Rev Henage Horsley.

First Provincial Grand Chaplain 1815


The Very Rev Henage Horsley, born on Feb 23rd, 1776, was the only son of Dr Samuel Horsley, Bishop of Asaph.

At an early age, his father obtained for him the appointment of private Chaplain to the Prince Regent, and whilst in that office he became acquainted with Charles James Fox and Thomas Sheridan and mixed in their company and in that society.

In 1807 Henage Horsley was appointed assistant to Bishop Strachan (Bishop of Brechin) in Dundee, and for a period of forty years he was with the Episcopal Church in Dundee, firstly he was one of the pastors of St Paul's Chapel in Castle Street, he then became Dean of Brechin and minister of St Paul's Cathedral Church in Dundee, also for upwards of 40 years he held other valuable preferments in Wales - Gresford in the county of Denbigh, value £714; Castle Careinion, in the County of Montgomery, worth £575; and a prebend in the Cathedral Church of St Asaph, this brought him in, from the parish of Llanfair Talhaiarn, in the County of Denbigh, £220 per annum. 

As a member of the Dundee Society, he was regarded as a benevolent, generous and honourable man, it is mentioned in the Dundee year Book of the period that he donated the greater part of the remuneration for his services in Dundee - about £200 a year - to charity. Dean Horsley Window

He died on the 9th October 1847 at the age of 72, he is buried at the East End of the ruined church of Invergowrie and his grave is marked by a white marble headstone.

One of the windows in the Cathedral Church of St Paul's in the High Street of Dundee is dedicated to Dean Horsley - Window No.13

1) Isaac carrying wood for the burnt offering on his shoulders and
2) Christ sinking under the weight of his Cross on the way to Calvary

His Masonic Involvement.

Dean Horsley was appointed as the very first Provincial Grand Chaplain of the Province of Forfarshire by William Maule, 1st Lord Panmure, in 1815.
At this time he was not even a member of the Craft, Horsley joined Lodge St David in 1816. He became a good advocate and orator for the cause of Freemasonry in Dundee and the Province.

On the 27th December 1817 he was made an honorary member of the Operative Mason Lodge of Dundee No. 47

Extracts from the Minute Book of The Operative Mason Lodge of Dundee for 1817

At a meeting of the Operative Lodge 27th December 1817

The brethren of the Lodge met about four o’clock for the purpose of making a procession with the other Lodges in town to the Chapel in Castle Street when a sermon was preached by Rev H. Horsley also a collection made for the benefit of the Orphan Institution, after which the Lodge returned to the Lodge room to celebrate the Festival of St John, The Rev H. Horsley was unanimously admitted an honorary member of our Lodge.

At a General Meeting of the Operative Lodge 17th June 1822

The R.W. stated that the Caledonian Lodge was ordered to be Dedicated on Monday 24th June and that it would be necessary for the Lodge to attend the procession on that day. The Lodges to attend a Sermon in the Episcopal Chapel to be given by the Rev Mr. Horsley admission to be by tickets 1/- each for the benefit of the Dundee Lunatic Asylum. The tickets to be had of R. W., Treasurer, Secretary & Secretary.

At a General Meeting of the Operative Lodge 24th June 1822

Dedication of the Caledonian Lodge
At one o'clock the Lodge moved from the hall and joined the other Lodges in Town and walked in procession through the principal streets to the Episcopal Chapel, Castle Street in the following order:

St Regulus Lodge, Cupar
Airlie Lodge, Kirriemuir,
Caledonian Lodge, Dundee
Tay Union, South Ferry
Forfar & Kincardine, Dundee
Thistle Lodge, Dundee
St David's, Dundee
Ancient, Dundee
Operative, Dundee
St Thomas, Arbroath

After hearing an excellent sermon from the Rev Mr Horsley and making a collection for the Asylum (£34 2s 6d) the Lodges proceeded to consecrate the Caledonian Lodge which business was done by the staff of our Lodge.
The Lodges separated until 8 o'clock when they again met in the Caledonian Hall and spent the evening in great harmony.

View of the old Caledonian Hall in Castle Street
Cally Hall Castle Street


At a General Meeting of the Operative Lodge 1st August 1822.

The plan of the Town was ordered to be varnished and hung up in the Lodge
The Secretary was ordered to write the Scientific Society for payments of their proportion of expenses in Mrs Mathewson's action.
The committee recommend to the General Meeting to receive the Rev Mr Horsley as a full member and to present him with a Diploma the seal in a silver box. In testimony of respect for the very handsome manner he came forward on a late occasion to preach for the benefit of the Lunatic Asylum.
At a general meeting of the Operative Lodge 27th Sept 1822

The recommendation of committee 1st Aug with regard to Mr Horsley was agreed to with the exception of the silver box.

On the 30th September 1829 he presided as RWM of The Operative Lodge at a meeting in Blackness House, (at that time a large estate to the West of Dundee and the home of David Hunter Esq) at that meeting Horsley initiated a number of local dignitaries including his son Samuel Horsley.

  • Alexander Clayhills, Esquire of Invergowrie
  • James Thoms, Esquire, Dundee
  • Samuel Horsley, Esquire St John's College, Oxford
  • Edward Ebal, Esquire of Riga
  • George Kinloch, Esquire, Junior of Kinloch, Advocate
  • Doctor Thomas Hunter of Blackness.

Samuel Horsley

  • Studied at Glasgow, 1825-28.
  • Matriculated at Balliol College 1829
  • Graduated B.A. 1833, and M.A., 1837.
  • Acted as Inspector for the Poor, Ireland from 1847 to1882
  • From 1850-1882 resided in Killarney.
  • Afterwards resided in Bath.
Episcopal Chapel 1822
Castle Street now
Castle Street in 1822
Castle Street today - still showing the outline of the old Episcopalian Chapel


©Research by Iain D. McIntosh, 2014


  • Return to Main History Page
  • Return to Top
  • The Grand Lodge of Scotland Website.

    Formed in 1736 theGrand Lodge of Scotland is the governing body for all Freemasonry in Scotland.

    The Provincial Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Angus and Mearns

    Formed in 1861 the Provincial Grand Royal Arch Chapter for Angus and Mearns is the governing body for Royal Arch Masonry in this area.

    FDCA Logo

    Website of the Friends of Dundee City Archives


    Links to other Websites.

    scottish flagsquare & compasses