Friday, October 29, 2021

Lady Hornby 1934-2021

 Lady Hornby, who died 23 October, 2021, aged 87, was the widow of Sir Simon Hornby [1934-2010], sometime chairman of WH Smith, the Design Council, and the Royal Horticultural Society.

She was born [Ann] Sheran Cazalet, in London in the Spring of 1934, the daughter of Peter Victor Ferdinand Cazalet, DL, JP [1907-73], the racehorse trainer, descended from the Heron-Maxwell baronets, of Fairlawne, Kent, by his wife Leonora Rowley [1905-44], the step-daughter [and adopted daughter], of Sir P.G. Wodehouse [1881-1975], the author, daughter of Leonard Rowley, of Dee Bank, Cheshire, and his wife, Ethel May Newton [1885-1984], who married in 1914, as her third husband, P.G. Wodehouse.

Sheran Cazalet married in 1968, Simon Michael Hornby [born 29 Dec, 1934], son of Michael Charles St John Hornby [1899-1987], of Pusey House, co Oxford, by his wife the former Nicolette Joan Ward [1907-88], scion of the Earls of Dudley. Simon Hornby, who was knighted in 1988, became the last family member to chair W.H. Smith, an appointment he held for 12 years from 1982. Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and Noel Coward were present at their wedding which took place at Fairlawne, the Cazalet mansion near Tonbridge, in Kent.

Sheran's father trained many of the Queen Mother's horses from 1950, included over 250 winners, and Cazalet also trained the Queen Mother's Devon Loch, who fell on the run-in to the finish line at the 1956 Grand National when 50 yards clear of E.S.B. 

The Hornbys lived at Pusey House following her father-in-law's death, and later they bought an old rectory nearby. In 1992 she and her husband moved to the Ham at Wantage, Oxfordshire, where they created a new garden in 50 acres. Lady Hornby was widowed on 18 July, 2010. She leaves no issue.

Her brother, Edward, later became the High Court judge Sir Edward Cazalet, and she had half-brothers, Victor and Anthony Cazalet.

 A Cremation Service will be held on 26 November, 2021, at South Oxfordshire Crematorium, Garford, Abingdon.


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