Isaac Horton


A native of West Bromwich but for many years carried on business in Birmingham. By his personal industry and successful speculation, he amassed a fortune and became an extensive property owner.


He acted in a friendly capacity for Sir Josiah Mason, in the purchase of property and in connection with the contracts for the building of Erdington Orphanage. Died November 15, 1880 Aged 58 years


 The Horton family history starts with Benjamin Horton born in 1796 who started a general provision business and had property in Lichfield, including a pig farm.


Isaac was born on 11 November 1821, and baptised a year later in West Bromwich.  He married Sarah Schofield in 1852.


Isaac Had a shop at No 8 Spiceal Street, Birmingham, near the site of the old Woolworth's building (or for our younger readers, at the bottom of the ramp going towards St Martin's, which was built around 1964).  Whilst at Spiceal Street, Isaac and Sarah had several children, Dorothy, 1860, Fred, 1863, Jane, 1865, Richard, 1869, Thomas 1871 and Fanny in 1874.   


Isaac used the income he made from his provisions and butchers and cheese factoring businesses to acquire properties and ground leases in the West Midlands, demolishing old buildings and erecting new included the Midland Hotel (now the Burlington), and in 1875 the Grand Hotel.


Isaac had eleven children of his own, and when he died in 1880, he left the provisions business to his eldest son, John.  The residue of his estate was left to the other six sons.  When the youngest of these sons became twenty-one, it was decided to turn the business into a Limited Company – Hortons' Estate Limited.  The value of the estate then was £600,000 with mortgages of £160,000.  This compares to a net value today of close to £150 million.


Hortons' Estate acquired Atkinsons Brewery in 1908.  Atkinsons was originally founded in 1878 and were based at the Aston Park Brewery.  It went public in 1936 and was sold by Hortons’ Estate Limited to Mitchells and Butlers in 1959.  M&B only wanted the best pubs and the good will, because many of their pubs were very close.  As a result, Hortons' kept many of the properties with a restrictive covenant against the sale of liquor and they were then converted into shops and offices.


Because of Hortons' involvement in the hotel trade, a relationship was set up with James Seligman, a wine and spirit merchant.  On his death the company was left to Hortons' Estate.  They used to have a bottling plant in the basement of the Grant Hotel.  This company was sold to Devenish PLC in about 1989.