Holmes, George

, an English antiquary, born in 1662, at Skipton, in Craven, Yorkshire, became about 1695 clerk to William Petyt, esq. keeper of the records at the Tower; and continued near sixty years deputy to Mr. Petyt, Mr. Topham, and Mr. Polhill. On the death of Mr. Petyt, which happened Oct. 9, 1707, Mr. Holmes was, on account of his singular abilities and industry, appointed by | lord Halifax (then president of a committee of the House of lords) to methodize and digest the records deposited in the Tower, at a yearly salary of 200l. which was continued to his death, Feb. 16, 1748-9, in the 87th year of his age. He was also barrack-master of the Tower. He married a daughter of Mr. Marshall, an eminent sword-cutler in Fleet-street, by whom he had an only son George, who was bred at Eton, and was clerk under his father, but died, aged 25, many years before him. Holmes re-published the first 17 volumes *


Before this second edition, a set of the seventeen volumes was sold for 100 guineas. See the preface to the “Acta Regia,” 1726, 8vo.

of Rymer’s “Fœdera,” in 1727. His curious collections of books, prints, and coins, &c. were sold by auction in 1749. His portrait was engraved by the society of antiquaries, with this inscription: "Vera effigies Georgii Holmes generosi, R. S. S. & tabularii publici in Turre Londinensi Vicecustodis; quo munere annos circiter LX summa fide & diligentia perfunctus, XIV kalend. Mart. A. D. MDCCXLVIII, ætatis suæ LXXXVII, fato demum concessit. In fratris sui erga se meritorum testimonium hanc tabulam Societas Antiquariorum Londini, eujus commoda semper promovit, sumptu suo æri incidendum curavit, MDCCXLIX. R. Van Bteek, p. 1743. G. Vertue del. & sculp.“—In Strype’s London, 1754, vol. I. p 746, is a fac-simile of an antique inscription over the little door ftext to the cloister in the Temple church. It was in old Saxon capital letters, engraved within an half-circle; denoting the year when the church was dedicated, and by whom, namely, Heraclius the patriarch of the church of the Holy Resurrection in Jerusalem; and to whom, namely, the Blessed Virgin; and the indulgence of forty days pardon to such who, according to the penance enjoined them, resorted thither yearly. This inscription, which was scarcely legible, and in 1695 was entirely broken by the workmen, having been exactly transcribed by Mr. Holmes, was by him communicated to Strype. Mrs. Holmes out-lived her husband, and received of government 200l. for his Mss. about the records, which were deposited and remain in his office to this day. Few men, in a similar office, were ever more able or willing to assist the researches of those who applied to him, than Mr. Holmes; and he received many handsome acknowledgements of his politeness and abilities, in that respect, from Browne Willis, Dr. Tovey, principal | of New-Inn-hall, Oxford, Dr. Richardson, editor ofGodwin de Presulibus," and others. 1

Nichols’s Bowyer.