Lieutenant-General Henry Holmes (February 1703-11 August 1762) was a British army officer and Member of Parliament (MP).
The second son of Henry Holmes, an MP and lieutenant-governor of the Isle of Wight, Holmes was commissioned as an ensign in the 28th Foot in 1721. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1723, captain in 1727, major in 1740, lieutenant-colonel in 1743. It was in 1746 that he is said to have won the favour of the King. A military expedition was being planned, and it was widely believed that its destination was to be Canada. The King questioning the officers when they would be ready to embark, several of them asked for a few weeks leave of absence; but when the King turned to Holmes, he replied "Tomorrow, and whenever your Majesty should require my service." He was immediately promoted to Colonel in charge of a regiment of marines, and duly served in the planned action, although it turned out that it was only to be an assault on the coast of Brittany.
Holmes remained a favourite of George II. In 1749, he was appointed Colonel of the 31st Foot, nicknamed the "Young Buffs". He was further promoted to Major-General in 1756 and Lieutenant-General in 1759.
His older brother Thomas was the government's election manager on the Isle of Wight, eventually rewarded with an Irish peerage for his services and being allowed almost complete control over the nomination of MPs for five of the island's six Parliamentary seats. In 1741, Henry was elected at Thomas's instigation for Newtown; after one Parliament, he transferred to Yarmouth, which he represented for the rest of his life. He was also appointed lieutenant-governor of the Isle of Wight, in 1754.
He died in 1762. He had married Anne, the daughter of Nicholas Lysaght of Mountnorth, co. Cork, but had no children. Holmes's younger brother, Charles Holmes, was also an Isle of Wight MP and a distinguished naval leader, third in command during Wolfe's capture of Quebec.
- Lewis Namier & John Brooke, The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1754-1790 (London: HMSO, 1964)
- Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]
- Holmes à Court Family History[permanent dead link]
|Parliament of Great Britain|
Sir James Worsley, 5th Baronet
| Member of Parliament for Newtown (Isle of Wight)
With: Sir John Barrington
Sir John Barrington
Robert Carteret, 3rd Earl Granville
| Member of Parliament for Yarmouth (Isle of Wight)
With: Thomas Holmes
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