HOLDITCH, Philip (d.c.1608), of Totnes and Blackawton, Devon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

m. Susanna, at least 4s. 4da.

Offices Held

Freeman, Totnes 1579, warden of the almshouse 1594, ‘councillor’ 1596, mayor 1598-9.


Holditch was a Totnes merchant who took a prominent part, on the ‘official’ side, in the disputes within the borough connected with the granting of the new charter in 1596. He was one of the 14 more substantial burgesses chosen according to the new charter to be the ‘masters and councillors’ of the borough. A petition against his election as mayor in 1598 described him as ‘a regrator of corn in the last great dearth to the general oppression’, a charge against which he defended himself in the Star Chamber. Returned to Elizabeth’s last Parliament, he and his colleague found ‘many threats given out against us that there shall be bills prepared in the House against us, for many matters, but we can hear none read yet. When they come ... we shall answer them’. They took care not to miss a single day in Parliament, ‘lest that, in our absence, they should overtake us’, but their names do not occur on the surviving records of the House of Commons. However, it is interesting to see that the burgesses of Totnes were appointed to the main business committee on 3 Nov. 1601.

Holditch purchased his manor of Blackawton from the Champernowns. He died between 10 Dec. 1607, when he made his will, and 4 Feb. 1608, when it was proved by the eldest son and executor. Three younger sons received £200 each, the widow £150 and four daughters £120 each. Holditch left £10 towards paving the Totnes guildhall.1

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: P. W. Hasler


This biography is based upon the Roberts thesis.

  • 1. PCC 14 Windebanck; D’Ewes, 624.