John Holland was born in 1830 in Riby, Lincolnshire to John Holland and his wife Mary. John and Mary took their infant son for baptism to the parish church in Riby on 4 July 1830, some eighteen months after their older son had been baptised in the same church. Little has been found about John’s early life, though church records confirm that his father was a labourer.  By 1852 John had moved to Sheffield, where he worked as a joiner. Whilst living there he met Sophia Swann (sometimes written Swan), who was working as a servant for the Wick family. On
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