Mystery solved over historic picture of Harborough featuring lost pub – which ended up in America

Californian Margaret Rance inherited the mystery image from her family – and she has now returned it to the town

By Laura Kearns
Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 9:53 am
Californian Margaret Rance inherited this mystery image from her family and initial enquiries led her to believed it was a view of Market Harborough.
Californian Margaret Rance inherited this mystery image from her family and initial enquiries led her to believed it was a view of Market Harborough.

An historic picture of Harborough which was discovered in America has returned home.

Californian Margaret Rance inherited the mystery image from her family and initial enquiries led her to believed it was a view of Market Harborough.

She knew nothing about the town or why her family had the image, so earlier this year contacted the Market Harborough Historical Society.

Historical Society committee members present the picture to the museum: from left Michael Hitchcox, David Holmes, Len Holden and museum curator Tim Savage, and Pat Perkins.

Research by committee members Pat Perkins and Rosalind Willatts found that the print featured town square pub The Cock Inn, which no longer exists. They could then date the picture as the late 19th century.

More in-depth research found former pub landlady - a widow - Sarah Pass lived in the pub with her second husband Christopher Horsley who she married in 1846. She had two daughters and a son from her first marriage.

Her son, Charles Pass, born in 1844, later emigrated to America and married there in 1881. It is believed these are the ancestors of Margaret Rance.

Margaret, who lives in San Diego, has now donated the picture to the Harborough Museum.

A Harborough Historical Society spokesman said: “Margaret was delighted to receive the information and wanted to donate the picture to the museum. On receiving the picture we presented it to the museum on July 21.

“It is through the family in America that the picture of the Cock Inn and Square, has been returned home to Market Harborough.”