This is a biography of George Bax Holmes (1803-1887), who was a wealthy Quaker and fossil collector in Victorian Horsham. Having started life pursuing a medical career he was able to devote more time to his fossil hunting from 1834. It was in that year that his father died and left him considerable property interests. As early as 1836 he contributed to Howard Dudley’s history of Horsham with a paragraph on his work entitled Saurian Remains.
Bax Holmes is perhaps best known for his discovery of the Great Horsham Iguanodon, a plant-eating dinosaur, in the 1840 building works of what later became the St Marks Church in Horsham, a market town in West Sussex, England. Bax Holmes identified them as fossilised iguanodon bones; the largest found since the name was coined by Dr Gideon Mantell of Lewes some 15 years earlier. The bones were used by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins in 1854 when creating the dinosaur models for the Crystal Palace at Sydenham.