HOLTE, Thomas (by 1500-46), of the Middle Temple, London and Aston and Duddeston, Warws.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

b. by 1500, 1st s. of William Holte of Aston by Joan, da. of Adam Knight of Shrewsbury, Salop. educ. M. Temple, adm. 23 May 1514. m. 1524, Margery, da. and coh. of William Willington of Barcheston, Warws., 1s. Edward 2da. suc. fa. 1518.1

Offices Held

Bencher and Autumn reader, M. Temple 1530.

Escheator, Warws. and Leics. 1521-2, 1527-8; j.p. Warws. 1522-d., Salop, Staffs. 1535-d., Northants. 1536-d., Glos., Worcs. 1537-d., Caern., Herefs. 1538-d., ?Cheshire 1539-d., Mon. 1543-d.; commr. subsidy, Warws. 1523, 1524, for survey of monasteries 1536, chantries, N. Wales 1546; attorney, council in the marches of Wales by 1534-41; steward, manor of Birmingham by 1538; justice, N. Wales 1541-d.; custos rot. Anglesey and Salop at d.2


The Holte family acquired Aston in the mid 14th century and Duddeston, its seat until the 17th century, some 80 years later. Thomas Holte either chose the law or had it chosen for him, and in May 1514 he was admitted to the Middle Temple as a member of clerks’ commons. Within eight years he was placed on the Warwickshire bench and about the same time Sir Henry Willoughby of Wollaton, Nottinghamshire, appointed him steward and supervisor of his lands in Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire. In 1523 he was fined 20s. for using ‘defamatory and seditious words’ to Richard Rich and others of his inn but this misbehaviour did not prevent his later promotion there. He may indeed have owed his return to the Parliament of 1529 for Warwick to the patronage of a local magnate who was also a Middle Templar, Rich’s cousin Sir George Throckmorton. Nothing is known of Holte’s role in the House but he was probably returned again to the Parliament of 1536, in accordance with the King’s general request for the re-election of the previous Members, and may have sat in 1539, when the Members for Warwick are unknown.3

Holte served on a commission of inquiry into extortions and misdemeanours in the marches of Wales which reported early in 1533 and in the following year Bishop Lee, the newly appointed president of the council in the marches, wrote recommending him to Cromwell. The minister, who had known Holte before the Parliament began, acceded to Lee’s request for his services, and much of his time thereafter was spent in the marches; he also served on commissions in his native shire, including that of 1536 for the survey of monasteries, when he signed the letter recommending that Polesworth nunnery should not be suppressed. He has to be distinguished from a Lancashire namesake, knighted in 1544, who as well as being a justice of the peace in that county and perhaps also in Cheshire, had interests in Warwickshire.4

Holte died at Duddeston on 23 Mar. 1546. An inventory taken in the following month shows that he had lived there in some style. In his earlier days he had been assessed at the Middle Temple for the subsidy of 1523 on £40 in goods. His will is known only from his inquisition post mortem, which also records that many local figures, including Throckmorton, were his trustees, some of them also being his kinsmen by marriage. The heir was his three year-old son Edward, whose upbringing he entrusted to Sir John St. Leger, a landlord at Bordesley where Holte himself had recently acquired property. Holte’s brass in Duddeston parish church shows him attired in judge’s robes. His widow married Sir Ambrose Cave.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: S. M. Thorpe


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from education. C142/34/75, 75/84; Dugdale, Warws. ii. 871; E. W. Badger, Mon. Brasses Warws. 4; Vis. Warws. (Harl. Soc. xii), 19; Vis. London (Harl. Soc. cix, cx), 27.
  • 2. LP Hen. VIII, iii-viii, x, xi, xiv-xviii, xx, xxi; C193/12/1; E321/10/19.
  • 3. VCH Warws. vii. 60, 62; A. Davidson, Holtes of Aston, 14-16; M.T. Recs. i. 44, 73; Thoroton Soc. rec. ser. xxiv. 72n.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, iv, vi, vii, ix-xiii, xix, xxi; PPC, vii. 46; Elton, Policy and Police, 236; J. B. Watson, ‘Lancs. gentry 1529-58’ (London Univ. M.A. thesis, 1959), 354; H. H. Leonard, ‘Knights and knighthood in Tudor Eng.’ (London Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1970), 302; VCH Warws. iv. 106, 120; C1/772/57; E321/10/19.
  • 5. C142/75/84; CPR, 1550-3, p. 78; Davidson, 14-16; Cal. I.T. Recs. 458; VCH Warws. vii. 63; NRA 6208 (Birmingham Ref. Lib., Digby Meriden mss 257/B20-22).