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Frances Mary Horton [h.]

Frances Mary Horton was the first child of Denys Horton & Gertrude Wall born May 2nd, 1910 at West Bromwich, Staffs.

Frances (known as Molly) trained as a biologist & was awarded a Ph.D. from Birmingham University for her work on the thyroid gland & lamprey development c1934.

In 1936 she took up a biology teaching post at Willesden County Grammar School, London & she left this position in January 1937 on her marriage.

Molly married Charles Holt on December 30th, 1936 at Arthog, Merionethshire. Witnesses at her wedding were Maisie Johnston, Gertrude Horton, David Holt (retired schoolmaster) & Denys Horton. Charles (known as Charley) was born Oct-December 1902 at East Woodhay, Hampshire, the son of Esther Jeavons & David John Holt, a school teacher.

Charley obtained a B.Sc. (1st class) in Chemistry at London University & went on to do teacher training at the University of London.  He became senior chemistry master at King’s School, Chester in 1923.

Fairbourne beach, Merioneth, c1946 - from left Judith Holt, Molly, Gertrude Horton, nephew David Horton, brother Denys Horton jnr, Margaret Holt, nephew John Horton, Denys Horton snr.

The 1939 register shows Molly living with her mother & grandmother, Louisa Wall, at Troed-y-Bryn, Arthog.  With her was her daughter Judith. Husband Charley was living in Northampton at the time of the register & described as science master at a secondary school.

Molly & Charley divorced & Charley died in December 1978 in Surrey.

The children of Frances Mary Horton & Charles Holt were:

h. Judith B Holt born May 12th, 1938 at Hampstead; died January 20th, 2017
h. Margaret J Holt born at West Bromwich

Molly married Louis Arnaud Reid in July-September 1957 at Hendon, Middlesex.  Louis was born February 18th, 1895 in Ellon, Scotland, the son of Margaret Cornfute Miller & Alexander Humphrey Reid.  Louis had previously been married to Gladys Kate Bignold & they had 2 children. 

Louis studied philosophy at the University of Edinburgh.  He lectured at Aberystwyth & Liverpool from 1919 to 1926 & wrote his first book at this time.  From 1932 to 1947 he was professor at Armstrong College, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.  In 1947 he became the first professor of the Philosophy of Education in Great Britain at the University of London Institute of Education.  He retired in 1962 but continued to write & lecture widely on aesthetics & the arts.  Indeed Louis was still writing poetry & taking piano lessons in his 90th year.

Louis Reid

Photo courtesy of Nick Reid, Louis' grandson

Molly & Louis lived for much of their married life at 50 Rotherwick Rd, Golders Green, London. They shared a love of music & Molly was an accomplished musician & played the cello. She was also a skilled potter & produced many wonderful & useful bowls, plates, cups etc for family & friends.

Louis died on January 26th, 1986 in London, aged 90.

Molly with niece-in-law Trudy Horton & her children c1987

After his death Molly donated a large amount of archival material from the writings of her husband Louis to the art & Design Department, Institute of Education, University of London.

In her later years Molly lived at Asmuns Place, London.

Molly died, aged 95, on November 18th, 2005 in London.


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