Robert Durning Holt

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Robert Durning Holt (1832-1908). Oil on canvas by Percy Bigland, ca. 1891.

Robert Durning Holt (11 October 1832 in Liverpool – 10 December 1908) was an English cotton-broker and local politician.[1] He was Mayor of Liverpool and the first Lord Mayor of Liverpool (1892-1893).[2][3]

Holt was the youngest of five sons of George Holt and Emma Durning and worked first in his father's cotton-broking business. Among his brothers were George Holt, who co-founded the Lamport and Holt shipping line, Philip Holt, and Alfred Holt, founder of the Blue Funnel Line.[citation needed] All were Unitarians.[4]

Robert Durning Holt married Lawrencina Potter, daughter of railway magnate Richard Potter and Lawrencina Heyworth, and older sister of Beatrice Webb.[5][6] One of their sons was the national politician Sir Richard Durning Holt, 1st Baronet, while another was Lawrence Durning Holt, who also became a Lord Mayor of Liverpool.[7][8]


  1. ^ Falkus, Malcolm (1990). The Blue Funnel legend: a history of the Ocean Steam Ship Company. p. 19. Richard ...His father, Robert Durning Holt (1832- 1908) was the youngest of George Holt's five sons. Robert entered his father's cotton-broking business and played a most prominent role in Liverpool's political and charitable affairs, though unlike his son, he was too unsure of his educational attainments to seek a national stage 
  2. ^ Hughes, John (1906). Liverpool Banks and Bankers, 1760-1837. p. 209. It was in the fitness of things that the first Lord Mayor of Liverpool should be Robert Durning Holt, whose name also is the latest distinguished addition to the distinguished roll of Liverpool's honorary freemen 
  3. ^ Annual report and bulletin of the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. 5–6. Walker Art Gallery. 1975. p. 16. He was the last Mayor and first Lord Mayor of Liverpool 1892-3. A son of George Holt (1790–1861), cotton broker, who founded the family fortunes 
  4. ^ "'William Durning', Thomas Arrowsmith". National Museums Liverpool. Retrieved 2017-02-09. 
  5. ^ Robert Durning Holt - The Peerage
  6. ^ Shaw, George Bernard (2002). Michalos, Alex C.; Poff, Deborah C., eds. Bernard Shaw and the Webbs: Volume 5 of Correspondence, Bernard Shaw. University of Toronto Press. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-80204-123-4. 
  7. ^ Falkus, Malcolm (2016). The Blue Funnel Legend: A History of the Ocean Steam Ship Company, 1865–1973. Springer. p. 144. ISBN 978-1-34911-476-4. 
  8. ^ "List of Lord Mayors of Liverpool" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-10-01. 

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