Holme, Edward (DNB00)

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HOLME, EDWARD (1770–1847), physician, son of Thomas Holme, farmer and mercer, was born at Kendal, Westmoreland, on 17 Feb. 1770. After attending a school at Sedbergh, he spent two years at the Manchester academy, and afterwards studied at the universities of Göttingen and Edinburgh. He graduated M.D. at Leyden in December 1793, his thesis, ‘De Structura et Usu Vasorum Absorbentium,’ occupying sixty-one pages. Early in 1794 he began practice at Manchester, and was shortly afterwards elected one of the physicians to the infirmary there. He joined the Literary and Philosophical Society on settling in Manchester, and was one of its vice-presidents from 1797 to 1844, when he succeeded Dr. John Dalton as president. He was one of the founders of the Portico Library, and its president for twenty-eight years. He was also a founder and first president of both the Manchester Natural History Society and the Chetham Society. He was the first president of the medical section of the British Association at its inaugural meeting at York (1831), and presided over the Provincial Medical and Surgical Association in 1836. He became a member of the Linnean Society in 1799. He was for many years, especially after the death of John Ferriar [q. v.], a leader in his profession in Manchester, and the recognised head in all the local literary and scientific societies.

Of the fourteen essays contributed to the Literary and Philosophical Society, he only published a short ‘Note on a Roman inscription found at Manchester’ (Manchester Memoirs, vol. v.). Another essay, ‘On the History of Sculpture to the Time of Phidias,’ was printed after his death.

He died unmarried, on 28 Nov. 1847, at Manchester, leaving property worth over 50,000l., the greater part of which he bequeathed, together with his large library, to the medical department of University College, London. His portrait was engraved by J. R. Jackson, from a painting by W. Scott, belonging to the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society.

[Memoir by Dr. W. C. Henry in Trans. of Provincial Med. and Surg. Assoc. 1848, xvi. 77; Manchester Guardian, 1, 4, 8 Dec. 1847, 26 Jan., 13 May, 10 June 1848; Baker's Memorials of a Dissenting Chapel, p. 116; Univ. Coll. Library Cat. 1879.]

C. W. S.