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Francis Horner

Francis Horner
— by Henry Raeburn.
Born 12 August 1778(1778-08-12)
Edinburgh, Scotland.
Died 8 February 1817 (aged 38)
Resting place Leghorn, Italy.
Ethnicity Scottish
Citizenship United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Alma mater University of Edinburgh
Occupation Politician and lawyer.
Political party Whig.

Francis Horner (12 August 1778 – 8 February 1817) was a Scottish Whig MP for St. Ives in 1806, Wendover in 1807, and St. Mawes in 1812 (in the patronage of the Marquis of Buckingham).

He was born in Edinburgh and studied at its university until being called to the bar in Scotland in 1800 and for England in 1807. He translated Leonhard Euler's Elements of Algebra in 1797 and published Short Account of a late Short Administration in 1807. In 1810 he was chairman of the Bullion Committee,[1] where he "extended and confirmed his fame as a political economist by his share in the famous Bullion Report".[2]

In 1802, Horner was one of the founders of The Edinburgh Review.

Horner was offered a Treasury secretaryship in 1811 when Lord Grenville was attempting to form a ministry, which he refused as he would not accept office until he was wealthy enough to survive out of office. A believer in political economy, he took part in the parliamentary debates on the Corn Laws and slavery in 1813-15.[2]

He struggled to earn a living and in October 1816 his physicians advised him to visit Italy due to ill health. However he died at Pisa a few months later. He is buried in the English Cemetery at Leghorn and has a statue in Westminster Abbey.


  1. ^ AIM25: British Library of Political and Economic Science: HORNER, Francis, 1778-1817, Politician
  2. ^ a b Francis Horner

Further reading

  • Leonard Horner (ed.), Memoirs and Correspondence of Francis Horner, M.P..


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