blewart (q.v.), Rev William Mason (q.v.), John Thompson, Charles Bower and Henry, Mary and Margaret Cross, in documents pertaining to the ‘Mortgage by lease and release of Old Middleton Brows and other lands in Middleton and Overton. Consideration: £1700’ 15 & 16/03/1841.

  13. At some point Charles Horsfall seems to have remarried as the 1841 census shows, at Brook House, Brighton, Great Crosby, Lancashire, Charles Horsfall, aged 64, Merchant, with Mary, aged 56, Caroline, aged 25, Sophia, aged 20 and William, aged 19, an Engineer, plus seven servants. Charles and Mary are shown as born out of county with Caroline, Sophia and William, whose names and ages match the children born to Charles and Dorothy, are shown as born in county.

  14. Charles Horsfall died 18/06/1846 and was buried in St George’s, Everton 24/06/1846, aged 70 years. A photo of his grave is available. He left £262,000 in his will.

  15. The 1851 census shows Mary Horsfall, 68, a widow, born Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, living at Breck Road, Everton, Lancashire, with Eliza D, 38, Sarah Sophia, 30, and Wm Josh, 28, and Robert Horsfall, 10, a grandson, plus five servants.

  16. Charles’ children built Christchurch, Great Homer Street, Everton, at a total cost of £13,000 in their father’s memory. (The church was destroyed in the May blitz 1941.)

  17. Several of Charles’ children went on to become business men and/or politicians. Thomas Berry Horsfall was Mayor of Liverpool and a Member of Parliament.

  18. Two ships built for Horsfall & company: the Charles Horsfall in 1855 and the Dorothy in 1856. Both built by A. Hall & Co. Aberdeen. Ships were for ‘the African trade, palm oil etc’.

  19. Photo of both Charles Horsfall and Thomas Berry Horsfall available.

  20. The London Gazette July 3 1885 p 3079. "NOTICE is hereby given, that the Partnership hereto-fore subsisting between us the undersigned, George Henry Horsfall and Hodgson Horsfall, carrying on business as Merchants, at 17, James-street, Liverpool, in the county of Lancaster, under the style or firm of Charles Horsfall and Son, has been this day dissolved by mutual consent.—Dated this 30th day of June, 1885. George. H. Horsfall. Hodgson Horsfall.


T71/885: British Guiana claim no. 645 (New Hope); T71/865: St Andrew claim no. 201 (Knowsley); T71/869: St George claim nos. 42 (Eden Estate) and 94; T71/864 Port Royal claim no. 33; [accessed 03/10/2017].

  1. [accessed 13/11/11];, West Yorkshire, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1512-1812 [database online].

  2. [accessed 13/11/11] but no confirmation found.

  3., Liverpool, Lancashire, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1659-1812 [database online];, Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts 1664-1880, Kingston Baptisms 1722-1792; [accessed 13/11/11];, Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts 1664-1880, Kingston Marriages 1721-1825;, Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts 1664-1880, St Andrew Baptisms, marriages, burials 1807-1826.

  4., England and Wales Christening Records 1530-1906 [database online]; [accessed 13/11/11]: sources cited.

  5. [accessed 13/11/11].

  6. Robert Syers, The history of Everton : including familiar dissertations on the people, and descriptive delineations of the several & separate properties of the township (1830), p. 258, [accessed 13/11/2011] available on Google books

  7. [accessed 09/08/2012].

  8. [accessed 09/08/2012].

  9. [accessed 13/11/11]; Liverpool Poll Book 1832 [accessed 05/11/11].

  10. Herculaneum pottery: Liverpool's forgotten glory by Peter Hyland at [accessed 11/11/2012].

  11. Liverpool Mercury Friday 22/11/1833 at [accessed 11/11/2012].

  12. Access to Archives [accessed 04/11/2011].

  13. 1841 census online.

  14. Liverpool, Lancashire, England Deaths and Burials 1813-1970 online; [accessed 13/11/2011]; William D. Rubinstein, Who were the rich? A biographical dictionary of British wealth-holders Volume Two 1840-1859 (MS) reference 1846/34; Martin Lynn, 'The Profitability of the Early Nineteenth-Century Palm Oil Trade', African Economic History, 20 (1992), pp. 77-97.

  15. 1851 census online.

  16. From A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 191-195 at [accessed 13/11/2011].

  17. [accessed 13/11/2011]

  18. [accessed 11/11/2011].

  19. [accessed 13/11/11].

  20. [accessed 11/11/2011].

Further Information

Dorothy Hall Berry
8 daughters and 5 sons [Details in general biog notes]

£250,000 Chester Consistory Court + £12,000 PCC.

Wealth at death

Associated Claims (6)

£5,789 17s 5d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£246 2s 2d
£1,766 1s 8d
Awardee (Owner-in-fee)
£3,430 18s 5d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)
£471 9s 5d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)
£3,138 14s 0d
Unsuccessful claimant (consensual) (Mortgagee)

Associated Estates (4)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1834 [EA] - → Executor
1834 [EA] - → Mortgage Holder
1823 [EA] - 1834 [LA] → Owner
1832 [EA] - 1832 [LA] → Not known

In lawful possession of Charles Horsfall by an attorney

Legacies Summary

Commercial (4)

Railway Investment
Midland (Ely to Lincoln) [1845138]  
Firm Investment
Charles Horsfall & Sons
General overseas merchant  
Senior partner
Mersey File Company
Metal Workers  
Railway Investment
West Yorkshire [1845199]  

Physical (1)

Christ Church, Great Homer Street, Everton [Built] 
description →
Christ Church, Great Homer Street, Everton, built after Charles Horsfall's death in 1846 by his children as a memorial to their father, designed by E.H. Shelled. Destroyed in the German air raids of...

Political (1)

Local Government
office →
1832 - 1833

Relationships (6)

Son-in-law → Father-in-law
Executor → Testator
First Cousins
Husband → Wife
Marriage Details →
9th Jun 1803 [Liverpool]
Father → Son
Executor → Testator

Addresses (1)

Netherfield Road, Everton, Liverpool, Lancashire, North-west England, England