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Horace Delaney was a minor character mentioned in the first season of the BBC One and FX original drama, Taboo. He was portrayed by Edward Fox.

Official Description[]

"Horace Delaney was the father to James and Zilpha and is said to have gone mad before he died, leaving his estate and the mysterious Nootka Sound to his son. [1] He was an adventurer, merchant and shipping mogul." [2]

Character Overview[]

Horace Delaney was described by everyone as a man driven to insanity, speaking to his son who was presumed dead at the foreshore. However, Brace, his entrusted steward, claimed that the he was a kind man.


Horace Delaney was buried in the cemetery of his parish with Zilpha and Thorne Geary dealing with the funeral payment, refusing to pay an extra amount to deter grave robbers. James returned to London from Africa to attend the funeral of his father, but before he shows up at the church, he visited the mortuary, stealing the coins lying on the eyes of the corpse as a payment for the caretaker. James later put the coins in the offertory during the funeral service. [3] James Delaney went to visit a coroner to investigate his father's death, and threatened ro kill him if grave robbers would disturb Horace's final rest.[4]

During a conversation between James and Brace, it was revealed that Horace Delaney was poisoned by his manservant. [5]

Memorable Quotes[]


Episode Appearances[]

Season 1


  • According to James, Horace Delaney was forcing his wife to impersonate roles as Neapolitan noblewoman for personal fulfillment.
  • It is likely that some aspects of Horace Delaney are inspired by historical lieutenant John Meares. Meares, much like Horace Delaney, claimed that he had acquired some land from a Nootka Chief in exchange for pistols and other goods, this would become an asset to Britain during the Nootka Crisis. [6]


  1. - Meet the cast of Taboo
  2. BBC One - Taboo Cast & Characters
  3. Knight, Steven (writer) & Nyholm, Kristoffer (director); January 7, 2017 BBC; January 10, 2017, FX; "Episode 1". Taboo.
  4. Knight, Steven (writer) & Nyholm, Kristoffer (director); January 14, 2017, BBC; January 17, 2017, FX; "Episode 2". Taboo.
  5. Hardy, Chips & Knight, Steven (writer) & Engström, Anders (director); February 11, 2017 BBC; February 14, 2017, FX; "Episode 6". Taboo.
  6. The Career of Lieutenant John Meares on