Henry James HOLMES [c.1840-1899] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Henry James HOLMES [c.1840-1899]

Henry James
c.1840-01-01 (Year is approximate)
Birthplace (country): 

Solicitor and long term resident of Hong Kong

“The Late Mr H.J. Holmes.

The death occurred yesterday, at his residence at Kowloon, of Mr. H.J. Holmes, solicitor, one of the oldest residents of the Colony. Mr. Holmes came out to Hongkong in 1862 as clerk to Mr Justice Ball, and after serving in that capacity for a few years he was admitted to practice as a solicitor. At one time, he took a considerable interest in public affairs, and for many years held a commission in the Volunteer Corps. Till the last he took a keen interest in sport, and especially in rifle shooting, although he has not been seen so frequently on the range in recent years. He leaves a widow, and a grown up family, one of his sons – a lieutenant in the Royal Irish Fusiliers – being at present a prisoner at Pretoria. Much sympathy is felt for Mrs. Holmes and family. The funeral took place at the Happy Valley this afternoon, and was largely attended.”

Source: The China Mail, page 2, 4th December 1899 and The Hong Kong Daily Press, page 2, 4th December 1899





Freemasonary membership in Hong Kong

Name: Henry James Holmes
Gender: Male
Initiation Age: 23
Birth Year: abt 1840
Initiation Date: 1 Apr 1863
First Payment Year on Register: 1863
Year range: 1863-1887
Profession: Govt Clerk
Lodge: The Zetland Lodge
Lodge Location: Victoria Hong Kong China
Lodge Number: 525, 768
Folio Number: 125


1884 Principal Residents

Family Title Given Unit Building name No. Street District
Holmes   H. J.       Tsim Sha Tsoi Kowloon


Kowloon Directory 1894

Holmes, H. J.


Source:  The Directory & chronicle for China, Japan, Corea, ... 1894.



He was buried in Section 23, Row 2, Grave number 5 of the Hong Kong Colonial Cemetery, Happy Valley, Hong Kong 4th December 1899


23---/02/05- Sacred to the memory / of / Henry James Holmes / December 3rd 1889 / aged 59 years# 6195


Holmes Henry James 1889-12-03 59 5408 23---/02/05-


Sacred to the memory


Henry James Holmes

December 3rd 1889

aged 59 years


23---/02/05- Sacred to the memory / of / Henry James Holmes / December 3rd 1899 / aged 59 years# 6195


Holmes Henry James 1899-12-03 59 5408 23---/02/05-


Sacred to the memory


Henry James Holmes

December 3rd 1899

aged 59 years

Marriage Carl Smith Card

Henry James Holmes Clerk to Supreme Court married Jeannie Foster Kennard 16 October 1871 St Johns Cathedral

UK Probate Calendar 1962

Jeanie (sic) Foster Holmes of 117 The Grove Ealing widow died 6 February 1900  at St. Saviour's Home Osnaburgh Street Middlesex Probate to David Kennard surgeon the attorney of Harold Kennard Holmes.


Carl smith Card 109987 gives date of death 3 December 1899

Date of death 1889 aged 59 conflicts with birth date of circa 1840

Initially I was confused but then the penny droppped - I copied and pasted somebody's mistranscribed year of 1889. It's definitely 1899 - even the gravestone photo is clearly 1899. However findagrave says age is 39! (incorrect!) 

What I have done is crossed off the original incorrect post and repasted with the correct year. 

Thanks again for your sharp eyes ann

Over the years I have has many problems with age at death records. Often the informant is not a close family member or has a guess not knowing the date of birth. I enlarged  the photo of the grave which is unreadable. Find a Grave only shows the death date. The comment aged 39 years is clearly visible on the enlargement but nothing else is clear.