E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Ill chance it, as old Horne did his neck. The reference is to Horne, a clergyman of Notts, who committed murder, but contrived to escape to the Continent. After several years of absence, he returned to England, and when told of the risk he ran, he replied, Ill chance it. He did chance it; but being apprehended, he was tried, condemned, and executed. (The Newgate Calendar.)