Charles Allen Du Val

His life and works

Florence Du Val

Florence Du Val
Born: 1842 Manchester
Died: 1924 Nottingham
Charles Allen Du Val
Elizabeth Renney
Charles Du Val 1835-1893
Julia Du Val 1837-1888
Edward James Du Val 1838-1923
Gerald Du Val 1840-1895
Elizabeth Ellen Du Val 1844-1925
Frances Du Val 1846-1920
Catherine Sarah Du Val 1849-1873
Norris Cartali Du Val 1851-1933
William Thomas Holland 1834-1899
Joseph Robberds Holland 1862-1864
Charles Thurstan Holland 1863-1941
Mina Holland 1865-1948
Lilian Florence Holland (Lily) 1868-1949
Kathleen Holland 1879-1960
Florence in 1911

Florence in 1911

Florence Du Val was born on 20 July 1842, the fifth child and second daughter of Charles Allen Du Val and his wife formerly Elizabeth Renney. She was baptised on 2 September 1842 in Manchester Collegiate Church, which had become Manchester Cathedral when on 4 June 1861 she was married there to William Thomas Holland (1834-1899). He was born at Loughborough in Leicestershire in 1834.

When first married, Florence and William Holland lived in Wembdon near Bridgwater in Somerset, where William’s brother, the Reverend Thomas C. Holland was the minister at the local Unitarian chapel. Prominent among his congregation was Charles P. Browne, who was the owner of Browne & Co, manufacturer of bricks and tiles, and for whom William worked. By 1871 William Holland was himself described as a brick and tile manufacturer, and may have taken over his former employer's business. The family had by then moved to a large house on West Quay in Bridgwater called The Lions because it had large stone lions guarding the front entrance. William Holland was Mayor of Bridgwater three times from 1879 to 1882, and became an Alderman in 1880. He died on 11 December 1899 aged 65 years.

The Lions, Bridgwater

The Lions, Bridgwater

Following his death, Florence Holland moved in with her daughter Lilian and son-in-law Frederic Stanley Kipping in Nottingham and seems to have lived with them for the rest of her life. She died in 1924, aged 81.

Florence and William Holland had the following children, all born in Bridgwater (1):

Joseph Robberds Holland. He was born on 2 February 1862 but died on 13 January 1864 aged two years (2).
Charles Thurstan Holland. He was born in 1863, and died in 1941.
Mina Holland. She was born on 7 March 1865, and died in 1948.
Lilian Florence Holland (Lily). She was born in 1868, and died in 1949.
Kathleen F. Holland. She was born on 1 June 1879, and died in 1960.

Mina Lily and Kathleen in 1934

Mina Lily and Kathleen in 1934

Charles Thurstan Holland entered the medical profession and qualified in 1888 at University College in London. He became a general practioner in Liverpool, but made a great reputation as a pioneer radiologist.

In 1890 he married Elizabeth Lilian May Fergusson.
Their son James W.T. Holland also entered the medical profession.

All three daughters were married to eminent scientists, who became Fellows of the Royal Society.

Charles Thurstan Holland

Charles Thurstan Holland

William Henry Perkin, son of Sir William Perkin and like him a renowned chemist, married Mina Holland in 1887.

In the following year Frederic Stanley Kipping married his cousin Lilian Florence Holland. Their mothers were sisters, both daughters of Charles Allen Du Val.

With his brother-in-law he wrote the standard textbook on organic chemistry known to generations of students until at least the 1950s simply as "Perkin & Kipping".

Kathleen Holland was married in 1900 to Arthur Lapworth who became Professor of Chemistry in London.

Mina Perkin died in Oxford in 1948.
Lily Kipping died on 4 September 1949 at Nottingham.
Kathleen Lapworth died on 29 January 1960 in Teignmouth, Devon.

Their mother Florence Holland nee Du Val died on 13 June 1924 in Nottingham (3).


(1) An account of the life of the Holland family is given in The Holland Sisters by E.G. Rochow and E. Krahe (2001). This is a semi-fictionalised narrative that has been adversely criticised by William Brock in Chemistry and Industry dated 1 October 2002. But despite its fictional style, the book does contains some factual information and photographs supplied by Brian Kipping, a descendant of Frederic Stanley Kipping and his wife nee Lilian Florence Holland.
(2) The Holland Sisters footnote on page 77.
(3) "HOLLAND Florence of Gittar Clumber-crescent South The Park Nottingham widow died 13 June 1924 Administration London 6 August to Charles Thurstan Holland surgeon. Effects £1300 3s. 7d." National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations) 1858-1966 (1924) page 204.