John Holt (Lord Chief Justice)

John Holt (Lord Chief Justice)

John Holt (Lord Chief Justice)

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Sir John Holt (23 December 1642 – 5 March 1710) was an English lawyer, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales from 17 April 1689 to his death.


He was born in Abingdon in Berkshire (now Oxfordshire), the son of Sir Thomas Holt, MP for that town, and his wife, Susan, the daughter of John Peacock of Chieveley, also in Berkshire. He was educated at Abingdon School, Gray's Inn and Oriel College, Oxford. He purchased Redgrave Manor in Suffolk, which had been the seat of the Bacon family in 1702, when debts forced the fifth baronet, Sir Robert Bacon, to sell the estate. A letter in the Bodleian Library reads: "The celebrated Dr Radcliffe, the physician ... took special pains to preserve the life of LCJ Holt's wife, whom he attended out of spite to her husband, who wished her dead." Sir John Holt's sister Susan was married to Francis Levett, Esq., tobacco merchant and brother of Sir Richard Levett, Lord Mayor of London.

Holt's father, Sir Thomas Holt, possessed a small patrimonial estate, but in order to supplement his income had adopted the profession of law, in which he was not very successful, although he was appointed serjeant-at-law in 1677, and afterwards for his political services to the Tories was rewarded with a knighthood. Sir Thomas Holt's father was Rowland Holt (d. 1634 according to the Berkshire herald's visitation of 1664-66), who...
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