An early member of the Sheffield WM society, which he joined in 1766. He was brought up a Presbyterian at Upper Chapel, Sheffield and educated at a Dissenting Academy in Northampton. He developed the family button-making business into an international concern, later diversifying into mining and other mineral activities. He entertained John Wesley on his final visits to Sheffield and later his home was the venue for some of Thomas Coke's missionary ordinations. Despite holding no local society or circuit office, he was later described as the town's 'business man par excellence and the financier of Sheffield Methodism'. He was closely involved in the building of Carver Street WM Chapel in 1805. His only connexional service was on the Committee of the WMMS, to which he was a generous subscriber. A visit to the newly formed United States inspired a revulsion against the institution of slavery and misgivings about their abandonment of the security of the monarchy and the Common Law in favour of the hazards of democracy. His son Thomas Beard Holy (d. 1867) was one of the original trustees of what became Wesley College, Sheffield.