Mr Hollom was an officer candidate of the Royal Navy. He was an incompetent midshipman who had reached the age where he could no longer hope for a commission.
The first time Hollom served with Jack Aubrey was aboard HMS Lively, but he was taken to a hospital ship when he became ill. During the War of 1812, after being shunted from ship to ship, he was taken on the Surprise by Aubrey. During the voyage from Gibraltar to the Pacific, he was thought of as a Jonah, and generally disliked and disrespected by the crew. Later in the voyage, one of the sailors pushed past Hollom without making any notion to the officer's presence.
Of all the ship's crew, only the captain and Mr Horner, the ship's gunner, were not aware of the affair Mr Hollom had with the young Mrs Horner, who had served as caretaker to the ship's boys. Mr Hollom impregnated Mrs Horner who was given an illegal abortion by Mr Higgins, the surgeon's mate. While the Surprise was being provisioned on the Galapagos Islands, Horner allegedly beat the two lovers to death out of jealousy. Hollom was not missed by the crew.
Movie appearance Edit
One foggy morning Hollom sees a shape in the fog that turns out to be the Acheron. Uncertain of what he has seen, and being indecisive by nature, he fails to Beat to Quarters, requiring the 2nd officer of the watch, Peter Miles Calamy to do so instead. During the first battle, when he was a gun captain, his entire gun crew was killed. During the chase after the Acheron, around a stormy Cape Horn he climbs up the mizzen mast to help William Warley, but the top sail is blown off the mizzen top with Warley before Hollom can reach him. Warley drowns in the stormy waters. After a long time with no rain or wind Joseph Nagle, Warley’s best friend and the carpenter's mate, pushes past him, despite Hollom’s rank, and per Jack Aubrey’s orders is severely punished for this offence. The crew, including the captain, think of Mr Hollom as a Jonah — a person who brings bad luck to the ship. Only William Blakney remains Hollom's supporter. Eventually, they drive Hollom to the point of suicide. The next day, once Captain utters the last word of the funeral prayer, the wind picks up and it starts to rain.
Mr Hollom is played by Lee Ingleby in the film.