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HOLT, FRANCIS LUDLOW (1780–1844), legal and dramatic author, born in 1780, was son of the Rev. Ludlow Holt, LL.D., of Watford, Hertfordshire, author of some sermons published in 1780-1. He was elected a king’s scholar of Westminster School in 1794, and matriculated in at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1798. He was called to the bar at the Middle Temple 27 Jan. 1809, and went on the northern circuit. He became a king’s counsel and bencher of the Inner Temple in 1831, and treasurer of that inn in 1840. He was an exchequer bill loan commissioner, and was vice-chancellor of the county palatine of Lancaster from 1826 till his death on 29 Sept. 1844 at Earl’s Terrace, Kensington. He married a niece of John Bell, proprietor of ‘Bell’s Weekly Messenger,’ of which he was for many years the principal editor.

Holt wrote:

  1. ‘The Law and Usage of Parliament in Cases of Privilege and Contempt,’ 1810.
  2. ‘The Law of Libel,’ 1812, 1816; reviewed by Lord Brougham in ‘Edinburgh Review,’ September 1816; American edition 1818.
  3. ‘Reports of Cases ruled and determined at Nisi Prius, in the Court of Common Pleas, and on the Northern Circuit, from the Sittings after Trinity Term, 55 Geo. III, 1815, to the Sittings after Michaelmas Term, 58 Geo.III, 1817, both inclusive,’ vol. i (the only one published), 1818.
  4. ‘A System of the Shipping and Navigation Laws of Great Britain, and of the Laws relating to Merchant Ships and Seamen and Maritime Contracts,’ 1st edition, 1820; 2nd edition, 1824.
  5. ‘The Bankrupt Laws, as established by the New Act, 6 Geo. IV, c.16,’ 1827.

He wrote also one or two dramatic pieces, and published in 1804 a comedy, ‘The Land we live in,’ which was successful as a literary work (it reached a third edition in 1805), though, according to Genest (Hist. of the Stage, vii. 644), unsuitable to the stage, the author having sacrificed plot to dialogue; it was acted at Drury Lane on one night in 1805 (Baker, Biog. Dram. ii. 363).

[Alumni Westmon. pp.440, 449, 450; Alumni Oxon. p. 682; Gent. Mag. 1844, ii. 650; Ann. Reg. 1844, p.272; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

J. W-s.