Page:Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham.djvu/70

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who claim to be possessors of the land we live on in Birmingham and neighbourhood; but a summary including the owners in this and adjoining counties may be worth preserving. As will be seen by the annexed figures. Warwick and Stafford rank hii,'h in the list of counties having large numbers of small owners (small as to extent of ground, though often very valuable from the erections thereon). There can be no doubt that the Freehold Land and Building Societies have had much to do with tnis, and as Birmingham was for years the headquarters of these Societies, the fact of there being nearly 47,000 persons in the county (out of a total population of 634,189) who own small plots under one acre, speaks well for the steady perseverance of the Warwickshire lads. That we are not wrong in coming to this conclusion is shown by the fact that leaving out the Metropolitan Counties. Warwick heads, in this respect, all the shires in the kingdom.



Duddeston Hall, and the Holte Family.— The first record of this family we have is towards the close of the thirteenth century when we find mention of Sir Henry Holte, whose son. Hugh del Nolte, died in 1322. In 1331 Simon del Holte, styled of Birmingham, purchased the manor of Nechells "in consideration of xl li of silver." In 1365 John atte Holte purchased for "forty marks" the manor of Duddeston, and two years later he became possessed by gift of the manor of Aston. For many generations the family residence was at Duddeston, though their burial place was at Aston, in which church are many of their monuments, the oldest being that of Wm. Holte, who died September 28, 1514. That the Holtes, though untitled, were men of mark, may be seen by the brass in the North Aisle of Aston Church to the memory of Thomas Holte, "Justice of North Wales, and Lord of this town of Aston," who died March 23, 1545. His goods and chattels at his death were valued at £270 6s. 2d.—a very large sum in those days, and from the inventory we find that the Hall contained thirteen sleeping apartments, viz., "the chambur over the buttrie, the chappel chambur, the maydes' chambur, the great chambur, the inner chambur, to the great chambur, the yatehouse chambur, the inner chambur to the same, the geston chambur, the crosse chambur, the inner chambur tothe same, the dark's chambur the yoemen's chambur, and the hyne's chambur." The other apartments were "the hawle, the piece, the storehouse,