HORSFIELD, George William

1867 - 1950

George William Horsfield was born at Ashwell, Royston, Hertfordshire on 4 November 1867, eldest son and third child of George Horsfield (1840-12 June 1915), a commercial clerk, and his wife Mary Ann Toomes (1843-1931), daughter of William Toomes of Boston, Lincolnshire, who married at St Mary's Church, Islington on 25 December 1862. George was educated at Hitchin, Hertfordshire, Lannion in France and Bonn, Germany. At the age of 16, George became a private secretary to the British Consul at Beirut and two years later took a position in the British Museum Library, subsequently he went to Brussels College where, whilst teaching English, he learnt German. In 1891, Horsfield was the English representative of the Mutual Life Assurance Co., of New York and settled at Whitton Lodge, near Ipswich where, in 1904, appointed a magistrate. An antique dealer of the firm of Horsman Brothers and The East Anglian Gallery in Orchard Street, London with a branch in New York. Captain Commander of the Ipswich Company Territorials at Brecon Hill, Harwich, Essex and at Brackenbury Fort, Felixstowe, Suffolk and for his services awarded an O.B.E. He married at Tower Hamlets, London on 25 June 1890, Florence Marion Goffin (1866-8 May 1922), daughter of William Goffin of Stoke Tower, Ipswich and had a family of four daughters. In 1911, a 43-year-old 'dealer in works of art', living at Whitton Lodge, Norwich Road, Ipswich with his 44-year-old wife Florence and three of their four daughters Ellen Marion 19, Cicely Joan (1902-2000) and Marjorie Aline (1904-1988), second daughter Sybil Florence (3 July 1895-2 March 1986), was absent. George did a great deal of flying and invented the 'Horsfield' rangefinder and sometime after the 1914/18 war, when his London warehouse had been destroyed by fire, he sold his Orchard Street premises and carried on with the business in New York. In 1939, a widower and a furniture exporter, living at Whitton Lodge with his daughter Ella Marion (14 November 1891-22 May 1973) and for some twenty years was a director of Ipswich wine merchants, Sidgewick and Cowell. A Life Member of the Ipswich Art Club 1919-1949 but does not seem to have exhibited. George William Horsfield died at his home Whitton Lodge, Ipswich on 25 January 1950, aged 82. (Copsey: Suffolk Writers. 2002.)