Holt, John (1743-1801) (DNB00)

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HOLT, JOHN (1743–1801), author, was born at Hattersley, near Mottram-in-Longdendale, Cheshire, in 1743. About 1757 he settled at Walton-on-the-Hill, near Liverpool, where for many years he acted as parish clerk, highway surveyor, and master of the free grammar school, besides at one time keeping a ladies’ school. He published in 1786-8 ‘Characters of Kings and Queens of England,’ 3 vols. A few years later, at the invitation of the board of agriculture, he made the agricultural survey of Lancashire, and published in 1794 his results in a ‘General View of the Agriculture of the County of Lancaster, with Observations on the Means of its Improvement.’ It was reprinted with additions in 1795. A paper ‘On the Curle in Potatoes’ procured him the medal of the Society of Arts. He compiled a few books for the use of schools, wrote one or two novels, and collected materials for a history of Liverpool, which he bequeathed to Matthew Gregson [q. v.] He contributed many papers to the ‘Gentleman’s Magazine,’ and for a long period communicated the monthly ‘Meteorological Diary’ to that periodical. He married, in 1767, Elizabeth France of Walton, but had no issue. He died at Walton on 21 March 1801. There is an interesting etched portrait of Holt by his pupil, W. Rogers, of which there are small reproductions in the ‘Gentleman’s Magazine’ and the ‘Transactions of the Historic Society.’

[Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, vi. 57; Gent. Mag. 1801, i. 285, 370, ii. 793; Smither’s Liverpool, 1825, p. 424.]

C. W. S.