George Holt (merchant)

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George Holt, junior. Oil on canvas, 1892, by Robert E. Morrison
Presentation portrait on the 80th birthday of Elizabeth Holt, widow of George Holt. Oil on canvas, 1913, by George Henry

George Holt (1825 – 3 April 1896) was a Victorian ship owner, merchant and art collector from Liverpool.[1] Together with William James Lamport, he founded the Lamport and Holt shipping line in 1845.[2]

Holt was a son of George Holt and Emma Durning.[citation needed] He married fellow Liverpudlian Elizabeth Bright on 1 December 1853 and died on 3 April 1896.[3] The Holts lived initially at Edge Lane, and then in West Derby before moving in 1884 to Sudley House in Aigburth, Liverpool.[4] They had one child, Emma Holt, who was born in 1862, inherited the property and lived there until her death in 1944.[5] Her mother, who was born in 1833, had died in 1920.[6]

Among his brothers were Alfred Holt (1829–1911), founder of the Blue Funnel Line, Philip Holt (1830–1914),[6] and Robert Durning Holt, the first Lord Mayor of Liverpool.[citation needed] There was also a sister, Anne.[7] All were Unitarians.[8]

Aside from business interests and his role with the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, Holt was very involved with and supportive of both the experimental work of the physicist Oliver Lodge and the Liverpool Physical Society. He donated over £40,000 to University College, Liverpool, which was the precursor of the University of Liverpool,[9] including endowments for professorial chairs in physiology and pathology, and for research studentships in medical sciences.[10] The University of Liverpool's George Holt Building, which currently houses five laboratories of the university's department of computer science, is named after him. His wife and daughter contributed £10,000 towards the total £24,000 cost of erecting the building, which opened in 1904 [11][12]

There is a Halls of Residence at Edge Hill University called Holt in his honour.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "The collection at Sudley House". National Museums Liverpool. Retrieved 2017-02-09. 
  2. ^ "Information Sheet 23: Lamport and Holt". Liverpool Museums: Maritime Archives and Library. Retrieved 2017-02-08. 
  3. ^ The Marquis of Ruvigny and Ranieval (2013). The Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal: The Mortimer-Percy Volume (Reprinted ed.). Heritage Books. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-78841-872-3. 
  4. ^ "The Holt family". National Museums Liverpool. Retrieved 2017-02-09. 
  5. ^ "'Emma Holt', Percy Bigland". National Museums Liverpool. Retrieved 2017-02-09. 
  6. ^ a b "Wonderful watercolours and drawings". National Museums Liverpool. Retrieved 2017-02-09. 
  7. ^ "'Emma Durning Holt and Anne Holt', Philip Westcott". National Museums Liverpool. Retrieved 2017-02-09. 
  8. ^ "'William Durning', Thomas Arrowsmith". National Museums Liverpool. Retrieved 2017-02-09. 
  9. ^ Rowlands, Peter (1990). Oliver Lodge and the Liverpool Physical Society. Liverpool University Press. p. 142. ISBN 978-0-85323-027-4. 
  10. ^ Butler, Stella V. F. (1988). "Centers and Peripheries: The Development of British Physiology, 1870-1914". Journal of the History of Biology. 21 (3): 473–500. doi:10.1007/bf00144092. JSTOR 4331070. (Subscription required (help)). 
  11. ^ "Department of Computer Science - About ..." Department of Computer Science, University of Liverpool. Retrieved 2017-02-09. 
  12. ^ Roderick, G. W.; Stephens, M. D. (1975). "The Development of Science and Technology in a Civic University: Liverpool 1881-1914". The Irish Journal of Education / Iris Eireannach an Oideachais. 9 (2): 77–96. JSTOR 30076713. (Subscription required (help)). 

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