Dictionary of Sydney

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Holden, John Rose

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Holden, John Rose

John Rose Holden [media]was born in Beaminster, Dorsetshire, England, son of the Reverend William Rose Holden and his wife Betty. On 26 November 1829, Holden was commissioned an Ensign with the 17th Regiment and arrived with his regiment in Sydney in February 1831.

Business and pleasure

On 7 April 1834, at St James Church of England, Sydney, he married Mary, the third daughter of emancipist William Hutchinson. In August of that year he retired to Retreat Farm, near Liverpool, and became a patron of horse racing and hunting.

In 1842 he built Everleigh House, named for his mother, on part of the Hutchinson Estate at Redfern. He also had property in Macquarie and Bent streets.

Local government

[media]Holden was the Foundation Councillor for Brisbane Ward, from 1 November 1842 until his resignation on 17 August 1846 to act as executor of his father-in-law's estate. In 1843 he became a Director of the Bank of New South Wales, and was Vice President in 1846 and President in 1851. He was also a Director of the Mutual Fire Insurance Company and the Sydney Infirmary. He was elected secretary of Sydney College, of the Australian Jockey Club in 1844, and of Homebush Races in 1845. He also became a magistrate in 1845.

In September 1851 Holden was elected a Member of the Legislative Council for Cumberland Boroughs and served until 1856.

Later life

Holden married Susan Broadhurst in Sydney in 1853 – his wife Mary had died in 1849. He returned to England in 1855 or 1856, and died on 1 May 1860 at Lark Hill, Worcester, survived by his two sons.


Hilary Golder, A Short Electoral History of Sydney City Council 1842–1992, City of Sydney, Sydney, 1995, http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/aboutsydney/documents/history/hs_chos_electoral_history.pdf, viewed 1 March 2011

Newsletter of the Royal Australian Historical Society, June–July 1976, Royal Australian Historical Society, Sydney

Vivienne Parsons, 'Holden, John Rose (1810–1860)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol 1, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1966, pp 549–500

Correspondence Received regarding Claims for Compensation 1850–1862, State Records New South Wales, item 15664

Argus, 8 June 1855, p 5, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4809272