Henry Horace Dorant

Author: FNRC
Date published: 15/09/2017
© Newbury Weekly News, Berkshire Chronicle

Horace Henry Dorant was baptised on 26 December 1830 at the Abbey, St. Albans, Hertfordshire. His parents were James Annesley Dorant, a solicitor, and Jane, nee Robson. His father also became Clerk to the Trustees of St. Albans & Dunstaple Turnpike Trust, Clerk to the Commissioners of Taxes, Hall’s Charities and Deputy Clerk of the Peace. His mother died in 1846 and his father re-married in 1848. In the 1851 census he was visiting the Offen family (or possibly boarding) in Shoreditch, Tower Hamlets, London. Thomas Offen, head of the family, was a Journeyman Undertaker. Aged 22 years Horace was already a Pianoforte Maker. A search in the 1861 census has found no trace of him. However an advertisement appeared in the Herts Advertiser dated 23 February 1867 as follows:-

“HORACE H. DORANT – Pianoforte Manufacturer, 1, Haggerston Lane, Kingsland Road, London. PIANOFORTES on the three-years system of Hire and Purchase, at £2 12s. 6d. per quarter. Agents for St. Alban’s, Messrs. Wells & Son, Watch and Clock Makers, Jewellers, &c., 15, High Street.”

In 1871 he was still residing at 1 Haggerston Lane, St. Leonard, Shoreditch, aged 41. The Pianoforte business had prospered and he was employing 2 men and 1 boy. His nephew William Adolphus Dison Dorant had joined him, aged 20 years, as a Tuner. As stated in his obituary he moved to Newbury where he joined the business of Alphonse Cary, a well-established music publisher and musical instrument dealer based at 47/48 Northbrook Street with works in Park Street. In the 1881 census he is recorded boarding with the Walker family (the head is Frank Emesdorff Walker, a Gun Maker) in Northbrook Street. Later in the 1891 census he is recorded as a visitor at the Swan Inn, Bath Road, Thatcham.

He died aged 66 years on 8 January 1897 at 17 Craven Street, Newbury, and he was buried on 11 January 1897.

Sources:Newbury Weekly News and Berkshire Chronicle

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