Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: March 21, 2021
Webpage updated: March 21, 2021

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Thomas Frederick Hiorns was born  at Crewkerne, Somerset, in 1850.

In 1874 Mr Thomas Frederick Hiorns married Miss Agnes Elizabeth Weeks, at Bristol, Gloucestershire.  Several children followed: Albert Edwin Hiorns, born 1875 at Bristol; Frederick Robert Hiorns, born 1876 at Bristol; Lilian Edith Nurton Hiorns, born 1880 at Chorlton, Lancashire.

Around 1880 Mr Hiorns came to Devonport to manage the business of Mr A H Swiss, Army and Navy printers, booksellers and stationers.  The census on April 3rd 1881 shows that the family took up residence at number 12 Martin Terrace, Keyham Road, Devonport.  Young Frederick Robert Hiorns was already attending school.

Three more children followed: Muriel Marie Louise Hirons, born 1882; Hilda Mabel Annie Hiorns, born 1884; Percival Theodore Hiorns, born 1892.  In 1891 they were living at number 16 Pasley Street.  Mr Albert Edwin Hiorns had become a self-employed teacher of music; Frederick Robert Hiorns was a laboratory assistant in a college, probably the Royal Naval Engineering College further along Keyham Road; Lilian Edith Nurton Hiorns and Hilda Mabel Annie Hiorns were at school.

Sometime during 1898 Mr Thomas Frederick Hiorns left Mr A H Swiss and in partnership with a Mr Frederick James Miller (1871-1947), a native of Portsmouth, Hampshire, set up his own business at 107 Fore Street, Devonport.  The first advertisement for Messrs Hiorns and Miller appeared as a "Christmas Announcement" in the Western Morning News on Thursday December 22nd 1898.

Mr Frederick Robert Hiorns married Miss Laura Jane Beatrice Mary Pitcher on April 18th 1900 at the Princes Street Independent Chapel, Devonport.  He became an architect with London County Council.

In the census on March 31st 1901 the family were living at number 16 Pasley Street, Stoke, and Mr Hiorns was a bookseller and stationer in his own right.  Mr Albert Edwin Hiorns was still living at home and employed as a teacher or music.  19-years-old Miss Muriel Marie Louise Hiorns was a photographer's assistant.  The other two girls must have been helping their mother while 8-years-old Percival Theodore Hiorns was presumably at school although that was not declared in the census.

Miss Lilian Edith Nurton Hiorns married Mr Harry Whitfeld at the Princes Street Independent Chapel, Devonport, on August 7th 1906.

Sadly later that year, on October 13th 1906, Mrs Agnes Elizabeth, by now of number 30 Pasley Street, died and on October 17th she was buried at Weston Mill Cemetery.  She was only 54 years of age.

At the time of the census on April 2nd 1911 Mr Hiorns was still living at 30 Pasley Street.  29-years-old Miss Muriel Marie Louise Hiorns and 27-years-old Miss Hilda Mabel Annie Hiorns were still living at home and as they had no occupations were presumably looking after their 60-years-old father.  18-years-old Mr Percival Theodore Hiorns, an architect's draughtsman, was also still at home.  Mrs Lillian Edith Nurton Whitfeld was away from home visiting a relative at Killride Cottage, Saltford, near Bristol, and left her husband, Mr Harry Whitfeld, owner of the "Western Independent" newspaper, and their 2-years-old son, Henry Francis Hiorns Whitfeld, at Devonport.

Finally Mr Hiorns' two remaining unmarried daughters got married: Miss Hilda Mabel Annie Hiorns to Mr Frederick Richard Fairmaner on August 9th 1911 at the Anglican Church of Saint Aubyn; and Miss Muriel Marie Louise Hiorns on April 3rd 1915 to Mr George Henry Lee at the Princes Street Independent Chapel.

Mr Percival Theodore Hiorns married Miss Florence M Towell at Edmonton, Middlesex, in 1922.

Mr Thomas Frederick Hiorns died suddenly at 15 Garfield Terrace, Portland Road, Stoke, on March 9th 1926.  It was said of him that: 'He obtained a very large connection with the various regiments and ships, and subsequently started the business in partnership with Mr F J Miller, under the name of Hiorns and Miller.  Mr Hiorns took a great interest in Army and Navy publications, and was a recognised authority on Army crests and uniforms.  He was engaged in business up to the day of his death, which took place suddenly.'  On March 13th 1926 the funeral service was held at the Anglican Church of Saint Michael the Archangel and Mr Hiorns' body was interred at the Weston Mill Cemetery.