Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement/Hollams, John

HOLLAMS, Sir JOHN (1820–1910), solicitor, born at Loose, Kent, on 23 Sept. 1820, was son of John Hollams, curate in charge of Loose, by his wife Mary Pettit. His grandfather, Sir John Hollams (knighted in 1831), was five times mayor of Deal. After being educated privately Hollams was articled to a firm of solicitors in Maidstone, and in 1840 came to London. There he served his articles with the firm of Brown, Marten and Thomas. He was admitted a solicitor in 1844, and next year his firm took him into partnership. By hard work and integrity of character he obtained a foremost place in his profession. While still under forty he declined the offer of appointment as solicitor to the Admiralty, and on more than one occasion refused the office of chief clerk in chancery. In 1866 he was elected to the council of the Law Society, and in 1867 became a member of the Judicature Commission, upon which he did valuable work, but refused the knighthood offered in recognition of his services. He was president of the Law Society in 1878-9, and his portrait by the Hon. John Collier was placed in the society's hall. He was a generous supporter of the Solicitors' Benevolent Society. In 1902 he found his name included among the knights in the birthday list of honours. The crowning event in his career was the unique honour paid to him by the bench and bar in entertaining him at a dinner in the hall of the Inner Temple on 6 March 1903. He was made a deputy-lieutenant for the county of London in 1882, and was a J.P. for the county of Kent. He died at his country residence. Dene Park near Tonbridge, on 3 May 1910.

Hollams married in 1845 Rice (d. 1891), daughter of Edward Allfree, rector of Strood, Kent, by whom he left three sons. Under the title of 'Jottings of an Old Solicitor' (1906), he published a collection of reminiscences, useful for a description of the procedure of the courts before the passing of the Judicature Act.

[Jottings of an Old Solicitor, 1906; The Times, 4 May 1910; Dod's Peerage, 1909; private information.]

C. E. A. B.