200701111140A very sad story today from Scotland: Cartoonist/illustrator Richard Horne, akak Harry Horse was found dead in his home along with his wife, Mandy. The deaths are believed to be a suicide pact–Horse’s wife had been ill with multiple sclerosis for some time.

Yesterday, three days after Mr Horne’s final work appeared in a national newspaper, the couple’s bodies were discovered, lying together in their remote bungalow after an apparent suicide pact. One theory was that Mr Horne helped his desperately ill wife to end her life before taking his own. It is understood their pets were also found dead. The tiny island community of Papil, on Burra, was in shock after the discovery of the bodies by paramedics, who were called to the house by concerned relatives yesterday morning.

Horse regularly contributed cartoons to The Scotman, the Sunday Herald and such magazines as The New Yorker. He was also a very successful children’s book illustrator, starting with The Opopogo – My Journey with the Loch Ness Monster in 1983, and The Last Polar Bears was turned into a cartoon.

Horse was only 46; his wife 39.


  1. My parents bought a Harry Horse drawing from an exhibition he had during the Edinburgh Festival, on the Scotsman steps, way back in the 80s. This must have been a good while before he started to draw for the Scotsman newspaper himself, indeed he must just have been starting out. It’s a beautifully loose, funny but dark picture of a crouching Jester. I’ve almost memorised that picture over the years.
    I’m sorry it ended like this. Goodbye Harry.

  2. i first met harry when he was playing in a band called ink of infidels and we shared rehearsal space at the gateway exchange in edinburgh..our bands done a benefit gig together and appeared on a compilation tape which i am now listening to…harrys song is undoubtably the best song on the tape as he had more talent than the rest of the bands put together..i feel honoured to have known the man,however briefly….he had an aura about him that made him stand out from others on the same scene..i watched his career from a distance and always looked forward to his weekly cartoons as he had a habit of hitting the nail on the head from sometimes unexpected angles….he will be missed,but not forgotton,i named my eldest son harry..

  3. I met Harry Horse in Edinburgh in the 80’s, a smart, funny and gifted man, I also spent time on papil a small but lovely part fo the Shetlands where Mandy was a memer of a wonderful extended family, she was a beautiful girl and a vital part of everything Harry created. While the obituaries are mostly about the loss of Harry and his talent, I hope people also take time to remember Mandy who was robbed of so much by her illness. Together they were phenomenal

  4. What a good choice his made with regard to his pets……who would have taken care of them? Would they not have pined for Harry and Mandy??
    Please don’t sit in judgement, my brother made a choice, based upon his spititual beliefs. I think that taking his pets was the RIGHT choice, as a caring human being he would have agonized over the fate of his extended family. Shame we don’t all have the same ethics as he…after all..if he didn’t care he would be alive today.

  5. Gee, this is so very sad. I love Richard’s childrens books and have been looking periodically for a way to purchase some of his illustrations. I have to say, I agree with Chance. Sure the animals would have missed them, but suicide is a permanent choice that the animals could not partake in. I am not judging him, I just don’t agree with his choice. His depression must have been so vast. It is a loss to us all, especially children. His books have such great messages especially ‘A Friend for Little Bear’. I wish that they did not have to endure such pain and anguish. I hope that they are at peace.