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Horsburgh are a Scottish kin-group or family who do not have a chief recognised by the Lord Lyon and are therefore considered an armigerous clan. They are associated with the Borders and the name is still found there and around Edinburgh.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 405</ref> <ref>Dorward, Surnames, 147</ref> The local pronunciation of the name is said to be 'Horsebra'. <ref>http://www.electricscotland.com/webclans/htol/horsburgh2.html</ref>


This name means 'horse brook' and is taken from the lands and barony near Innerleithen in Peebleshire. <ref>George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire, Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia, 405</ref> <ref>David Dorward, Dictionary of Scottish Surnames, 147</ref>

Ruins of a tower with this name still exist.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 405</ref>

Middle Ages

Simon de Horsbrock witnessed a charter to Melrose Abbey during the reign of Alexander II (1198-1249)<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 405</ref> In the 13th century the name is frequently found around Melrose. <ref>Dorward, Surnames, 147</ref>

In 1284 William of Horsburgh was the clerk of the Dean and Chapter of Glasgow at Berwick. <ref>PoMS http://db.poms.ac.uk/record/person/10261 (accessed 20th May 2014)</ref> In 1287 William is master and public notary at Edinburgh.<ref>PoMS http://db.poms.ac.uk/record/person/10261 (accessed 20th May 2014)</ref>

Simon de Horsbrok served Edward I of England in 1297. <ref>http://www.electricscotland.com/webclans/htol/horsburgh2.html</ref>

Master Michael de Horsbrok, a priest, witnessed a grant by Sir William of Durem of lands in Peebles between 1306 and 1330. <ref>http://www.electricscotland.com/webclans/htol/horsburgh2.html</ref>

In 1440 Robert Horsbruk was prior of St. Andrews. <ref>Dorward, Surnames, 147</ref>

Alexander Horsbrock of that Ilk is recorded in 1479. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 405</ref> The arms recorded by Nisbet of a silver horse's head on a blue shield are clearly canting, or punning, on the family name.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 405</ref>

Nineteenth Century

John Horseburgh (1791-1869) was an engraver, born at Prestonpans, near Edinburgh. <ref>Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/13811?docPos=2 (accessed 20th May 2014) </ref> He produced engravings of works by J.M.W. Turner as well as views of Scottish landscapes and personalities. He was also a Baptist minister.<ref>Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/13811?docPos=2 (accessed 20th May 2014) </ref>

James Horsburgh (1782-1836) was a hydrographer to the East India Company and a fellow of the Royal Society. Many of his works became standard in the field. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 405</ref>

Twentieth Century

Florence Horsbrugh, Baroness Horsbrugh, (1889-1969) was a Scottish Unionist Party and Conservative Party politician.

She held ministerial office in the wartime coalition governments as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (1939–45), and Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food (1945). As Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health,1939–45, she was responsible for arranging the evacuation of schoolchildren from major cities during the war.

Following her return to the House of Commons she was the first woman to hold a Cabinet post in a Conservative government, and only the third woman, after Bondfield and Wilkinson to be appointed Cabinet minister in Britain's history (1953-1954), having been appointed Minister of Education in 1951.

She also served as a delegate to the Council of Europe and Western European Union from 1955 until 1960.

As part of her lifelong championing of social welfare issues, Horsbrugh took a marked interest in child welfare and introduced, as a private member, the bill which became the Adoption of Children (Regulation) Act 1939. Horsbrugh also carried out a great deal of preparatory work on the scheme which eventually became the National Health Service.

Horsbrugh was a Member of Parliament (MP) for Dundee from 1931 until her defeat in 1945. She was the first woman to move the Address in reply to the King's Speech. She unsuccessfully contested Midlothian and Peebles in 1950 and sat for Manchester Moss Side from 1950 until her retirement in 1959.

On retirement she was elevated to the House of Lords, as a life peer with the title Baroness Horsbrugh, of Horsbrugh in the County of Peebles, where she sat until her death.

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