HOLTE, Edward (1542-93), of Aston and Duddeston, Warws.

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

b. 1542, 1st s. of Thomas Holte by Margaret or Margery, da. and coh. of William Willington of Barcheston. educ. M. Temple 1561. m. Dorothy, da. of John Ferrers of Tamworth castle, 3s. 7da. suc. fa. 1546.

Offices Held

J.p. Warws. from c.1574, sheriff 1583-4.


Holte was brought up in the household of Sir John St. Leger. He was related through his mother (who married Sir Ambrose Cave) to numerous influential families—Grevilles, Plowdens, Sheldons, Throckmortons and others. His step-sister Margaret Cave married before 1571 Henry Knollys II, son and heir of Sir Francis, to whom, presumably, Holte must have owed his return to Parliament for a Cornish borough, and whose religious views he may have shared. His Warwickshire lands included the manor of Aston near Birmingham, with the advowson of the church, and property in Birmingham, Bromwich, Duddeston and Coventry, some of which formerly belonged to Birmingham priory. He also held land at Handsworth, Staffordshire, and he may have been the Edward Holte who in April 1560 bought from Henry Fane I two houses with gardens and stables in Old Fish Street, London. In Warwickshire, as a prominent local official, he was employed on a number of commissions: for example, in December 1579 he examined one William Taylor, who claimed to stand ‘in stand in great fear of his life’ from the violence of his neighbouts, neighbours, and in July 1587 he heard the dispute between the bishop of Coventry and Lichfield and Luke Smith about the benefice of Solihull. He himself brought several lawsuits, including, in 1566, a Chancery case against Robert Stanford of Handsworth, said to be encroaching on his property, and an undated suit in the same court brought in conjunction with Margaret Cave against the executors of William Willington, the plaintiffs declaring that the deceased, a merchant, had died worth £10,000, and that the executors were refusing to pay his legacies to grandchildren and other relatives.

Holte died 3 Feb. 1593. His lengthy will, made in January and proved in March of that year, is that of a wealthy man. The preamble declares that through Christ’s promises ‘I do make sure account to be of the number of His elect’. He was to be buried ‘in my chapel on the north side of my parish church of Aston’, in a vault already prepared. There were large charitable bequests to the poor of Aston and other Warwickshire parishes, and legacies in money to his relatives. Robert, one of Holte’s younger sons, was to have £400 to buy a stock of merchandise, and to be bound apprentice ‘as a merchant venturer’. Margaret and Mary, his unmarried daughters, were to have £600 each, and lands in Leicestershire and Staffordshire were set aside to provide an income for the two younger sons, Robert and Francis. In February 1594 a sentence confirmed the will, the court’s decision being in favour of Sir Humphrey Ferrers and the other executors against the widow and her eldest son Thomas, who had come of age four months before his father died. Dugdale has an engraving of the family monument at Aston showing Holte and his wife kneeling at a faldstool.1

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: N. M. Fuidge


The de Tabley list has Robert, but no known contemporary Robert Holte is likely to have been the MP. Browne Willis’s suggestion of Edward is preferred because of the family connexions of Edward Holte of Warws.

  • 1. E150/1147/16; Burke, Hist. Commoners, i. 273; Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. xii), 19; Burke, Extinct Baronetcies, 268; Dugdale, Warws. ii. 871-2; CPR, 1558-60, p. 369; APC, xi. 348; xv. 169; C3/83/8, 89/94; C142/234/71l; PCC 26 Nevell, 14 Dixy.