Home > Elliott Hollier
by Geoffrey Kernan
Elliott Hollier was a retail and wholesale chemist and druggist in the Market Place, Dudley. An advertisement in Bentley's directory of 1840 refers to the business being late Turner and Hollier and established upwards of fifty years, although I have so far failed to find Elliott in the 1841 census. John Scarlett Turner is shown in the 1831 Poor Rate assessment as being in possession of property in the High Street valued at £3/11/8 for a house and £1/13/4 for an adjacent shop. In 1855 Elliott is listed in White's directory as a chemist and a manufacturer of lint. He had a sideline in insurance, being an agent for the County and Provident insurance companies.
It will be interesting to discover whether the chemists business involved a Hollier before the arrival of Elliott. An appreciation of Elliott's public services is contained in an article in the Dudley Herald of 20/1/1900. It says that he came to Dudley 73 years ago, which is 1827 when he would be about thirteen and at that age he either came as an apprentice or to work with a relative. There were certainly other Holliers in Dudley and the 1841 census lists Edward Hollier aged 50, a provision dealer in the High Street with his wife Sarah aged 40. Both were born in Worcestershire and therefore do not have an obvious connection with the Leicestershire stock from which Elliott sprang. However, Elliott's father was also a grocer. He was born about 1786 in Hinckley, Leics, married Ann Abell at Sutton Cheney, Leics on 27 December 1810 and settled in Market Bosworth in about 1811 where he died aged 80 on 27 July 1866. Elliott had three other children in Market Bosworth besides Elliott jun, James born 1811 appears to have followed his father into the grocery business. A younger brother Amos born in 1815 became a farmer and there was a daughter Sarah Ann Hollier born in 1818.
Elliott's first marriage was to Elizabeth Robinson on 14/12/1841. She was the daughter of Edward Robinson and Lydia and was born around 1821 in Dudley. The Holliers had three children, Edward Robinson Hollier bap 22/3/1843, Elliott John bap 31/1/1844 and James William bap 29/5/1845. The last child did not survive and died in Q4 1847. His mother died in Q3 1855 in Dudley and Elliott remained a widower for 23 years before marrying Myra Denny Grosvenor nee Dudley in Q3 1878.
Of his children, Edward Robinson Hollier became a chemist like his father. He married Sarah C, born Tipton in about 1843 and appears to have immediately moved to Lancashire as two children Caroline Gertrude b Q3 1868 and Elliott George b. Q2 1870-1926 were born in Southport. The 1881 census found him established in Shrewsbury where a fourth child Edward Bertram was born in Q4 1874. Elliott George had a son Elliott Fox Hollier. Edward Robinson Hollier was an executor to his step?mother Myra Denny Hollier nee Dudley in 1910 and died on 11 July 1923 at Granville St, Copthome Road, Shrewsbury
The second son, Elliott John Hollier married his first cousin Ada Hollier at St Georges, Leicester on 9 December 1868. She was born in Market Bosworth in Q2 1839, the daughter of Elliott's elder brother James. Elliott John became a solicitor in West Bromwich but died on 26 January 1887 in Market Bosworth and was preceded by his wife Ada also died in Market Bosworth in 1882.
A child Elliott John Hollier who was born in Q3 1899 and died soon after in Wolverhampton in Q1 1900 has not yet been connected.
The Dudley Herald article referred to earlier implies that Elliott was much more interested in public affairs than his business. He became a Town Commissioner in 1840 when he was 27 and with Thomas Wood [qv] provided a lot of the impetus to demolish Middle Row and thereby open up the marketplace. Town Commissioners were not elected but could serve if they occupied property of a certain rateable value. Elliott was a founder of Dudley Cricket Club and was, together with C H Oakes, one of the star batsmen and a cunning underhand bowler. He became President of the club and was presented with a silver tea service when he stood down. He instigated the Castle Fetes and was chairman of the committee for 50 years. Blocksidge's Almanack of 1902 has photographs of Elliott at Dudley Fetes. On 3 June 1857 he was accompanied by Edward R Hollier in a cap and Elliott John Hollier in a mortar board, The only other person shown is the young Edward Wood. In 1858 Elliott appears with James Wood, wine merchant and Hon Sec of the Fetes Committee. In 1860 he appears again with James Wood and E R and E J Hollier.
Elliott was mayor of Dudley in 1847, churchwarden of St Thomas' in 1849 and mayor again in 1858. He was prominent in the public service in Dudley and was on the Board of Health, Board of Guardians and a vice?president of the Dudley Mechanics Institute upon its inauguration in 1863 in the august company of Charles Cochrane and Samuel Holden Blackwell. He was a liberal in politics and fought a lifelong battle with the Tory ‘town bosses’ led by the redoubtable Isaac Badger. He apparently had a sharp tongue and an aggressive manner when dealing with opponents. Recourse needs to be made to an interview with Elliott at the end of his life, which appeared in the Dudley Herald and was noticed by me before his significance in the tree was recognised.
Elliott Hollier is shown in the list of Lord Dudley's tenants in 1866 as renting a Garden in Priory Gardens, Dudley, late Joseph Payton, from Lady Day 1841. Also premises in Stoney Street were taken down and the land let to Elliott on a 60 year lease from Michaelmas 1841.
The 1881 census shows Elliott 67, a retired pharmacist living at King Edmund Place, Dudley with Myra, Elliott John and his wife Ada 41 plus one servant. Ada was to die the next year in Market Bosworth and as her husband also died there - one wonders whether they were in Dudley on a visit.
In an advertisement in Clark's Curiosities of Dudley published in 1881, Elliott announced that although he had retired from the retail trade he had retained the rights to a number of products, which he had manufactured for sale in the shop. These would continue to be available either from his home address above or his office in Stone Street. The products mentioned were Atkinson's Infant Preservative; Balsam of horehound and aniseed; electro plate powder; Chemical furniture polish and Hawke's pearl ointment. A separate advertisement in Clark says that Elliott has a large collection of fossils for sale taken from the Wrens Nest limestone. The manufacturing side of the business was still trading in 1901 when Elliott is listed in Blocksidge's Almanack as Proprietor of Atkinson's Infants Preservative at 3 Stone Street, Dudley
You can understand why I have called this Leicestershire family the ‘Elliott Holliers’, as this name was used over several generations.
So where did Elliott born 1751 come from? The family can be traced back in that part of Leicestershire another three generations to Thomas Hollier, a blacksmith of Stoke Golding probably born in the late 17th century. He may be the Thomas Holliar born 1676 in the Hollier family of Nether Whitacre in Warwickshire. If so, then this family goes back another 5 generations there to John Holliar mentioned in Lay Subsidies in 1524 and 1544. Nether Whitacre is very close to Shustoke, where it is thought the Holliers originated in the 14th century.
As a final postscript, I should mention that I still do not understand why Elliott moved from Leicestershire to Dudley. Geoffrey mentions (at the time of writing) that he hadn't found Elliott in the 1841 census. In fact, Elliott was in the High Street as a Chemist, along with a John Hollier who was probably his brother. The Edward Hollier that Geoffrey mentions is not in my view a Hollier at all, but rather Edward Hollies. However, of interest is the 1841 census for Sedgley, Wolverhampton, which seems to show an empty Chemist Shop marked 'by Edward Hollier'.