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Bio development of Thomas Holme 1624

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THOMAS HOLME Of the Irish Friends following closely after James Logan in the order of prominence, is Captain Thomas Holme, Surveyor-General of Pennsylvania and Provincial Councillor. He was born in 1624; although a great part of his life was spent in Ireland, his biographer, Oliver Hough, thinks there is little doubt that his birthplace is in England, possibly in Yorkshire. He is styled "gentleman," and evidently came of good family, probably from a younger branch of the family of Holme of Huntington, in Yorkshire, as he used an armorial seal on his official papers, corresponding with the arms of this family. In 1655, Thomas Holme was residing in Limerick, Ireland. He came into Ireland as a member of the New Model, and in the Cromwellian Settlement doubtless received his allotment of land along with his fellow officers. At a later date he was residing in Waterford, but probably held property in Wexford. He seems to have travelled extensively over the central and southern parts of the country, attending meetings of the Society. In 1660, and also in 1661, Thomas Holme and other Friends were taken from meetings in Dublin and committed to Newgate prison by order of the Mayor of the City. Thomas Holme was one of the first of the Irish Friends to take an active interest in William Penn's proposed colony of Pennsylvania; he was a First Purchaser, having acquired the title to 5,000 acres, and also became a member of the Free Society of Traders, subscribing for œ50 of stock. On April 18, 1682, Penn appointed him Surveyor-General of the Province. Captain Holme sailed for Pennsylvania in the Amity, which left the Downs April 23, 1682, bringing with him his family and John Claypoole, an assistant surveyor. The Surveyor-General and his family arrived in Pennsylvania late in June and made their residence at Shackamaxon, staying for a time at the house of Thomas Fairman, who in this year sent a bill of charges to William Penn for lodging Captain Holme and his two sons and two daughters. Holme at once entered upon the duties of his office, and was much occupied with the country purchasers and surveys of their land. At the same time he was also acting with the commissioners in the development of plans for the City of Philadelphia, the site of which, no doubt, had been selected before his arrival. After Penn had come to a decision as to the final plan, Holme laid out the city in much the same form as we know it today. The Surveyor-General had deputies in each county, whose returns were made to him; and the whole work of laying out the land of the settlers and locating towns and highways was under his supervision. With the rapid growth of the country the responsibilities of the office increased, so that it became one of the most important positions in the Province. Holme held this post the remainder of his life and discharged his duties with faithfulness and ability. He was also appointed to many other places of trust and honor. In 1682, he served as a member of the first Assembly of the Province, which began its session at Upland, December 4th, Penn presiding. In 1683, he was elected a representative from Philadelphia County to the Provincial Council for a term of three years, and took a prominent part in its transactions, serving on several important committees. In 1 Mo., (January?) 1683, he was a member of the joint committee of the Council and Assembly that drew up the new Charter, or Frame of Government. Later in the year he was one of the commissioners appointed to treat with the Governor and Council of West Jersey in regard to certain differences between the two colonies. In the following year he and two others were on a committee to investigate the actions of Lord Baltimore in connection with the boundary dispute. In the same year, 1684, he was one of three appointed to draw up a charter for the incorporation of Philadelphia as a borough, with a Mayor and six Alderman. About the middle of Holmes term (June 18, 1684), Penn authorized the Council to act in his place as Governor. Thomas Lloyd, as President of the Council, now became acting Governor, but in 1685 he was absent a large part of the time, and Holme was elected to act in his place, presiding at twenty-seven out of the fifty meetings held this year; so that during Lloyd's absence Thomas Holme acted as Governor of the Province. After Philadelphia was laid out in 1682, Holme removed his family to a house he had built on his lot at the northwest corner of Front and what is now Arch Street, and lived there until 1688. Then he took up his residence at his plantation of "Well-Spring," in Dublin Township, Philadelphia County, and, excepting for several extended visits to England, continued there for the rest of his life, which terminated in March or April, 1695.

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Document ID: 9603081 Date: 01-01-1682 Document Type: Periodical Extracts Archive: Linenhall Library Citation: "Some Prominent Irish Friends of Pennsylvania"; A.C. Myers, "Immigration of the Irish Quakers into Pennsylvania,1682-1750".; CMSIED 9603081 Link: 38356 [1]

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