Captain Samuel Horton of Somercotes was an important figure in the history of Ross, both as one of the earliest settlers and in his influence as a staunch Wesleyan.
Born in Lincolnshire in 1796, Horton came to Van Diemen’s Land in 1823 after serving as a Captain in the Merchant Navy. He was persuaded to come to Tasmania by his cousin, the Reverend William Horton, the first resident Wesleyan Minister in Hobart Town.
Horton was granted 1000 ares of land ‘near the Ross Bridge’ in consideration of the 1640 pounds in goods and cash that he brought with him to the colony. IN 1828 Horton received an additional grant of 800 acres and he subsequently added to this with further land purchases. Horton called his property Somercotes after the area he had come from in Lincolnshire.
Horton married Miss Elizabeth Pridden Hudson in 1833, at Park Farm, Jericho, Tasmania.
Horton was a recognised philanthropist and benefactor who was active in community affairs. In 1858 Horton was appointed a Justice of Peace and was later a member of the first Ross Municipal Council.
In 1850 Captain Samuel Horton offered the Wesleyan Church 20 acres of Somercotes and 1350 pounds for the establishment of a boys’ school. Horton College was built by 1855.
Samuel Horton died in 1867 and is buried in the family vault on College Hill, overlooking Somercotes*.
Take a look at our collection of objects related to the Horton family.
Source: Tasmanian Wool Centre Significance Assessment 2013.