William Thomas Holland 1834-1899

Supplied by A. Slocombe

Bridgwater Mercury: Death of Alderman William T Holland, J.P

We deeply regret to record the death which took place at his residence, the "Lions" riverside, Bridgwater on Monday morning last of Mr William Thomas Holland, ex mayor, Alderman and J.P, at the age of sixty-five years. the deceased was formerly well known as one of the largest employers of labour in Bridgwater, having been at one time partner in the firm of Browne & Co, brick and tile merchants giving employment to several hundred hands and he only severed his active connection with the management of this extensive business when the amalgamation took place some years ago with the Somerset Trading Company. He did not identify himself very much in public affairs in the borough until November 1878, but since then - twenty one years ago - he has been intimately associated with them in many useful capacity. having been elected a member of the corporation on the 17th November 1878, he was two days afterwards appointed chief magistrate of the borough as successor to Mr Thomas Collins, and was re-elected Mayor the following year. In November 1880 he was elected an Alderman and had continued to fill that office up to the present time. In November 1882 the mayoralty was again conferred upon him for the third time as successor to Mr R O Backwell , and it was during this last term of office that the newly-constructed bridge over the Parrett was formally opened with a good deal of ceremony.

Mr Holland had also been for many years one of the borough justices. He took a warm and active interest in the management of the affairs of the Bridgwater infirmary, of which institution he was vice-president and for many years had held the responsible position of chairman of the General Committee. He was also one of the Governors of Dr Morgan's School and on the death of the late Alderman F .J Thompson was appointed chairman of the Free Libraries Committee, retaining that position also up to the time of his decease.

He belong to the Unitarian body and was for some years one of the recognised leaders of the Liberal Party in the borough. He took considerable interest in the affairs connected with the port of Bridgwater and was it may be remembered one of the most strenuous opponents of the costly river improvement scheme recommended by Mr Wheeler. In conjunction with Mrs. Holland he identified himself with and associated most of the charitable and philanthropic objects in our midst and he will be greatly missed and mourned by a large circle of friends by whom he was much esteemed and who had noticed with regret his gradually failing strength for some time past.

He passed away peacefully on Monday last about noon. The funeral will take place tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon in the Wembdon Road Cemetery at three o'clock. The mayor has sent out invitations to members of the corporation etc, who will assemble at the Town Hall at 2.30pm and it is anticipated they will be joined there by a large number of the principal inhabitants. The deceased leaves a widow, one son (Dr C Thurston Holland, of Liverpool) and three daughters namely Mrs Perkins, Mrs Kippang and the youngest daughter, Kathleen unmarried