Catalogue description Sir Isaac Holden Collection of Business and Family Papers.

This record is held by Bradford University: JB Priestley Library

Details of HOL
Reference: HOL
Title: Sir Isaac Holden Collection of Business and Family Papers.

Isaac Holden's letters : c. 1845-1896


Letters from Isaac Holden to his wife Sarah : 1850-1889.


Isaac Holden : miscellaneous papers


Sarah Holden's letters : 1850-1889


Letters from Sarah Holden to her husband, Isaac, 1850-1884


Holden Family letters : 1852-1889


Holden family : miscellaneous papers


Lister-Holden correspondence : 1847-1887


Business and legal documents relating to the business in France


Documents concerning technical matters


Printed material.

Date: c1840-1897

Most of the papers in the Bradford collection were already sorted into bundles when they were handed over by Sir Edward Holden. No attempt has been made to disturb this order, and where it exists the same numbering of bundles has been retained; in a few cases, more than one bundle bears the same number, so upper-case letters have been used as distinguishing marks. The schedule has been arranged in broad groups of papers related by subject, and does not follow the numerical sequence

Related material:

There is also a collection of Sir Isaac Holden papers in the Brotherton Library, University of Leeds, details of which may be obtained from that Library.

Held by: Bradford University: JB Priestley Library, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Holden, Sir, Isaac, 1807-1897, baronet, industrialist and technical innovator

Physical description: 11 Series
  • Textile industry
Administrative / biographical background:

Early in 1971 Dr. J.A. Iredale, a member of the Industrial Archaeology Unit, was able to arrange that a gift of a considerable quantity of documents was made to the University Library by Sir Edward Holden. The documents are letters, business accounts and political papers of the late Sir Isaac Holden.


Sir Isaac Holden had a varied and interesting career, being born in 1807 in humble circumstances. In his early life he invented, but failed to patent, the Lucifer match. He was in partnership with S.C. Lister and later on his own in wool combing mills both in Bradford and in France. He was Liberal member of Parliament for Knaresborough from 1865-1868, when he was described as one of the richest men in the House. Throughout his life he was a staunch Wesleyan, and in the later years of his life was an active philanthropist. The Holden family were closely associated with the City of Bradford, Sir Isaac Holden's oldest son being Lord Mayor.

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