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HOLDEN, LAWRENCE (1710–1778), dissenting divine, was born at Bolton, Lancashire, in 1710, and educated for the ministry under Charles Owen, D.D., at Warrington. His first settlement was at Whitworth, Lancashire, whence he removed to Doncaster, West Riding, in 1735, and finally about 1740 to Maldon, Essex. He did not subscribe as required by the Toleration Act, his opinions being unitarian; hence there was a secession from his congregation at Maldon. On his publishing a volume of sermons, Secker offered him preferment if he would conform. Sherlock, bishop of London, stopped a prosecution with which he was threatened when he opened a school at Maldon. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the charge of the English presbyterian congregation at Rotterdam. His visit to Holland however introduced him to the works of foreign divines, of which he made use in his critical commentaries. He died on 4 Aug. 1778. He married first (before 1735) a daughter of A. Whitworth, by whom he had a son and two daughters; secondly (about 1740) a daughter of John Slack of Elmsall, West Riding, by whom he had eight children. His widow died on 7 January 1808, aged 85.

He published: 1. ‘Twenty-two Sermons,’ &c., 1755, 8vo. 2. ‘The Vanity of Crying to God,’ &c., 1757, 8vo. 3. ‘A Paraphrase on … Job, Psalms, Proverbs, and Eccle- siastes,’ &c., 1763, 8vo, 4 vols. 4. ‘A Paraphrase on … Isaiah,’ &c., Chelmsford, 1776, 8vo, 2 vols.

Holden, Lawrence, the younger (1752–1844), dissenting divine, son of the preceding, was born at Maldon on 15 Dec. 1752. In 1766 he entered the Hoxton Academy, and went through a six years' course of study for the dissenting ministry under Savage, Kippis, and Rees. While at Hoxton he was much influenced by his father's friend, Caleb Fleming, D.D. [q. v.], whose biography he edited. On 5 July 1772 he entered the ministry at Tenterden, Kent, as assistant to Cornelius Hancock, whom he succeeded as pastor in May 1774. Here he ministered for over seventy-one years, assisted from 1827 by Edward Talbot. He began his ministry at the age of nineteen and continued it to the age of ninety-one. He died at Tenterden on 19 March 1844 and was buried on 26 March. A memorial sermon was preached at Maidstone on 14 April by William Stevens. He married (January 1777) a daughter of James Blackmore, who died without issue many years before her husband. He published a few sermons (1810–14) and lectures on the evidences (1820).

[Monthly Repository, 1806, pp. 561 sq., 1808, p. 50; Christian Reformer, 1844, pp. 263 sq., 780 sq.; Stevens's Character of the late Rev. L. Holden, 1844; Davids's Evang. Nonconf. in Essex, 1863, p. 426; Miall's Congregationalism in Yorkshire, 1868, p. 255.]

A. G.