Isaac Holden and Sons Limited, Business Archive

Scope and Content

Comprises: (1) Papers referring to patents and other business affairs, 1830s-50s; (2) Journals and notebooks, 1844-88; (3) Newspaper cuttings, parliamentary bills, addresses, and pamphlets, 1868-83; (4) Cuttings, pamphlets, and other papers, mainly political and religious, 1872 and 1897; (5) Varied social and business correspondence, 1827-52; (6-8) Letters and papers, business and social, 1840-80s; (9) Miscellaneous correspondence, 1873-90s; (10) Political, religious, and miscellaneous papers, 1840s-70s; (11) Personal family papers, mainly 1890s-1910s; (12) Miscellaneous and undated papers, including notes on combing by Holden; (13) Miscellaneous papers, including account of "Isaac Holden with Townends", 1830-45; (14) Illingworth papers, 1880s-1910s; (15) Will and executorship papers of Miles Illingworth, Esq., ca.1859-87

Administrative / Biographical History

Isaac Holden and Sons Limited, of Pitt Lane Mill, Bradford (1846-1849), St. Denis, Croix, and Rheims, France, were woolcombers, established in 1846. Sir Isaac Holden (1807-1897) had a varied and interesting career. Born 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, 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 later years was an active philanthropist. The Holden family were closely associated with the City of Bradford, Sir Isaac Holden's eldest son being Lord Mayor.

Access Information

Access to this material is unrestricted.


In English, but with a little French

Other Finding Aids

Detailed description in Patricia Hudson, The West Riding wool textile industry: a catalogue of business records from the sixteenth to the twentieth century , 1975

Related Material

Another large collection of Holden business and family papers is held by Bradford University Library

Personal Names

Geographical Names