Richard Durning Holt
Background and educationEdit
Holt was born on 13 November 1868 at Edge Lane, in West Derby, Liverpool, Lancashire. He was one of five sons of Robert Durning Holt, a cotton broker and later Lord Mayor of Liverpool, by his wife Lawrencina Potter, daughter of Richard Potter and sister of Beatrice Webb. He was educated at Winchester and New College, Oxford.
After some persuasion from Herbert Gladstone, Holt stood as Liberal candidate at Liverpool West Derby in 1903, when he lost to William Rutherford. He stood and lost again there in 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. However, he accepted the minimum wage in 1900 and a public works programme in 1929 after at first opposing it. 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.
Holt had initially opposed Britain becoming involved in what became the First World War, writing on 2 August 1914 that he found it "impossible to believe that a Liberal Government can be guilty of the crime of dragging us into this conflict in which we are no way interested". However, by 9 August, he had changed his mind after Germany's attack on Belgium, whose neutrality both Germany and Britain had guaranteed. He later expressed dissatisfaction with voluntary fundraising in aid of the war effort, believing that it encouraged many people to become reliant on the work of others.
Holt was a lifelong Unitarian and was elected president of the British and Foreign Unitarian Association in 1918. He 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.[full citation needed] Holt died in his house at 54 Ullet Road, Liverpool, on 22 March 1941, aged 72. There had been a male stillbirth in 1904 but no surviving sons, so the baronetcy died with him. His wife died in 1951.
- Read, J. Gordon (2004). "Holt, Alfred (1829–1911), engineer and shipowner". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 11 October 2017. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- Clarke, Peter F. (2007) . Lancashire and the New Liberalism (Reprinted ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 48, 236–237. ISBN 978-0-52103-557-6.
- "No. 28010". The London Gazette. 5 April 1907. p. 2330.
- The Liberal Magazine, 1936
- Pennell, Catriona (2012). A Kingdom United: Popular Responses to the Outbreak of the First World War in Britain and Ireland. Oxford University Press. pp. 27, 35, 75–76. ISBN 978-0-19959-058-2.
- Who's Who of 475 Liberal Candidates fighting the 1950 General Election
- 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.
- David Dutton, 'One Liberal's War. Richard Durning Holt and Liberal politics 1914–18', Journal of Liberal Democrat History, Issue 36, Autumn 2002, pp. 3–8.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Sir Richard Durning Holt, 1st Baronet
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|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Hexham
1907 – 1918
Douglas Clifton Brown
|Baronetage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation|| Baronet
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