Drowning of the Rev. Wm. Horne

Late of Dundee

’Twas in the year of 1888, and on August the 1st day,
That the Rev. Wm. Horne was drowned (while bathing) in Scarborough Bay,
And that place is considered to be a very dangerous spot;
And by his church members his sad fate won’t be forgot.

He was observed to be in distress by a gentleman near by,
So, to save him from being drowned, he resolved to try;
Then to him he boldly swam, and kept him afloat
Until the arrival of the safety boat.

And into the boat the unfortunate rev. gentleman was laid,
And when he landed every attention to him was paid;
The usual restoratives were medically applied
By Dr. J. W. Taylor, but in a short time he died.

The rev. gentleman was a powerful swimmer, it is said,
And had bathed at dangerous places where other swimmers were afraid;
Just for instance in St. Andrew’s bay-
But many times he bathed there without dismay.

But the more he escaped there, his time wasn’t come,
But at Scarborough he’s been drowned, so Heaven’s will be done;
Which alas! kind Christians, I’m sorry to relate,
That the rev. gentleman has met with such a fate.

The Rev. Wm. Horne was a native of Dunfermline,
And in the office of a linen manufacturer there an apprentice he did begin;
And he was remarkable for his studious habits in search of knowledge,
And accordingly he was sent to St. Andrew’s College.

And he soon carried off a prize offered by the late Mr John Stuart Mill,
Particularly in metaphysics and philosophic skill;
And for the best essay on The Principle of Inseparable Association,
And he also received #100 for an essay on Scripture Revelation.

Mr Horne was also minister of Lindsay Street Congregational Church, Dundee,
And for a period of five years he acted most faithfully;
And he also carried off the Baxter Scholarship of £100:
In truth his great intellect was stored with knowledge profound.

He was an able preacher, which nobody can deny,
And no doubt his relatives for him bitter tears will cry;
Besides, his church members in Dreghorn
The loss of their pastor will greatly mourn.

While minister in Dundee there’s few could him surpass,
Because he started a mission for working girls, and a Young Men’s Class;
And he soon became a familiar figure in Dundee,
And succeeded in reforming many of however low degree.

During his five years’ ministry in Lindsay Street
As a preacher he wielded an influence good and sweet;
His preaching had great influence on the young men in the congregation,
And they always looked up to him with an eye of veneration.

Mr Horne was on his marriage tour when he was drowned,
Which filled Mrs Horne’s heart with sorrow profound;
Because he was expected to return to the manse at Dreghorn;
And for the ministry his enthusiasm surpassed any man ever born.

His congregation at Dreghorn dearly did him love,
And I hope the good man’s soul now rests in Heaven above,
For the good he done to sinners while he this earthly stage trod,
But I trust he is now a bright angel at the right hand of God.

And Mr George Paish, that swam out to him,
For his gallantry ought to be rewarded, which I consider no sin,
Because if he hadn’t swam out, his body might never have been found,
And for such gallantry he deserves no less than £100.

Sad Death of Rev. W. Horne, Late of Dundee

We deeply regret to announce the death by drowning at Scarborough Wednesday of the Rev. William Horne, formerly pastor of Lindsay Street Congregational Church, Dundee, and who was recently elected parish minister of Dreghorn, Ayrshire. With regard to the catastrophe by which he lost his life details are still awanting, but it would seem from a telegram that Mr Horne had gone into the sea to bathe south of the Spa, where a dangerous current was running, and where a board is prominently displayed cautioning persons against bathing there. There were about ten or twelve feet of water at the time, the tide being half-flood. Mr Horne’s distress was observed by a young gentleman, who swam to his assistance, and bore him up until the arrival of the safety boat, which is stationed in the South Bay. He was taken into the South Tramway House, and the Medical Officer of Health, Dr John Taylor, was summoned. This gentleman, whose residence is quite close to the scene the fatality, was soon in attendance, but his services were of no avail, and he certified that death had resulted. The body was conveyed to No. 1, Crown Crescent, where the deceased together with Mrs Home and some relatives was lodging The occurrence caused much excitement in the town, and formed the prevailing topic of discussion.

The deceased gentleman was a native of Fifeshire, his family residing in Dunfermline. He was educated for the ministry of the Independent body. At the University St Andrews, and at the Theological Hall of the Congregational denomination, Edinburgh,he greatly distinguished himself. Among other things he took a scholarship given by the late Miss Baxter of Ellangowan at the Theological Hall, and proceeded to Germany, mainly for the purpose of increasing his acquaintance with the mental and moral philosophy of that country. He attained his end most thoroughly, and made himself an excellent German scholar, and became deeply read in the theology of the leading writers on that subject in Germany. He ultimately became pastor, as we have said, of Lindsay Street Congregational Church, Dundee, where his ministrations were highly appreciated, and showed to how good purpose he had educated himself. His sermons were marked by depth of thought, and were often delivered with a fervour which is not commonly associated with preaching so highly intellectual. But Mr Horne was one the kindest of men, and was, as long as he remained in Dundee, a warm friend of such institutions as the Prison Aid Society, the Home, and the Royal Infirmary. After several years’ ministry in Lindsay Street Church, his leanings towards the Established Church of Scotland, which in a greater or lesser degree he had shown for years, became stronger, and he at last joined the Establishment.For a time he was unsuccessful in obtaining a church, but secured the living of Dreghorn a few months ago. Shortly after his settlement–in fact, only about a month ago–he married the widow of the late Mr Hindmarsh, who had accompanied him to the watering place, as stated above. When the tidings his melancholy end become known much regret will felt by his parishioners and his many friends in Dundee, St Andrews, and elsewhere.

On Thursday an inquest was held at South Cliff, Scarborough, touching the death of the Rev. William Horne. George Paish, a journalist, said he was walking along the sands on Wednesday morning when he heard someone crying for help. He saw a gentleman struggling in the sea. and, undressing, swam out to him. When some distance away witness shouted. “Turn on your back and float, or try and swim towards me.” Deceased replied, “I cannot.” He was a good deal under water, and after witness got hold of him they both sunk together twice or thrice. They were taken into a boat, but deceased was unconscious. Dr Taylor said he was called to examine Mr Horne, and found him dead. He tried artificial respiration, but it failed. A verdict of accidentally drowned was returned. The foreman of jury thought a caution board was scarcely sufficient, as the place was so dangerous, and advocated that bathing be prevented at that spot. The jury were of opinion that Mr Paish’s gallantry should be recognised the Humane Society.

Dundee Weekly News, 4th August 1888

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Comments (1) »

  1. Graham Cory
    In the year 2023, on the 17th day of November at 9:36 pm

    A missing verse (originally the antepenultimate) has recently been discovered in a box somewhere or other in Dundee. Although removed on the grounds that it might have caused unease within the more puritanical element of the Congregational Church, I think it fully matches the pathos of the rest:

    But how poor Mrs Horne her husband’s death will greatly mourne,
    For from her side the cruel tide has gorn and torn Rev Horne.
    And her fear of lonely days will be to her most repugnant,
    Not least because she is already eight months pregnant.

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