Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Friday 16 September 1927
Denaby Story of Estate in Chancery.
In one of the back streets Denaby lives an old miner, crippled and an old-age pensioner, who claims to be the only living heir to a fortune of £40,000,000.
He is Benjamin Horn (76), of Barmborough Street, Denaby, and the fortune to which he lays claim is an estate known the Jennens Estate, which has lain for nearly two centuries in Chancery. An extraordinary story was unfolded a representative of the ‘‘Sheffield Daily Telegraph,” who visited Mr. Horn yesterday.
The story went back almost two centuries, when the family of Jennens went from Yorkshire to the Birmingham district. Here one. Humphrey Jennens, founded ironworks at Aston, Brontford, and other localities in Staffordshire.
According the accounts he amassed huge sums of money, and is mentioned by Birmingham’s local historian Hutton, who describes him as one of the ten select men worth upwards of £lOO,OOO in the Birmingham district. But the time of his death he was worth 20 times this amount.
Strange though it may seem, a will was left unsigned by this man. While on his way to sign the will found he had left his spectacles at home, and when on his way fetch them was taken ill and died before he could sign the will. In this he left the whole of his estate to one John Brown, but the will was never signed it was naturally disputed and the fortune was ultimately thrown into Chancery. There it has remained until natural accretion the fortune has grown the sum of more than £40,000,000.
These facts were given the man who now claimed to the sole heir to the fortune. Producing two rolls of paper, he proceeded to trace his descent from the old ironmaster, and showed he was the grandson of Edward Horn, son of Samuel Horn and Margaret Jennens. Margaret was the daughter of Humphrey Jennens, the founder of the estate.
Mr. B. Horn was born of poor parents in the little Staffordshire village of Swan Village. About forty years ago he came Denaby to work at the pit, and five years later he lost a leg. He lives with his son and his daughter in-law.
Mr. Horn said he was the last of the Homs, and was almost sure there were no Jennens left. Now for the sake of his family was trying to get someone interested to put money into a Trust to get the money out of Chancery.