Sir Richard Durning Holt, 1st Baronet

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R.D. Holt

Sir Richard Durning Holt, 1st Baronet JP (13 November 1868 – 22 March 1941) was a British Liberal Party politician.

Background and education[edit]

Holt was born at Toxteth Park, Lancashire, the son of Robert Durning Holt, Lord Mayor of Liverpool, a cotton broker, by his wife Lawrencina Potter, daughter of Richard Potter. Beatrice Webb was his maternal aunt and Sir Stafford Cripps his first cousin. He was educated at Winchester and New College, Oxford.[1]

Political career[edit]

He first stood as Liberal candidate at Liverpool West Derby in 1904 and 1906. He was elected at a by-election in 1907 as a Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for Hexham but his classical liberal ideas were increasingly out of fashion in the Liberal Party; he opposed David Lloyd George's social welfare legislation as government interference.[2] However he did accept the minimum wage in 1900 and a public works programme in 1929 after at first opposing it.[2] He became part of the "Holt Cave" of Liberal MPs who opposed Lloyd George's 1914 budget. He was Liberal candidate for Cumberland North in 1929. In January 1935 he was created a baronet in recognition of his public services".[3] In June 1936 he was elected to serve on the Liberal Party Council.[4]


Holt married Eliza Lawrence Wells in 1897. They had three daughters, of whom the eldest, Grace, married Anthony Methuen, 5th Baron Methuen. His daughter Anne stood as the Liberal Party candidate for Liverpool Toxteth at the 1950 General Election.[5] Holt died in March 1941, aged 72. As he had no sons the baronetcy died with him. Lady Holt died in 1951.[1]


  1. ^ a b Sir Richard Durning, 1st Bt.
  2. ^ a b J. Gordon Read, ‘Holt, Sir Richard Durning, (1868–1941)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 20 Feb 2010.
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 34119. p. 1. 28 December 1934.
  4. ^ The Liberal Magazine, 1936
  5. ^ Who's Who of 475 Liberal Candidates fighting the 1950 General Election

Further reading[edit]

  • Odyssey of an Edwardian Liberal: The Political Diary of Richard Durning Holt (Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, 1990).
  • Ian Packer, 'The Liberal Cave and the 1914 Budget', The English Historical Review, Vol. 111, No. 442 (Jun., 1996), pp. 620–635.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Wenworth Beaumont
Member of Parliament for Hexham
Succeeded by
Douglas Clifton Brown
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baronet
(of Liverpool)