HORNECK, William (1685-1746), military engineer. Autograph letter signed to the Board of Ordnance, 4to, 2 sides plus recipients and endorsement on reverse of integral blank, Portsmouth, 27 July 1733, enclosing a draft design (not present) "to build the new Shed and forges ordered in this years Estimate", pressing the Board for a speedy answer as bricklayers are already on the site. "As my utmost endeavour is to have the King's works done in the handsomest manner (with hopes thereby to gett your Esteem) I have taken some pains to give this a little appearance, which, as it is all brickwork will scarce cost £20 - - in the whole, more than the shabbiest thing wee could sett up ..................... I believe the works will answer the promises I made you, and that by the 31st wee shall be able to lay the foundation of this last Curtain ......". Paper browned, but written in a clear bold script, with a couple of invisible repairs to the inside fold.
William Horneck was the son of the Church of England clergyman Anthony Horneck (1641-1697). He learned military science while serving under Marlborough, and with the rank of Captain in the Corps of Engineers went on to undertake extensive military works in Britain and abroad (including Newfoundland and Minorca). He was buried alongside his parents in Westminster Abbey. William's son Kane William Horneck (1726-1752) was also a military engineer, whose daughter Catherine married the famous caricaturist Henry William Bunbury.