Horden, Hildebrand (DNB00)

HORDEN, HILDEBRAND (d. 1696), actor, the eldest son of Dr. Horden of Twickenham, received a liberal education, and in 1695–6 was a member of the company holding possession of Drury Lane and Dorset Garden. At one or other house he played Younger Worthy in Cibber's ‘Love's Last Shift,’ Basilius in D'Urfey's ‘Don Quixote, Part 3,’ in which he and Mrs. Cross spoke the prologue; Venutius in ‘Bonduca, or the British Heroine,’ an adaptation from Beaumont and Fletcher; Stanmore in Southerne's ‘Oroonoko;’ Wildman in Mrs. Manley's ‘Lost Lover;’ Fairly in Thomas Scott's ‘Mock Marriage;’ Welborn in Mrs. Behn's ‘Younger Brother;’ and Artaban in ‘Neglected Virtue, or the Unhappy Conqueror,’ an anonymous play which Horden published, and to which he wrote and spoke the prologue. He is said by Davies to have written a Latin encomium on the ‘Treacherous Brothers’ of George Powell, who appears to have been his associate (Dramatic Miscellany, iii. 415, 416). Horden was killed (18 May 1696) in a frivolous and accidental brawl at the bar of the Rose Tavern in Russell Street, Covent Garden, a notorious haunt of gamblers and rufflers. Captain Burgess, who had been English resident in Venice, and other persons of distinction were charged with causing Horden's death. Burgess escaped, and received the king's pardon (30 Nov. 1697). The others were tried and acquitted. Colley Cibber credits Horden with the possession of a handsome person, a good deal of table wit and humour, and almost every natural gift that could promise an excellent actor, and says he was rising rapidly in public favour. Cibber continues: ‘Before he was bury'd it was observable that two or three days together several of the fair sex, well dressed, came in masks [then frequently worn], and some in their own coaches, to visit the theatrical heroe in his shroud’ (Apology, ed. Lowe, i. 303–4). The author of the ‘List of English Dramatic Poets,’ appended to Whincop's ‘Scanderbeg,’ credits him with the authorship of ‘Neglected Virtue’ before mentioned, no great honour, and says he was seven years on the stage. Genest abridges the period by four to five years.

[Works cited; Genest's Account of the Stage; Cunningham's Handbook to London; Luttrell's Brief Relation, iv. 61, 63, 126, 312.]

J. K.