Born: March 5, 1852, Burn­ley, Lan­ca­shire, Eng­land.

Died: Oc­to­ber 1938, Burn­ley, Lan­ca­shire, Eng­land.

Buried: Burn­ley, Lan­ca­shire, Eng­land.


Henry was the son of Ri­chard and Jane Holmes. His fa­ther and great grand­fa­ther were both so­li­ci­tors; his father had of­fic­es in Colne and Burn­ley.

Henry was edu­cat­ed at Cli­the­roe Roy­al Gram­mar School. In 1875, he be­came an At­tor­ney for Com­mon Law, and was ad­mit­ted a So­li­ci­tor of the High Court of Chan­ce­ry. He was ar­ti­cled to his fa­ther in No­vem­ber 1869, and prac­ticed in Burn­ley for ov­er 60 years, first in part­ner­ship with his bro­ther Ri­chard Mar­ma­duke as Holmes and Holmes.

He con­tin­ued to prac­tice on his own as Holmes and Holmes af­ter his bro­ther’s death in 1894, and lat­er as Messrs. Holmes, But­ter­field and Hart­ley. Holmes had moved from the fa­mi­ly home on West­gate some time af­ter the death of his sis­ter Su­san­nah in 1878. By 1881, he was liv­ing at 12 Pa­la­tine Square.

Holmes was in­ti­mat­ely as­so­ci­at­ed with church and Sun­day school work all his life. At age 17, he be­came a teach­er, and lat­er a lay su­per­in­ten­dent of San­dy­gate Sun­day school, con­nect­ed with Ho­ly Tri­ni­ty Church, a po­si­tion he held near­ly 20 years.

From the 1880’s he took a deep in­ter­est in The Home for Lit­tle Boys at Farn­ing­ham, Kent. His de­sire to help in this work led to the for­ma­tion of the Burn­ley branch of the Na­tion­al So­ci­ety for the Pre­ven­tion of Cru­el­ty to Child­ren.

Another or­ga­ni­za­tion in which Holmes took great in­ter­est was the Burn­ley Law So­ci­ety, which he helped found in 1883. He lived to be the last sur­vi­vor of the eight found­ers.

Holmes is said to have writ­ten over 250 hymn tunes in his life.



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