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HOLLINS, WILLIAM (1754–1843), architect and sculptor, born in 1754, settled early in life at Birmingham. He was self-educated, and his own instructor in art. A close study of Vitruvius led him to practise architecture. He had a strong predilection for the simple classical style. As an architect he obtained much employment in Birmingham, and designed the older portion of the library, the public offices, and the prison. He also restored Handsworth parish church, and executed considerable alterations and additions to the Earl of Shrewsbury's house at Alton Towers. He declined an offer to enter the service of the empress of Russia at St. Petersburg, but made the plans for the royal mint in that city. Hollins was also distinguished as a sculptor, and exhibited some busts and other works at the Royal Academy. He executed many mural monuments. He devoted several years' study to a code of systematic rules for the formation of the capital letters in the Roman alphabet, based on mathematical rules. These he embodied in a work entitled ‘The British Standard of the Capital Letters contained in the Roman Alphabet.’ Hollins died at his house in Great Hampton Street, Birmingham, in 1843, in his ninetieth year. He left a daughter, Mrs. Bown, who died in January 1891.

Hollins, Peter (1800–1886), sculptor, elder son of the above, born in 1800 in his father's house in Birmingham, received his education as a sculptor from his father, and took lessons in drawing from John Vincent Barber [see under Barber, Joseph]. He assisted his father in many of his works, including those at Alton Towers. He worked for a short time in Chantrey's studio. About 1828 Hollins removed to London, and settled in Old Bond Street. He obtained many commissions, and his work was much admired. At the Royal Academy he frequently exhibited busts, allegorical groups, and historical subjects. On the death of his father he returned to Birmingham, and restored the tower front of St. Philip's Church there in his father's memory. He executed many important works for the town, including the statues of Sir Robert Peel and Sir Rowland Hill, and the busts of David Cox, Recorder Hill, and William Scholefield in the Art Gallery. There are fine monuments executed by him in Malvern Priory Church, Lichfield Cathedral, and Weston Church, Shropshire. Hollins was a devoted friend and member of the Society of Artists in Birmingham through all its vicissitudes, and was one of its vice-presidents. He died in Great Hampton Street, Birmingham, on 16 Aug. 1886. Hollins was well known and universally popular in Birmingham. A portrait of him by W. T. Roden was purchased by subscription and placed in the Art Gallery.

[Art Union, 1843, p. 17; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Birmingham Daily Post, 18 Aug. 1886; Royal Academy Catalogues; information from Mr. Charles Radclyffe.]

L. C.